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> Antonescu's execution
deadmanwalking
Posted: August 20, 2004 10:28 pm
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Fruntas
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I just found a 2-minute long movie clip of Antonescu's execution (along with 3 members of his government). Trully despicable. Why would his own countrymen shoot him? Antonescu was Romania's most incorruptible modern leader in my opinion, a man of strong values and morals.... a man ahead his time, what? And he was not a rightwing nutjob like the Iron Guardists! How many of you are dreaming to see a man of his calibre return and bring Romania out of her misery today? Some of you hate the Marshal because he did the wrong thing by going to war with the Soviet Union. Well, what the hell did you want him to do? Turn Romania into Poland? Fighting the Soviet Union on one side and Germany (as well as Hungary and Bulgaria) on the other?? Sit tight and pray that the Soviet Union won't eat more land from Romania and replace the government with a communist one? Yeah, like that worked with Finland and Bulgaria. Seriously, what choices did he have?

Unthinkable... :x
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dragos
Posted: August 20, 2004 10:54 pm
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Who exactly are you addressing to?
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deadmanwalking
Posted: August 20, 2004 11:14 pm
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Fruntas
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No one in particular Dragos.
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Victor
Posted: August 21, 2004 09:32 am
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Well you must have had someone in mind when you wrote that, because it is definitely written as it is addressed to a certain person.

To present the facts in an objective manner, one must also mention not only Antonescu's achievements, but also mistakes, like the deployment of too many Romanian troops in the 1942 (way over our possibilities to properly equip them), the deportation and subsequent death of thousands of people (Jews and Gypsies) etc.

His execution was innevitable once the Soviet Union took control of Romania, even if he himself would have made the armistice. Btw, Antonescu was shot by prison guards, not by the military as he requested. There is a report of the execution found in the Securitate archives published in the Memorialul Apocalipsei by Liviu Valenas. If any are interested I can translate and post it here.
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deadmanwalking
Posted: August 21, 2004 10:20 am
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Are there any documents indicating that Antonescu was aware of what was going on inside the German concentration camps? If not, it's unfair to accuse him of being involved in the Holocaust (unless he ordered deadly actions to be taken against Jews.... did he?). I mean, he was basically doing the same things as Roosevelt. The latter deemed the Japanese-Americans as potential enemies and ordered them to be deported to concentration camps across the states. That's exactly what Antonescu did with the Jews from Bessarabia and Bukovina. Members of their communities were often involved in partisan operations against Romanian troops like the bombing of the Romanian HQ at Odessa. Antonescu was rather protective of the Jews living in "old Romania", wasn't he? You are right. He committed many mistakes and was no angel either, but compared to the leaders of today, I'd vote for Antonescu at a blink of an eye.

ps. I'd like to read the report of his execution (in english preferably, my romanian is all but good). Also, I hope the upcoming biography of Antonescu won't look like this... http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/antonescu.html
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deadmanwalking
Posted: August 21, 2004 10:25 am
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Here is the movie clip of his execution. It lasts 2 minutes and 23 seconds and it may take a long while to download.

ftp://24.202.53.193:21
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Victor
Posted: August 24, 2004 07:53 am
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This report was found by Stejarel Olaru in the archives of the CNSAS (The National Council for the Study of the Security's Archive) and was published in the book: Memorialul Apocalipsei by Liviu Valenas, Editura Saeculum, Bucharest, 2002

QUOTE

In the Jilava prison, the following convicts await their execution:
Marshal Ion Antonescu
Mihai Antonescu
Gheorghe Alexianu
General Picky Vasiliu

Saturday, 1 June 1946, 1600 hours, Mrs. Maria Antonescu arrived from Bucharest in a car and brought her husband and the others, at their request, 16 meters of tricolor ribbons [in the Romanian national colors].

She came free and spoke to her husband [marshal Ion Antonescu] for about and hour, sitting at a table under the supervision of an agent and of a gendarme.

Before 1700 hours a priest came and gave all the convicts the Eucharist, with the exception of Ion Antonescu who refused and said: Forgive me father, but I refuse the Eucharist because I have Mihai Antonescu on my conscience. He should have stayed at the University where he was one of the best professors, but I am guilty of taking him in the Government.

They were taken under a heavy prison guard escort to the execution site, in the so-called Peach Trees' Valley, allowing only the gendarmes, which were standing guard, and some Russian and Romanian camera operators and journalists to assist.

