The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places//romania/foreign-affairs.288

Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 16:42:42 -0800 (PST)
From: Alexander Mayer 


Emigrarea Populatiei Evreiesti din Romania in Anii 1940-1944: Culegere
de Documente din Arhiva Ministerului Afacerilor Externe al Romaniei
("The Emigration of the Jewish Population from Romania during the
Years 1940-1944: collection of Documents from the Archive of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania"), edited by Dr. Ion
Calafeteanu et al., (Bucuresti; Silex, 1993), p. 127. The entire
document, (no. 37) is published and annotated on p. 127-129. It is
summarized in English on p. 38. The book has not been for sale, and
has been distributed by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
mainly outside Romania. The introduction and summaries of the
documents have also appeared in Romanian, English and French.

Report no. 288 from December 17, 1943 of the Consular Direction of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

        In one of his speeches [approximate translation] spoken more
than a year ago, Hitler said about these words [i.e., translation
might have slightly altered the meaning]: "If we would lose the war, I
can guarantee [you] that not a single Jew would remain alive in
Central Europe."

         The policy follwed by the Germans is today on the way to
implementing the second part of this threat of Hitler...

A summary of the document, written in 1943 by Constantin Karadja, the
director of the Consular Direction, which calls for the need for 
Romania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to establish specific guidelines
for the bringing to Romania of Jews  of Romanian citizenship dealing
in foreign countries who were in danger of deportation to what we now
call the Nazi death camps. This policy had been decided a few months
earlier. It should not be forgotten that Romania had deported almost
all the Jews of Bessarabia and Bucovina to Transnistria, a
Romanian-German condominium administered by, but not annexed to
Romania, the area between the Dniester and Bug rivers, and that more
than 60,000 of these people died in that area, overwhelmingly because
of typhus, which, however, was so widespread because of poor
nutrition, poor housing and poor health care. Some met a violent death
because they were shot, etc. The Romanian armed forces also committed
a number of atrocities in Bessarabia, Northern Bucovina, the cities of
Iasi and Odessa, etc., in which 100,000-200,000 other Jews died.
However, the Romanian government had decided against any kinds of
deportations, to Poland or to Transnistria, even before Stalingrad,
and not because of it, as it is often falsely claimed. This happened
for reasons which Holocaust scholars have not ellucidated because they
have not looked at the interaction between the "tougher" military and
the more "benign" civilians, who were often former member of the
reactionary anti-Semitic National Christian Party of Octavian Goga and
A.C. Cuza, in the Antonescu government, at the civilianization of the
regime over time, and at Marshal Ion Antonescu's orders and
statements. It was precisely  the National Christian Party people, and
the dictator Ion Antonescu, who, however, was also guilty of war
crimes against Jews, who produced the policy change.

         In other words, the Holocaust scholars have not studied the
subject in a scientific, careful  manner, and have been guided to some
extent by their philosophies, rather than just by the existing
empirical data, much of which they do not know, because if they do not
like a book, such as the one from which I have cited Hitler's order,
they do not read it, but criticize it. Their defective scholarship
therefore sometimes insults the memory of, and indicates these
authors' lack of genuine, as opposed to rhetorical, respect toward not
only scientific enquiry, but also the victims of the Holocaust, such
as some of my distant relatives, who deserve an adequate investigation
into why and how they died. If they would have done their reading, the
above-mentioned document would have already been published in English.
But it would be too much to expect them to be genuinely constructive
in the fight against Holocaust Revisionism, and for a more accurate
history. For examples of not always fair criticisms of the book, as
well as of other works by Romanian scholars, who are falsely
characterized as "Holocaust Revisionists", see The Tragedy of Romanian
Jewry, edited by Randolph L. Braham, (New York: Columbian University
Press, 1994). One wonders how these scholars read the papers of their 
students, and how many of their students found the comments and
criticisms of professors such as these, oppressive. How many of these
students, or of their classmates, became sympathizers of Holocaust
revisionism as a reaction against oppressive professors ? I know of at
least three cases. It it painful to write this, but I should also note
that at some time in the future, "Holocaust Revisionism" (i.e.,
denial) might become genuinely popular, as well as attract the youth,
because it would  present itself as fighting against "academic
oppression", the oppression of the mass media, Hollywood, and against
what what might be called "the party line of the Holocaust Museum" or
something like that. When cases of academic oppression will be
reported in college newspapers, when it will become known how many
books have been rejected by libraries because, although not
revisionistic, are not liked by some Holocaust scholars or survivors,
the issue might become not one between truth and falsehood, as it is
now, but people will be forced to choose between truth on the one
hand, and justice, freedom, and the end of abuses in colleges on the
other. And then, "Holocaust Revisionism" might be perceived to pave
the way to a better world, like Clinton, the Monster of Lying, is
currently perceived by too many people. At that time, everyone would
be asked to choose between the lesser of two evils, and who knows what
the future would be. People might ask themselves, "Who is more like
Hitler, in terms of oppressiveness and hysteria". Moreover, groups
would make such strange alliances that the Holocaust "revisionists"
would become part of a broader coalition, and therefore, one would not
literally choose between them and truth. If even I, the son of a
person who was in an Axis labor camp just because of his ethnic
origin, will not know whom I would support, how will society react?
Let us hope that we will not have to face such a choice. In order to
avoid it, we should demand an improvement in the quality of
scholarship and teaching about Nazism, the Holocaust, Communism and
the Cold War, history in general, as well as everything else.
Otherwise, on the grave of America as we know it, the following
epitaph might be written, "America believed in its educational system".

        The fight against Holocaust Revisionism is important and
useful, but insufficient. We should all remember that the book of
Proverbs says that he who likes instruction loves knowledge, but he
who hates correction is stupid. Moreover, falsehood should be fought,
regardless of whether it comes from the White House or the Holocaust
"revisionists", whose techniques were "borrowed", consciously or
unconsciously, by the White House in the sex scandal (i.e.,
"conspiracy", "the appearances are deceiving", "how many times", "no
documents which prove it", apologists, "the falsehood of past
accusations (against Clinton, or against Germany in World War I)
proves the falsehood of the present ones", "withchhunt", "political
agenda", lying on tapes (whether by Himmler or Monica Lewinsky). If
shameless lying becomes entrenched among the ruling elites of the
country with more Clintons, then many might find the Holocaust
"Revisionsists" as better than him because they did not make money
through some new Whitewater.

        Now I will return to the story about the Romanian Jews. In
1943-1944, Romania repatriated Jews both from Transnistria and from
foreign countries, and most Jews in the areas under Romanian rule,
more than 355,000, and perhaps as many as 400,000, survived World War

        I will inform the Nizkor Project about more documents
concerning the orders for the final solution.

        Thank you.


                              Alexander Mayer

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