871.00/979: Telegram

The Minister in Sweden ( Johnson ) to the Secretary of State

2538. Maniu,22 leader Rumanian party, has by reliable intermediary sent to Stockholm message for transmission to American and British Governments. Manner in which this reached Legation and various comments on message are reported in my 2539, August 13, 5 p.m.23

Following is broad paraphrase of message as it reached Legation.

“Both National Peasants Party and Liberals have completely, organized whole of Rumania, a town by town, province by province, preparing for day when present regime be overthrown. Each man knows exactly what to do, how to act, where to go when hour strikes. This organization been achieved because about 90% of Rumanian people, including Army, bourgeoisie and most Government employees are pro-Allied.

As leader of United Opposition, I pledge my word to both American and British Governments that within 24 hours from time British-American forces reach Danube present dictatorship will be overthrown and that with Army’s help but without blood the democratic regime will come into power. United Opposition has been given free hand by Mihai Antonescu.24 (Germans repeated insistence he be removed thus far stubbornly refused by Marshal Antonescu25).
I earnestly request American and British Government not to urge in radio broadcasts to Rumania that people should conduct sabotage campaign against Germans or revolt against present regime for following reasons:
Only possibility for United Opposition to organize country for Allies is under peaceful conditions.
Nazis are still strong enough to paralyze completely possibility of internal resistance and drastic steps surely be taken if revolt occurs prematurely.
If Germans given excuse to crack down, Hungary and Bulgaria may be expected promptly occupy Transylvania and Dobruja. This point also concerns Allies because strong Rumania, militarily and administratively, must be in their interest.
Believing I could serve my country’s interests better outside Rumania, I had intention to depart but have not been able to do so since my movements closely watched by Germans who informed me they would consider my departure as act of rebellion. I ask American and British Governments place full confidence in me no matter what may happen.”

Foregoing is said to be message proper but Maniu also transmitted following additional information likewise said to be intended for American and British Governments.

Within a week (of August 6) United Opposition will submit direct to King an extensive memorandum in which it will ask:
Immediate withdrawal of Rumanian Army to the Dniester.
Change in Rumanian foreign policy at earliest possible date.
Present Rumanian Government and United Opposition agree on necessity of defending Bessarabia. Delta of Danube is European as well as Rumanian problem and if held by Russia would constitute threat to Straits and Suez. Rumania will not negotiate with Russia without receiving definite and well-founded guarantees from British and Americans, with whom, however, it is ready to negotiate.
Both Governments and United Opposition agree Transylvania is Rumania’s most vital problem but disagree on suggestions for its solution. This is subject of frequent discussions between these two groups.
Government proposes rectification of boundaries based on population exchange on same basis as Rumanian delegation’s proposals to Hungary at Turnu-Severin August 1940.25a
Opposition opposes change of boundaries but advocates resettlement of Rumanian minorities from Trans Istria and Balkans in Transylvanian districts now inhabited by Hungarians. Latter would [Page 495] be moved to sub-Carpathian Ukraine whose Ruthenian population would be moved to Ukraine proper.
Fact Americans have not bombed civilian objectives has made excellent impression and it is hoped this policy be continued. Without deprecating effects of bombing Rumanian oil fields fact is Rumanians suffered greater losses because Germans long been refining crude oil production for their use elsewhere. American prisoners taken in raid are well treated and still in Rumanian hands as Antonescu has refused Germans’ request they be surrendered to them.
Allies are reminded organization of united powerful opposition throughout whole Rumania is unique among occupied countries, that it has been possible to build up this organization because of conditions which permitted opposition work relatively freely and that Nazis must not be given provocation to start terror which would end possibilities of achieving maximum constructive results.
  1. Iulius Maniu, Rumanian Peasant Party leader.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Vice President of Rumanian Council of Ministers and Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  4. Marshal Jon Antonescu, Rumanian Chief of State.
  5. See Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945, series D, vol. X, pp. 547–549.