THE ROMANIAN ACADEMY
THE HISTORY INSTITUTE "GEORGE BARIȚ"
THESES OF DOCTORAT
THE POLITIC, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL SITUATION FROM CARAȘ AND SEVERIN DISTRICTS
(AUGUST 1944-JUNE 1948)
Scientific research worker dr. GHEORGHE IANCU
By the end of the second world war and during the years that followed after it, the Soviet Union has enjoyed its priviliged situation in the international relations, because it was the main force which defeated Germany, saved many countries from the german occupation and freed the world from jewes.
The Soviet Union became the main quarantee against a possible rebirth of the nazist spirit. The fear for this rebirth came from the symphathy shown for the Soviet Union. This priviliged situation offered it a great freedom of movement in the international problems and it got a lot more believeble, it also, realized great political ideals.
To calm its partners, the Soviet Union, officially declared that it doesn’t intend to impose by force its political system and social, but the only thing the Soviet Union wanted was to enssure its security.
As a result of this policy, the Soviet Union succeeded to obtain from the United States the right that consisted in not to support the others political groups hostile for the russians.
The political international phenomena that had long and deep consequences in the whole world and it put its print on the entire European social and political life, it was represented by the cold war.
After signing the treaty from February the 10th of 1947, with the contries that participated to the anti-soviet war, suchs as: Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Finland. This event represented for the Soviet Union the end of a flourishing colaboration period with the Occident. Although, signing the treaties of peace with the Soviet Union represented the beginning of its presence among the countries from eastern Europe, and so, the entire power was taken by the communist parties. After signing these treaties, the Soviet Union, ‘refounded’ in september 1947, the Comintern as Cominform.
By refounding this institution, the Soviet Union supports the communists’ and workers’ movements from all over the countries.
In the same time, the contradictions between the russians and the occidentals were re-taken on the first plan. All these events signaled the beginning of the cold war, which had as a result the spliting of Europe and the world, in half, and the Soviet Union got a greater power.
The public justification of the cold war was the following:
“prepairings for war made by the imperialiste countries”.
● Although it tried to evoid the transformation of Romania in a theatre of war, the state-hit from August 23rd, 1944, was followed, inevitably, by the soviet military occupation.
After eliberating the southern part of the country from german troops, the romanian army got engaged in the fight for freedom of the north-west territory of Transilvania, which territory was given to Hungary through the Dictate of Viene on August 30th, 1940, followed by taking the cities soldiers and officers were sacrificed. Unfortunately, this part of the country got under soviet military administration on November 11th, 1944. Hoping that it will obtain the participation to war, the romanian army got involved in the west campain under soviet comand, until the surrender of Germany, on May 9th, 1945, but the human and material sacrifices of people were substantial.
The Armistice Convention, signed at Moscow, on September 12th 1944, was considered a tiry treaty of peace, because of its foresights, completed by a series of normative acts, elaborated between september 1944 – march 1945, with a negative effect over the romanian economy, especially the agriculture.
According to the Treaty of Peace, signed at Paris, on February 10th, 1947, the initial limit for paying the war repairing to the Soviet Union was going to be extended with two years. After installing the Groza government there were taken into consideration some proposals concerning the modification of the administrative-territorial structure of the country. The soviet system started in 1949, as it follows:
- dissolution of prefectures
- foundation of provisory committees of popular advice
- foundation of the new administrative units (regions and districts).
Between 1944 and 1947 the national industry confronted with some problems, such as: - deterioration of machines and instalations
- decrease of production
- lack of fuel
- lack of means of transport
- lack of the first materials
- communists’ lock-outs
These were taken some important measures, such as:
- in economy - the law for reglementing the salaries
- the law for founding the conomates (May, 3rd, 1945)
- the law for bringing the war industry to the peace production (June 9th, 1945)
- the foundation of the Supreme Council of the National Economy (November 24th, 1945) lead ba Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, general secretary of the Romanian Communist Party
The nationalisation of the main means of production was prepaired by other measures, such as:
- reorganising the Ministery of the National Economy and transforming it in the Ministery of Industry and Commerce (April 1947)
- the control over the production programms (May, 1947)
- foundation of the industrial offices (May, 1947)
The law of nationalisation (June 11th, 1948) fullfilled a ciele of laws, which gave the entire economic and politic power to the communist party, the only rulling force in that country.
