Xenopoliana, X, 2001
Victimizing Romania - A fictional history of German expansion
This paper is a critical overview of the Romanian historiography
concerned with the topic suggested in the title. In my opinion few introductory remarks
are necessary here as long as there are still elements that shape the Romanian historical
discourse on this particular matter. The first is the permanent tendency toward
simplification. The second refers to the nonexistence of any study dedicated to this
subject or any other related to German history between 1933 and 1945. Thus, the great
number of authors and titles that might suggest a major interest is, in this case, a 'Red
Herring'. The absence of Romanian scholars from the international academic debates and the
fact that almost all of their works are published only in Romanian are strong arguments in
The explanation for this negative, persistent attitude consists in the fact that the official national vulgate, which monopolized the subject, is totally reluctant when refers to those aspects that are not strictly related to the history of the Romanian National State1. Furthermore, the permanent linkage with ideology that transformed the topic into a paradigmatic case of fictional history has to be mentioned here2.
Within Romanian historiography the expansionist, aggressive policy of Germany in Eastern Europe represented merely a perfect scientific 'scapegoat', and part of an invented tradition3. By presenting Romania restrictively as a victim of German imperialism4 and Hitler's megalomania the primary intention was to elude different explanations regarding the domestic dynamic and international evolution of the Romanian state during the Interwar period, aspects that are directly linked with this topic. Therefore, the main task was rather ideological and bound to a permanent search for state legitimacy5. Consequently, not only the absence of neutral professional tones but also the strong and sometimes-exclusive focus on few issues becomes unavoidable.
My intention in this paper is to describe and comment on some of the most important historical writings elaborated at different moments and from different ideological perspective that generally deal with the issue. Thus, I will underline the content of those works, and critically analyze the most significant elements that shape the historical texts. In addition I will identify the theoretical backgrounds and genuine ideas that influenced the authors. At the end I will emphasize with a different perspective than the usual one in order to reconsider the validity of their claims and indicate some lack on explanations. It is also important to understand why even some western scholars (e.g. Keith Hitchins, Romania 1866-1947, 1984) accepted the perspectives and explanations provided by Romanian historiography.
One of the common accepted explanations in western historiography regarding the tragically events that took place in Central - East Europe after 1938 focuses on some particular aspects: the power vacuum created in the area after the collapse of the Habsburg Empire, the wide ranging effects of the World Economic Crisis from the 30s, and the unforeseeable resurgence of Germany after 19336. In the last two decades western historians rejected the limitations imposed by this framework7. Some are trying to map the entire process and deal with economic structural difficulties, the non-cooperation between the little states of the region8, and the emergence of a new kind of nationalism that allowed Hitler to enforce his aggressive policy. The political culture of the region is also taken into account. Romanian historiography does not follow the same plan when dealing with the topic. While the first issue is totally ignored, the last one is overestimated and has different connotations9.
The reaction of Romanian historians that preoccupied with diplomatic history and the role of Romanian State within International Relations during Interwar period was particularly a strong, negative one. For them, those new perspectives were interpreted as a direct 'attack' of western science on the legitimacy of the Romanian State. Thus, the necessity of an immediate, radical answer was translated in terms of 'moral obligation'. That happened because the "extremist thesis" of western scholars touches one of the most 'neuralgic' points, namely the permanent struggle of the Romanians against Nazi Germany10. In order to understand those reactions I will present two articles published in 1980 in the same review with the occasion of the XXth Historians Congress that took place in Bucharest, articles that are representative for the Romanian historiography manifesto11. The few ideas that shape the discourse of these historians have to be presented here.
First, according to the authors of the articles mentioned above, Germany was not the only responsible part for the tragedy of the war. The 'selfish' attitude and dictatorial tendencies of the Great Powers: USA, Great Britain, and France12 also contributed to the seizure in power of a new German imperialism that found in the Nazi regime the most efficient tool. Second, the 'appeasement' policy and the 'Locarno spirit' are interpreted as favors made to the potential aggressive German State. Isolated in 1940 by their own traditional allies that were their only hope and guarantee, Romanians, like all the other nations of the region, fought against Nazi Germany13. Only ultimately, after the collapse of the Little Entente, they join it. But this only because they were 'forced' to and not because of some common interests or visions with the Third Reich. A short presentation on the evolution of the topic in the Romanian historiography can make us better understand such attitudes. I will do it below in an inverse chronological way.
