Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview

ordered his assassination, but the main sent to arrange Goma's death gave himself up to the French police. He gave a detailed description of his instructions and turned the poison that was to kill Goma over to the French. Thus, Goma survived the collapse of communism in Romania.


Bibliography

Hajducu Matei, I Refused to Kill (In French) ( Paris, 1984); Pacepa Ion Mihai, Red Horizons ( Washington DC, 1987); Ratesh Nestor, Romania: The Entangled Revoheam ( Washington DC, 1989).

Groza, Petru (?- 1958). Groza was originally a leader of the Plowmen's Front, a radical populist organization in interwar Romania. He was a prosperous Transylvanian landowner, a lawyer by profession. He was fluent in both the Hungarian and Romanian languages. He was the head of a coalition government established in 1945 whose main purpose was the enactment of radical land reforms. Groza's govwas also determined to end the traditional hostility between Romanians and Hungarians. Above all, he wanted to accommodate the interests of the Soviet Union with those of Romania. On March 25, 1945, the land reform law was introduced. Groza's government also established a Hungarian-language administrative area in Transylvania with far-reaching autonomy. However, Groza did not realize that Joseph Stalin would not be satisfied until a communist government was established in Romania and considered any other government only a temporary one.

In November 1946, elections were held. By then, the communists had succeeded completely in intimidating the opposition. They split the Social Democratic party, inducing its left wing to run on a joint ticket with the communists. Groza went along with the communist demands. In fact, he had little choice. In the summer of that same year, the upper house of parliament, traditionally the power-base of the aristocracy, was abolished. The media were strictly censored, and the participation of the "non- democratic" that is, oppositional parties, in the elections was prohibited. The victory of the coalition government was taken for granted. According to the official reports, the coalition, which included the Communist party, received 5 million votes. In contrast, the opposition received a very few number of seats in the new parliament.

On February 10, 1947, Groza signed the peace treaties in Paris. Considering Romania's eager participation in the war against the Soviet Union on the side of Nazi Germany, the treaty was not harsh. Romania received the entire territory of Transylvania with its nearly 3 million ethnic Hungarians and half a million Saxons (Germans) and lost only Bessarabia which had been in Soviet hands since 1940 in any case. What helped the Groza government was that, in Hungary, the communists had a much more difficult time in gaming total power than they did in Romania. Thus, they gained Stalin's support, although the Soviet leader also demanded $300 million worth of reparations from Romania. This was not accepted by the Western Allies, and Romania was not obligated to pay any reparations.

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