World War II

Romania 1944-1948

Administration . In an August 23rd 1944 coup, King Michael ousted PM Antonescu. The office of PM now was held by General Constantin Sanatescu from August to December 1944, by General Nicolae Radescu from December 1944 to March 1945. Then Petru Groza headed a National Democratic Front (NDF) cabinet; he would hold office from 1945 to 1952. In 1946 a general election was held.

Foreign Policy . In 1944 Rumania switched from a German alliance to a Soviet alliance. The Yalta Agreement of February 1945 established an Allied Control Commission in Romania, as leader of which Soviet General Malinovsky was appointed. In effect Britain and the U.S. recognized Romania falling into the Soviet sphere of interest (by Feb. 1945, the Red Army was already stationed in the country).
In the Paris Peace Treaty of Feb. 1947, Romania formally ceded Transnistria and Moldavia east of the Pruth, as well as Northern Bukovina, back to the USSR; Hungary ceded Northern Transylvania back to Romania. The country reverted to the pre-war borders.

Political History . The National Democratic Front, established in 1945, consisted of Communists, Social Democrats, Ploughmen's Front, Socialist Peasants' Party, Hungarian People's Union, Union of Patriots, the Democratic Peasants' Party and by several political factions.
In 1945 a land reform was implemented, intended to boost the standing of the Communist Party in the elections of 1946, in which the Communist Party performed strongly (because of electoral fraud).
Romanian People's Tribunals dealt with cases of war crimes.
The PCR (Communist Party) attempted to control the NDF; the one party opposing this and taking a pro-western stand was the National Peasants Party (PNT). In July 1947 PNT leaders were arrested, charged of treason, and sentenced in show trials. Large numbers of PNT members were held in camps.
On Dec. 31st 1947, King Michael I. was coerced to abdicate; the People's Republic was proclaimed. In 1948 the Communist and Social Democratic Parties merged, now forming the Romanian Workers' Party.

The Economy . In 1944, Romania produced 3.28 million metric tons of wheat, in 1945 1.06 million, in 1947 1.60 million, in 1947 1.27 million, in 1948 2.39 million (IHS p.294). A land reform was implemented in 1945.
In 1944, Romania produced 3.5 million metric tons of crude petroleum, in 1945 4.6 million, in 1946 4.2 million, in 1947 3.8 million, in 1948 4.1 million (IHS pp.426-427).
The Paris Peace Treaty of 1947 required Romania to pay 300 million US $ (at the prices of 1938) to the USSR.
Machinery, raw materials nationalized, a Planned Economy introduced (1948).

Social History . The census of 1948 counted 15.8 million inhabitants of Romania.
The land reform of 1945 was, compared to that of 1923, of less significance.
Universal Womanhood Suffrage was introduced in 1948.
In 1947 CARE delivered food parcels to needy Romanian families; when the Romanian government attempted to establish control over the peration, CARE withdrew in December (Campbell p.58).

Ethnic, Religious Minorities . C. 100,000 of Romania's ethnic Germans and c.150,000 ethnic Hungarians had fled before the arrival of the Red Army; c.80,000 ethnic Germans were arrested by the Soviets and deported to Siberia. The Romanian government did not pursue a policy of expulsion; the country's Germans were deprived of their political rights and treated as suspicious elements.
Of the over 400,000 Romanian Jews who had survived the Holocaust, many emigrated to Palestine respectively Israel; the climax of the exodus took place in the years 1947 to 1956.

Articles Paris Peace Treaties, Communist Party of Romania : PCdR in Opposition to Sanatescu and Radescu, Romanian General Election 1946, Romanian People's Tribunals, Soviet Occupation of Romania, Romania during World War II : the Royal Coup, Allied Control Commission : Romania, Constantin Sanatescu, Nicolae Radescu, Petru Groza, Michael I. of Romania, Tamadau Affair, Transylvanian Saxons, Hungarian Minority in Romania, Berihah, History of the Jews in Romania, from Wikipedia
Post World War II History of Romania, from Brief History of Romania
Independent Romania, from Jewish Virtual Library
DOCUMENTS The Yalta Conference Agreement, February 11, 1945, from Britannia Historical Documents
The Truman Doctrine, March 12th 1947, posted by M. Weiler, refers to the USSR violating the Yalta Agreement in Rumania
Paris Peace Treaty for Rumania, 1947, from Australian Treaty Series
Rumanian banknotes, from Ron Wise's World Paper Money and from Currency Museum
REFERENCE IHS : B.R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics. Europe 1750-1988, NY : Stockton Press 1992 [G]
Walace J. Campbell, The History of CARE, NY : Praeger 1990 [G]
Ehemaliges Bundesministerium für Vertriebene, Flüchtlinge und Kriegsgeschädigte (ed.), Das Schicksal der Deutschen in Rumänien (The Fate of the Germans in Romania), Augsburg : Weltbild 1994 [G]
Article : Rumania, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1946 pp.652-653, 1947 pp.672-673, 1948 p.655, 1949 pp.569-571 [G]
Article : Rumania, in : Americana Annual 1945 pp.631-633 (on events of 1944) [G]
Article : Rumania, in : Americana Annual 1946 pp.654-655 (on events of 1945) [G]
Article : Peace Conference and Pacts, in : Americana Annual 1947 pp.542-546; Rumania pp.622-623 (on events of 1946) [G]
Article : Rumania, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1946 pp.358-359 [G]
Bela Vagy, Romania, pp.111-133 in : Martin McCauley (ed.), Communist Power in Europe 1944-1949, London : MacMillan 1977 [G]
Elizabeth Barker, British Policy toward Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary 1944-1946, pp.201-220 in : Martin McCauley (ed.), Communist Power in Europe 1944-1949, London : MacMillan 1977 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 10th 2002, last revised on November 25th 2009

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