Romania: Their Contribution to the Holocaust.

Essay by Rachel123High School, 12th gradeA, January 2006

download word file, 7 pages 1.0

Romania is responsible for the deaths of between 280 000 and 400 000 Jews during the Holocaust, approximately half of its Jewish population. Their contribution of soldiers was second only to Nazi Germany itself, and was more than all of Nazi Germany's other allies combined. Throughout the Holocaust, Romania supplied the Axis Powers with oil, grain and other products, with little monetary compensation. While each of the countries allied with Nazi Germany aided Germany in some way, Romania went well beyond the call of duty. Romania assisted Germany in carrying out the Holocaust because of the general public's beliefs and actions, the ruling government, and the country's political position.

After World War I, Germany relied on money from American investors to make compensation payments, as per the Treaty of Versailles, to France and Britain. In turn, France and Britain used this money to pay off war debts to the United States of America.

Following the 1929 stock market crash, American investments were withdrawn, which in turn caused Europe to slide towards bankruptcy. It started in May 1931, with the collapse of Austria's largest bank, and spread outwards throughout Europe. Consequently, levels of production, wages, and profit all fell dramatically, while the unemployment rate shot upwards. As a result, all of Eastern Europe turned from democracy to dictatorship. Fascism, as opposed to communism, provided a simple answer to Europe's many problems.

Anti-Semitism was common throughout Europe, with roots going back thousands of years. Romania had a particularly strong history of anti-Semitism that was based on the Christian movement. Building on these pre-existing beliefs, the Holocaust was justified by the view that Jews were inferior creatures, especially next to the biologically superior Aryan's. Many people also believed that the Jews were enemy allies of the USSR, Bolshevik agents, and parasites among...