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W

HEN THE WEST IS FAR AWAY: ROMANIAN ATTEMPTS TO WITHDRAW FROM WORLD WAR II (1943-1944), FINNISH VIEWS

 

Silviu Miloiu

Valahia University of Targoviste, E-Mail: silviu.miloiu@valahia.ro

 

Acknowledgments

This paper is based on the presentation made at the Fifth international conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania A piece of culture, a culture of peace, re-imaging European communities in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea regions, hosted by Valahia University of Târgovişte and the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies, August 17-19, 2014. Supported by EEA Grants, contract no 4/22.07.2014.

 

Abstract:

This article approaches the Romanian foreign policy stakes in the aftermath of the Stalingrad Battle as seen from the perspective of a comrade-in-arms country, Finland, which shared with Romania many of the assumptions, fears and anxieties with regard to the outcome of the war. The article is shaped in Stephen M. Walt’s understanding of balancing and bandwagoning, Romania and Finland choosing Germany over the Soviet Union mainly for the reason that the latter was perceived as the biggest security threat and the former as the only possible deterrent and support. The material focuses on the analysis of Eduard Hjalmar Palin’s diplomatic dispatches from Bucharest. On one hand, they were the main source of information for the Finnish decision-makers with regard to the Romanian international situation and its foreign and domestic policies. On other hand, Palin was an experienced diplomat, with excellent connections in the Romanian society and enjoyed access to confidential information in the governmental circles due to a Romanian-Finnish agreement of summer of 1941. We can see, for instances, cases when Ion and Mihai Antonescu confided to the Finnish envoy Führer Adolf Hitler’s statements which could affect the situation in Finland or help its leaders to take decisions. The article shows how divided Romanian governmental and opposition circles were, not only between but also among themselves. By reading these diplomatic reports, we could also acknowledge the widening split between the views of the two most prominent Romanian governmental leaders, Ion and Mihai Antonescu, thus complementing other sources of information already published. We can also learn about some peace plans of Romanian opposition groups, some of whom are little known from other documentary sources.

 

Rezumat:

Acest articol abordează problemele ?i dificultă?ile ce stăteau în fa?a politicii externe române?ti ca urmare a rezultatului Bătăliei de la Stalingrad, privite din perspectiva unei ?ări, Finlanda, care era camarad de arme ?i care împăr?ea cu România multe dintre asump?iile, temerile ?i îngrijorările cu privire la rezultatul războiului. Articolul este elaborat în sensul în?elegerii pe care o dă Stephen M. Walt conceptelor de balan?ă de putere ?i bandwagoning (aliniere), România ?i Finlanda alegând Germania în dauna Uniunii Sovietice în principal prin prisma faptului că cea din urmă era privită drept cea mai importantă amenin?are de securitate, în vreme ce prima era considerată ca singura for?ă de descurajare ?i sprijin posibilă. Materialul se concentrează asupra analizei depe?elor diplomatice trimise din Bucure?ti de către Eduard Hjalmar Palin. Pe de o parte, acestea constituiau principala sursă de informa?ii pentru factorii de decizie finlandezi cu privire la situa?ia interna?ională a României ?i la politicile sale externe ?i interne. Pe de altă parte, Palin era un diplomat experimentat, cu excelent conexiuni în societatea românească, ce se bucura de acces la cele mai confiden?iale informa?ii în cercurile guvernamentale, în principal gra?ie în?elegerii româno-finlandeză din vara anului 1941. Putem fi martori, spre exemplu, la situa?ii în care Ion ?i Mihai Antonescu i-au transmis lui Palin pentru conducerea ?ării sale confesiuni de-ale lui Adolf Hitler care puteau afecta situa?ia acestei ?ări sau ajuta la adoptarea unor decizii de către liderii acesteia. Articolul arată cât de divizate erau cercurile guvernamentale ?i de opozi?ie din România, nu numai unele fa?ă de altele, dar în interiorul lor. Când citim aceste documente diplomatice putem în?elege ruptura tot mai profundă ce se deschidea între cele două cele mai importante figuri guvernamentale române?ti, Ion ?i Mihai Antonescu, ceea ce completează alte surse de informa?ii deja publicate. Putem cunoa?te, de asemenea, unele planuri de pace ale grupărilor române?ti de opozi?ie, unele dintre acestea pu?in cunoscute din alte surse documentare.

 

Keywords: Romanian, Finland, views, perceptions, World War II, bandwagoning, balancing


15.Miloiu.pdf

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