CREATORS OF NEW ROMANIA
(b. April 1, 1876, Rezeni, Republic of Moldova – d. January 24, 1954, Sighetu Marmației, Romania)
Ion Pelivan was a politician, a writer and a journalist. He graduated from the Theological Seminary in Chișinău and continued his studies at the University of Tartu (Estonia). As the leader of the student organisation ‘Bessarabian Earthland’, he fought for the introduction of the Romanian language in administration and in the Church, as well as the autonomy of Bessarabia within the Russian Empire. His position was not tolerated by the Tsarist authorities, and he was arrested and jailed, along with other colleagues, first at Tartu and then at Cḕsis (Estonia), between 1902-1903. After a period spent on the Manchurian front, where he was sent, he returned to Chișinău. There he founded the first Romanian newspaper in the province, Bessarabia, in 1907.
With the outbreak of the First World War, he was again sent to the front, first to Kiev, then to Brăila, Galați, Cahul, and Bolgrad. His revolutionary spirit was still alive as he edited the brochure Founding Assembly (1916), through which he promoted the idea of the union of Bessarabia with Romania. His contribution to the organisation of the provincial national movement was essential.
In 1917, the Military Congress elected him Deputy in the Country Council of Bessarabia. Accused of drawing a pact with the enemy, he was arrested in early 1918 by the Bolshevik military authorities of the province. He managed to escape and flee to Chișinău. There he resumed his activity, voting in the Parliament the Union of Bessarabia with Romania on March 27, 1918.
After the Union he was elected Deputy to the Parliament of Romania. He also participated in the Paris Peace Conference as a delegate from Bessarabia.