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|WorldWar2.ro Forum > Romanian Army at War > Daily life in Bucharest during '42|
|Posted by: Roone February 17, 2005 02:25 pm|
| Hi gentlemen, newbie here. Great to meet you!
I'm very pleased to have found this site here, in fact, because it's something I've been looking for for a long time. I'll explain why in a minute, but first, my question to Dragos. Everybody knows about the June 1942 American bombing -- they make such a big song and dance about it -- but as far as I know, there was also the September 14th 1942 bombing of "Steaua Română" by the Russians. They failed to damage the refinery but did some damage to the pipes system. Do you, Dragos, or somebody else know anything about it?
Why I'm so interested in it: I'm currently working on a fiction book about the WWII, and part of the story takes place in Romania. In fact, I want to make both 1942 bombings part of the book's setting. And thus, another question: do you guys know any Internet site where I could find some detailed information not about the military action (I'm sure I can find everything I need on your great site!), but about everyday life in 1942 Bucharest? Any kind of info would be appreciated, all sorts of daily life trivia, including maps of the war-time Bucharest and Romania. Do you know where I could get all this? Maybe you know a veteran or history teacher I could contact?
Thanks a lot again! Keep up the great job, your site is very useful and important to all history lovers.
|Posted by: Indrid February 18, 2005 11:26 am|
i know one...
|Posted by: Victor February 18, 2005 01:07 pm|
| Weekly rations in Bucharest in the summer of 1942:
-bread: 750g (1,500g for workers with physically demanding jobs)
-corn flower: 1,600g (3,200g for workers with physically demanding jobs)
-pork and beef: 250g (lamb and veal meat wasn't rationalized)
-butter and vegetable oil: 350g
Milk and dairy products, eggs, chickens, vegetables weren't rationalized, but that doesn't mean that they were always available on the market, but one could find almost anything on the black market if one could afford it. In the summer of 1943 the food was more plentiful due to the very good 1943 harvest (for example white bread wasn't rationalized, just the brown bread was).
The attitude of many Romanians, even in 1943, after the horrible losses at Stalingrad, was like there was no immediate danger to the country. Constantin Radulescu-Motru was writing in August 1943:
|Posted by: Cantacuzino February 18, 2005 03:07 pm|
Did you check the life in Bucharest (WWII) pictures on this thread ?
|Posted by: Roone February 18, 2005 05:20 pm|
| Thank you very very much, people! You're great!
Indrid, you think I didn't try to Google all sorts of stuff? It's not so easy to find, the info on the war in Romania. A lot of people, when they learned that I wanted to set part of my book in Romania, told me, "Why won't you use Hungary instead, it's much more eventful!" I completely disagree. That's apart from the fact that the book is based on a true biography and the hero indeed lived in Bucharest in 1942-43. That's why I really need to do my homework and show Romania in this book as beautiful and true to life as possible.
Cantacuzino, thanks for the link! The picks are great -- I could almost swear I saw my hero on one of them I still read the site so I haven't gotten to them yet.
Victor, this is a really valuable load of information, thanks a lot!
And special thanks to Dragos for moving my post here.
|Posted by: Roone February 19, 2005 03:48 pm|
| Sorry to bother you with these non-military subjects, guys, but maybe someone would be so kind to tell me what kind of identity papers people used to have and carry around during the war? Was it a passport, or was it replaced with some kind of a war-time identity document? Where would people go to get their passport or other identity papers from (police or other institution)? What other documents could they have or carry?
Thanks a lot!
PS yes, because I've just been Googling for hours but all I've come across is wording like "necessary identity papers", "acquired identity papers" but what those bloody identity papers exactly consisted of, nobody bothers to mention!
|Posted by: Carol I March 11, 2005 10:22 pm|
1941 Driving Licence (from eBay)
|Posted by: Roone March 23, 2005 09:33 pm|
| Carol, wow! Thank you very much!
Hm, I'll try eBay too. People sell all sorts of weird things.
|Posted by: Mareşal Boboescu March 25, 2005 06:15 pm|
| I know some old jokes from my grandfather who was in Bucharest as a young man working at a printingpress that sometimes did works for the military.
Dam cu tunu',
Dar tot noi f****m in c** nebunu'
The bomb comes,
We shoot the gun
But we still f**k the crazyman in the a*s.
De la Nistru pan' la Don,
Davai ceas davai palton.
From the Dniestr to the Don,
Davai watch davai greatcoat.
This joke bellongs to Constantin Tanase, a great commediant during the between war and wartime period. The comedy-vodevil theatre bares his name today.