The romanian agriculture faced serious problems, such as:
- the small quantity of production
- lack of supplies for the population
- decreased number of agricol machines
- agrarian reform from 1945, with abuses and illegalties
- the drought from 1946
- maximal prices to cereals, live animals, potatoes
- passing the royal domain and the church goods into the state property
- organizing a agricol census for getting information concerning the colectivisation process.
In the trades domain, there were signaled similar problems, such as:
- lack of first materials
- excessive fiscality
- usage of machinery
- decreased number of workers
- involvement of the politic factor in its activity
- low qualification level
The commerce was also afected of different problems:
- the control of the state in this domain
- maintaining the private property
- changing the taxe system
- refuse of the romanian government to participate to Marshall Plan, proposed by U.S.A.
- high prices to all merchendises
- low quality of products
- laws were changed (organisation of Professional Rooms).
In the financial and bank domain were signaled some problems, such as: - high level of inflation
- extend the black market
- helping the population and the army
The etatization of the Romanian National Bank, was considered a possible sollution for controlling the monetary chaos. The monetary reform, realized on August 15th, 1947, determined a redistribution of the national income.
The means of communication and the edilitary situation were represented by: - the demages of the war (railway, especially)
- modernisation of the existent roads
- electrification of the country (1948)
● It is necessary to say that the intern political life loyaly reflects a great growth and development. The period between 1944 and 1948, although short it is very complex and it is characterised by uncertainties and drama in all domains; it also represents the fight between the traditional political parties, which try to protect the values of the society, and the communist party, which tends to destroy this society and take over the entire power.
This process started by the communists is going to end with the abolish of monarchy. An important role was played by the newspapers of different parties, such as “Scânteia” and “România liberă”. Through the open way of this campain and its results, the oposition was not intimidated at all of the attacks of the media.
The existence of the oposition will soon be diminueshed on November 1947, when Iuliu Maniu, Ion Mihalache and Ilie Lazăr were accused of betrayal.
We can find lot of information in the pages of the “Scânteia” newspaper about the traditional parties and about the abolish of the monarchy. For example, on October 26th, 1946, the newspapers wrote the following: “His Higness Mihai I makes 25 years today. The whole country celebrates today his aniversary, the King who opened the way to freedom”. The newspaper, also, published the day order for the army. On another date was published the arrival of the King and the mather-queen in the capital.
The year of 1948 symbolizes the beginning and the restauration of communism, a new regime imposed by the direct participation and help of Moscow.
The main feature of the political plan in this period is represented by the fight of the communist party for the neutralisation, step by step, of the control in all domains, starting with the army.
Cultural and literary life was also afected by uncertainties. The act from August 23rd, 1944 had a damagine effect over the cultural life. Many intellectuals and writers were forces to shut up. Lots of magazines dissappeared, literature tries to gain its freedom, procommunist magazines, – “Viața românească”, “Orizont”, “Revista literară” are forced to adapt to the literary spirit of the moment, many of them were censored.
The subject of my thesis contains all kind of events before and after 1989, from different perspectives. For this research paper I will present some works I used.
The evolution of the romanian economy between 1944-1948 is reflected by some specially works. The work of Ion Alexandrescu, entitled “The Romanian Economy in the first post-war years” (1945-1947), includes rare information about the impact of the Treaty of Armistice over our society, presenting in details the economic legislation of 1944-1947.
In his book, “The Constitutional History of Romania, 1859-1991”, Eleodor Focșeneanu presents from a judicial point of view, all the communist attacks over the demografic regime, reinstalled in august 1944, by imposind the Constitution of the Popular Romanian Republic in April, 13, 1948. The work of Keith Hilchins, “Romania” 1866-1947, gives details about some aspects concerning the activity of the Groza government.
The works of Gheorghe Iancu, Virgiliu Țârău and Ottmar Trașcă, entitled “The colectivisation of the Romanian agriculture”, Legislative aspects, 1945-1962, gives arguments about the legislation which will prepair the operation of colectivisation in agriculture, starting with 1949, after the russian model.
Maria and Dumitru Mureșan wrote the work entitled “The History of Economy”, which presents multiple aspects concerning the development of the romanian economy, correlated with the world’s economy, between 1944-1948.
Another work is “The Agrarian Reform in Romania in 1945”, by Dumitru Șandru, which gives information about: expropriation, land given to peasants, population, price and value of land, the impact of the agrarian reform over the romanian agriculture.
The development of industry in Caraș and Severin between 1944-1948, is described by the following works: Iancu Conciatu, “Reșița”, which gives information about the activity of factories and Dan Gh. Perianu, “The History of Factories in Reșița” (1771-1996), which describes the evolution of factories and their foundation between 1920-1948.
