The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fifty-Seventh Day: Tuesday, 12th February, 1946
(Part 14 of 18)


[Page 284]

Now, I should like to touch briefly upon certain methods of foreign policy which the Hitlerites used in dealing with their vassals. I should like to dwell on the policy pursued by the Hitlerite conspirators in regard to the question of Transylvania.

Holding out the question of Transylvania as bait, the Hitlerite conspirators forced their Hungarian and Roumanian vassals to work out their own salvation.

I submit, as Exhibit USSR 294, the depositions of Ruskizai- Ruediger, a former General of the Hungarian Army.

Prior to May, 1941, Ruskizai-Ruediger held important posts in the Hungarian Foreign Ministry. Subsequently, prior to September, 1942, he commanded an Army Corps, after which he became Deputy War Minister of Hungary.

Now, I should like to read the deposition of Ruskizai- Ruediger concerning the Transylvanian question. The passages which I would like to read into the record are on Page 3 and on the top of Page 4 of the Russian text, which corresponds to Pages 102 and 103 of the document book:

"The second Vienna Arbitration Treaty assumed the form of a decision which was of little profit to Hungary. The district of Medvesh-Kasharmash, where natural oil could be obtained, was reserved for Roumania. In Hungarian political and military circles this was interpreted as Hitler's desire to secure unto himself an alliance with Roumania in the war against Soviet Russia. The fact that Hitler considered Roumania a more important ally than Hungary was explained on the grounds that, in an eventual war with the Soviet Union, Germany would undoubtedly need Roumania's Southern wing, which extends to the Black Sea.
In an official conversation which took place towards November, 1940, the Chief of the Command Group of the Hungarian General Staff, Colonel Laszlo, told me the following:
"The second Vienna Arbitration has aroused bitter envy of Roumania in Hungary, and it is up to us to obtain advantages from Hitler."
I would remind you that Antonescu, in his testimony presented to the Tribunal earlier in the day, said, when speaking of his negotiations with Hitler:
"In November, 1941, Hitler told me that the final word had not been spoken in the Vienna Arbitration, thereby giving me to understand that Roumania could still count upon a revision of the decision previously adopted on the question of Transylvania."
However, soon after, while visiting Budapest, the defendant Ribbentrop expressed an entirely opposite point of view.

I shall present to the Tribunal three documents which illustrate the attitude of Hitler, Ribbentrop, and Goering under these circumstances.

[Page 285]

I submit in evidence Exhibit USSR 235, containing the minutes of one of the subsequent conversations between Antonescu and Hitler, which took place on 3rd April, 1942. This document will be found on Pages 113-116 of the document book. I shall read some excerpts from this document, on Page 3 of the Russian translation, which corresponds to Page 113 in the document book. I quote:

"I (Antonescu) reminded him (Hitler) that the Hungarian statesmen did not hesitate to declare openly in Parliament and in the press (after Ribbentrop's visit to Budapest) that should they intervene (that is, should they send their troops) Transylvania is to remain Hungarian; such rumours circulate, and they greatly demoralize the Roumanians. Hitler gave me his word of honour that such promises had not been made and could not have been made, and that this does not correspond to actual facts."
In this way Hitler juggled with promises to encourage his satellites.

(A recess was taken.)

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: The next document, which I am submitting to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 183, concerns the Transylvanian question and the defendant Ribbentrop. It is the record of a conference between Antonescu and von Doernberg, Chief of Protocol to the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs, which took place at the frontier on 10th February, 1942. I am asking the Tribunal to accept this record as evidence. This document, taken from the personal archives of Marshal Antonescu, was captured by the advancing Red Army. I do not consider it necessary to read the entire document into the record, and I shall merely confine myself to a few excerpts. Will you please open your document book on Page 116, where there is a record of the conference between Antonescu and von Doernberg of 10th February, 1942:

"Von Doernberg introduced the subject of the Order of 'Charles I' which Ribbentrop was claiming for himself through various German official channels in our country, as well as through the Roumanian officials accredited to the German Government."
I pass to the next page, Page 117 of the document book. I quote:
..."I told Herr von Doernberg that I would not be able to grant this award until Herr von Ribbentrop, at the very first opportunity, made a public declaration to Roumania on the problem of Transylvania, a declaration which would bolster up the faith of the Roumanian people in their struggle for the cause of justice and for their legitimate claims in the Europe of the future. I would, therefore, confer him this award on condition that it be made public only after he had made this declaration.

Herr von Doernberg asked for time to reflect on the matter.

Next day, before entering the railway coach, he asked me to hand him the decoration, telling me that von Ribbentrop wanted it and requesting me not to divulge our conversation to Ribbentrop, since he now promised to make the award public only upon the fulfillment of my conditions. On this condition I gave him the decoration, without however, the appropriate certificate."

I have also at my disposal a record of a conference between Antonescu and Goering. Will you kindly turn to Page 118 of the document book. Unfortunately, this document, discovered together with other documents in Antonescu's personal files (previously mentioned by me) is undated. We submit this document as found. I present it as Exhibit USSR 238, and I am reading one excerpt only.

[Page 286]

"During the conversation at Karinhall, Marshal Goering was very reticent on the problem of Transylvania. On the way, by car, he said to the Marshal (that is to Antonescu):

'After all, why do you quarrel with Hungary about Transylvania, which is actually more German than Roumanian or Hungarian.'"

We may, presumably, agree that on this occasion Goering had expressed the viewpoint of the Fascist conspirators on the problem of Transylvania with a sufficient degree of truthfulness. With a view to concluding the clarification of Germany's mutual relations with her vassal, I should like to emphasize the subject of crude oil.

In this field, Roumania was one of Germany's principal suppliers.

Both before and during the war, the Hitlerites pumped oil out of Roumania by all possible means. Antonescu, by the way, refers to this in one of his letters which has already been read into the record.

I shall now submit two documents which sufficiently prove how important this question was to Germany, and how significant it was considered by the Hitlerites themselves.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.