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> 54. Strained Romanian-German Economic Relations
Posted: August 05, 2004 05:14 pm
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by Ion Alexandrescu

During the 1941-1944 period, the volume, the structure and the equivalency of the Romanian-German economic relations, their short or middle term consequences did not follow exactly the same way on which the military ones went, their intensity being different, by comparison with the latest. In accordance with Germany's view, the delivery of the Romanian goods was far more important than the human effort that was required from Romania for continuing the warfare beyond the Dniester river.

Confronted with the insistently increasing demands of the German, that sometimes exceeded the previous agreements of both contracting parties, the Romanian Government was already soliciting on September 18, 1941 that a Romanian-German Conference, in order to solve the economic issues, should be organized. The shoppings made by Germans directly on the market, despite such a situation had been perviously forestalled and measures had been taken in order to prevent it, the increasing needs of both German Army and war economy, also the shortage of the deliveries of weaponry, ammunitions, raw materials and materials, agricultural machines in Romania's benefit have created "a very dangeours situation for the economic and financial health of Romania".

On September 22, Mihai Antonescu underlined in face of minister Neubacher and of the German Secretary of State, Koner the necesity that a clear written accord was to be concluded, in which the basis and the limits of the Romanian-German economic cooperation, the mutual obligations, but mainly the interdiction as concerned a plurality of German buyers, the equilibrium of the Romanian-German clearing balance - we remind here that the favourable balance for Romania raised at that time to about 20 bilions lei — the diminution of the immoderate German demands, their synchronization and their harmonization in accordance with Romania's possibilities, the obtaining of several loan for financing oil and cereals exports to Germany, were to be established. Only three days after, he declared to General Thomas, the chief of the German logistics, that in the frame of a non-equivalent Romanian-German exchanges, "we won't be able to go with thes sacrifices without overturning the whole equilibrium of our State".

The main issue of the Romanian-German collaboration - according to the Romanian Government estimation made on November 17, 1941 - "has arrived at the highest limit of Romania sacrifices and endeavours"; so, it was necessary that new solutions should have been put up, new guarantees, both of economic and of financial sort, should have been realized through the import of goods, raw materials and weapons, also a gold or foreign curencies coverage for our monetary emission.

The German ambassador in Bucharest, Manfred von Killinger, was stating that, taking into account Bucharest's position, Mihai Antonescu "is playing very tough". He recognized, however, that "superior reasons and interests of the Reich require that we should make substantial concessions in Romania's and also in Marshal's (Antonescu's) benefit". As a result, on November 26, 1941, Goring admitted that Romania would receive gold and currencies, weapons, pipes a.s.o., in order to break the deadlock in which the economic relations between Romania and Germany were.

Mihai Antonescu's instructions for the economic negotiations at Berlin, that took place in December 1942 - during which, he considered, a complete examination of every sectors and also of the consequences of the Romanian-German exchanges should have been made - emphasized that in case Romania was to continue the financing of the production and of the export of oil, agroalimentary produces and products, taking in exchange weapony, war materials or raw materials and materials, that are destined, on their turn, for producing weaponry and war materials, which are to be lost in battlefields, the Romanian economy will expose herself to a grave lack of balance, because the import from Germany dont's bring goods that can contribute to grow the production and to absorb the surplus of coins on the internal market.

The existent situation discontented the economic and financial groups disposing of a great influence, that frequently declared in the favour of stop-ping such a course of the facts. Even the Romanian governmental circles showed more and more firmness in delaying or refusing to satisfy the more and more insistent demands of Germany for increasing the deliveries. C. Clodius reported in 1943 that "my repeated attempts to urge the Government for changing their attitude were useless... The National Bank Governor remained on his position of rejecting these demands and he declared as being joined in responsability together with all Bank's leadership, also said he will be forced to resign in case German demands are to be satisfied, even if partially".

The Reich economy minister, Walther Funk, was constrained to recognize in the summer of 1944, in a letter sent to the Foreign Affairs minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, that "German demands could be satisfied only in case the Romanian Government, and especially Marshal Antonescu, will cease their long carried on attitude to refuse and to misunderstand German indispensable requirements for the war economy of the Reich, or in case they might be forced under a political pressure to cease it". In the respect of the issue of Wehrmacht's financing - he showed - the Romanian Government had an attitude "directly mocking as concerns any rational manner and any taking into account of German necessities". The Romanians "ask for - and, moreover, they also receive! - the golden payments by fleecing us until we'll bleed white. That happens in spite of the fact I always have considered such a line of action as being totally empty of the sense of responsability and that I have protested against these payments in pure gold". The economic difficulties - comes to the final conclusion the Reich economy minister - are not purely economic, but, firstly, political.
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Der Maresal
Posted: February 10, 2005 07:45 am
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There are things here that the Germans did not know, and that we in particular were hiding from them.

I have a movie in romanian with real archives from world war two by ANF (arhiva nationala de filme)

In it the comentator clearly states, - with proof - that romania was keeping in reserve more then a third of it's (produced) oil to wage a private war against Hungary when the war in the east was won.

Most of the army too was kept and not send entirely on the eastern front to be wasted. The reasons are the same, - a war with Hungary was expected after.

