Holocaust-Era Assets

RG 84: Rumania

State Department and Foreign Affairs Records

Records of the Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State (RG 84)


King Carol II instituted a personal dictatorship in 1938 and during the next two years he lead Rumania into a dependence upon Germany and the loss of territory to Russia, Bulgaria, and Hungary.  In return for these cessations of territory Hitler promised the king that the Germans would protect what remained of Rumania.  And in July 1940, after Carol severed his Anglo- French ties and proclaimed Rumanian foreign policy as a "neutral ally" of the Axis, German bombers were stationed in Rumania.  On September 6, 1940 Carol abdicated in favor of his son Michael, after having appointed General Ion Antonescu, long-associated with the Iron Guard, as prime minister.  Antonescu, with the partnership of the Rumanian fascist Iron Guard, began to take to task his opponents and Jews.

In mid-October 1940 German forces entered Rumania, though its retained its sovereignty, and early the next year with their assistance, Antonescu dissolved the Iron Guard which had become almost uncontrollable.  He then established a military dictatorship. In December 1941, the United Kingdom declared war against Rumania and Rumania declared war against the United States. During the war Rumania casualties amounted to over 600,000, mostly in the German-Soviet war.

During the war the Germans increased their participation in Rumania's banking system, petroleum industry, and heavy industry.  By early 1944, one-sixth of the capital invested in Rumanian banks and industries was German-owned or controlled by German banks. An estimated 13 percent of Rumanian trade was directly controlled by Germany.  German banks and concerns exercised control over industries, transportation, and insurance.

In 1940 the Rumanian began enacting anti-Jewish legislation that resulted in the "Rumanianization" of Jewish personal, industrial, and agricultural property.  Jews were made liable for forced labor and expelled from gainful employment.  In 1941 special Rumanian troops began rounding up, deporting, and murdering Jews.  By late 1942 at least 200,000 Rumanian Jews had been shipped to Transnistria, two-thirds of whom would perish from hunger and disease It is estimated that 300,000 Rumanian Jews, or half of the estimated pre-Final Solution population, would loose their lives.

Antonescu would stay in power until August 23, 1944, at which time King Michael had him arrested, and the next day Rumania joined the Allies in war against Germany and Hungary.  The king then surrendered his military forces to the Russian Army and a Soviet-Rumanian armistice was signed on September 12, 1944.   The Russians established a puppet government in Rumania in March 1945 under Petru Groza. (Note 89)

Records of the Bucharest Legation

     General Records 1940-1941, 1944-1955 (Entry 3146)

          Boxes 1-134

     Classified (Top Secret) General Records 1947-1950 (Entry 3148)

          Box 1

     General Records Concerning Politics November-December 1941 (Entry 3149)

          Box 1

     Top Secret Telegrams Sent and Received 1947-1949 (Entry 3150)

          Box 1

     Miscellaenous Records 1944-1953 (Entry 3151)

          This series contains information on Jewish affairs, Rumanian oil fields, the peace
          treaty with Rumania, American prisoners in Rumania, and other subjects.
          Boxes 1-5

Records of the U.S. Mission, Bucharest

     Secret Files 1944-1947 (Entry 3147)

          Boxes 1-33