Mircea Aurel Vulcănescu (3 March 1904, Bucharest – 28 October 1952, Aiud) was a Romanian philosopher, economist, ethics teacher and sociologist. Undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance from 1941 to 1944 in the Nazi-aligned government of Ion Antonescu, he was arrested in 1946 and convicted as a war criminal.
He studied philosophy and law at the University of Bucharest, graduating in 1925. He was then more attracted to sociology, due to his field experiences (monograph campaigns) under the coordination of professor Dimitrie Gusti. Gusti became one of his most admired mentors, alongside Nae Ionescu. He was also Gusti's assistant at the University of Sociology in Bucharest. He started working towards a Ph.D. degree in law and sociology at the University of Paris, but dropped out later.
From June 1935 to September 1937 he was director of the Customs Service, while in 1940 he was director of Public Debt Department. From January 27, 1941 to August 23, 1944, he was undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance, in the Ion Antonescu government.
After King Michael's Coup, he was arrested on August 30, 1946, tried as a war criminal, and sentenced on October 9, 1946 to 8 years in prison. However, the trial is in itself a controversial one, since the judiciary regime suffered from the influence of the communist party and, consequently, from the Soviet occupation. Vulcănescu was convicted for ”permitting the entry of the German army on the country's territory" and for "declaring or continuing the war against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Nations".
Nicolae Mărgineanu, a teacher at the King Ferdinand I University of Cluj-Napoca and a post-mortem member of the Romanian Academy, claimed that the accusations that were brought against Vulcănescu were false and that he was a victim of the Communist regime., as part of a larger scheme of the regime whose aim was to slowly kill of Romanian intellectuals, especially those who opposed the regime.
According to Zigu Ornea, Vulcănescu considered himself a sympathizer of the Iron Guard. Other scholars considered him to be "a supporter of discrimination based on ethnicity", who, according to the director of the Elie Wiesel National Institute for Studying the Holocaust in Romania, "supported spiritually and morally the antisemitism of the government."
Despite these claims, in one of his works, Vulcănescu reportedly considered the Iron Guard as a terrorist movement controlled by the Nazi Germany. For these reasons, he refused to join the government lead by The Legionary Movement in 1940.
- The Theory and Sociology of Economic Life. Prolegomena to the Study of Morphological Economy of a Village, 1932
- The Eleventh Hour, 1932
- The Two Romanias, 1932
- Dimitrie Gusti - the professor, 1937
- The War for Reuniting Kin, 1938
- The Social Appearance of Two Counties, 1938
- The Romanian Dimension of Existence, 1943
- Florian, Alexandru (June 24, 2014). "Mircea Vulcănescu şi memoria publică" (in Romanian). Revista 22. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- The documents of the trial, previously detained by the Securitate, were recently published by Dora Mezdrea, in Nae Ionescu și discipolii săi în arhiva Securității. Vol. V: Mircea Vulcănescu, Editura Eikon, Cluj-Napoca, 2013
- Diaconescu, Ioana. "Deţinutul K 9320: Mircea Vulcănescu" (in Romanian). Romania literara. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
- Iuliu Crăcană, Dreptul în slujba puterii. Justiția în regimul comunist din România. 1944-1958, Ed. Institutului Național pentru Studierea Totalitarismului, București, 2015, pp. 93-105
- Nae Ionescu și discipolii săi în arhiva Securității. Vol. V: Mircea Vulcănescu, editor Dora Mezdrea, Editura Eikon, Cluj-Napoca, 2013, p. 500
- [Margineanu, N. (1991). Amfiteatre si inchisori. Amphitheatres and Prisons]
- Ornea, Zigu (2009). Anii treizeci. Extrema dreaptă românească (in Romanian). Editura Samuel Tastet.
- Moraru, Ovidiu (2005). "Intelectualii români si "chestia evreiasca"" (in Romanian). Romania culturala. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- Mircea Vulcănescu, ”Nae Ionescu așa cum l-am cunoscut”, Ed. Humanitas, 1993, p. 84, 89.
- "Şcoala Centrală de fete la 150 de ani" (in Romanian). Romania literara. 2001. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
- "Vicleim in patru acte" (in Romanian). Formula AS. 2008. Retrieved October 27, 2014.