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> 6. Romanian Political Life in the Eve of the Collapse...
dragos
Posted: December 18, 2003 08:07 pm
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6. Romanian Political Life in the Eve of the Collapse of the Borders - by Constantin Botoran

The end of the 30's was marked by a continuous deterioration of the international relations, by an extension of conflict hotbeds and strains that reached the top when the II World War broke out. At that time the international situation of Romania become extremely critical. Despite the intense diplomatical activity aiming at the defense of the national independence and sovereignty, at keeping the integrity of the borders - this activity being backed-up by the overwhelming majority of the Romanian people - the power factors of Romania in those times (the King, the Parliament, the Governments, the political parties) could not avoid to see how country was caught in a merciless cobweb of the revisionist and revanchist policy. Romania faced the two totalitarian Great Powers which promoted this policy - Germany and USSR. Through an imperialist deal, known as Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, signed on August 23, 1939, they decided the fate of Poland, Baltic states and Romania. What Stalin could not obtain from Chamberlain and Daladier was offered to him by Hitler, who, in his turn, got himself the proper conditions to avoid a two-fronts war. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact annulated the whole defensive alliances system in which Romania was included thus diminishing its possibility to act favourably for safeguardig its independence and territorial integrity. Following this date, Romania was caught between the Russian hammer and the German anvil, under the double threat of the two revanchist powers, governed by communist and fascist regimes.

In the hot atmosphere of 1938-1939 years that announced the iminent breake-out of a new world conflagration, the political power factors from Bucharest, meanwhile with an intense foreign diplomatic activity aiming at preserving the national interest, proceeded to put into practice several measures which they considered being in the benefit of consolidating the internal front of the country that was subordi nated to the same goal. Borowing "the daily political fashion" King Carol II believed, for some moments, that he had found the righteous-solution for keeping intact the Romanian State and also saving his own position, through setting up in February 1938 an authoritative regime of personal dictatorship. He lowered the importance of the Parliament and abolished the historical parties by imposing an unique party, named the National Revival Party. The "historical" parties (the National Liberal and the National Peasant Parties), despite the abolishment, kept in a great measure their former organizational structure and constantly opposed the new regime which they considered as illegitimate. In the Government and in other central parts of the local administration and of the statal structures were predominant after February 1938 some representatives of a National Peasant Party's group led by Armand Calinescu and a disident group of the National Liberal Party led by Gheorghe Tatarascu and Victor Iamandi. They worked together with a few members of other parties, led by Nicolae Iorga, Alexandru Averescu, Alexandru Vaida-Voievod and others. The common features of all these political structures were their adhesion - dictated by multifarious reasons - to King Carol II's regime, their strong opposition against the acces to power of the right or left extremist parties (namely, the Iron Guard and the Communist Party). These political formations, through their manifested simpathy for Germany, respectively, USSR, become at that time destabilizing inner forces thus decreasing the internal cohesion of the country.

Being concerned about the strenghtening of the internal institutions and structures of the State, King Carol II promulgated through a Royal Decree a new Constitution. According to it, on the base of the 61 article - which was inspired from the corporative-Mussolinian theory - the Romanian nation was divided into three corporations, related to citizens "employments, as follows: agriculture and handworks ; trade and industry; intellectuals". Other measures destined to increase the efficiency of the statal institutions and to consolidate the internal stability were the setting up of the Crown Council as a permanent advisory statal institution, the replacement of the trade-unions by the corporatist "guild" system and the re-organization of the Parliament, each category of "employments" being allowed to elect 86 representatives, for a six year term.

The disappearance of Poland and of Czechoslovakia from the European political map led to the collapse of Romania's political and military alliances and to her international isolation. Following these political reversements, USSR, Hungary and Bulgaria were on watch over the events, purposing to take advantage of the first favourable context that could have embodied their plans to dismember Romania in their profit. The political and military decisional factors from Bucharest appreciated that the most probable and dangerous of the possible aggressions was one directed from outside the Eastern border, performed by USSR. They also considered rhe III Reich as the unique military power interested and capable to stopp a potential Soviet expansion. In these circumstances a change intervened in the strategy of Romania's foreign policy, through steps for promoting a closer relation with Germany, without weakening the links and the traditions of solidarity between Romania, England and France.

Romania counted on the vital interest that Germany could have for Romanian oil and cereals and also on Berlin's support in case of a Soviet aggression on the Eastern border.

