Thursday, March 01, 2007

Russia condemns Antonescu rehabilitation

More than 60 years after being shot by a firing squad, an appeals court in Bucharest has exonerated Romania's former fascist dictator Ion Antonescu of his conviction (and eventual execution) for "crimes against peace". The ruling further stated that Romania's wartime alliance with Nazi Germany was legal (if ill advised), and exonerated Antonescu of all "crimes against peace" committed before and during the war. The Russians are outraged, and frankly, I am too. I'm actually even more outraged that nobody else seems to have noticed this story, and nearly as outraged that Russia has the gall to criticize any country for their history of human rights violations.

The court's logic is actually fairly straightforward: Antonescu was justified in launching a "preventative war" against the Soviet Union in 1940 for fear of Soviet domination. As the Soviets had already claimed the Romanian territory of Bessarabia in the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, Antonescu certainly judged Soviet designs correctly, and the court said that the threat justified Antonescu's decision to seek any alliances to prevent the Soviet takeover.

As leader of the feared Iron Guard, Antonescu led between a quarter million and 400,000 people, mostly Jews, to their deaths during the second world war before his capture, trial and execution at the hands of Romania's Soviet dominated post-war government.


Anonymous said...

But practically the court exonerated him (and other 19 members of his government) only of the accusation of starting an illegal war against the Soviet Union, not for the crimes committed in that war.
This whole trial was started by Sorin Alexianu,a son of Gheorghe Alexianu (who was a governor of a part of Ukraine occupied by Romania during 1941-1944 and later accused of war crimes), to rehabilitate his father. But the court, along with the verdict above, decided that he was indeed guilty of war crimes, so obviously the crimes committed during the war are not forgiven.

Also, Antonescu (who came to power as an army general)was not the leader of the Iron Guard, an organization to which he initially collaborated in 1940 but then he eliminated it in January 1941. Although the Iron Guard carried out a large number of antisemitic crimes, most of those 300 - 400.000 people killed during the war were the responsibility of the Romanian army and police, which Antonescu controlled personally.

Anonymous said...

Well, no, Horia Sima remained the de facto leader of the Iron Guard during its participation in Antonescu's government. Antonescu didn't have any direct control over the Iron Guard, which was actually planning to overthrow him and create an exclusively Iron Guard government. Their attempt to seize power in January 1941 was suppressed by the military (which was loyal to Antonescu) and most of the Iron Guard's leaders fled to Germany, while the organization in Romania was practically dismantled.

Pontos said...

hahaha ... you are very far from romanian history so ... it s strange how you dare to talk about ...

Ion Antonescu was a constant enemy of Iron Guard after this organisation has started to use crime and political asassination. More than that, he save Romania, in january 1941 from a Iron Guard regime. I m not here to learn you some elementary facts about our history, I dont know enough english for this.

But you are still at the comunist level of understanding. Please be honest and check more carefully all the facts.

If I m alowd, see here some interesting oppinions about:

Paridell said...

It was Antonescu, not the appeals court, that was shot by a firing squad. But your opening sentence reads otherwise. "More than 60 years after being shot by a firing squad, an appeals court in Bucharest..."