|Died||13 Jun 1946|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseMihai Antonescu was born near Jilava, Romania. He was an attorney before joining Prime Minister Ion Antonescu (no relation) as his Minister of Propaganda in 1940. In this role, his political views drifted from being rather neutral to one that aligned closer with the Fascist ideologies, namely those of Nazi Germany. As one of Ion Antonescu's most trusted lieutenants, Mihai Antonescu led the propaganda campaign that censored critics and spread anti-Semitic propaganda. In Jan 1941, he was named the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs; especially after Ion Antonescu became immersed in military affairs after Operation Barbarossa, Mihai Antonescu essentially became the highest authority on all civilian affairs in Romania, and he used such powers to further persecute Jews. Under his policies, Romanian authorities stripped Romanian Jews of their possessions, and some Jews, such as those in Bessarabia and Bukovina, were slaughtered. Many Romanian Jews were also rounded up in concentration camps in Transnistria. As the Axis initiative grounded to a halt on the Russian Front, he attempted to persuade Berlin to begin negotiations with the western Allies, but to little effect. When the Battle of Stalingrad was decided in an Axis defeat in Feb 1943, he began to destroy files that detailed Romania's anti-Semitic policies, especially those associated with his own name. He attempted to rally Hungary, Italy, and Finland in an act of betrayal against Germany, while at the same time halting the anti-Semitic policies in order to appease the western Allies. On 23 Aug 1944, King Mihai of Romania dismissed Ion Antonescu's government, and Mihai Antonescu, just as Ion Antonescu, was arrested. At the Russian-influenced Bucharest People's Tribunal, he was found guilty of war crimes, and was executed by a firing squad together with Ion Antonescu.
Last Major Revision: Apr 2006
Mihai Antonescu Timeline
|1 Jan 1907Â||Mihai Antonescu was born.|
|13 Jun 1946Â||Mihai Antonescu passed away.|
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