After 1989, this topic apparently gained new significance within Romanian historiography, which is now concerned with retrieving several national myths that were undesirable in the communist period14. I will focus here only on those that are intricately related with our central theme. On one hand, there is a big difference between those studies, which now deal with the place and role of marshal Ion Antonescu15, the Romanian military campaign in USSR16, the secret history of the Second World War etc.; and the ones from the communist period. On the other hand, except for a much better documented exposure of the facts that sometimes makes the text prolix, and the partial rejection of former ideological limitations, the situation remains unchanged. Paradoxically, in spite of the distance in time from the events no objectivity transpires from those studies.
The previous stereotypical negative images on German expansion, which are now combined with anti-Soviet and anti-Hungarian feelings17, are still valid. In order to explain the cooperation with Germany after 1938 historians translate everything in terms of political and military threat and reduce it to strategic and economic interest from the part of Germany in Romanian oil-camps, row material, and grains. The expectations of the Romanians continue to be intentionally disregarded. In this sense the alliance between Romania and Germany during the war is presented as a personal Antonescu - Hitler affair. Even in this case it was only the aggressive policy of the Fuhrer that forced the Romanian leader to abandon his traditional pro French and pro British convictions.
In order to uphold the idea of a permanent opposition of the Romanian State and politicians to the aggressive and revisionist Nazi policy historians impose the figure of Titulescu18. By focusing on a single personality and it's pro regional cooperation, pacifist and anti-revisionist strategy, their intention is to limit the research area to international relations and the role of the Romanian democratic state within it during the Interwar period19. There are at least two elements that make us reconsider the logic of the argumentation in this particular matter. First, the fact that those historians are trying to extend a particular vision to the entire Romanian political class20. Second, the absence of any kind of plausible connection between foreign policy and the dynamic of domestic realities, which are sometimes in total opposition to the former, have to be mentioned here.
For the same reason the federal idea and the Romanian contribution to it, which was not suitable with the ideology of the previous period, are after 1989 reinforced as part of a long tradition within Romanian political thought21. Not only recent works like that of Eliza Campus are published today, but also some that were considered taboo before 1989, for example George Cioranescu's 'The Romanians and the Federal ldea' (1946)22. There are few specific elements that make our interest in both cases. First, the empathy of the authors with the permanent anti-revisionist role and successful policy of Greater Romania within Little Entente, and its permanent struggle in maintaining Versailles peace settlements in the region and Europe23. Second, the focuses on the 'symbolic geography' of the winners that exclude Germany from Central Europe has to be mentioned24. Last but not least in this enumeration, the conclusion of both authors is relevant in this case. Although part of the history of the region and its tragedy after 1938, Romania does not belong to Central Europe. Its destiny and evolution rather belong to the southeastern part of the continent25. There is only one element that differentiates the two authors. E. Campus does not insist on the idea of an anti-Soviet corridor on which Romania was part of, like Cioranescu do.
I will no further insist on the arguments and points of view provided by these historians. Those are approximately identical with the ones embodied by the communist and national-communist Romanian historiography. One explanation resides in the fact that the authors mentioned above, except Cioranescu, wrote on those topics before 1989, and continue to be captivated by their own internal logic. The strong influence of the previous period historiography, which has been an instrument of the Party propaganda, is visible in their works even today26.
During the Communist period, the German Expansion in Eastern Europe was not an interesting subject, except for its potential to instrumentalize a dichotomy that ultimately underlined the permanent struggle of the Romanians for national, political, and economic independence. The main task for the Romanian historiography in that period was to demonstrate that the political act, which took place on August 23, 1944 was one of historical justice for the Romanian people, and thus, to respond to several political commitments. It was also the final result of the struggle of progressive forces leaded by the Romanian Communist Party (PCR) against retrograde ones. The thesis of a social and national revolution, which was translated in terms of anti-fascist, anti-imperialistic and anti-colonial goals of the PCR gained its popularity in this period27. The most relevant work in this sense is that of Mircea Mușat and Ion Ardeleanu (Romania after the Great Unification, 1986), which expresses the official point of view of the regime28.
Elaborated in the 70's and 80`s29 these works are debt to the national-communist ideology of Ceausescu30 and its isolationist, anti-European and protochronist spirit31. The main difference between this one and the historiography of the Stalinist period initiated in 1948 by Mihail Roller consists on the removed accent from social to national aspects but without eliminating the idea of class struggle from the interpretation32. In this paper we will not focus on the Romanian historiography from the 50`s and 60s, which strictly followed the vulgar Marxists thesis and adapted them to Interwar Romanian realities. Although, few elements that are intricately connected with our subject, and sometimes lead to flagrant contradictions within the Romanian historical discourse will be presented.