HONOR ET PATRIA
P. S. I hope I will not be banned from the forum for the trivialities above.
|Posted by: horia March 25, 2005 06:43 pm|
|this evening is a film on B1Tv about Constantin Tanase's life with Toma Caragiu|
|Posted by: C-2 March 25, 2005 07:06 pm|
|If I'm not mistaken ,Constantin Tanase was killed by comunists ,that didn't like his jokes about them...|
|Posted by: Roone May 04, 2005 06:38 pm|
| Great stuff, guys, thanks! I get Romanian TV so although I haven't watched that particular film, I've watched a few others. And the jokes are priceless, history-wise.
Another question, if anyone would be so kind to enlighten me, in my research I've come across the name of a teenage guerilla fighter who seems to have operated in Romania in 1939-1941. The name is Ion Vetrile (spelling?). He seems to have knocked together a well-organised guerilla group. They were all consequently killed as they tried to protect the Jews during the January 22-23 1941 pogrom. Anyone heard anything about it? I've got only one source that confirms this info so I'd hate to make a mistake in the book.
And maybe you know something else about any Resistance groups in Romania and especially Bucharest? We all know one side of the story, but I'm constantly being told that there were many armed guerrila groups, especially amongst Gypsies, that operated in the mountains. Do you have any hints for me? Thanks a lot!
You're a great group, really. A bloody interesting forum.
|Posted by: Cantacuzino May 05, 2005 03:58 pm|
Resistence groups in Romania in '39-'41 ??? Against what ? Maybe it's about sabotage actions of comunist party members ( few in Bucharest) ? I never heard about gypsies resistence ( armed) in the mountains. There were people ( romanians) who help jews to escape outside the country during WWII but not necesary armed groups. Also i never heard about Ion Vetrile.
The only mountains resistence armed groups (waiting for americans to come !!!) were after 1945-'46 against the comunist governement .
|Posted by: Roone May 06, 2005 08:51 am|
This is very interesting because that's what I heard from a British war specialist. He said, sort of, that the Carpathians were alive with gypsy guerillas that were quite active in the mountains. Well, that's what he said, I just repeat his words.
Still, no organized anti-Antonescu activity at all? I'm not interested in Communists -- how about other groups of population? Those that tried to save the Jews, you say? That sounds very interesting. They don't necessarily have to be armed, I'm more interested in unaggressive organised underground groups -- rebellious students, intellectuals, this sort of thing. Nothing at all?
Thank you! This bit is very important to me. Romania only takes a small part of my story (in case you wondered why I attempt to write about something I know little about), so I absolutely need to get all the facts right. The hero is a secret agent (a true life character whom I used to know very well, so in many ways it's a fictitionalized true-life story) who is on a mission in that part of the world. Unfortunately, he's already dead so I can't discuss all the details with him. And there's nothing I hate more than when a writer attempts to write about little-known places or periods thinking it gives him or her a license to make up whatever he doesn't know. The results of such ignorance are, normally, devastating.
|Posted by: Cantacuzino May 06, 2005 09:46 am|
Well, Antonescu was all the time a controversal man, at the begin of his rule he made a compromise with "Iron Guard", but later in 1940 he defeat the "Legiunea" rebelion (despite Nazzies suport). Hitler need it Antonescu army (on the est front) more than small legion armed group to rule in Romania.
Antonescu was not liked by King Michael and ofcourse by the jewish community from Romania.
The comunist ( with soviets conections) made some limited sabotage actions against german war machine.
A lot of "Legiunea" members ( with leaders in Germany) and some politicians ( one of them Iuliu Maniu) were organized anti-Antonescu activity mostly after 1943.
Sorry, i can not help you with more info .
|Posted by: Carol I May 06, 2005 10:31 am|
| Maybe you will find useful for your research the book "Operation Autonomous" written by Ivor Porter. The book describes the author's experience as a secret agent in Romania during WWII. Ivor Porter was selected by SOE for this mission because he used to be an English teacher in Romania just before the outbreak of World War II, so he had both knowledge of and contacts in the Romanian society of the time.
|Posted by: Roone May 06, 2005 12:01 pm|
| Cantacuzino, Carol, thanks a lot, this is all very important. I'll have to look into it. Carol, this is great, man, I'm ordering the book straight away.
PS One thing that makes me wonder is that the role of the siguranza seems to be greatly understated in English-language sources. It's as if the institution never existed. The British expert I mentioned (a trained intelligence officer also specializing in the WWII history) first heard about them from me! I just wonder why it is so.
|Posted by: Cantacuzino May 06, 2005 01:30 pm|
"Sigurantza Statului" like all secret services in the world is supposed to work mostly undercover. One of the best leader( in WWII ) of romanian secret service "Sigurantza Statului" was Cristescu. He was informed all the time by his agents about the anti-Antonescu activities from all sides ( including UK secret services) he was saved from been shot in 1946 ( with the group of Antonescu governement members) at soviet request who wanted to use his experience and knowledges against allied ( UK and US) secret services.
|Posted by: Roone May 06, 2005 01:58 pm|
| at soviet request who wanted to use his experience and knowledges against allied ( UK and US) secret services.
