Romania escaped a trial for the Holocaust. Initiate a case The US versus Fascist Romania
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Romania, an active participant in the Holocaust, escaped the Nuremberg trials.
Officially, Romania entered the Second World War on the side of Nazi Germany on June 22, 1941. However, without the supplies of Romanian oil to the Reich, German aircraft would not have bombed London, and Hitler’s tanks would not have reached Paris, Oslo and Copenhagen. In the summer and fall of 1941, the Romanian army occupied Bessarabia, Bukovina and the southwestern regions of Ukraine; together with the Wehrmacht, the Romanian divisions advanced on Stalingrad.
Fascist Romania took an active part in the Holocaust. Concentration camps and ghettos were established in the occupied territories of Moldavia and Ukraine that were annexed to Romania under the German-Romanian treaty in August 1941, and were under the full jurisdiction and control of Romania. In Transnistria, a territorial and administrative entity created by the Romanian government that included part of the Vinnitsa, Odessa and Nikolaev Regions of Ukraine and the left bank of Moldavia, selected by the occupiers for the “final solution to the Jewish question,” some 300 to 750 thousand Romanian, Moldavian and Ukrainian Jews were shot, hanged or burned alive, or died of hunger, cold and diseases.
However, thanks to the intercession of Stalin, who intended to include Romania in the Soviet sphere of influence, Fascist Romania did not appear before the Nuremberg trials and escaped the consequences for its crimes against humanity.
Stalin pardoned Fascist Romania, an accessory to the Holocaust, and awarded the Order of Victory to King Michael. But I, like millions of Jews, cannot forgive the murderers. I have my own memory. On October 22, 1941 in Odessa, which the occupiers proclaimed the capital of Transnistria, the Romanian commandant’s office was destroyed by a remote-controlled explosion. The following morning, in retaliation, 24 thousand Odessa Jews were shot and hanged, and their bodies were burned. Another 5 thousand were thrown into the city prison. On October 25, the day when the Romanian king celebrated his twentieth birthday, these Jews were burned alive in grain storehouses on the Lustdorf road. Among them were my father’s first family: his wife, son and daughter. Odessa became Judenfrei, a zone free from Jews.
Fascist Romania, an ally of Nazi Germany that had sent half a million soldiers to the Eastern Front, did not appear before the International Court of Justice for war crimes committed during the Second World War. For this reason, post-war Romania did not feel any guilt before the Jewish people, and right up until December 1989 it was making a profit off of Romanian Jews, demanding a ransom from Israel for every Jew who wanted to emigrate to Israel.
I hope to live to see the day when the President of the Russian Federation revokes the order to award the Order of Victory to King Michael. It is an insult to the memory of the Holocaust victims to include the name of the head of an aggressor state that actively participated in the Holocaust alongside the names of Army General Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander of Europe and British Field Marshal Montgomery in the list of victors over Fascist Germany. American troops liberated the prisoners of Dachau and Buchenwald, the Red Army liberated the prisoners of Auschwitz, and the British liberated Bergen-Belsen, while Romanian troops were killing Jews in the death camps in Transnistria.
Mr. President, as a U.S. citizen and a Russian-American writer, I am calling on you, together with leaders of the other victor countries that condemned Fascist Germany in Nuremburg, to create an International Military Tribunal to investigate Romania’s participation in the Holocaust and to condemn the state structures of Fascist Romania and its crimes against humanity that were committed by the country’s senior leadership. These crimes have no statute of limitations. We Demand Justice.
If it is too difficult to create a tribunal at this time that would involve all the countries that judged Fascist Germany in Nuremberg, we ask that Congress initiate a case The United States versus Fascist Romania, analogous to the twelve Nuremberg trials from 1946 to 1949, and to appoint a Special Prosecutor to lead the investigation.
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