For the Romanian historiography that developed after 1945 under the influence of Soviet Historiography and Ideology, the German expansion had different connotations First, because it is not limited to 1938-1942 but starts immediately after 1933. Its impact on the evolution of Romania is not only of a military nature but also, economic33, political as well as ideological34. "The national being of the Romanians (not only the existence of the state) was endangered, and if that did not happen it is because of the struggle of revolutionary forces lead by the Romanian Communist Party against the Hitlerian invader and its collaborators"35.
The theory of fascism as an agent of capitalism in its ultimate stage of development, and the linkage between this element and the existence of a collaborationist Romanian 'bourgeoisie'36 was necessary in order to uphold the Marxist theory in the case of Romania. The strikes that took place in Romanian in 1933 were artificially related to Hitler's seizure in power37 and consequently allowed historians to enforce the existence of a working class with a strong self consciousness, which was not confused and did not support fascism like the German or Italian one38. Leaded by PCR they fought against social exploitation and in defense of national independence. Similarly, the campaign against Soviet Union was also unpopular and boycotted by the workers.
Few conclusions are welcomed here. In my view the Romanian historiographical canon from the previous period is stable but not monolithic. The lack on explanations and connections between diplomatic history and that, which emphasize domestic evolution of Interwar Romania, is visible. But this was not an important element for the historians at the time if compared with their role and mission within society.
Unfortunately, Romanian historians who witnessed the events did not elaborated substantial analyzes and works about the German expansion. On one hand the Romanian historiography went under Soviet control after 1947, and many outstanding historians were put on trial and died in communist prison. On the other hand after 1940 it was too dangerous to express your opinion about the collaboration between the government39 and Nazi Germany. Exclusively politicians and politography provide quite few elements that can improve our analyze. I will insist on them later. In exchange, a short overture on the Romanian historiography during Interwar period will indicate the origins of the anti-German discourse that shapes the canon even today.
After 1918 the main task of the Romanian historiography was to create an anti-German and anti-Habsburg strong mythology40. In other words, it aimed to give a new, well structured, scientifically argumentation to all the articles published during the war by a large number of nationalists41. Apparently, the justification for this fact consists in the traumatic and tragically experience during the 1916-1918 occupation. The humiliating conditions imposed by the Germans at the peace settlements on Buftea, when Romania was transformed into a 'colony', the Romanian dynasty almost rejected in favor of a new German one, and the very existence of the Romanian state was put under question. These are only the most important elements of this argumentation42. For the same reason some outstanding Romanian figures (P. Carp, A. Marghiloman, C. Stere, etc.) were put in trial as traitors by the authorities and totally excluded from public and political life after 1919.
Part of the new enforced cultural politics in Greater Romania, historiography provides arguments in order to support the government policy and legitimate its actions. Thus, the most complex and sophisticated part of the reality was reduced to few negative images, stereotypes, and prejudgments43. In this sense the history of the relations between the Romanian State and wilhelmian Germany was also rewritten and parts of it were simply ignored or negated. The 1883 military and politic agreement was described as ambiguous and the position adopted by the Romanians in 1916 was enforced as the moments of real truth. Some of them emphasize the economic issues, and from this perspective Romania was described as an economic hinterland for the German 'big business' who exploit its resources and its inhabitants. In reality, a pragmatic policy and not theory dominated the relations between the two states after 1871 and the failure of France, and 1878 when Romania became isolated after the unhappy alliance with Russia. The political and military convention signed in 1883 was not a gratuity. All Romanian politicians, liberals and conservators (I.C. Brătianu, D. Sturdza, P.P. Carp, T. Maiorescu, and L. Catargiu) agreed with this reality44.
The image of Romania in Germany was a positive one in all its aspects45. The economic interest of Germany in Romanian grains, row materials, finances, and oil camps was the most important element. German textbooks for gymnasium from that period made special references to Romania46. At the same time the Romanian agrarian economy was dependent from the trade with Germany, and viewed as enfeoffed to it47. That explains why Naumann's Mitteleuropa include Romania as an important virtual element48, and also why until 1944 German remained the official language for business in Bucharest in spite of the manifest sympathy of the height society and part of the politicians for French culture49. Economics were not the only common point. Historians must take into consideration Romanians strong anti-Russian feelings and policy to50. For example, in 1914 some Romanian politicians like P.P. Carp and C. Stere expressed their arguments and vision on the War in terms of struggle between pangermanism and panslavism51.
