World War One Sites - The NETWORLD Database

Tomb of the Sub-Lieutenant Hero Emil Rebreanu in Palanca, Bacau County, Romania

The tomb lies at the highest point of the hill, at a point where the road connecting Harghita County with Bacau County can be glimpsed.

The gravestone contains a very small fragment from a letter sent by Emil Rebreanu to his brother: "I do not know what would become of the world after the war, but if I do not lose anything from what I feel it is in me, that I WOULD HAVE REACHED FAR".

100 years ago, on May 14, 1917, Emil Rebreanu, the brother of the great Romanian writer Liviu Rebreanu, was executed by the Austro-Hungarians because he felt as a Romanian and had placed above everything the love of his country. His last wish was to be buried in Romania's free land.

On the marble plate place on the cross at the head of the hero, the following words are written: “Sub-lieutenant Emil Rebreanu hanged by the Hungarians on May 14, 1917 because he wanted to defect to the Romanian Army in order to fight for the reunification of his people. His grateful Motherland did not forget him”.

The pain of the death of his beloved brother would have led Liviu Rebreanu to write the novel The Forest of the Hanged, a eulogy and a chronicle of the facts that happened then. Apostol Bologa from the novel embodies the experiences and the suffering of the Romanian intellectual caught in a foreign fight and in its army and who had to fight against his very nation and his own kind.

The tomb was identified in 1920 by Captain Procopiu Strat, and on September 7, 1921, Liviu Rebreanu filed an address to the War Heroes Monument Society, demanding the exhumation of his brother, martyr hero Emil Rebreanu. The Society sent the address to the military garrison and the Prefecture of Bacau for organizing the befitting honours. The ceremony of the re-burial of the hero took place on October 2, 1921, followed by the erection of the commemorative monument, completed in 1922 by the same society.


Romania, North East region, Bacau County

Type of WWI-heritage

  • War monument


State of repair/preservation

A new monument was inaugurated in 2012

Historical WWI Context

The tomb is the place where the body of the sub-lieutenant Emil Rebreanu rests. In 1917, during the First World War, because he did not stand the idea of fighting against his "brothers" (as many other Romanian soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian army probably also thought), sub-lieutenant Emil Rebreanu tried to cross the front line (the border of Ghimes-Palanca) in order to reach Romania. He was captured and executed for defecting by the Austro-Hungarian Army.

A history of Romania's participation in World War I can be found on the following website:

State of legal protection

This is an objective included in the List of Historic Monuments, classified as historical monuments type A (BC-IV-m-A-00939), according to the Order of the Minister of Culture no. 2.828/2015


Bacau County Council

Kind of cultural use of WWI

The commemoration of the hero Emil Rebreanu takes place annually and it is marked through a military-religious ceremony attended by officials as well as by his family - grandchildren who come from Transylvanian lands.


The monument can be visited throughout the entire year.

Entrance Fee


Information regarding cities, villages, other touristic attractions (non-WWI) nearby

Public Transport

Palanca commune is placed on the railway line connecting Moldova to Transylvania on the route Adjud - Siculeni (Miercurea Ciuc). There are five direct trains connecting Palanca and Siculeni (Miercurea Ciuc) and six trains between Palanca and Adjud (

There is a bus / minibus journey on the Palanca-Comanesti route. ( )


Back to list