Vasile Pușcaș and Vasile Vesa wrote “The Development and evolution in inter-war period” (1919-1939), which debates about the evolution of economy in Banat. Cornel Grofșoreanu wrote the work “Banat of all times”, which gives information about the economic, social, politic and cultural evolution of Banat.
The nationalisation of the main means of production is rendered in the following works: Gavril Sonea, “The nationalisation of the main means of production in Romania”, gives arguments about the actions of communists in this process.
Another work, writen under communists was “The Act of Nationalisation in Banat”, by Ion Popa which gives details about this aspect.
The evolution of agriculture in Caraș and Severin is seen in “The village of Banat”, by Vasile Mircea Zaberca, who talks about the agrarian reform in 1945, the tools of peasants, the financial situation of population; Antoniu Marchescu, in “The Guards of Banat and the Community of Fortune” underlines some aspects concerning the activity of institutions in Banat.
The communicational system in Banat is described by some works, such as: Nicolae Popa, “Means of communication and transport in Banat”, and Dan Gh. Perianu “The History of traims and railways in Banat”.
The majority and minority report in Caraș and Severin is presented in a series of works, published after 1989, such as: Remus Crețan, “Enicity”, confession and electoral option”, a work which speaks about the territorial evolution, identity, cultural tradition, population and minorities: germans, hungarians, croatians, italians and jews. The work of Georg Hromodka, “Short Chronicle of Banat” presents aspects concerning the delicate situation of germans in Banat at the end of the second world war. Although, Silviu B. Moldovan wrote, “The serbian problem”, which gives details about their situation in Banat between 1930-1946.
There are also some articles published in different reviews, such as: “Identity and Alterity, Studies about politics, The History Magazine, written by Miodrag Milin shows aspects concerning the revisionist propaganda of serbians in Banat between 1944-1945, determined by the simpathy for Tito and encouraged by Stalin. About the jewish problem wrote Victor Neumann “The History of Jews in Banat”, which presents aspects of this community’s life, between 1940-1944, and their attitude towards the communists.
The work of Liviu Rotman, “Jews in Romania in the communist period (1944-1965)” refers to jews’ attitude towards communism.
Another work entitled “Germans in Banat”, by Erwin Josef Țigla, presents the life of germans in Banat.
The main coordonates of intern political life are described by many referential works, such as: “Romanian History”, by Mihai Bărbulescu, Dennis Deletant, Keith Hitchins, Șerban Papacostea, Pompiliu Teodor, which argues about the communist regime (1944-1947), the electoral campain (1946), the totalitarian regime and so on. The work of Peter Calvocoressi “Europe from Bismark to Gorbaciov” surprised the public through its determinant role played by the Soviet Union in the communisation process of Romania.
Florin Constantiniu wrote ”A sincere history of the romanian people”, which gives details about the evolution of Romania between 1944-1948, such as: the act of August 23, 1944, the Convention of Armistice, the procentage agreement signed by Churchill and Stalin, the royal strike, the Peace Conference from Paris, the falsified ellections and so on. Another work was “The History of stalinism in Romania”, by Victor Frunză, which gives information about the ascension of the Communist Party and about the Groza government, but also about the liquidation of the traditional parties and foundation of PUM.
Stephen Fischer-Galați, wrote “Romania in the XX century”, which presents the democracy saved by the occidental powers in 1945-1948.
Stephen Fischer-Galați, wrote “Romania in the XX century”, which presents the democracy saved by the occidental powers in 1945-1948. Nicolae Jurca, wrote “The History of social-democrats in Romania”, gives details about political alliances of communists, political program, relations with the traditional parties and sindicats, attitude towards royalty. Gh. I. Ioniță and Gh. Țuțui wrote about the important role of FP in the activity of Groza government, the application of the agrarian reform of 1945.
Gheorghe Onișoru wrote “Alliances and confruntations between political parties in Romania (1944-1947)”, which presents the organizatoric structures and the politic activity of parties in Romania and the presence of parties like: traditional parties (PNȚ, PNL), left side parties (PCR, PSD, FP and PNP), desidences (PNL-Tătărescu, PNȚ-Alexandrescu, PȚD and PSDI), minority parties (UPM, jewish parties) and others (PPR, PRMB, PSȚ, PND Iorga, UNMR, PȚR-Iunian, PSD-Fluerar).
Romulus Rusan wrote about the importance of 1948 in history and in the process of communism at all levels of society: army, justice, church, diplomacy, culture.
