Got Facebook or Twitter?Connect your FanBox to Facebook or Twitter & keep
your friends updated with all your activity on FanBox.
It's free and takes less than 10 seconds!
AKA 'Conducator' (Leader), AKA 'Red Dog'.
Kill tally: About 300,000 Romanian Jews and up to 500,000 Romanian soldiers.
Background: Romania achieves full independence from the Ottoman Empire on 3 March 1878. In March 1881 the Romanian parliament proclaims the country a kingdom. Led by King Carol I, Romania's first constitutional monarch, the new nation is deeply nationalistic and determined to maintain its freedom. However, the ethnically Romanian regions of Transylvania to the west, and Bukovina and Bessarabia to the north and east remain outside the state, with Transylvania staying under the sway of Hungry and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Meanwhile, Romania's Jewish population begins to expand rapidly during the 19th Century, mainly as a result of immigration. By 1899 the population has grown to 269,000. By 1939 it is estimated at 760,000, making Romania's Jewish community the third largest in Eastern Europe, after the Soviet Union and Poland.
Many Romanians see the newcomers as an economic threat. Jews face persecution and most are prevented from taking Romanian citizenship. More background.
Mini biography: Born in Pitesti, about 110 km northwest of Bucharest, on 15 June 1882, into an average family. Though an avowed antisemite, Antonescu will become engaged to two separate Jewish women and marry a third. His father will also divorce his mother to marry a Jewish woman.
Antonescu receives his education in French military schools and pursues a career in the army. By 1907 he has risen to the rank of lieutenant.
1907 - Antonescu participates in the suppression of a peasant revolt in and around the city of Galati, about 180 km northeast of Bucharest, gaining the attention of his superiors for his initiative and ruthlessness.
1911 - He graduates from the military academy.
1913 - Antonescu participates in the Second Balkan War against Bulgaria, winning Romania's highest military decoration.
1914 - The First World War begins early in August, with the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary) pitted against the Triple Entente (Britain, France and Russia). Romania stays out of the conflict, waiting to see which side may prevail.
King Carol I dies and is succeeded by his nephew, Ferdinand. Ferdinand's wife, Queen Marie, the British-born princess of Edinburgh, is the real power behind the throne. It is Marie who negotiates the conditions for Romania's participation in the war. The price will be Romanian sovereignty over Transylvania, The Banat and Bukovina (all in Hungary) and Bessarabia (in Russia).
1916 - The Triple Entente agrees in full Queen Marie's terms. On 27 August Romania declares war on Austria-Hungary. The war initially goes poorly for Romania, with Central Power forces counterattacking, occupying Bucharest, and forcing Romania to cede territory and pay reparations. However, the situation reverses when the Triple Entente gains the upper hand over the Central Powers.
During the war Antonescu serves as operational chief-of-staff to army commander Prezan. Towards the end of the conflict he is made chief-of-operations on the army general staff.
1918 - The war ends on 11 November with the signing of a general armistice. The Central Powers have been defeated. The Allies now begin to carve up the spoils.
Romania is more than doubled in size when its claim to Transylvania, The Banat, Bukovina, and Bessarabia is formally recognised by the Allies. The country's first free elections are held in 1919.
However, the acquisition of the new territory is not without cost. The integration of foreign nationalities and institutions leads to an increase in Romanian nationalism, discrimination against Hungarians and other minorities, and a rise in antisemitism.
1922 - In October King Ferdinand becomes the monarch of Greater Romania. The following year a new constitution is introduced establishing a highly centralised state and giving the king the power to appoint the prime minister. The constitution also grants citizenship to Romanian Jews.
Antonescu is meanwhile appointed as military attaché in Paris. From 1923 to 1926 he serves in the same capacity in London, where he meets and marries a French-Jewish woman, who bears him his only child. The couple later divorce and their child dies at an early age.
1924 - The Romanian Communist Party is banned because of its ties with the Soviet Union but continues to operate underground.
1929 - Despite experiencing rapid growth following the First World War, Romania's agriculture-dependent economy is thrown into crisis when the New York Stock Exchange crash of October sees world grain prices collapse.
1930s - The "agricultural crisis" helps feed the growth of the virulently antisemitic and anticommunist 'Iron Guard', the paramilitary wing of the 'Legion of the Archangel Michael', an ultra-nationalistic Romanian fascist group founded on 24 June 1927 by Corneliu Zelea Codreanu.The Guard advocates war against Jews and communists, violently confronting its opponents
Earn by linking to this post. (How?)
You are now following this blog.
Adult content and certain language are not permitted in premium blog posts.
Why? In order to fulfill our objective of helping you earn money, we have to abide by mobile carrier regulations.
In order to publish this post, please remove all offensive language and adult references, by modifying any yellow highlighted text. We apologize if our automated system flagged something it really shouldn’t have.