The massacres of WWll ended in 1945 and in the summer of 1946 a peace conference kicked off in the capital of France, which lasted until October
After a couple of months, on
February 10th 1947, to be precise, a series of peace treaties with
the former allies of the Nazi Germany like Romania, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria
and Finland was signed. Each of these defeated countries tried to improve their
difficult situation as they possibly could at that time. However, all of them,
apart from Bulgaria, have lost territories and had to make compensation
payments after the war.
At the peace
conference, Romania was represented by a government controlled by the communist
party imposed by the Soviet occupation. The Romanian lobbyists and the team who
worked on the official stand tried to bring strong arguments in support of
Romania's case. Gheorghe Apostol had a leading position in the Romanian
Communist Party and in a 1995 interview to Radio Romania said that the biggest
fight to represent Romania's interests at that time wasn't put up by the
communists in the government.
Gheorghe Apostol:" Romania's delegation also included Pătrăşcanu,
not only because he was a justice minister at that time but also because he was
a well-known political leader. There were several rounds of talks but Romania's
main speaker wasn't Pătrăşcanu. The man who talked directly with the Western
powers during the peace talks was Tătărăscu, Foreign Minister at that time and
a political leader well-known in Romania and abroad. After the talks on the
Paris Peace Treaty in 1947, the delegation came back and was given a hero's
welcome, although the main gain was only the issue of Transylvania. However,
Romania's right over Transylvania was obtained with great difficulty."
Barbul used to be the chief of Marshal Antonescu's cabinet, and the country's
Prime Minister between 1940 and 1944. He was assigned the task of drawing up
two files, one on Romania-Hungary differences and another on the situation of
the Jewish minority in Romania.
Barbul:" I was asked to draw up those two reports by the commission, which
was supposed to present them during the peace talks. The commission was chaired
by Ana Pauker. Of course it was very difficult for me to write these two reports.
The report about Hungary wasn't an issue, I wrote it as I thought and nobody
contradicted me. But with the Jewish minority the situation was different
because as a collaborator to Ion Antonescu and Mihai Antonescu I found it
difficult to write as I should back then. Because if I had written it as they
wished, I would have had no character but had I written it as I wanted I could
have found myself in a delicate situation. And suddenly I got lucky after I had
received some documents from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, an
international Jewish organization, which had some references about Romania. So
I was able to learn that the number of Jews who remained in Romania after the
ceding of Bessarabia, North Transylvania and Southern Dobrudja, was close to
400 thousand. So in my report the situation of the Jews, unlike in the other
countries under German occupation, was one of the best. The report was
submitted to Ana Pauker, who, to my surprise, approved it."
Niculescu-Mizil a former leading figure of the communist party confessed that Romania
not being granted the title of co-belligerent country at the peace treaty talks
The biggest issue they tackled was the issue of co-belligerence. We sustained
that idea but they even changed the real date when we started fighting the
Germans. The peace treaty doesn't mention the date of August 23rd
when we actually started waging war against Germany but September 12th.
So, they changed the actual facts and that benefitted the Russians and the
Americans alike. Why did it benefit the Russians? Because they wanted to appear
as liberators of Bucharest, of Romania. In one of my articles I told the story
of Russian general Konev who came to hand us the battle flag of a Russian tank
regiment, which had allegedly liberated Bucharest. However, I gave Defence
Minister Bodnaras a collection of documents, including the newspapers issued in
the days of August 29th, 30th and 31st 1944,
showing Soviet troops receiving a hero's welcome in Bucharest with flowers and
all. What better proof than that? The Russians' entry in Bucharest was hailed
by the communists whereas the Social-Democrats welcomed the Romanian army. So,
the Russian troops entered Romania to parade not to fight."
75 years ago, the peace treaties
in Paris sealed the end of WWII. The countries defeated had different destinies
though. For Italy and Finland, the future looked prosperous and democratic whereas
Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria were in for the tyranny and poverty brought along
by the communist regimes instated in those countries.