The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fifty-Seventh Day: Tuesday, 12th February, 1946
(Part 12 of 18)

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MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: This morning I had to stop before reading the testimony of Phantazi, Roumania's former Minister of War, which I intend to present to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 154. Phantazi describes in detail Roumania's preparations for war. I would ask you to accept this testimony as evidence. You will find it on Page 71 of the document book. I shall now read such extracts of this document as are of interest to us:

"Roumania's preparations for war against the Soviet Union began in November, 1940, when, in accordance with the agreement signed by Marshal Antonescu in Bucharest, regarding Roumania's adherence to the `Tripartite Pact,' there arrived in Bucharest German Military Missions, consisting of groups of German officer- instructors; those for the Army were headed by General Hansen, those for the Air Force by Major-General Speidell.

With the arrival of the German Military Missions in Roumania, the Chief of the General Staff of the Roumainian Army, General Joanitiu, acting on the orders of Marshal Antonescu, issued an order to the Army, regarding the admission of German officer-instructors into units and groups, for the purpose of reorganizing and re-educating the Roumainian Forces in accordance with the code of regulations of the German Army.

At the same time, and still acting on Marshal Antonescu's orders, all Reserve officers of the Roumainian Army were called up for a course of two months' retraining and underwent instruction under German direction.

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During the period of the retraining of Reserve officers, the General Staff of the Roumainian Army drafted a plan for calling up into the Army 12 age groups due for mobilisation in case of war, the training of all these groups to be carried out in accordance with the demands of the code of regulations of the German Army, to be completed by 1st July, 1941. The personnel of the Supreme and Senior Commands of the Roumanian Armies underwent similar retraining in their respective branches of the service.

In this way, under German leadership and prior to the beginning of the war by Germany and Roumania against the Soviet Union, the whole of the Roumainian Army and Air Force were reorganized and retrained along German lines."

I shall omit two paragraphs which are of no importance and I pass to the second paragraph of Page 72 in the document book. It contains the following depositions of Phantazi.

THE PRESIDENT: General, in view of the evidence which you have already presented to the Tribunal, the Tribunal is inclined to think you could omit these details of the preparations made in Roumania and go on to the place where you deal with the number of German divisions who deployed on the Roumainian frontier.

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: But this question is of importance. The exact passage which deals with it is on Page 74 in the document book. This paragraph opens with the words "in this connection..."

"In this connection, the following units, which were already mobilized and ready for action against the Soviet Union, were, in February, 1941, on Marshal Antonescu's orders directed to the frontiers of North Bukovina and Bessarabia: The 4th Alpine Rifle Division, the 7th, 8th, and 21st Infantry Divisions, the Infantry Division of the Guards, a Cavalry Corps and another infantry division whose name I do not recall at present. In addition, 3 German divisions, selected from the 21 German divisions moving to Greece across Roumania, were sent to the U.S.S.R. frontier..."
I omit several paragraphs. On Page 73 of your document book we find the following extract from Phantazi's testimony, marked in pencil:
"In accordance with instructions from Marshal Antonescu in May, 1941, the following were likewise sent to the frontier: the Frontier Division, the 3rd and 1st Alpine Rifle Divisions, the 13th Infantry Division and an armoured division. At the same time the Germans transferred to the U.S.S.R. frontier 7 German infantry divisions.

Thus, prior to the beginning of the Roumainian and German attack on the Soviet Union, there were concentrated on the frontier between Roumania and the U.S.S.R., 12 Roumainian and 10 German divisions, totalling up to 600,000 men."

So the documents which have just been submitted to the Tribunal justify the assertion that Roumania's preparations for aggression against the Soviet Union on the directions received from the Staff of the Fascist conspirators had begun long before they found expression on paper in Plan "Barbarossa."

Having attacked the Soviet Union, Hitler's lackeys expected gratitude from their masters for services rendered. On 27th July, 1941, Hitler sent a letter addressed to Antonescu expressing gratitude to him and to his army.

I submit to the Tribunal this letter from Hitler, addressed to Antonescu as Exhibit USSR 237. Hitler writes in this letter (Page 1 of the Russian translation of the letter, Paragraph 3, Page 74 in the document book presented to the Tribunal):

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"Congratulate you wholeheartedly on this great success -- for me personally as great a pleasure as it is a satisfaction. To regain Bessarabia will be the most natural reward for your efforts and those of your gallant armies."
The promises of the Fascist masters were not limited to Bessarabia alone.

I beg for permission to return to the conversation of 12th February, 1942, between Antonescu and the defendant Ribbentrop. This conversation is set forth in a document which I now present as Exhibit USSR 233. I am now referring to paragraph 3 of the Russian translation of this document (third paragraph from the top of this page) which you will find on Page 61 of the document book. It consists of the following entry made by Antonescu:

"I reminded Herr von Ribbentrop that, at the banquet given by him, he raised his glass to the happiness of a Great Roumania, to which I replied that we have entered into an alliance with the Axis in order to create a Great Roumania."
What, then, was this "Great Roumania" to represent, to which the defendant Ribbentrop had raised his glass?

This can be seen from the document which I now submit to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 242. This document is one of Antonescu's letters (a copy of a letter) to Hitler, dated 17th August, 1941. I request you to read this document into the record, and I consider it necessary to read Paragraphs 2 and 4 from it, which correspond to Page 2 of the Russian translation in the document book in your possession. The corresponding text is on Page 78. I quote Paragraph 2. Antonescu writes:

"In compliance with the wish of Your Excellency, I take upon myself the responsibility for guarding the territory between the Rivers Dniester and Dnieper, for maintaining order there, and for its security, in which connection it will only be necessary to delineate a Northern boundary to this territory."
Paragraph 4 of this letter:
"In order to maintain order and to control the economic exploitation of the occupied territory, and foreseeing the continuation of the war, I consider it absolutely necessary that unity of command should be established.

I therefore beg Your Excellency to give precise instructions defining my rights and responsibilities for the administration and economic exploitation of the territory between the Rivers Dniester and Bug, as well as for the guarding, the maintenance of order, and the security of the whole territory between the Rivers Dniester and Dnieper.

I beg you, Your Excellency, to accept assurances of my devotion. Marshal Antonescu."

Two days after this letter was written Antonescu appointed a "Governor" of the occupied regions of the Soviet Union, to which he gave the name of the "Transdniestrian" regions.

I present to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 295, the testimony of this "Governor," George Alexianu, who was taken prisoner by the Red Army, and beg you to accept it as evidence.

Alexianu, giving details of his nomination, testifies as follows (Page 2, Paragraph 2, of the Russian text, Page 79 in the document book which is in your possession):

"Antonescu said that, in connection with the successful advance of the German Army, Hitler wrote him a personal letter in which he offered to annex to Roumania the Soviet territories extending from the Dniester to the

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Dnieper which had been captured by the German troops and to establish there their own occupation authorities."

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