The situation changed dramatically during the First World War when Romania joined the Entente in order to fulfill its national ideal, and after when Greater Romania became one of the greatest benefactors of the Versailles peace settlements. The incorporation of new achieved territories with their economical and human resources inside the ethnic borders lead to the expectation in a better future. For the Romanian governors the multinational and regional nature of 'Greater Romania' did not seem to be an insolvable problem. That is because of the belief that irredentism and national ideology will offer them enough legitimacy in order to resolve all unexpected problems52.
Romanian economy was also regarded as a powerful and efficient instrument in the hand of the government in order to achieve as soon as possible the unity and homogeneity of the new national state. Its first task was to provide extra national distinction and to ensure for the Romanian State the role of a great regional power53. Therefore economic independence was viewed as an important guarantee, and economic borders were overlapped with ethnic, political, and military ones in idea to ensure the preservation of the nation54. The Romanian National Liberal Party that controlled the destiny of the economy in the 20`s enforced a total autarkic model55 of development based on: massive, planed and rapid industrialization, nationalization of all resources, powerful protectionist legislation, higher control of an interventionist state56. This element represents the most important legacy of the period on the Romanian political imaginary as well as on historiography. The rulers neglected no single aspect. The ethnic problem was also taken into account. The agrarian reform embodied an antiminority bias and many Hungarians, Germans and Jews were if not totally eliminated from the economic life at least discouraged to participate in it. The romanianization legislation regarding economy initiated in the 40s by Antonescu as an alternative to a possible arianisation has its roots in the liberal economic policy of the 20s. Its intellectual roots can be identified in the works of M. Manoilescu, which is the father of the Romanian theory of Corporatists State and a very influent person during the whole period, from the 20s.
In time the effects of this policy proved themselves to be disastrous, but in the 20s its promoters were indifferent to any kind of suggestions and opposition57 It was not the economic reason but the strong national aim that had relevance for the majority of the politicians58. For them the maintenance of any kind of interstitiality with the space of the former empire was unacceptable and interpreted as an ephemeral nation building.
In this respect it is easy to understand the manifest isolationism that characterized the Romanian foreign trade. In fact, with the exception of few bilateral agreements, Romania's economic borders remained 'closed'. No regional, not to mention federal, project was really uphold by the Romanian decision-makers. Even the idea of building a common market in the 30`s was rejected despite internal realities and the difficult.
The anti-revisionist policy that was the stalking horse of the Romanian diplomacy can explain, but only in psychological terms, such negative reactions59 in the case of Hungary, Austria, and Germany. The problem is that the same attitude can be underlined in the case of Little Entente where the anti-revisionist bias can not be enforced as an argument. In my opinion there was the mimetic competition with Czechoslovakia for the maintenance of the leading role in the region that dictate in different moments a Romanian negative reaction. Few examples might be suggestive in this sense, even if we take into consideration the very fact that are generally disregarded by Romanian historians.
In 1925 the Romanian government did not support a contract with Skoda industries and signed a contract with Vickers and the justification consists, even today, in pure economic reasons. Same the 'Skoda Affair' from 1933 is explained only in political terms, and it is never related to the very fact that five years later all armament industry went under state control and monopolized by 'Malaxa Group' in spite of the prices imposed by this one, which were fifth time higher. The difference of conception between the Czech 'big business' and Romanian 'corrupted bureaucracy' that made impossible any economic collaboration is also disregarded. Politically, the justification for these attitudes consists in the Romanian disagreement to Benes pro-Bolshevik policy.
At the end of the 30s the instrumentalisation of the national ideology against the projects of regional cooperation has been fulfilled with negative consequences on the Romanian economic evolution. For the weakened and undeveloped 'greater Romania' subordination to the economical, political, and military aims of Nazi Germany was the last chance and not the first choice. But not for all Romanians. For Malaxa the collaboration with Goring Industry was profitable on a short time because it allowed him not only to eliminate Max Auschnitt as a competitor but also to take under control his affairs. For M. Manoilescu the nazi 'aggressive nationalism' way was a legitimate one and the perfect model for the Romanian in order to impose a new domestic economic order and engage the struggle with the economic interests of the neighboring states60.
