The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc//tgmwc-06/tgmwc-06-57.09

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-06-57.09
Last-Modified: 1997/10/27

(General Zorya comes to the microphone.)

THE PRESIDENT: Go on, General.

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: Yesterday I stopped at the questions
connected with the relations between the Fascist
conspirators and the Roumainian aggressors. It seems to me
that now is the most opportune moment to read into the
record the testimony of Ion Antonescu, which the Soviet
prosecution has at its disposal.

The interrogation of Ion Antonescu was conducted in
conformanity with the laws of the Soviet Union and I present
to the Tribunal, as Exhibit U.S.S.R. 153, the record of his
deposition, which is of exceptional importance in making
clear the characteristics of the relationship between
Germany and her satellites.

                                                  [Page 273]
I consider it necessary to read the greater part of these
depositions, beginning with the second paragraph on Page 1
of the record. It corresponds to Pages 63 and 64 of the
document book.

     "Throughout the entire period during which I held
     office in Roumania" -- testifies Ion Antonescu -- "I
     followed the policy of strengthening the alliance with
     Germany and resorted to her help for retraining and
     rearming the Roumainian army. For this purpose I had
     several meetings with Hitler. The first meeting with
     Hitler took place in November, 1940, soon after I
     became the head of the Roumainian Government. This
     meeting took place on my initiative at Hitler's
     official residence in Berlin, in the presence of the
     German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop, and Hitler's
     personal interpreter, Schmidt. The conversation with
     Hitler lasted over four hours.
     I assured Hitler that Roumania remained true to the
     previously concluded agreement regarding Roumania's
     adherence to the `Tripartite Pact.' In reply to my
     assurances of loyalty to the pact with Germany, Hitler
     declared that the German soldiers would guarantee the
     frontiers of Roumania. At the same time, Hitler told me
     that the Vienna Arbitration should not be considered as
     final, and thus gave me to understand that Roumania
     could count on a revision of the decision previously
     made in Vienna, on the question of Transylvania. Hitler
     and I agreed that the German Military Mission in
     Roumania should continue its work of reconstructing the
     Roumainian Army on German lines, and that it should
     also conclude an economic agreement, in accordance with
     which the Germans would at a later date supply Roumania
     with Messerschmidts 109, tanks, tractors, anti-aircraft
     and anti-tank guns, automatic rifles and other
     armaments, while they, in return, would receive from
     Roumania, wheat and oil for the needs of the German
     armies. To the question put to me as to whether this,
     my first conversation with Hitler, could be regarded as
     the beginning of my agreement with the Germans
     concerning the preparations for war against the Soviet
     Union, I replied in the affirmative. There is no doubt
     that Hitler had this fact in mind, when he elaborated
     his plans for the attack on the Soviet Union.
     In January, 1941, through the offices of the German
     Ambassador in Roumania, Fabricius, I was invited to
     Germany and had my second meeting with Hitler at
     Berchtesgaden. The following persons were present:
     Ribbentrop, Fabricius, and the newly appointed German
     Ambassador to Bucharest, Killinger. Besides these,
     Field Marshal Keitel and General Jodl were also present
     as representing the German Armed Forces.
     At the beginning of the conversation Hitler introduced
     Killinger to me, emphasizing that the latter was one of
     his closest friends. After this, Hitler, describing the
     military situation in the Balkans, declared that
     Mussolini had appealed to him for help in connection
     with the Italian failures in the war against Greece and
     that he, Hitler, intended to give this help to Italy.
     While on this subject Hitler asked me to allow the
     German troops concentrated on Hungarian territory to
     pass through Roumania, so that they could render speedy
     assistance to the Italians.
     Knowing that the passage of German troops through
     Roumania to the Balkans would constitute an unfriendly
     act towards the Soviet Union, I asked Hitler what, in
     his opinion, would be the subsequent reaction of the
     Soviet Government.
     Hitler reminded me that at our first meeting, in
     November, 1940, he had already given appropriate
     guarantees to Roumania and had taken upon himself the
     obligation of protecting Roumania by force of arms. I
     expressed my fears that the passage of German troops
     through Roumania
                                                  [Page 274]
     might serve as a pretext for military operations on the
     part of the Soviet Union, and that Roumania would then
     be in a difficult position, since the Roumainian Army
     had not been mobilized, to which Hitler declared that
     he would give orders for some of the German troops
     intended for participation in the operations against
     Greece to be left in Roumania. Hitler also stressed
     that, according to the information at his disposal, the
     Soviet Union did not intend to fight either Germany or
     Satisfied with Hitler's declaration, I agreed to the
     passage of German troops through Roumainian territory.
     General Jodl, who was present at this conference,
     described to me the strategic dispositions of the
     German Army and stressed the necessity for an attack
     against Greece launched from Bulgaria.
     My third meeting with Hitler took place in Munich in
     May, 1941. At this meeting at which, in addition to
     ourselves, there were present Ribbentrop and Hitler's
     personal interpreter, Schmidt, we reached a final
     agreement with regard to a joint attack on the Soviet
     Hitler informed me that he had decided on an armed
     attack on the Soviet Union. 'Once we have prepared this
     attack,' said Hitler, 'we must carry it out without
     warning, along the entire extent of the Soviet
     frontier, from the Black to the Baltic Seas.
     The unexpectedness of the military attack,' Hitler went
     on to say, would in a short time give Germany and
     Roumania a chance to liquidate one of our most
     dangerous adversaries.'
     In accordance with his military plans, Hitler asked me
     to permit the use of Roumainian territory for
     concentrations of German troops, and, at the same time,
     requested me to participate directly in the attack on
     the Soviet Union.
     Hitler stressed the point that Roumania must not remain
     outside this war, for, if she wished to have Bessarabia
     and North Bukovina returned to her, she had no other
     alternative but to fight on Germany's side. At the same
     time he pointed out that, in return for her assistance
     in the war, Roumania would be allowed to occupy and
     administer other Soviet territories, right up to the
     River Dnieper.
     Since Hitler's offer to initiate a joint campaign
     against the U.S.S.R. corresponded to my own aggressive
     intentions, I announced my agreement to participate in
     the attack on the Soviet Union and pledged myself to
     prepare the necessary number of Roumainian troops and,
     at the same time, to increase deliveries of the oil and
     food required by the German armies.
     Before Hitler and I took the decision to attack Russia,
     I asked Hitler whether he had any understanding with
     Hungary regarding her participation in the war. Hitler
     replied that the Hungarians had already given their
     consent to participate in the war against the U.S.S.R.
     in alliance with Germany. When, exactly, the Germans
     had agreed on this joint attack with the Hungarians,
     Hitler did not specify.
     On my return from Munich to Bucharest I began active
     preparations for the coming campaign."
Antonescu concludes his testimony in the following words. I
refer to Page 67 in the document book, the last paragraph of
the testimony.

