The Antonescu's regime and the Jews
In what concerns Antonescu's regime, we can mention the fact that Hitler revealed the 2 great secrets of the Nazi regime to Antonescu, even before they were applied: The Barbarossa plan and “the directing lines for the Jew treatment from the eastern Europe”, which was in fact the plan to exterminate the Jews from the Soviet Union. The Barbarossa plan to invade the Soviet Union was revealed to Antonescu by Hitler on their second meeting, on the 14th of January, 1941, at Oberzalsberg, in the south of Germany. The extermination plan was applied in 4 stages by Antonescu:
September 1940 – January 1941: the constitution of the national and legionary state. This is the period when over 20 anti-Semite laws are promulgated. Terrorist actions initiated by legionaries took place in many parts of the country, the most violent of which was the massacre of Bucharest in January 1941.
January 1941 – June, the 22nd, 1941, until Romania entered the war against the Soviet Union.
The 22nd of June, 1941 – October 1942. In this period spontaneous executions occur, “Trains of death” are used to transport Jews to the concentration camps; all Jews from the rural areas are evacuated to the county residences. In 1930, the rural areas were inhabited by 157936 Jews, and in 1942 there were only 2539 left.
October 1942 – August, the 23rd, 1944. In this period of time a change interferes in the anti-Jew policy applied by Antonescu. The government refuses to deport Jews from the Old Kingdom and from the south of Transylvania to the Nazi concentration camps, several repatriations to Transnistria occurring in that time. This change is caused by the modifications in the status quo of the war in favor of the United Nations, and by the pressure of certain political influences coming from Romanians, Jews in Romania and abroad.
As we already stated, when the Fuhrer gave his approval to Antonescu to cease the collaboration with the Legion, an armed conflict emerged between Antonescu and the Legionaries on the 21st-23rd of January. This conflict was due to the dismissal of several legionary secretaries and commissioners. In those days, legionary gangs devastated and set on fire several properties and public Jewish places.
In Bucharest, 118 Jews were murdered, of which 116 were nominally identified; among those, 83 where brought from Jilava and 11 from the Slaughterhouse. In total, 1274 Jew commercial buildings and homes where destroyed.
The “Romanization” process begins, which was the anti-Semitism economical expression. The Antonescu regime created a specialized institution to deal with the “Jew matters”.
The Romanization Chronology (1940-1941):
- the 2nd of October: the leasing of pharmacies to Jews is forbidden;
- the 4th of October: rural Jew properties are incorporated in the state patrimony;
- the 11th of October: Jews are eliminated from the educational system;
- the 16th of October: Jew lawyers are eliminated from the bars;
- the 12th of November: Jew doctors aren't allowed to treat Christian patients;
- the 4th of December: ships and floatables belonging to the Jews are incorporated in the state Patrimony (146 ships and floatables);
- the 5th of December: Jews are excluded from the Army because of the “Jew Military Status”
- the 1st of March: the setting up of the Romanian Office for the unpacking of iron laminated products, serving for the Romanization of the iron industry and commerce.
- the 14th of March: the setting up of the Office for providing and distributing leather
products and with the purpose of Romanization of the leather
industry and commerce.
- the 27th of March: the taking over of Jew urban buildings.
- the 2nd of May: the setting up of The National Romanization Center.
- the 9th of October: The National Romanization Center incorporates mortgages, hospitals and Jew health insurances.
- the 28th of November: all the concessions of pharmacies, urban or rural, to the Jews are cancelled.
In this way, by the laws of “Romanization” it was followed the elimination of Jew population, step by step, out of the social and economical structures of modern Romania; by these laws that discriminated “Jew blood” the concept of “caste” based on the ideology of political racism came true; through repressive measures applied generally or during war especially the line between the external and internal enemy faded, the Jew population being thus considered external enemy. By applying the anti-Jew legislation, the Jew population was separated from the Romanian citizens juridical, politically and socially. The Jews where taken out from under the ordinary laws protection which guaranteed the physical safety and that of the property of the citizen.
Marshal Antonescu pleaded for “the legal way”: everything had to be developed based on a “well thought” legislation, not only to avoid chaos, but to have a cover-up in front of the descendants; everything that stands for Jew property had to have a solution which should be applied definitively, so that we would no longer have polemics on this matter when peace will be settled. Everything must have a clear juridical ground, allowing the right of indemnity to the expropriated owners, whether they were struck by us and deported to Transnistria or they disappeared for good and we no longer know how many they where, we shouldn't present ourselves with this open issue when peace would be settled.
We also mention the ROYAL DECREE REGARDING THE INVESTMENT OF THE GENERAL ANTONESCU WITH FULL RIGHTS, where it was stated:
“Art. I. We invest general Ion Antonescu, president of the Board of Secretaries, with full rights to govern Romania.”. With these full rights, Antonescu declared, regarding the youth education, on the 8th of April 1941: “We have to develop the heroic feeling of the nation. In this purpose we have to educate the youth and teenagers , from the patriotic and national point of view, by means of poetry and patriotic songs. After we succeed in doing that, we have to implant the hatred against the enemies of the nation in the Romanians' hearts. This is how I grew up: hating the Turks, the Jews and the Hungarians. This feeling of hatred against the enemies of the homeland must be fully exaggerated. I take this responsibility on myself.”, statement continued by Mihai Antonescu, on the reunion of the board on the 8 th of July:” So I ask you to be relentless. There is no place for kindness here. By taking the risk of not being understood by some traditionalists among you, I plead for the forced migration of the entire Jew element from Basarabia and Bucovina, which must be thrown abroad. Be merciless with them!”