Was Romania exclusively a victim of the German expansion? If historians uphold this they must also take into consideration the very fact that Hitler as well as Stalin always expressed their intention openly, while their victims proved a certain kind of deafness61. It seems to me that Romania failed into the same trap as some parts of the German elites and 'big Business' who made a terrible confusion between the nazis and other groups that they supported before62. That means that they believed on a short term relation, which was meant to help them in order to respond same expectation. We are thinking here not only in terms of anti-Marxism, anti-Soviet policy, anti-democratic feelings. Some similarities regarding the idea of a 'new man', the same 'guns and butter' policy from the 30s has to be analyzed in the future.
This paper tried to present in general lines the origin and dynamic of the topic in the last 50 years and to deconstruct the ideological frame of the Romanian historiography. Our focus was not as much on authors and works but on general trends and ideas, which include German expansion toward East as an indispensable ingredient.
Through out this my intention was not to find an excuse but to point out that the responsibility for the Central European tragedy must be 'shared' by other factors too. The political and economic situation in the area was too complicated to admit the simple explanation that is generally offered by Romanian historians. In my opinion the very first step in order to do this consists in identifying elements, genuine ideas, and features that shape the canon of vulgar ethno-national historiography. New perspectives, interpretations, and evaluations must take them into consideration in order to avoid them in the future. At the same time my aim is to suggest that the investigation on the German expansion from a Romanian perspective is important not only in itself but also as a starting point for other analysis.
1 Lucian Boia, Romanian Historical Myths, Bucharest University Press, 1995, p. 15. This is due to the period when the intricate relation with nation-building process transformed history into the most respectable science at the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Another problem consists in the fact that even today history of events is the only accepted way of writing history (i.e. the new perspectives are totally disregarded).
2 Ibidem, p. 72-73.
3 E. Hobsbawm, The Invention of Tradition, Cambridge University Press 1986. An Invented Tradition is a set of practices and tacitly accepted rules that include ritual or symbolic nature. The main goal of a tradition or symbol is to inculcate values and norms of behavior by repetition and automatically requires continuity with a suitable historic past. It represents a set of common values inoculated through an educational way in order to legitimate state policy and offers legitimacy to its actions in the eyes of its subjects.
4 The conception of Romanian historians includes the expansion of Nazi Germany as part of a continuum, final stage and new formula of the old German imperialism. In the Romanian historiography there are no attempts to find a scientific explanation for this. Even today nobody pays attention to Fischer's controversy that led to a new theoretical approach in western historiography, see Fritz Fischer, Gruff nach der Welmacht, Duseldorf, 1961.
5 Yves Lecerf et Edouard Parker, Les Dictature D'Intelligentias, Presses Universitaire de France, 1987, p. 16-21. In structuring the political space, bureaucratic intelighentia (in our opinion historians from former communist countries can be included here) appeal to the myth of internal and external plot, irrational elements, as well as to the lifting of previous period ideologies.
6 Philip Longworth, Independence and its Consequences. 1918-1944, in The Making of Eastern Europe, The Macmillan Press Ltd., 1992, p. 64-93.
7 Erichk Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism in Europe since 1789. Program, Myth, Reality, Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. 127-133.
8 George Schoflin, The political tradition in Eastern Europe, in Eastern Europe... Central Europe... Europe, edited by Sthephan R. Graubard, Westview Press, 1991.
9 We have to mention here the notable absence of the Romanian scholars from the discussions around Central Europe that regained significance after the reunification of Germany. J. Le Rider, Mitelleuropa, Presse Universitaire de France, 1993. A primer explanation for this reluctance consists in the fact that Romanians, with few notable exceptions, define themselves as South Europeans or simple Europeans. See A. Duțu, How many Europe are there in Europe?, in Buletinul de Studii Sud - Est Europene, n. 2, 1997.
10 Viorica Moisiuc, Romanian Diplomacy and the problems of national sovereignty and independence between 1938-1940, Bucharest 1971, p. 5-6.
11 Ioan Ciupercă, The great power and the Central and South-eastern countries (1919-1933) & Viorica Moisiuc, On the Responsibility for the beginning of the Second World War, in Nouvelles Etudes D'Histoire, Ed. Academiei R.S.R., 1980.
12 Romanian historians imposed France as the traditional allied of the Romanian State especially after 1918. In my opinion this special relation with the 'Latin sister nation' is only an excuse, that allowed politicians to promote an isolationist policy within the region.
13 The same frame is followed by the same historians even today, see Viorica Moisiuc, The Premises of the Political Isolation of Romania 1919-1940, Bucharest, 1991.
