An extract on #mezuniyetelbise
During the Second World War, Romania tried again to remain neutral, but on 28 June 1940, it received a Soviet ultimatum with an implied threat of invasion in the event of non-compliance. Under pressure from Moscow and Berlin, the Romanian administration and the army were forced to retreat from Bessarabia as well from Northern Bukovina to avoid war. This, in combination with other factors, prompted the government to join the Axis. Thereafter, southern Dobruja was awarded to Bulgaria, while Hungary received Northern Transylvania as result of an Axis arbitration.
In 1940, Romania lost territory in both east and west: In June 1940, after receiving an ultimatum from the Soviet Union, Romania ceded Bessarabia and northern Bukovina (see Soviet occupation of Bessarabia). Two thirds of Bessarabia were combined with a small part of the USSR to form the Moldavian SSR. Northern Bukovina and Budjak were apportioned to the Ukrainian SSR. In August 1940, Northern Transylvania was awarded to Hungary by Germany and Italy through the Second Vienna Award. Southern Dobruja was also lost to Bulgaria shortly after Carol's abdication.
Because Carol II lost so much territory through failed diplomacy, the army supported seizure of power by General Ion Antonescu. For four months (the period of the National Legionary State), he had to share power with the Iron Guard, but the latter overplayed their hand in January 1941 and were suppressed. Romania entered World War II under the command of the German Wehrmacht in June 1941, declaring war to the Soviet Union in order to recover Bessarabia and northern Bukovina. Romania was awarded the territory between Dniester and the Southern Bug by Germany to administer it under the name of Transnistria, where the Romanians eventually built the concentration camp for the Jews to be exterminated.
During the war, Romania was the most important source of oil for Nazi Germany, prompting multiple bombing raids by the Allies. By means of the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, Romania recovered Bessarabia and northern Bukovina from the Soviet Russia, under the leadership of general Ion Antonescu.
The Antonescu regime played a major role in the Holocaust, following to a lesser extent the Nazi policy of oppression and massacre of the Jews and Romas, primarily in the Eastern territories Romania recovered or occupied from the Soviet Union (Transnistria) and in Moldavia. According to an international commission report released by the Romanian government in 2004, Antonescu's dictatorial government of Romania was responsible for the murder in various forms including deportations to concentration camps and executions by the Romanian Army and Gendarmerie and the German Einsatzgruppen of some 280,000 to 380,000 Jews on Romanian territories and in the war zones of Bessarabia, Bukovina and Transnistria.
On 20 August 1944 the Soviet Red Army crossed the border into Romania. On 23 August 1944 Antonescu was toppled and arrested by King Michael I of Romania, who joined the Allies and declared war on Germany. On 31 August 1944 the Soviet Red Army entered Bucharest. Despite Romania`s change of sides its role in the defeat of Nazi Germany was not recognized by the Paris Peace Conference of 1947.
With the Red Army forces still stationed in the country and exerting de facto control, Communists and their allied parties claimed 80% of the vote, through a combination of vote manipulation, elimination, and forced mergers of competing parties, thus establishing themselves as the dominant force. Romania suffered additional heavy casualties fighting the Nazis in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. By the end of the war, the Romanian army had suffered almost 300,000 casualties.
The Paris Peace Treaty at the end of World War II rendered the Vienna Awards void: Northern Transylvania returned to Romania, but Bessarabia, northern Bukovina and southern Dobruja were not recovered. The Moldavian-SSR became independent of the Soviet Union only with the latter's 1991 demise and turned into the Republic of Moldova.