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The Facts Behind the Black Sea ­ Danube Canal

While some naive journalists in the West are paying homage to President Ceausescu and the "heroic labor" of the Rumanian people for the completion of the 60 Km. long Black Sea ­Danube Canal ­ which cuts thorugh the treacherous Dobruja swamps, it seems imperative that the truth concerning this project be known world­wide: THE WORK WAS DONE BY SLAVE LABOR AND IT COST MORE THAN A HALF MILLION HUMAN LIVES!
The result of a long and thorough research dealing with the subject was published in Australia in August 1984 by Mr. Alexander Kolozsy, President of the Sydney Branch of the Transylvanian World Federation.
We are quoting excerpts from Mr. Kolozsy"s article:
"At first the venture (of building the canal) attracted thousands of enthusiastic volunteers and youth brigades. But as the Stalinist era became more repressive, so did the project. More than 60,000 dissidents, priests, minority Magyars and landowners were put to work on the canal as slave laborers. Most of them died within a few years under appalling conditions". (Romania's Danube Connection, Newsweek, Jan. 30, 1984, written by Michael R. Meyer with Douglas Stanglin in Bucharest.)
"The project became a great financial burden, requiring a huge work force, preferably free labor. President Ceausescu has devised an ingenious plan in order to maintain the necessary quotas for the labor camps in the Danube Delta and at the same time rid the country from the undesirable minorities. According to the Transylvanian writer, Gizella Hervay, during the 1950s about 80 percent of the Hungarian population of the county Szilagyi was deported into the Dobruja labor camps to work on the canal.
"During the last 30 years about a half million people were used as free slave laborers on the project, most of them Hungarians from Transylvania and Moldova. Amnesty International reported that in order to ensure a constant supply of free labor, new laws were passed ordering those who publicly criticized the political or economic situation in Romania or the treatment of the minorities, be sentenced to forced labor. Decree 153/1970 was often used by the Rumanian authorities to prosecute and sentence to forced labor, members of the Neo­Protestant community who participated in unauthorized prayer services. There are thousands of cases on record where Hungarian factory workers were arrested for speaking in their mother tongue during their lunch breaks and sent to the death camps without any trial.
"Transportation to these camps was by freight trains, with 100 to 150 prisoners crowded into each of the railroad cars, chained to the benches, with no sanitation at all during the three or four days journey to the Danube Delta. Amnesty International reported several times during those years that conditions of the labor camps along the Danube ­ Black Sea Canal ­were worse than deplorable and those confined in the camps were subjected daily to degrading treatments.
"Conditions were similar in all the camps, including Cemavada, Periprava, Medgidia, Galati, Jncula Mare, Braeli, Gradina, Saicia, Stoenesti, Ghilia, Tataru, Tichilesti and Valea Neagra. The inmates had to work 12 hours daily, seven days a week. The work they performed was heavy manual labor ­ digging ditches, carting soil by wheelbarrow, loading trucks. The scene was similar to the Egyptian or Roman Empires of the past, when slaves were used to build pyramids or roads.
"Amnesty International reported also that visits by relatives were not allowed. When foreign delegations were shown around the construction sites, the prisoners were removed and hidden behind reeds. On a few occasions even the watch towers were knocked down before foreign visitors were led through the area and the entrances to the forced labor camps were barricaded with sacks of wheat and the camps were described to the visitors as agricultural cooperatives. On such occasions the guards did not wear uniforms, so foreign visitors and journalists would not realize that what they saw was a forced labor camp.
"Most of the forced labor camps in the Danube Delta did not have the basic sanitary facilities and no medical care whatsoever. The food was poor, epidemics were common, taking a heavy toll. The camps were shockingly overcrowded. Those expressing dissatisfaction were accused of treason against the state and punished with beatings.
"Amnesty International reported in August 1977 that when the Jiu Valley miners were going on strike due to the deteriorating economic situation, several thousand of them, mostly Hungarians, were taken into these labor camps and put to work on the canal without pay.
"Finally the Grand Canal is completed. The Ethnic Minorities of Rumania have paid for it with their blood, with the lives of their children, with their broken bodies and shattered souls. Several hundred thousand have found their final resting place in the Danube Delta, buried in mass graves along the sides of this glorious Rumanian project, the Great Dream of President Ceausescu.
"What will happen now to those Hungarians, Jews, Germans, Gypsies and other "unwanted" elements who somehow still survived the barbaric purge of Rumania's Great Master? Will they be allowed to exist in some hidden corner in
their ancient homeland as second class citizens or has Ceasar Ceausescu some other plans for their extermination?

Perhaps we find the answer to this question in Mr. Meyer's and Mr. Stanglin's article in the January 30,1984 issue of Newsweek:

"During the festivities President Ceausescu announced that a second canal will be built soon ­ this one linking Bucharest, the country's capital to the Danube."

Since the navigable Dimbovita River is already there, connecting Bucharest with the Danube, one wonders whether the Great Nazi Leader of Rumania still has too many ethnic and other undesirable elements in his empire which have not yet been eliminated?

