Our paper attempts to analyse the profile of Mircea Russu Șirianu, a young journalist from Bucharest who was involved in organising the national movement in Transylvania before the war. Making himself known by his bold and uncompromising stances in the numerous press articles he had published since the beginning of the twentieth century, Mircea Russu Șirianu was arrested in the spring of 1916 on the territory of Austria-Hungary, at a time when Romania was still maintaining its neutrality. He was considered a dangerous propagandist by the Viennese authorities because of the ideas he conveyed concerning Romania’s close position to the Entente. Although he managed to escape many times from the Austrian concentration camps, he was also caught every time. He was nonetheless eventually freed thanks to numerous diplomatic efforts. This young journalist epitomised a frequent type of intellectual in that epoch: he evinced strong character traits derived from his Transylvanian background and could easily convert his cultural expertise into acts of political militancy. Mircea Russu Șirianu represents a case that is relevant for the way in which the category of the intellectual with multiple agendas chose to react in a war context.
This study appeared in an extensive form in the volume edited by Flavius Solomon, Andrei Cușco, Mihai-Ștefan Ceaușu, România și statele vecine la începutul Primului Război Mondial: Viziuni, percepții, interpretări [Romania and Its Neighbouring States in the Early Phase of World War I: Visions, Perceptions, Interpretations], Iași, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University Press, 2016, pp. 343-361”
Keywords: World War I, diplomacy, Romanian intellectual, propaganda, Transylvania.