14 Greater Romania myth is the most important and persistent one because of the ethnocentric feature and the political culture of the period that represent the supreme model for many Romanians today. It was also the only accepted civic and European alternative to communism before l989. This is the most significant difference between the Romanian Dissidents and the Hungarian, Czech, as well as Polish ones. For the latest it was Central Europe that embodied the same element, see Vladimir Tismăneanu, chapter 'A fragmented World' in Reinventing Politics, Ed. Polirom, Iasi, 1997, p. 32-39. I. Livezeanu's book is the only one that reopen the file and put this myth under question in a similar way with Fischer's' controversy in German historiography, see her Cultural Politics in Greater Romania, Regionalism, Nation Building & Ethnic Struggle 19 18-1930, Cornell University Press, 1995.
15 Ioan Scurtu, Marshal Antonescu before History, Ed. Albatros, 1995. After 1989 Antonescu was transformed, sometimes by the same historians that initially blamed him, from a 'criminal' into a 'hero' a 'shield' and leader of the Romanian nation during its liberation war against Soviet Union. In this case the political commitment of some historians is to create an anti-thesis between Antonescu and the last King of Romania.
16 In the communist period the participation of the Romanian Army in the Russian campaign was totally disregarded. The Military History of Romanian people, ed. Ilie Ceaușescu, vol. X, Ed. Militară, Bucharest, 1985, emphasizes exclusively the military participation of Romania after August 23, 1944 on anti-fascist, anti-Hitlerist, and anti-imperialistic war.
17 Gheorghe Buzatu, The Secret History of the Second World War, Ed. Militară, Bucharest 1994. The Ribentrop-Molotov Pact and the Vienna Dictate offer, in both cases, enough 'reasons' to those historians who uphold such perspectives.
18 Gheorghe Buzatu, The Organization of peace, Titulescus' model, in Culture and Society, edited by Alexandru Zub, Ed. Știintifică, 1991. Nicolae Titulescu (minister of the foreign office in the Romanian Government in the 30s) is the only political figure with a permanent presence in the Romanian historiography. The communists imposed him as a remarkable personality because of his pro-soviet attitude, Viorica Moisiuc, Romanian Diplomacy and the problems of national sovereignty and independence between 1938-1940, Bucharest 1971. Also post-communist Romanian foreign policy is trying to find legitimacy in his personality and type of discourse.
19 Ioan Voicu, Nicolae Titulescu and the Peace maintaining Strategy, Bucharest 1975, imposed the canon in the 70s. Although its roots and the genuine ideas that shape its form have a longer existence.
20 On contrary, his case is, in our opinion, a singular among Romanian politicians during Interwar period, see Nicolae Titulescu, Discourses, vol. I-Ill, Edit. Politică, Bucharest, 1967.
21 Eliza Campus, The Federal Idea during the Interwar period, Ed. Academiei Române, 1993.
22 George Ciorănescu, The Romanians and the Federal idea, Ed. Enciclopedică, Bucharest, 1996.
23 The relation with Czechoslovakia, which represented a political model, is described as a special one not only due to of its special relation with France but also because of the permanent strife with German economic imperialism. Historians provided same arguments during the communist period. In this order we can mention the works of Nicolae Iordache, La Petite Entente et l'Europe, Geneva, 1977, and Ioan Talpeș, Diplomacy and Defense, 1933-1939, Bucharest, 1988.
24 The explanation for the failure of these projects of regional cooperation is due to the legacy of wilhelmian pan-germanist and imperialist ideology (exposed by Friedrich Naumann in his Mitteleuropa book in 1915) on the revisionist foreign policy of Weimar republic that found its expression in the ideas of Coundehcove-Kalergi, Gustav Stresemann and Johann Schober. Hitler's' idea of Lebensraum is considered to be nothing else but the result of these conceptions. It was also the policy of France who tried to impose its own federal conception and projects in the 20s and 30s with Tardieu plan in order to impose its supremacy in the area, and the hesitating position of Czechoslovakia that contributed on it.
25 This is due to the strong legacy of Nicolae Iorga and his idea of cultural nationalism and moral Regeneration that emphasize on the secular linkage of Romanians with Byzantine civilization, see John Hutchinson, Cultural Nationalism and Moral Regeneration, p. 124-126, in John Hutchinson & Anthony D. Smith, Nationalism, Oxford University Press, 1994. It is also true that N. Iorga expressed, when prime minister in 1932, his opinions against the participation of Romania on any Danubian confederation in "Adevărul", n. 14790/1932, article, The Romanian Prime Minister on the Danubian Confederate Union. But his position was not a singular one.
