Repression to Rejuvenation: Eastern Europe in a New Continent
On the 23 August 1944, I took upon myself the fateful decision to remove Romania from its enforced alliance with the Axis power, and join the nations fighting for Europe’s freedom. Much literature and many falsifications have been written about this act ever since, but, in reaching my conclusion in that hot August, I was driven by two fundamental considerations: that Romania’s place should always be on the side of those promoting democracy and that Hitler’s war was not our own. The act was supported by the entire nation, including the leaders of all the political parties, and all the armed forces. We fought heroically: we ousted the Nazis, and went all the way to Czechoslovakia. Yet, no sooner had the war ended, than Romania’s huge contribution to the Allied victory cause counted for nothing. As the man responsible for my country’s destiny, I had no means of knowing that, by 1945, the map of the continent had already been drawn. The Second World War began, ostensibly, over the independence of Poland. For the next four decades and more, however, Poland languished under a Soviet-imposed dictatorship. It was the same for my country, and for all our neighbours. I will never forget the sacrifice of our soldiers, the faces of our men and women who fought heroically and died, persuaded that they did this for a good cause. And I shall always remember the haunting picture of my country, devastated by war, only to be pillaged by the advancing Red Army.
KeywordsEurope Defend Stake Harness Romania
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