Stamp Day 2017 – “They shall not pass”. Romfilatelia celebrates historical battles with two stamps

July 31st, 2017

It is very hard to find a Romanian who will not say, in one breath, “Marasti, Marasesti, Oituz”, referring to the three great battles that changed the destiny of Romania. Romfilatelia celebrates the victory centenary of Marasti, Marasesti, Oituz through the issue achieved on the occasion of the Romanian Postage Stamp Day, entitled “1917 – They shall not pass!”. invites our readers to get acquainted with the history of Romania and appreciate these neatly designed stamps!

The victories brought by the Romanian army, long-awaited and hard-won, became the turning point of the First World War for Romania.

The Battle of Marasti (11/24 July – 19 July/1 August 1917) began with a strong artillery training, continued the next day, an action that caused significant damage to the enemy device, facilitating the offensive of the Romanian troops.

On the front of Marasesti was the remarkable Ecaterina Teodoroiu, whose visage is illustrated on the stamp with the face value of Lei 4.50, the one who became a heroine and an example of courage and abnegation. The beginning of the war found her at the hospital in Targu Jiu, where she carried out the care of the wounded, including her brother Nicholas. His death represented for her the conviction that war is the conscience of the supreme sacrifice. As a result, she decided she would leave for the front, succeeding to determine the military commanders in the Oltenia front line to allow her to effectively fight, gun in hand, together with the soldiers in the company that her brother Nicholas had fought with, from the 43rd Infantry Regiment.

On August 9/22, 1917, in the midst of a platoon of infantry attackers, she was hit by the bullets of the enemy, near the village of Muncelu, on the Marasesti front. She was buried in Targu Jiu, in the Gorj Prefecture Square. It was then decided to build a monument to mark the tomb of the heroine.

The leadership of the Romanian troops was entrusted to General Eremia Grigorescu, illustrated on the stamp with the face value of Lei 8, who, in the first battle of Oituz, had launched the slogan “They shall not pass!”. On the battlefield of Marasesti, these words entered the conscience of the Romanian nation through the sacrifice of the Romanian Army. It is noteworthy that at the beginning of the battle against Field Marshal August von Mackensen, they were reformulated as follows: “They shall not pass here either!”

The brave General Eremia Grigorescu, prematurely dead in 1919, after having lived through the feeling of Great Romania, was buried, according to his wishes, near the soldiers of the Marasesti Mausoleum.