26 Hitchins, Keith, "Historiography of the Countries of Eastern Europe Romania", The American Historical Review, vol. 97 (1992), no. 4 (October), current issue: "Historiography of the Countries of Eastern Europe", p. 1064-1083.
27 Even today Romanian historiography pay tribute to vulgar Marxist, Leninist theories, and only the way in which those are formulated is now changed. Meanwhile the new theoretical approaches on fascism as a political system (Stanley Payne, Roger Griffin, Istvan Deak articles are suggestive in this sense) or on imperialism and colonialism (Hannah Arendt and Hank Wesseling) that are no longer interpreted in economic terms are totally disregarded. Dimitrov's definition of fascism as a terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic, and imperialistic elements of finance and capital is still in charge. Expansionism that is now viewed as a sign of weakness by western scholars, continues to represent in the Romanian historiography the argument of the military and economic power of Germany at the end of the 30`s. Imported in the 50`s from the Soviet Historiography, this formula initially embodied a bivalent significance. Not only nazis but also the 'collaborationists' Romanian bourgeoisie, politicians, and army were included here.
28 Mircea Mușat & Ion Ardeleanu, România după Marea Unire, Ed. Științifică și Enciclopedică, București, 1986, p. 354-644, 1126-1132.
29 Lucian Boia, The Myths of Romanian Communism, Bucharest University Press, 1995, p. 5-9. That was the most prolific period for national vulgate historiography.
30 Alina Mungiu Pippidi, Nationalism, Ethnic Policy and National Communism, in Political Doctrines, Ed. Polirom, Iași, p. 119. National-Communist ideology is one of the most influent in post-communist, Romania. Not only the political and public discourse suffers from its impact but also the scientific one, which is often colonized by the former ones.
31 K. Verdery, Nationalism and Ideology under Socialism: Identity and Cultural Politics in Ceausescu's Romania, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1991.
32 Mihail Roller, Istoria Românilor, Ed. Cartea Populară, 1951.
33 All historians claim the wide-ranging negative impact of German expansion on the natural development of the Romanian economy. Although, none of them explain why the Romanian economy reaches it's maximum after 1938 and during the first years of war. Mircea Mușat & Ion Ardeleanu, Greater Romania..., p. 381-383.
34 For some authors, Mihai Fătu & Ion Spalatelu, The Iron Guard, a terrorist organization of Fascist type, Ed. Politică, Bucharest, 1971; the Legionary phenomenon represents only a branch of Italian fascism and German nazism, with no roots in the evolution of Romanian nation. A profound and accurate analyze on the origins of the movement is offered today by Irma Livezeanu, Cultural Politics in Greater Romania...
35 Ibidem, p 276. The two authors impose the Iron Guard and the German minority (in my opinion that was an attempt to provide legitimacy and justify the anti-minority bias of the government that restarted in the 70s, long time after the massive dislocations ordered by the Soviets in the 50`s) from Transylvania as constitutive elements of the Nazi Fifth Column in Romania. An opposite point of view is offered by the recent study of Francisco VGA, The History of the Iron Guard, the Mystic of Ultranationalism, Ed. Humanitas, Bucharest, 1993, p. 132-135, 265-267.
36 According to Peter Sugar the very existence of a Romanian bourgeoisie is put under question. Peter Sugar & Ivo J. Leder (ed.) in " Romanian Nationalism", Nationalism In Eastern Europe, University of Washington Press, 1969. The same idea is supported by Kenneth Jowitt, Social Change in Romania, 1860-1940, University of California, Berkeley, 1978. Also Romanian economists like Stefan Zeletin and Mihail Manoilescu that were contemporaneous with the events describe it as 'Pseudo- bourgeoisie' and "state bureaucracy'.
37 The repressive action of the government was imposed by the most reactionary and conservative part of the bourgeoisie that latter joined the Nazi policy and collaborate with German 'big business' and authorities. It was the German influence after 1933 on Romanian politics that lead to Dictatorship in 1938 and the rise of Legionarism (Romanian Fascism) that had no roots in evolution of the Romanian history.
38 Mircea Musat & Ion Ardeleanu, Romania after the Great Union., p. 644-647.
39 Virgil Madgearu who expressed in 1938 his opinion that. "Only a foul or a traitor would accept to subordinate the Romanian economy to Germany's goals..." was killed by the Iron Guard in 1940.
40 The influence of the French foreign policy with its anti-Habsburg and anti-German aim must also be taken into consideration here, especially for its influence in Central- East Europe after 1918, Jacques Le Rider, Mitteleuropa, Ed. Polirom, Iași, 1997, p. 132-135.