You don't mean it!
Thanks a lot!
|Posted by: Carol I May 06, 2005 08:08 pm|
What was the official name of this institution, "Siguranţa Generală a Statului", "Siguranţa Statului" or "Serviciul de Siguranţă"?
|Posted by: Carol I May 06, 2005 08:20 pm|
Eugen Cristescu was the Director General of SSI (Serviciul Special de Informaţii). Unfortunately, it is not clear to me what was the relationship between SSI and Siguranţa Generală.
|Posted by: Carol I May 06, 2005 09:25 pm|
|Roone, if you cand understand Romanian, here is a http://www.romanianvoice.com/culture/melodiivechi/index.php to some old Romanian tunes (quite popular during WWII). I do not know the precise date of their release (before or after 1942), but they illustrate the mood of those days.|
|Posted by: Carol I May 06, 2005 09:46 pm|
I have found two more names for this institution: "Biroul Siguranţei Generale" and "Direcţia Siguranţei Generale".
|Posted by: Cantacuzino May 09, 2005 06:23 am|
The perioad when Eugen Cristescu was saved from been shot was in 1946. So the cold war just started. All informations about allied secret services was important for big USSR military power. Probably a bargain between Cristescu life and his archivs files was not a bad ideea for both parts.
|Posted by: Imperialist May 09, 2005 06:52 am|
Carol I, thanx for the link!
Cool tunes... "S-a intrerupt curentul" is pretty funny...
|Posted by: Carol I May 09, 2005 09:29 am|
You are welcome.
|Posted by: Agarici May 10, 2005 10:17 pm|
Hello Roone, still around?
I don't want to be rude or blunt, but you should double-check that with your British specialist... I have never ever even heard of such a thing like Roma armed resistance in the Romanian mountains, during the WW 2. Or you should rather double check the specialist ... are you sure he was talking about Romania? Maybe he was joking
Now my question is, are you interested only in Romania as it was in 1940-1944 (from the political geography point of view), or in the historical Romania (the North-Western part attached to Hungary in 1940)?
I’m asking you that because in the region annexed by Hungary there were some underground organized networks helping the Jews to escape across the border to Romania and from here to Palestine (from 1943-1944 onwards). The ships sailed from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, with the complicity of the Romanian authorities, right under the nose of the Germans… even escorted by Romanian antisubmarine vessels. For some of them, the alternative was Auschwitz… I think you wouldn’t want to miss this episode from your book…
You should try a Google search with the name of dr. Raul Sorban, proclaimed by the state of Israel as one of the “righteous among nations”. His life worth to be put in a novel and he is a writer himself. He is still alive (over 90 y.o.), in good shape as I know, and living in Cluj, Romania. If the movie about Schindler’s list wouldn’t have been about Schindler, Sorban could have been one of the eligible candidates, in my opinion…
|Posted by: Roone May 11, 2005 02:34 pm|
| Oh yes, I'm still around.
Carol, thanks a lot for the link, it was an eye- (or rather, ear-) opener. I do understand Romanian a little and hope to get a much better grab of it (I speak most basic Romance languages fluently, so it's not so challenging for me).
No, the guy wasn't joking, in fact he majored (or whatever it was called then) in WWII history in a British military academy. But that's why I keep asking questions! I just want to get the bloody facts right! That's why I keep picking your brains, guys, thanks a lot for all your help.
I really appreciate your suggestion about the North Western part of Romania and Dr Sorban. I'll absolutely have to investigate it. I think if or when the book gets accepted I'll be back here asking for your real names guys to thank you all properly and personally in the book!
|Posted by: Carol I May 11, 2005 08:36 pm|
No need to mention it. I am glad that was able to help you with other points of view for your project.
|Posted by: Carol I October 18, 2005 09:17 pm|
WWII military service booklet (from eBay):
|Posted by: Carol I December 17, 2005 09:10 pm|
1940 Driving Licence (from eBay)
|Posted by: Carol I March 02, 2006 04:53 pm|
ID card of a young man in pre-military training, dated 22 December 1942.
Source: Internet auction
|Posted by: Carol I August 13, 2006 09:36 am|
| WWII Romanian road sign (from eBay)
|Posted by: saudadesdefrancesinhas August 16, 2006 05:35 pm|
| I am disappointed, I thought that some one was trying to sell a 1940s romanian road sign on ebay, but it is a photograph of one!
I would have bought such a sign for my house as an ornament.
|Posted by: 21 inf June 30, 2007 04:54 pm|
Very very odd romanian military ID document (livret militar);
at the name of the bearer, there it is written:
"Apartinand: cap. Blagdarenco
zis Plugdarenco Antonie"
"Bearer: corporal Blagdarenco a.k.a. Plugdarenco Antonie"
It is the first time when I see a romanian military ID paper containing the nickname of the possesor!!!
Above all, it is not stated the surname of the corporal.