740.00119 Control (Rumania)/2–1945: Telegram

The American Representative in Rumania ( Berry ) to the Secretary of State

128. General Schuyler28 has transmitted an analysis of the Rumanian political situation viewed from his experience on the ACC. This message attempts to review the situation from the Rumanian point of view and to indicate the direction in which the present trends are carrying the nation.

This Mission started its work during a period of Rumanian moral depression. People were dissatisfied, but being unable by their constructive efforts to dispel their dissatisfaction they blamed the Government. Popular discontent provoked a political crisis and the resignation of the second Sănătescu government.29

During the political crisis Mr. Vishinsky came to Rumania and then opened a period described now by Rumanians as the period of preparation for future events.30 Visa applications from foreign correspondents were ignored. Conservative newspapers throughout the land were suspended or suppressed. Mr. Maniu was attacked increasingly by the Soviet radio and Bucharest Left press. Rumanian deliveries under articles VII, X, XI, and XII [apparent omission].

The Armistice Agreement began to be a burden of which every [Page 471] man bore a part. Rumanian police, gendarmerie and Army were drastically reduced in strength. Bessarabians, Saxons and Swabians were deported.

Next came the period of Soviet overt help to the National Democratic Front. Rumanian Communist leaders were invited to Moscow; other Left leaders were received by high Soviet officials in Bucharest. Workers’ delegations were received by the (Soviet) ACC. Ample funds, newsprint and transportation were provided to the Left press. Communist Party leaders, even those participating in the present Government, were emboldened to attack publicly the Government. Mr. Maniu and other leaders who opposed the NDF were called Fascists. Apathetic street demonstrations, hostile to the Government, were described by Soviet officials as vibrant manifestations of the will of the people.

And now, according to Rumanians, the final phase, that of Soviet overt help to the NDF, is swiftly drawing to its conclusion. They point out that Soviet officers have said that General Radescu no longer has the backing of the people; that the NDF represents the true feelings of the people. The Rumanians believe the stage is being set for a minority government in Bucharest and that such a government will not prevent the country from disintegrating. They mention the report that the district of Maramures desires to join the Soviet Union.31 They believe that the rest of northern Transylvania, where there is no Rumanian administration, will follow at the proper time; then Moldavia.

They say that the ACC is an instrument used by the Soviet authorities to destroy the Rumanian state; that the Anglo-Americans have not taken the initiative in helping them solve any of their vital problems (control of the transportation system, the return of northern Transylvania, the return of prisoners of war, co-belligerent status) the solutions of which are so essential to the moral rehabilitation of the nation.

Every thinking Rumanian sees the necessity of a foreign policy based upon friendly relations with the Soviet Union but nearly all Rumanians want their own form of Government. They believe this impossible because of Soviet distrust of any Rumanian government that is not a Communist dominated government.

The leaders who sponsored armistice discussions in Cairo with Allied representatives,32 are baffled over the apparent Anglo-American [Page 472] indifference to the manner in which the armistice is being executed. (See my telegram No. 52 of December 9, 7 p.m.33) They believe that the Government’s capacity of maintaining order is being drastically undermined, (see my telegram No. 105 of February 9, 5 p.m.34) and that where in the past the local Communists have failed through weakness (see my telegram No. 89, of February 1, 8 p.m.35) in the future they will not be permitted to fail. They have convinced themselves that they are living through the final months of their country’s existence (see my telegram No. 42 of November 30, 6 p.m.36).

  1. Brig. Gen. Cortland T. Van R. Schuyler, Chief, United States Military Representation, Allied Control Commission for Rumania.
  2. Following the palace coup d’état of August 23, 1944, Gen. Constantin Sănătescu held the post of Prime Minister in two successive Rumanian Cabinets until the formation on December 7, 1944, of a Cabinet headed by General Radescu.
  3. Andrey Yanuaryevich Vyshinsky, First Deputy People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union, who visited Bucharest during November and December 1944, allegedly to hasten execution of the terms of the Rumanian armistice.
  4. Telegram 123, February 19, from Bucharest, reported that the Rumanian Government was greatly concerned by the apparent Soviet sponsorship of a movement to annex Maramures prefecture, a district in northern Transylvania and under Soviet control, to the Soviet Ukrainian Republic (871.014/2–1945).
  5. For documentation concerning the negotiations and contacts during the spring and summer of 1944 between Rumanian and Allied representatives regarding a Rumanian armistice, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iv, pp. 133 ff.
  6. Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iv, p. 279.
  7. Not printed; in this telegram Berry reported having conversed with Prime Minister Radescu, who stated that the Soviet authorities had requested the handing over of Rumania’s only tank regiment, then stationed in Bucharest; Prime Minister Radescu was quoted as concluding the conversation as follows: “You must understand my apprehension. The Soviets have reduced my police forces and taken away their right to use arms. The Rumanian Communists know that I am no longer in a position to maintain order.” (740.00119 Control (Rumania)/2–945)
  8. See footnote 26, p. 469.
  9. Not printed.