The Charlotte News
SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 1940
Hitler Moves To Absorb Rumania Without A Fight
Site Editor's Note: By September, 1940, King Carol II, who had declared himself dictator of Rumania in 1938, was forced by threat of internal revolt and Nazi pressures to give up his control to Iron Guardist, anti-semitic, pro-Nazi Ion Antonescu. Antonescu readily joined arms with Hitler in November, 1940 giving Hitler virtual economic and foreign policy control over Rumania. Antonescu supported violence against Jews, half of the 750,000 of whom in Rumania would be executed during the War, and declared a "holy war" on Russia, sending troops to join the Nazi invasion June 22, 1941, an alliance which would continue until August, 1944. Carol's son, twenty-three year old Michael, whom Antonescu had forced to the throne after exiling Carol, would in 1944 with two Russian armies in Rumanian territory, stage a coups against the Antonescu government, have Antonescu and his cabinet arrested, surrender to Russia, and order Rumanian troops to join the Allies. In 1946, Antonescu was tried for war crimes and executed. Carol died in Portugal in 1953. Michael ran into problems with the Soviet-dominated post-War government and was forced to resign and enter exile in 1947. He is still living at age 80; after the fall of Soviet rule in 1989, his citizenship to Rumania was restored in 1997.
It has been done so stealthily, under cover of the world's absorption in other matters, particularly the surrender of Finland, that its import has hardly been realized. But in fact Adolf Hitler has actively begun his assault on Rumania.
Characteristically, the move opens with sanctimonious professions of tender concern for Rumania. Mr. Hitler "intervenes" for his intended victim and "pledges" Soviet Russia not to eat the little Balkan until he gives the word. And then he turns on Rumania and demands that she "repay" him for all this exceeding kindness by:
1--Virtually demobilizing the 1,600,000 Rumania troops now under arms.
2--Giving the Nazis "guidance" of Rumanian agriculture and industry so that they can be "accelerated to an unprecedented degree." That is, handing over economic control of the nation to the Nazis.
3--Giving the Nazis a virtual monopoly on exports of oil, cereals, and other supplies.
4--Admission of a member of the Iron Guard (the Rumanian Nazi Party) to the cabinet of King Carol.
Whoever remembers the fate of Czechoslovakia will understand that this is asking for absorbing Rumania without the trouble and risk of fighting for it. It is exactly the same fate Adolf Hitler has in mind for all the Balkans, including Turkey. And for France and Scandinavia and The Netherlands and Belgium and Switzerland.
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