The convicts stood willingly near the execution poles.  

The firing squad, formed from prison guards and gendarmes, took up a U shaped formation and the State Attorney read slowly and in a loud voice the sentence to the convicts.

The State Attorney then asked for their last wishes.
The convicts answered:
Ion Antonescu asked to be executed by the army, not by prison guards, but he was refused, to which he replied: Scumbags, scumbags!
Mihai Antonescu said he had nothing to say. Being completely exhausted.
Alexianu the same
General Picky Vasiliu wished to be shot by his gendarmes, which had gathered to see him. The State Attorney refused. Vasiliu then said: Attention Gendarmes and saluted them and then said Good bye! waving his hand. Then he added: I ask the State Attorney to ask the comrades prison guards to aim good and not make me suffer. Then he asked to cover his eyes, to which the guards replied: We do not have anything to cover them so he took off his gray scarf and said: use my scarf.

Then the command for the execution was given. The weapons were loaded and when they were fired the Marshal saluted by raising his hat with the right hand, after which they all fell down. The Marshal immediately rose up, leaning on his elbow and said: You didn't shoot me gentlemen, fire!, after which the chief guard went with his pistol to Antonescu and shot him in the head. The doctor consulted them and came to the conclusion that the Marshal and Vasiliu were still alive. The chief guard fired another shot in the chest of Antonescu and then of Vasiliu and the doctor examined them and said they still weren't dead. The chief guard went again to Vasiliu, but his pistol jammed when he tried to fire it. He took a rifle from one of the guards and fired one shot in Vasiliu's head, but then it also jammed.

HE changed it with another one and fired another 3 shots in different parts of vasiliu's body and then went to the Marshal and fired 3 shots in his chest. The doctor examined them and said that Antonescu was dead, but Vasiliu was still alive.

Again the guard fired a shot in Vasiliu's head. The result: Vasiliu's brains were coming out of his head, but he was still moving and saying something we couldn't understand.

The guard went again to to him and fired two shots in the head and after this the doctor said that Vasiliu too was dead.

They were carried on stretchers to a van, which took them away.

From the moment when the convicts left the cells and until their bodies were loaded into the buses, they were filmed by two cameras operated by a Romanian and a Russian.

Name of the guard: Furgina

Observations: for the execution, 17 guards volunteered and only 12 were picked.
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Victor
Posted: August 24, 2004 07:54 am
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As for Antonescu and the Jews and Gypsies deported to Trans-Dnestra look at this older topic, before saying more. It wasn't the same thing by far.

http://worldwar2.ro/forum/viewtopic.php?t=118

Antonescu's biography has already been uploaded on the worlwar2.ro website for more than a month now.
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PRAETOR
Posted: July 21, 2006 10:16 am
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Antonescu was Romania's most incorruptible modern leader in my opinion, a man of strong values and morals.... a man ahead his time.


That is a very true fact.I agree with you.
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mateias
Posted: December 14, 2007 04:02 pm
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For Victor,

1. Very insteresting explanation for Antonescu's execution. From your point of view, he did a good thing to send the Romanian Army against the Russians, but his mistake consists only in sending TOO MANY of them, and TOO POORLY EQUIPPED. So, all he had to do to be a good boy for you was to send LESS troops, BUT BETTER EQUIPPED ! Exactly what Hungary did, including the armistice in JANUARY 1945 (ours was in SEPTEMBER 1944, following the coup d'etat so badly managed by King Michael and his aides). By the way, Antonescu and Mihai Antonescu, knowing about it, gave also a little hand to the opposition parties's futile talks with the Western Allies (Egypt, Portugal) and even Russia (Sweden's Kollontai). Therefore, you should find a better motivation for Antonescu's execution by his own countrymen.

QUOTE
To present the facts in an objective manner, one must also mention not only Antonescu's achievements, but also mistakes, like the deployment of TOO MANY Romanian troops in the 1942 (WAY OVER OUR POSSIBILITIES TO PROPERLY EQUIP THEM), the deportation and subsequent death of thousands of people (Jews and Gypsies) etc.

His execution was innevitable once the Soviet Union took control of Romania, even if he himself would have made the armistice.



