Encyclopedia > Ion Antonescu

  Article Content

Ion Antonescu

Ion Antonescu (1882-1946) was prime minister and dictator of Romania during World War II from September 4, 1940 until his dismissal by King Michael on August 23, 1944.

While being a military attache in London in the 1930s, Antonescu married a French jewish woman named Rasela Mendel. Nonetheless Antonescu was early attracted to anti-Semitic prejudice.

After his appointment in 1940 Antonescu tried to gain the friendship of Nazi Germany. In order to avoid an invasion of Soviet troops into Romania, he allowed the Wehrmacht to enter Romanian territory.

In 1941 the Iron Guard[?], a Romanian anti-Semitic movement, which helped Antonescu in gaining power, rebelled against the regime. Antonescu was able to defeat the rebellion with help from German troops. After this event he ruled as a dictator. When Germany attacked the Soviet Union, Romanian troops joined this aggression in order to regain lands, that formerly had to be ceased to the U.S.S.R.

As for Antonescu's policy towards the jews, he did not turn the Romanian jews over to the Germans. Romanian jews were expelled from the villages to the cities, where they were penned up in ghettos and concentration camps. 420,000 Jews were killed due to the terrible conditions in the camps or due to massacres.

Ion Antonescu was tried and executed by the country's subsequent communist-dominated government for alleged war crimes following his acceptance of German occupation (October 1940) and war against the Soviet Union.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Progressive Conservative Party

... suffered its worst post-WWII recession, unemployment rose to the highest levels since the Great Depressions, the federal government faced high and persistant defecits, and ...