Meanwhile with the new way foreign policy was guided on, claiming the sake of national interest and the necessity to save the country from outside dangers, King Carol II and the political forces that backed him launched a public appeal for national reconciliation, followed by intense negotiations behind closed doors with the representatives of the National Liberal and National Peasant Parties. Gheorghe Tatarascu, the prime-minister, who was seen from Berlin as being too closely attached to France was replaced by a filo-German, Ion Gigurtu. The antisemitism, manifested in a moderate shape until then, took aggravating features, for Hitler's sake. In the same time measures were adopted for strenghtening the military defensive capacity of the country. Army's effectives increased to 1,195,336 men and the rythm of suppliance with ammunitions and armaments in the benefit of the Romanian unit was accelerated. Yet it was too late and, despite all these efforts, the dramatic events of 1940 year, which collapsed the borders of the national unitarian state, found Romania totally isolated, incapable of a long term resistance against aggressions, without national reconciliation inside and lacking both a powerful army and powerful sincere friends.
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Florin
Posted: January 18, 2004 03:13 pm
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[quote]......... Army's effectives increased to 1,195,336 men and the rythm of suppliance with ammunitions and armaments in the benefit of the Romanian unit was accelerated. Yet it was too late and, despite all these efforts, the dramatic events of 1940 year, which collapsed the borders of the national unitarian state, found Romania totally isolated, incapable of a long term resistance against aggressions, without national reconciliation inside and lacking both a powerful army and powerful sincere friends.[/quote]

If we would choose to fight against Soviet Union after June 26, 1940, and defend for the moment on Oriental Carpathians - Siret - Danube,
I wouldn't be surprised if the Hungarian Army would try to attack Romania from West.
I do not think Germany would attack Romania during a direct fight with Soviet Union, but a Hungarian intervention alone was enough to complicate the things terrible, and lead to collapse of Romania.

If we would choose to fight at August 30, 1940, Romania would face collapse even faster. This is well known and discussed a lot on this site, but little was said that the Romanians were Untermench (sub-human, or not a superior race) according to the Nazi doctrine.
In the Russian occupied areas, it would happen what we know from Bessarabia. In the Hungarian occupied areas, it would happen what we now from Northern Transylvania. And in the German occupied areas, it would happen like in Poland or in France, or something in between: all Romanian soldiers send as war prisoners for slave work in Germany, civilians taken for slave work (including women), executions for the slightest sabotage, the art collections stolen from Romania to enrich Goring, Goebless or the future museum of Linz etc. The bigger losers would be, of course, the Jews, who whatever they say today, had better days in Romania as it was in the real world than in the rest of the German occupied Europe.
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mabadesc
Posted: January 18, 2004 06:52 pm
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[quote]...the Romanians were Untermench (sub-human, or not a superior race) according to the Nazi doctrine.[/quote]

This point is irrelevant since, Thank God, Hitler did not win the war. Just for the sake of accuracy, however, I was under the solid impression that Romanians, while not being "equal" to Germanic people in the eyes of Hitler, were not considered "unter-mensch".

If I recall correctly, Hitler had some sort of twisted hierarchy divided in echelons: Aryans (Germanic origin), Latin-based, slavic, and gypsies/jews.

Slavs (the third echelon) were slated for slave-type manual labor and were considered inferior. Jews and gypsies were part of the "final solution".

The second echelon, however, comprising countries like France, Italy, Spain, Romania were not considered inferior and would retain autonomy under a German protectorate.
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Florin
Posted: January 19, 2004 02:28 am
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[quote]The second echelon, however, comprising countries like France, Italy, Spain, Romania were not considered inferior and would retain autonomy under a German protectorate.[/quote]

OK, I do not argue with what I quote from you.

Comparing with what happened in the defeated France, inhabited by a Latin nation like us, it was better for the common Romanian that the leadership of Romania chose an active involvement on Axis side.
Also in Italy, after the country defected from Axis in September 1943, and partially fell under German occupation, the Italians had hard days ahead. At least 100,000 Italians were taken for forced labor in Reich.

However, an active economic support of Germany without offering Romanian military troops would give us the same rights as the one we had, as Hitler suggested to Antonescu in that meeting before the invasion. I know that accepting just an economic supporter role would be humiliating, and what Romania did was what a proud nation should do, but when I am thinking how many Romanian men remained in Russia as dead bodies all the way to Caucasus, and back, I don't know what to say any more.
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inahurry
Posted: January 23, 2004 05:38 am
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Does anyone feel like ubermensch in 2004 AD ? Just a passing thought. I suppose sheeple is ruled by solid egalitarianism. The general dumbing down brings the joy of no expectations - no sorrow. Mankind is just an inch away from nirvana.
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