2. As regards the whole paragraph above, I just wonder why the Communist Hungary did not execute HORTHY "the Regent" like the Communist Romania did with Antonescu "the Conducator". Both of them were heavily involved in herding Jews and Gipsies in ghettoes, deporting them wherever they could, and thus leading to subsequent death of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people. I VISITED ISRAEL AND I KNOW VERY WELL THIS SUBJECT (YAD VASHEM museum).
And both countries were occupied by Russian Armies at that time (Hungary had Russian bases until 1989 !).

This post has been edited by mateias on December 14, 2007 04:06 pm
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Dénes
Posted: December 14, 2007 07:04 pm
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QUOTE (mateias @ December 14, 2007 10:02 pm)
I just wonder why the Communist Hungary did not execute HORTHY "the Regent" like the Communist Romania did with Antonescu "the Conducator".

It seems, Mateias, that you don't take into consideration anything what has been noted here in the past few weeks, and you just stick to your own scenarios. Moreover, for some reasons you seem to be obsessed with Hungarians and Horthy... :(

Let me repeat then. While both loosers in W. W. 2, Horthy was not found war criminal (like it or not), and thus let go free by the Allies, and the Hungarian Communist authorities did not ask for his extradiction. However, Antonescu was found war criminal and executed accordingly. The circumstances of the latter's trial is a totally different matter, but the outcome is evident.

Gen. Dénes

This post has been edited by Dénes on December 14, 2007 07:24 pm
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guina
Posted: December 14, 2007 07:48 pm
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Antonescu,Ceausescu it seems we never learn the lesson !
Interestingly enough the same arguments are used by Russian nationalists to defend Stalin
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mateias
Posted: December 14, 2007 08:15 pm
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For Denes,
You are very good at facts and figures. Please let me know the total number of Hungarian divisions and troops engaged in the Eastern Front , year on year, till the end of the war. Mobilized and casualties. And commanders' names. I suppose you have everything ready for your book. And please, name the main sources as well (those in English). Thank you.
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Victor
Posted: December 14, 2007 09:13 pm
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Please stick to the topic. If you want to discuss the Hungarian participation in WWII, you are free to do so in another topic.

Regarding Antonescu's mistakes, I just listed several examples (note the etc. in the end). There are more. Also I do not see where I used the term "good boy", nor do I like the way you reply to people you disagree with. I asked you kindly, once, to act in a mature and civlized manner. I am now reinterating that request.

Regarding the two examples I gave, I think they are quite suggestive:
1. The bulk of the 3rd Army that took up positions at the Don's Bend in September 1942 was made up of under equipped and poorly supplied units. The subsequent tragedy that followed during Operations Uranus, Wintergewitter and then Little Saturn yielded around 130,000 casulaties (estimates may differ), if you include the 4th Army made up of the exhausted 6th Corps and 7th Corps. It was Antonescu's decision to send that many men. Gen. Iacobici opposed the idea of sending that many men without at least equipping them properly and he was replaced with the more docile Steflea as chief of the General Staff and then forced to retire.
2. It was Antonescu's decision to deport thousands Jews from Bessarabia and Bukovina and then Gipsies to Trans-Dnestra where many of them died due to the conditions they were forced to live in.

I am also asking you to read more carefully what I write and not attribute to me ideas that I did not write. I tried to give a more balanced view on his activity, because many people tend to exagerrate his good parts and skip over the mistakes.

It was not the motivation of why he was executed. The latter is very simple: because he had to be eliminated. I doubt that the Romanian Communists (who at the time were not that many btw) would take such an action without guidance/order from Moscow, but that is only a personal opinion.

And if we take into consideration the humiliations and misery many high-ranking officers had to endure in the Communist Gulag after 1948, one can say that Antonescu's fate was not at all that bad compared to others.
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dragos
Posted: December 15, 2007 01:00 am
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The trial of Antonescu was a masquerade. Let's not compare Nurenberg trials with Antonescu's trial. We can discuss his guilt from a legal point of view at any length, but he was not executed because he deported Jews or Gipsies, or because he involved Romania in war. Unlike Hungary or Finland, Romania was more of a thorn in the side of Soviet Union than anybody else when it came to draw the line as the war was approaching its end. It was pheraps not even the initial intention of Stalin, but given the circumstances he was offered, he took full advantage of them. And then young king Mihai could not grasp the future implications of his actions towards Soviet Union. As a common feat in Romanian leading class, the lack of coherence lead to a chain of disasters that will place her at the mercy of the historical conjuncture. Given the influence under which Romania fell as the Red Army marched towards the central Europe, we can regard Antonescu's execution as an act of a Stalinist performance.
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