"We may conclude with absolute certainty that Antonescu and his regime prevented the 'final solution' in the Regat [Old Romanian Kingdom] and southern Transylvania. The Romanian army foiled Nazi attempts at revenge, and possibly even the deportation of the Jews of Bucharest, at the end of August 1944. The Romanian army also repelled Nazi attacks until the entry of the Soviet army into the capital in late August 1944.
However, we must not lose sight of the fact that Antonescu never resigned himself to give up his dream of ridding the country of its Jews. True, unlike the (German) Nazis, he was not bent on murdering the Jews, and, as far as he was concerned, he was willing to let them leave Romania to anywhere in the world, provided they left all their property behind.
In the order he issued for the New Year 1944, he urged his soldiers to keep their spirits high: 'No need to fear the future,' he wrote, 'because, after all, your conduct in the occupied territories was gentle and humane, everywhere you have tread, no one was robbed or beaten. We did not deport anyone, did not uproot individuals or whole families from their localities to further our political or national interests. For us, a human being is always a human being, regardless of their relations between us and our nation, and regardless of what this person has done to us'"<49>.
Early in 1944, in view of the changing political map, the Minister of External Affairs, Mihai Antonescu, established contact with the officially non-existent Jewish organizations, more specifically, with A. L. Zissu, Chairman of the Zionist Executive Committee. In June 1944, following this contact, he permitted the Palestine Office to legally operate in Romania in order to supply identity cards for refugees who had come from Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia and were bound for Palestine.
After the war, while Romanian regained northern Transylvania, it lost to Russia northern Bucovina and Bessarabia, and to Bulgaria, a stretch of land in southern Dobrogea.
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