The Holocaust Historiography Project

Correspondence

MORE ON THE ROMANIAN JEWS

In the last (Fall 1982) Journal of Historical Review, we ran in these columns a correspondence which attempted to clarify the losses of Romanian Jews during the war. We failed to include in that correspondence a final letter/circular by Dr. Andronescu without which the research data would appear to be inconclusive. Here now is Dr. Andronescu's final reply to those who disputed his claims as published originally in “Romanians and the Holocaust,” in the Summer 1982 Journal. —Ed.

In my lecture at the 1981 Revisionist Convention I stated that the real number of Jews who died in Romania in WW II had been estimated at 15,000. In Mr. Weber's opinion I was wrong because, he said, the real number was 209,214. Both figures are mentioned in a study authored by two scholars, Dr. Manuila and Dr. Filderman (one Romanian and one Jewish) and published in Rome, Italy in 1957. It is the only study underwritten by the two parties involved in the events that took place in Romania during the war, the Jews and the Romanians. All the other reports on the same situation, showing figures ranging from 200,000 to 500,000 are underwritten by the Jews alone and are therefore partial. It is therefore important to have an accurate understanding of the Manuila/Filderman paper, the only authoritative document in the field.

The document contains among judicious remarks and conclusions a confusing sentence-and this particular confusing sentence has been chosen by Mr. Weber to construe his theory. I will reproduce here two paragraphs of the Manuila/Filderman paper relating to the two figures mentioned above; it is my belief that the concerned reader understands easily which one is true and which one is misleading.

  1. (page 7 of the Manuila/Filderman paper): “The losses incurred as a direct result of the war have been estimated at 15,000 souls by the Jewish organizations of Romania under the leadership of Dr. Filderman. This figure includes the loss of some 3,000 lives suffered during the brief administration of the Iron Guard, and 3,000-4,000 (exact number not known) victims of the military reprisals at Iasi. It also includes the losses suffered by the population deported to Transnistria … Dr- Filderman gives the total of deaths on Romanian territory or during the deportation as close to 15,000.”
  2. (pages 11 and 12 of same paper): “For the territories of Romania as they were in 1939, Jewish losses (deaths and missing) are estimated at a total of 209,214.”

Of both statements, Mark Weber likes the second one and reproves me for adopting the first. I have adopted it because it is clear and explicit, whereas the second is confusing. The year used in the second statement, 1939, misleads the reader and creates a false understanding of the whole situation however true it seems to be. Here is why.

Whatever happened to the Jews living in Romania did not occur in 1939 but during a period of four years immediately following 1940 when the population in Romania was much smaller than in 1939. It also occurred on a Romanian territory which was much smaller than in 1939. Before 1940 and after 1944 nothing unusual happened to Jews living in Romania and therefore any discussion relating to the “Holocaust” but referring to a period other than 1940-1944 is false; it is a substitution of premises made with the purpose of arriving at a wrong conclusion, even though the figures used in such a substitution are true. Such substitution of premises is characteristic of the confusing manner of expression used sometimes by the stipendiary mass media to give the reader a doctored image of the reality based however on real data. In logic, it is called “fallacy of ambiguity.” Mark Weber fell prey to this kind of fallacy and adopted the figure 209,214 instead of 15,000.

In fact, nothing wrong happened to Jews living in Romania in 1939 or before that year. It is therefore nonsensical to discuss the Jewish losses for the territories of Romania as they were in 1939. 1 repeat, whatever happened to the “Romanian” Jews occurred only after 1939, in a period from 1940 to 1944, when the situation of Romania was quite different of the situation of 1939. In 1940, the Romanian territory and population (Jewish population included) decreased considerably when sizable parts of Romania were occupied by Hungarians, Soviets, and Bulgarians. As a result, about 400,000 Jews who could be called “Romanian” in 1939 and lived in the occupied Romanian territories changed their allegiance and automatically became “Hungarian,” “Soviet,” or “Bulgarian” Jews. From 1940 on, these Jews shared the fate of their Hungarian, Soviet or Bulgarian coreligionists and were counted as such. Only those Jews who remained in nationalist Romania of 1940-1944 could legally be called “Romanian.” Their number was about 350,000. These must be the people referred to as “Romanian” Jews in various reports on the so called Holocaust. The other were included in whatever happened to “Hungerian", “Soviet,” or “Bulgarian” Jews. To include the latter in the number of the former would be tantamout to artificially doubling their number by counting them once as “Romanian” and then once again as “Hungarian … Soviet,” or “Bulgarian", This point of view had been observed by the two parties who drew up the document of 1957 and especially the paragraph quoted by me under 1. on the previous page. It was not a matter of preference or opinion, it was a matter of arithmetic.

Another misguiding interpretation of the same situation appears when we consider some of the “Hungarian” Jews “Romanian” because Northern Transylvania came back to Romania after the war. We should be aware that this change of administration happened only after the war and, again, whatever happened to “Hungarian” Jews during the war should not be included in whatever happened to “Romanian” Jews during the same period of time, otherwise we artificially double the number of the same people.

On the other hand, many Jews of Northern Transylvania who lived through the war have always considered themselves “Hungarian” and I don't see any reason to call them “Romanian” now. It is not correct to put all Jews of Transylvania in the same category and consider them altogether “Romanian.” I will illustrate this situation with an example taken from my personal research experience.

As the author of a book about American Romanians (published in 1976), 1 sent thousands of questionaires to Americans who were not only of Romanian descent, but also to many who were of Hungarian, Jewish or Russian descent but who once lived or were born in Romania (either before or after 1939). Some of them accepted to be listed in my book as Americans of Romanian descent, some others refused, and some did not even bother to answer my questionnaire. In this context it is instrumental to know the reasons of those who refused. They stated clearly their reasons: although born and educated in Romania, they did not consider themselves associated with Romanian culture or traditions.

The same view should be applied to the Jews who lived in Bessarabia and Bucovina in 1939 and became “Soviet” in 1940. These people remained “Soviet” all the way after 1940 even though Romania re-occupied those territories for a short while during the war. I don't see any reason to call them “Romanian” today and count them with the Jews who died in Romania. The situation is the same for the “Bulgarian” Jews who were once “Romanian."

Serban C. Andronescu
New York City


THE WATSON PHENOMENON

It was good to read Thomas Henry Irwin's excellent article on Tom Watson in the Fall 1982 issue of The Journal.

It is ironic that Watson was the first important native White Southern leader to treat the Negro's aspirations with any degree of seriousness. Watson regarded Blacks as an integral part of Southern society. Senator Watson urged all to unite against the financial oligarchs, recognizing the money power as the real enemy of all races. Would that we could heed his message today!

Bezalel Chaim
Brooklyn, NY


MIDDLE EAST REVISIONISM

I was especially pleased to see the “Memorandum to the President” in the Fall 1982 Journal. As a long time student of the Middle East conflict, I can assure you that this is fertile ground, long neglected by the historical revisionists in the western world with few exceptions. And yet this is a centuries' old conflict which is presently costing Americans billions of dollars each year, not to speak of the untold sufferings of hundreds of thousands of people directly affected by the Zionist interlopers. I am thus certain that the “Memorandum” piece won't be your last publication concerning this conflict because it is so intrinsically connected with other conflicts such as both world wars, major topics of revisionists.

Pitman Buck, Jr.
Texas City, Texas