The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1997/10/30

On Page 80 of the document book, at the top of Page 3 of the
Russian text of the testimony, Alexianu states that in the
summer of 1942 he was present at the Council of Roumainian
Ministers at which:

     "Marshal Antonescu, referring to the successes of the
     German and Roumainian Armies on the Eastern Front,
     stated, `It is now evident how wisely I acted when, as
     early as November, 1940, I came to an agreement with
     Hitler on the joint attack against the Soviet Union.'"
However, the generosity of the Fascist Fuehrer, who gave
Soviet territories away, right and left, to his vassals,
diminished noticeably in the course of the war as the Red
Army successes grew.

I have here before me one of Hitler's letters to Ion
Antonescu, dated 26th October, 1943. I beg the Tribunal to
accept it as evidence as Exhibit USSR 240. Something like
two years and three months had passed since the day when
Hitler complimented his Roumainian satrap on the seizure of
Bessarabia. Quite recently, Antonescu had still been
worrying over the question of organizing a "unified"
administration in Zadniestrovye.

Circumstances and conditions had altered. Hitler now wrote
(I quote the second paragraph from the top of Page 1, which
you will find on Pages 82-83 of your document book):

     "My further request concerns the utilization of
     Transdniestria, as a rear theater of operations for
     Army Groups A and South unhampered by an formal
     juridical or economic considerations and difficulties.
     I must further request you to put at the disposal of
     the German authorities the entire network of the
     Transdniestrian railways."
As a poor consolation Hitler adds (Page 82 of the document

     "All military measures have, as their final aim, the
     preservation of Transdniestria for Roumania."
Then even Antonescu, who had so many times subserviently
assured Hitler of his loyalty, reached the end of his
endurance. On 15th November, 1943, he wrote a lengthy reply
to Hitler. In this letter Antonescu wrote unreservedly how
he fulfilled the will of his master at the expense of his

I present Antonescu's letter to Hitler as Exhibit USSR. His
letter is dated Bucharest, 15th November, 1943.

I quote, beginning with Paragraph 2 of this letter, towards
the end of Page 5 of the Russian text. (It is on Page 88 of
the document book):

     "As to the regime in Transdniestria we agree with your
     Excellency that it is neither opportune nor timely to
     examine in minor details the problem of this territory
     as a military zone, a zone of supply, etc.
     I would like to begin by explaining the causes of my
     I do not know whether the truth about the Roumainian
     participation in the war, from 1941 to the present
     moment, has always been told you:
     that this war has cost Roumania 300 billions of lei;
     that during this period we gave Germany more than
     8,000,000 tons of oil, thus endangering our own
     national stocks, and, in addition, the wells
     that we are incurring heavy expenses in supporting the
     families of 250,000 men who lost their lives in battle.
     Of course, the arrival of troops on the Transdniestrian
     territory is, as you say, a shield to the gates of
     Roumania. Our only desire is that all be in good order
     and utilised in the most advantageous manner
                                                  [Page 283]
Here I omit four paragraphs which have no bearing in the
gist of the matter, and continue to read on Page 89 of the
document book:

     "As regards the transfer of the Transdniestrian
     railways into German hands for the purpose of
     increasing transportation. I beg Your Excellency to
     reconsider this question. In our opinion this transfer
     is not indispensable.
     Transdniestrian railways, from 1941 to the present day,
     worked well under Roumainian administration. They
     always satisfied German demands and their management
     was always highly appreciated."

I request you to turn one page of the document book. I now
read an extract from Page 90 of the book:

     "If the traffic capacity of the Transdniestrian
     railways cannot still be further increased in pursuance
     to the generally established plan, we cannot bear any
     responsibility for that. Here too we have fulfilled our
And two paragraphs further, on the same page, the following
statement is made:

     "I am sure that our railway administration could carry
     out the measures necessary in order to increase the
     traffic capacity and to improve the railway transport.
     Inasmuch as I personally was in charge of the
     organisation of the administration and economy of this
     region, I would be deeply mortified to me if the
     administration of the railways were to pass into German
     hands, since one would justly say that our incapacity
     in this respect was the reason for such measure."
There came a moment in the relations between the two
aggressors when the former harmony, based on the seizure of
foreign lands and wealth, gave place to arguments on the
question as to who should bear the great financial
responsibility for the losses suffered as a result of the
criminal adventure embarked upon by both partners.

This is revealed by the following document, captured from
the personal archives of Antonescu and which I intend to
present to the honorable Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 245. I
should like to read a fairly lengthy quotation from this
document, which is very important in enabling us to realize
the relationship between Fascist Germany and her satellites.
This document is entitled, "General Hansen's Meeting with
Marshal Antonescu on 7th July, 1943."

As Your Honours will no doubt remember, General Hansen was
the head of the German Military Mission of the German
General Staff in Roumania. I shall read into the record
excerpts from this document, underlined in red pencil, on
Pages 92 and 93 of the document book...

THE PRESIDENT: Would it not be possible for you to summarize
these documents with reference to Roumania? Because you have
already drawn our attention to a considerable amount of
evidence with reference to Roumania's participation, General
Antonescu's statements and other evidence of that sort.
Possibly you would be able to go on, then, to the question
of the Hungarian participation -- in Exhibit USSR 294. What
you are reading us now really shows the extent, no doubt, of
the Roumanian participation, but it is all after the
aggression. I thought, from looking at it, that you could
possibly go on to Exhibit USSR 294.

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: If the Tribunal wishes, I shall
certainly do so.

THE PRESIDENT: I think it would save time and would not
detract from the case at all.

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: I shall summarize this document in a
few sentences, and I shall then pass on to the next

                                                  [Page 284]

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: The gist of this conversation is
interesting in so far as it reveals the shameless bargaining
which went on between Hansen and Antonescu. The objects of
this bargaining were money, war supplies and human lives.
Antonescu, who was beginning to feel the disadvantage of the
absence of any kind of proper agreement with Germany,
insisted that all subsequent dealings, whether of a material
or any other nature, be the subject of appropriate official
agreements. He demanded from Germany the delivery of various
war supplies either of a technical or, in last analysis, of
a monetary nature. And when General Hansen said that Germany
had no lei Antonescu replied, "If you have no lei, give us
at least arms and equipment."

That is how the document describes the policy pursued by
Fascist Germany for extracting the most varied resources
from her vassals.

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