The work coordonated by Șerban Rădulescu-Zoner, “The History of PNL”, described aspects concerning the fight of the liberals against communists between 1944-1947. Ioan Scurtu and Ghe. Buzatu wrote the “Romanian History of the XX century”, which presents objectively the communists supported by Moscow in their process of taking all control over the society, the foundation of PMR, the Constitution of April 1948, the nationalisation, the cultural evolution.
For the politic situation in Banat, Mircea Rusnac wrote “Aspects of politic life in Banat between 1944-1948”, a short review of the activity of parties in Banat, and their transition to communism: PCR, PSD, PSDI, FP, UPM, PNȚ-Maniu, PNL-Brătianu, PNL-Tătărescu, and so on.
The resistence movement in rendered in different studies, such as: “Bands, bandits and heroes”; “Resistence Group and Security”, “Documents”. Gabriela Bica-Otescu wrote the work entitled “Witnesses in the communist resistence in Banat Mountains”, presenting motivations of the anti-communist resistence. Ion Hurtupan wrote “The military resistence in Caraș-Severin” (1944-1958), which describes multiple between 1944-1948 after the installation of the communist regime until the retreat of the soviet troops from our country. Dumitru Oberșterescu wrote about groups, organized in mountains, supported by population and their fight against the communists. Mircea Rusnac, in his articles made an analogy concerning the politic processes in central and est-european space and about the communists too.
Also, for the subject of my thesis I used some archivistic fonds, such as: BNR, BPD, PCR, PJC.
To all these, I added the written press, like: Banatul, Curierul Banatului, Cuvântul satelor, Drapelul, Dacia, Făclia Banatului, Luptătorul bănățean, Vestul, Voința Banatului și Viața bănățeană.
The importance of this period, between 1944 and 1948 is revealed by the dramatic situation on the international plan. The end of the second world war and its consequences generated the presence of two superpowers, which influenced political life till now.
The reason I chose this theme for research, includes the fact that I wanted to find more about the economic, social and political situation in this part of Romania.
The information given in this research paper habe been collected from several important works and special articles, such as: the archives of the National Bank, the Historical Center of Bucharest and the local archives from Timiș district and Caraș-Severin, but also the local library.
The originality of this research paper consists in exquisite information concerning the economic, politic and social life of the districts up-mentioned, in fact, it is about a monography of these during 1944-1948.
This research paper also refers to the multiculturality of these districts, different people and their battles, different customs and their traditions.
The first chapter presents the geographical arrangement of these two districts during 1944-1948 and its population.
Themes like the administrative organisation, the way in which the soviet model was adopted are presented in details in this chapter.
The second chapter includes different acts that were signed for the wealth of our economy, and its population.
The third chapter presents the industrial situation of this period and between the years of the Second World War and 1948. The fourth chapter relies on the legislative acts that have been prepaired for the nationalisation and its main means of production.
The fifth chapter includes the evolution of the agriculture of these two districts and the effects of the economic crisis, the agrarian reform from 1945, the problem of the colonists and so on.
The sixth chapter consists in presenting the evolution of commerce, industry and its development.
The seventh chapter presents in details the trading situation of this area, prices, fiscality and politics.
The eigth chapter underlines the role played by the popular banks in these two districts of Timiș and Caraș-Severin, in giving credits to agriculture and commerce.
The nineth chapter describes aspects of the social life, administrative objectives, means of transport, electrification and the use of energy in Banat region.
Because of its complex theme, the last chapter of my thesis is written in five subchapters.
The first subchapter is concerned with the political situation of Romania during the transition period to the communist regime (1944-1948) and it presents the following events: the political orientation of Stalin towards Europe, treaties concerning the economic system of popular democracies, installing a new military government, composed by BND (PNȚ, PNL, PSD and PcdR), taking over control by the communist Party, liquidation of the traditional parties, and the royalty, foundation of PMR.
The second subchapter deals with the begining of the resistence movement in Romania. The third subchapter is entitled: “The political situation in the Caraș district during 1944-1948”, which is concerned with multiple aspects, such as: an intense propaganda of the communists with its purpose to attract new members, giving them new attributions as mayers, prefects and others, the material situation of people in 1946, the ellections of 1946, the political situation of PSD.
The control over the local administration, a reson of conflict in the communist organisations, in 1947, the constant support of Petru Groza, the important role of PNȚ, the situation of PNL during 1944-1947, Madosz – a left-sided organisation under the influence of communists, the Jewish Democratic Committee and its communist side, the serbian organisations in Romania, the situation of rutens.