Romania needed the oil and most of it's army for that. The Germans were not aware of that. -!

Under these circumstances it is understandable why they kept asking for more oil (which we could have given them) but had other plans in mind.

The majority of the romanian army on 23 August was inside the country, not fighting the Russians. All these things plus the oil thing proves that the rulers (the king and his advisors) had made preparations for a possible confrontation with Hungary.

I think if Hungary was "not there", alot of problems could have been avoided.
It's an interesting what if scenario.

-Northern Ardeal would have remained Romanian, and so with nothing to loose and with the only Romanias under occupation being those in Bassarabia the Army would have had only 1 possible enemy - the Soviet Enemy.
No pact in which Romania lost terrotory would have been signed, no refugees...

-With both Hungary and Romania being allies of Germany, Germany had to give military equipment to both, and don't look like it favored one over the other.
If Hungary was "not there", Romania would have recieved all the military eqiupment, or more then it actually did. (If Germans armed Romania too much, Hungary would protest) and the other way around.)

-With nothing to fear at home, and no other possible front, the only front would be in the east. More troops would have been committed to the battle, more oil given to the germans, more quick the decisive battle may have occured and who know, a victory in the east may have come..

-Better economic ties, better collaboration, more help, rearmament and maybe better friendship would have been achieved then it actually did.

-The confusing situation of 23 August would not have occured, with all of Ardeal being Romanian, the Army would only fight for the ancient lands of "Stefan cel Mare", Bassarabia, and land the 'Voivodal' Forests and Churches of Bukovina..instead of fighting to save what was left of the country.

Hitler apparently expected "The romanian soldier would fight fantically once the Soviet enemy has entered his country" he said that apparently. Yes, and that would have happened under normal circumstances, and if there was not territorial loss to Hungary, or better yet - if there was no hungary. The Russians knew how to take advantage of it all - and they did.

So alot of interesting things could have happened if Hungary did not exist, but of course the whole history would be changed, and that is another story..

This post has been edited by Der Maresal on February 10, 2005 07:56 am
Posted: May 25, 2005 02:45 am
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The German National Bank prepared a detailed report with the economic balances as they were in the moment the economic ties were broken at August 23. They were quite equal, with the Romanian debt slighly bigger than what Germany owed to Romania.
This means actually Germany was the one entitled to recuperate a negligible amount of money.
Posted: July 21, 2016 11:12 am
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Source - German War Diaries, Admiral Black Sea and Kriegsmarine Ops. Division :

April 1942
Naval Port Commander (Hafenkommandant) Odessa reported a visit of Marshal Antonescu on 02 April. He inspected the batteries of Heers-Küsten-Artillerie-Abteilung 906 and also the harbor. Believing it is more important to keep the harbor in use than to carry out demolition work for defense purposes, he instructed Naval Port Commander to submit suggestions for the improvement of the harbor defenses.
Marshal Antonescu was in Eupatoria on 02 April and in Simferopol on 03 April. Marshal Antonescu is in Yalta with Seekommandan Krim, who is representing C-in-C 11.Armee.

May 1942
Santierele Navale Galati : Konteradmiral Claussen of the "Shipyard Control Staff" (Oberwerftstab Schwarzes Meer) reported that the contract between the "Hermann Goering Works" and the Romanian Government, concerning the change in the shipyard management, had not yet been completed despite repeated representations and assurances. Director Dilg of the "Hermann Goering Works" had left and delivered an ultimatum that, if the contract were not ratified by the Romanian Government by 31 May, the "Hermann Goering Works" would have to cancel it. With Konteradmiral Claussen, I complained to Minister Dobre of the delay. He promised to discuss the matter with Marshal Antonescu on the following day and assured us that the contract would then be signed. In the interest of the combined war effort and in vie of the urgency of a decision, I am sure that the only course was to appeal to the Marshal. Minister Dobre promised a reply by tomorrow evening.

May 1942
Dockyard questions
1. "Shipyard Control Staff" (Oberwerftstab Schwarzes Meer) of Konteradmiral Claussen reported that workers who had been arrested by the Prefect of Otchakov-North had been freed again upon intervention of Admiral Păiş, Under-secretary of the Navy. Salvage work was resumed at the floating dock on the River Bug...
It has transpired that the workers were arrested by the Prefect "as a reprisal", presumably with approval of the Governor, because the Germans (shipyard) were believed to have towed off a barge laden with scrap-iron from the right bank of the Bug. Thorough investigations are still on as the affair is to be reported to Marshal Antonescu.
I ordered Dockyard Control Staff to take the following attitude :
a. Reprisals of Axis forces cannot be countenanced;
b. The German opinion is that the River Bug is entirely in German hands, as a waterway for large ships. The boundary is the right river bank of the Bug.
2. The contract with Santiere Navale Galati was presented to President Antonescu for approval 8 days ago. So far no action has been taken. Konteradmiral Claussen is attempting to obtain the signature through the secretary's office.
3. When Konteradmiral Claussen visited Braila, the Minister of Transportation urged the speedy completion of repair shops in Constantza.

This post has been edited by Petre on July 21, 2016 11:19 am
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