World War 2
Romania

Did Germany occupy Romania in World War 2?

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2010-07-26 01:57:58

"Romania_in_World_War_2" id="Romania_in_World_War_2">Romania in

World War 2

Romania suffered three radical dismemberments in the first year of

the war that tore away some 100,000 square kilometers of territory

and 4 million people. On June 26, 1940, the Soviet Union gave

Romania a twenty-four-hour ultimatum to return Bessarabia and cede

northern Bukovina, which had never been a part of Russia; after

Germany's ambassador in Bucharest advised Carol to submit, the king

had no other option. In August Bulgaria reclaimed southern Dobruja

with German and Soviet backing. In the same month, the German and

Italian foreign ministers met with Romanian diplomats in Vienna and

presented them with an ultimatum to accept the retrocession of

northern Transylvania to Hungary; Carol again conceded. These

territorial losses shattered the underpinnings of Carol's power. On

September 6, 1940, the Iron Guard, with the support of Germany and

renegade military officers led by the premier, General Ion

Antonescu, forced the king to abdicate. Carol and his mistress

again went into exile, leaving the king's nineteen-year-old son,

Michael V (1940-47), to succeed him.

Antonescu soon usurped Michael's authority and brought Romania

squarely into the German camp. His new government quickly enacted

stricter anti-Semitic laws and restrictions on Jewish, Greek, and

Armenian businessmen; widespread bribery of poor and corrupt

Romanian officials, however, somewhat mitigated their harshness.

With Antonescu's blessing, the Iron Guard unleashed a reign of

terror. In November 1940, Iron Guards thirsty for vengeance broke

into the Jilava prison and butchered sixty-four prominent

associates of King Carol on the same spot where Codreanu had been

shot. They also massacred Jews and tortured and murdered Nicolae

Iorga. Nazi troops, who began crossing into Romania on October 8,

soon numbered over 500,000; and on November 23 Romania joined the

Axis Powers.

From 1941-44 Romania was an ally of Nazi Germany. It played a

very active role in the invasion of the Soviet Union, and suffered

very heavy losses at Stalingrad. The Fascist Iron Guard, which ran

the country under Antonescu, was rabidly anti-Jewish and carried

out its own holocaust. The oilfields at Ploiesti were a very

important source of oil for Germany until 1944.

In August/September 1944, when Soviet forces entered Romania the

traditional elites including the monarchy overthrew Antonescu and

asked the Soviet Union for a ceasefire. The Soviets ordered them to

change sides ... By that stage there were German forces in parts of

the country.


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