41 Octavian Goga`s articles are the most representative from this perspective, Ne invata Marasesti, Ed. Junimea, Iași, 1983. Ironically, the most fervent anti-German during the first world war, Goga will became in the 30s the leader of the Romanian National Christians Party and a supporter of Nazi politics.
42 Keith Hitchins, Romania 1866-1947, Ed. Humanitas 1996, p. 294-312.
43 The same negatives images were provided by the German literature of the period that describe the Romanians as Traitors and barbarians because of their option in favor of Entente, see K. Floerische, Forscherfachrt in Feindesland, Stutgart, 1918.
44 Keith Hitchins, Romania 1866-1947.., p. 289.
45 Klaus Keithmann, Das Rumanenbild im der Deutschen Sprachraum 1775-1918, Eine Imagologische studie, 1985, Bohlau Verlag GmbH & Cie, Koln, p. 48-49.
46 Ibidem, p. 50.
47 Keith Hitchins, Romania 1866-1947..., p. 168-170. That was the perspective from Paris and St' Petersburg in 1911, when the idea of a possible future alliance with Romania was almost abandoned.
48 Fr. Naumann, L'Europe Centrale, Mltteleuropa, Neuchatel, Delachaux & Niestle, Paris Payot 1923. The information regarding Romania are very specific and exact ones, and can be used even today. There is also another element that make our interest on his work and must be taken into consideration when analyzing French federal projects between the two World Wars, namely ". the modern codified expression on Central Europe... and... his idea of a broadly conceived economic union that would simultaneously resolve any other tensions in the region..." (Timothy Garton Ash).
49 Klaus Keithmann, Das Rumanenbild im..., p. 52.
50 Vlad Georgescu, The History of Romanian Political Thought (1368-1878), John Dumitriu Verlag, Munchen, 1987, p. 314-320.
51 I.G. Duca, Memoirs, Vol. I The period of Neutrality (1914-1916), Ed. Expres, 1992, p. 57-69. Irina Livezeanu, Cultural Politics in Greater Romania ., p. 15-17.
52 I.N. Angelescu, Economic Policy of Greater Romania, Bucharest, 1919.
53 I.G. Duca, Romanian Liberalism, in Political Doctrines, Ed. Garamont, Bucharest, 1998, p. 147-152.
54 According to E. Hobsbawm that is a general feature for the economic life between the two World Wars, and the expression of the triumph of nationalism in terms of national economy, see E. Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism since 1789..., p. 132.
55 M. Manoilescu, The importance and new perspectives of industry in the New Romania, 1921.
56 Petre Nemoianu, 'Transylvania's Economic emancipation' art in Tara Noastra, 1924.
57 V. Madgearu, Economic Dictatorship and Economic Democracy, București, 1925, represent the most significant critique regarding the economic policy of the liberal government. O. Jaszi articles from the same period (Oskar Jaszi, Homage to Danubia, ed. By Gyorgy Litvan, Rowman & Littleman Publishers, Inc. 1995, p.79, 81-86, 125) are also important in this sense. For Jaszi it was a 'Corrupt dynastic capitalism' that ruled over Romania, and permanently opposed to the idea of economic regional cooperation. In his vision it was the greedy nationalism that lead to the development of the germs of war and finally to war.
58 In our opinion an analyze on the relations between economic and political sphere and its changing features as developed in other historiography (we are thinking here at the German case at the same period), can provide new elements in order to understand the evolution of Romania.
59 Elemer Hantos, Memoire sur la crise economique de Petite Pays Danubiene, 1932. Romanians were not indiferent at the time to the European debate on Tardieu's plan and the Idea of a Danubian Confederation. The main difference consists in this case in the permanent emphasize of the Romanians on the conjectural nature of the crisis (see G.G. Mironescu, Historical antecedents of the Danubian Confederation, in Adevărul, n. 14807, 1932).
60 Mihail Manoilescu, Spiritual Autarchy, Bucharest, 1941. His praise for the National socialist model, and for a strong economic collaboration with Germany find its roots in a large number of articles and studies that published between 1932-1933. Another important figure in this sense is Nae Ionescu whose articles from "Gândirea" were very influent at the time.
61 Alain Besancon, The Intellectual origins of Leninism, ed. Humanitas, 1995, p. 223.
62 Hanah Arendt, Continental Imperialism, in The Origins of Totalitarianism, ed. Humanitas, 1994, p. 341.