Corneliu Coposu Fan Page

Wilfried Martens - EPP President

Înapoi la Corneliu Coposu '95

Corneliu Coposu, who was born 95 years ago today, embodies the 20th century like few other people I have known. In fact, I believe he embodies the best that the 20th century had to offer, in terms of values, courage and political talent.

He was born in 1914 in what was then Austria-Hungary. He became a leader of the Christian Peasants' Party between the wars, joined the resistance to the Antonescu regime in World War II and became a member of the anti-communist opposition after 1947. What followed were decades of communist persecution, imprisonment and forced labor. He lost his wife as a consequence of a disease she contracted during imprisonment. And he was reduced to manual labor even after release from prison. But all this could not break Corneliu Coposu. It could not break him because his convictions, and his faith, were unbreakable. Even under constant Securitate harassment, he managed, in the 1980s, to develop and nurture contacts with exiled Romanian Christian Democrats, and to the Christian Democrat International.

His moment came when Romanians freed themselves from one of Europe's most brutal communist regimes, in December 1989. He immediately went to work, planning, organizing, building, and leading a Christian Democratic alternative to the remnants of the old regime that had by now turned nationalist and populist. In the first half of the 1990s, he managed to become one of the most distinguished political leaders of Romania. That is when I met him. In our long conversations, I developed a deep admiration for this man. I have always felt that he had a lot to teach us, all over Europe. That concerns his firm democratic convictions as well as his unshakeable belief that Europe must be whole and free. And it also concerns his faith in God which carried him through the darkest hours of dictatorship, and gave him strength in the political battles of free Romania.

I will always remember him as a great friend. And we will all remember him as an exemplary man - Romanian, European, Christian and democrat.

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