     "After the invasion of Soviet territory, the Roumanian
     troops under my supreme command rendered great
     assistance to the Germans, and Hitler accordingly sent
     a letter addressed to me expressing his gratitude to me
     and to the Roumanian Army."
The date of the beginning of Roumainian preparations for war
against the U.S.S.R. can be established from the depositions
furnished by the former Vice-

                                                  [Page 275]
Premier, Michael Antonescu, who was also interrogated by the
Soviet authorities at the request of the Soviet prosecution;
I now submit his testimony as Exhibit USSR l52. I shall not
quote these depositions in detail since their greater part
is a repetition of some of the facts described already in
the testimony of Ion Antonescu. I shall only refer to a few
paragraphs. I would refer you to Page 1 of the Russian text,
paragraphs 1, 2, and 5. This corresponds to Page 68 of the
document book:

     "In November, 1940, Marshal Antonescu, accompanied by
     the then Minister for Foreign Affairs, Prince Struza,
     left for Germany, where he had a meeting with Hitler.
     During the negotiations with Hitler, Marshal Antonescu
     signed the agreement for Roumania's adherence to the
     `Tripartite Pact' and received Hitler's promise for the
     later revision, in favor of Roumania, of the decisions
     of the Vienna Arbitration.
     The first journey of Marshal Antonescu was the initial
     step of a policy which subsequently led to a joint
     German and Roumainian attack on the Soviet Union."

Your Honours, the evidence of the witness, Paulus, as well
as the testimonies of Ion Antonescu and Michael Antonescu
which have just been submitted to the Tribunal, justify the
Soviet prosecution in making the following statement:

1. The decision to send to Roumania a military mission of
the German General Staff for the reorganisation of the
Roumainian Army, in order to prepare for and subsequently to
attack the U.S.S.R., was taken no later than September,
1940, i.e., no less than nine months prior to the attack on
the U.S.S.R.

2. In November of the same year, Roumainian war preparations
had been fully developed.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps that would be a good time to break

(A recess was taken.)

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.