Rumania: the Most Chauvinistic Country on Earth

(Excerpts from the "Study On Rumanian Anti­Semitism and Anti­Hungarianism "prepared by Prof. Andrew fHaraszti for the Transyivanian World Federation Committee on International Relations, 1982.)

"The present­lay Rumanian government is internationalist in theory, but extremely chauvinistic in practice" Prof. Haraszti ascertains in his report, "consequently the Rumanians, who were ill­famed concerning their extreme and murderous anti­semitism for several centuries, are treating now the Jews of Rumania in a very interesting way. If a Rumanian Jew happens to be orthodox, who considers his indentity as a nationality or as a race, he can be persecuted just as before, during the previous centuries. However, if an orthodox Jew proves himself a good communist and good Rumanian at the same time, the government will probably forget that he is "only a Jew". Now the treatment of the neolog Jews is drastically different.
"Since most of the orthodox Jews are from the territories of 'old Rumania', they are treated by Rumanian officials with extreme chauvinism and hatred. A very large part of the Transylvanian Jews assimilated into the Hungarian culture a long time ago, and most of them considered themselves as Hungarians with Jewish religious background. Since Hungarians have been discriminated against and persecuted from the very first day Rumania occupied the eastern part of Hungary, called Transylvania, being a Hungarian Jew provoked the extreme of Rumanian anti­semitism, uniting anti­Judaism with anti­Hungarian chauvinism into one furious and brutal sentiment. Thus, Transylvania became the land of the most brutal genocide.
Hannah Arendt, one of the most experienced and most professional analyst of Totalitarianism writes in her book '"Eichman in Jerusalem": "in Rumania even the SS were taken aback and occasionally frightened by the horrors of oldfashioned spontaneous pogroms on a gigantic scale. They often intervened to save Jews from butchery, so that the killing could be done in a more civilized way". It is hardly an exaggeration to say that Rumania was the most antiSemitic country of Europe." (For details read; Matatias Carp: Holocaust in Rumania 1940­1945, ISBN 963 8412 02X).
Unquestionably, the Rumanians became "champions of anti­semitism" up to the end of World War II. Did they change their anti­semitic character after 1945? Let us quote another author, Paul Lendvai. In his book "Antisemitism without Jews" the author writes on page 326: " When Nicolae Ceausescu succeeded Gheoghiu­Dej as First Secretary of the Communist Party in March 1965, at the age of 47, a high Hungarian official in Budapest said that the new party leader was anti­Hungarian and anti­Semitic..."
Nicolae Ceausescu is actually nothing else but a Rumanian chauvinist, and he is not different from the most notorious Rumanian fascists.
His government is working very hard to spread the myth that the Rumanians are the oldest and most civilized race in Europe. All the others: Hungarians, Jews, Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Serbians, Greeks, etc. are "barbarian newcomers". This Rumanian myth is dangerously similar to the Aryan myth of Hitler's Germany.
The essence of Rumanian chauvinism was, and still is: to hate and persecute all those who are non­Rumanians and who are presumably against the predicted great role of Rumanian expansionism.
With the Rumanian annexation of Bukovina, Bessarabia and the thousand­year­old Hungarian Transylvania, the various national minorities faced a horrible chapter of their history as the victims of Rumanian super­nationalism. In 1945 Rumanian chauvinism replaced the Swastika with the Sickle and Hammer. Thousands of Transylvanian Hungarians became victims of Rumanian terror, and hundreds of them were Hungarian Jews.
In 1958 Western sources reported that over a hundred thousand Jews had registered for emigration in Rumania. Following this, in February 1959, the Rumanian government issued a statement accusing Israel and "other imperialist sources" of unleashing a diversionist campaign. Bucharest accused the Israeli embassy of spreading Zionist slogans among Rumanian Jews. Dozens of Jews were arrested again and tried on charges of treason.
Rumanian nationalists faced a difficult problem. As anti­semites, they were happy to get rid of the Jews. But on the other hand, large scale departure of trained Jewish personnel could have affected Rumanian economy. Between 1960 and 1965 about 35,000 Jews left Rumania very quietly, without "causing diplomatic troubles with the Arab friends" of Bucharest.
Today, Rumanian diplomacy is performing the unique feat of maintaining good relations with both Israel and the most extreme Arab nationalists, simultaneously, although Rumanian domestic policy is very quiet about the "Jewish Question", there exists in Rumania a definite ceiling to any Jewish advancement in the civil service as well as in the academic and cultural fields.
The previously francophile, later German­Nazi oriented, then Stalinist­Communist oriented Rumania, Professor Haraszti concludes in his book, "is today still one of the most chauvinistic, most anti­semitic country in the world."


The Agreement concluded in February 1947 between the Allies and Rumania asserts in Part II, Section 1, Article 3 that:


These were the conditions under which the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union allowed the annexation of Transylvania by Rumania.
Since the Government of the Socialist Republic of Rumania did not and still does not comply with these conditions, the governments of the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union have the right as well as the obligation to order the immediate return of these territories to Hungary, or declare Transylvania an independent state under the protection of the United Nations. They owe this to those millions of Hungarians, Germans, Jews, Bulgarians and others whom they forced under the terror­regime of the Rumanian government.

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