A survivor of WWII: Romania's 'lucky enough' king





BUCHAREST -- King Michael I of the Romanians was sitting alone at his desk here, looking over some correspondence, when a visitor arrived. He had evidently been sitting there for some time because the sun had set and the room had dimmed to near darkness around him. His personal secretary, Oana Carbunescu, flipped on a light and he stirred.

Michael, 85, is the last living head of state from World War II. He lunched with Hitler, shook Churchill's hand and lived briefly under Stalin's thumb. He is a quiet man, an undemanding man and, inevitably perhaps, a disappointed man. But as with many quiet, undemanding, disappointed men, he is a keen observer of the louder world around him.

"Unfortunately, I had four years with the Nazis and three years with the Soviets, and you get to the point — how should I say — you have radar in your nose," he said, smiling faintly. He speaks in a blurred mumble, an impediment from childhood that inevitably invites armchair analysis because he is a man whose life, from the beginning, has been marked by betrayal...

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