The forth subchapter is dedicated to the political situation in Severin, during 1944-1948, with the following events: the organisational structures of PCR in 1944-1945, the material situation of people in 1946, the mobilisation of PCR with other parties and their fight for winning the ellections of 1946, the reorganisation of BPD in 1947, the foundation of PUM, PSD – organisation, activity, preoccupations, relations with PCR, FP – organisation, relations with PCR, activities, alliances, PNȚ – reorganisation, new social actions, ellections in 1946, propaganda against PCR, liquidation of PNL in 1947, PSDI – activity, propaganda, organizatory work, Madosz – relations with PCR, ellections, propaganda, new historical conditions in 1946, and so on.
The last subchapter is concerned with a series of problems concerned with the beginning of the resistence movement in Caraș and Severin: the popularity of its leaders, the foundation of army units in forests and mountains in the South of Banat, the coming of the americans, the massive support of the movements from the rural population, the colectivisation of agriculture, conflicts between the local representants of the Communist Party and the Security, the main organ of repression and terror of the new regime.
This research paper is taken together with two anexes, that bring a great deal of information through their content.
I want to thank for the fullfillment of this research paper to the following personalities, scientitists and doctors, researchers and great persons such as: Gheorghe Iancu (coordinator), Ludovic Báthory, Lucian Năstasă, Rudolf Gräf, and some institutions like: The National Archives of History, The National Bank of Romania, The Central University Library “Eugen Todoran” from Timișoara, and also to, mister Lucian Epure for the german translations of different works.
During 1944 and 1948, to the organisational structure of the Caraș District, there were added new compartments, such as the economic office, the CASBI office and others.
In 1949 were founded the provisory committees of popular advice. In 1950 the territories of Caraș and Severin were bounded together in one administrative unit.
From the point of view of administrative structure the Severin district was reunited in 1925 with Caraș district. Its evolution after this union was influenced by numerous measures adopted in 1930, 1938 and 1941. According to its population, these districts were formed predominantly by romanians and their occupation were variated.
The germans were colonized in the eighteenth century and they were considered a factor of stability in Banat, so they become the main minority at the end of the nineteenth century. They were influenced by the movement lead ba Fritz Fabritius and by the integration in the German Ethnic Group, Dodt and Donauland.
The hungarians were considered the newest element in Banat. After the Great Union their influence decreased. Between 1944-1948 the authorities supervised the hungarians’ activity considered a contradiction to the state policy. The hungarians got together into political groups, such as: Madosz.
The serbians arrived between the fifteenth and the eighteenth century. They proved to be great agriculturians, soldiers and traders. The serbians started a process of influencing the whole population of Banat.
The jews were admitted by the chronicles with their presence in Banat for the first time at the beginning of the eighteenth century. They initiated a small industry, commerce and mass-media.
The gipsies were mentioned on the Banat territory for the first time in the fifteenth century. They were freed from slavery in the middle of the nineteenth century, and they had a low educational level, but after the second world war the discrimination dissappeared officially.
The chehes were colonised in Banat between the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries. Their occupations were working in the forest, mining and so on.
The ucrainians were established in Banat at the end of the nineteenth century and they cut forests. They contributed to the construction of the Caransebeș-Reșița railway in 1932.
The slovacians arrived in Banat between the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries, as a result to the hungarian colonisation.
Unfortunately, we have a low level of information concerning other minorities, such as: croatians, italians, russians, polish, turkish and others.
To sum it up, the relation between these ethnic elements were pretty good and it underlined the high level of civilisation and tolerance of the region of Banat.
The military operations developed in Banat have determined a bad influence for the agricultural works and the level of health of the population.
During 1944 and 1948 the economy of Banat was unpleasantly surprised by two major events, such as: the redrawall of the german troops and the entrance of the russian troops in this area.
The economic situation of the Severin district decreased so much because of some factors like: the war situation, the rubberies, the abuses of the soviet army, the lack of main materials. Although, it increased the number of industrial societies. During the regime of Antonescu, there were many industrial societies with different uses, such as: textile, metalurgic, chimic, alimentary, paper industry, skin industry and others. Some of them are: the Nădrag factories, Ferdinand factories, “Mundus-Borlova-Armeniș” and “Schramm, Hüttl and Schmidt” factories.
The measures taken by the Groza government during 1946 and 1947 have strongly afected the industry of Severin. The nationalisation of the main means of production was determined by the desire of the romanian communists to overtake the power of the economy served to the Soviet Union. These measures included the constitution of the Economic council with high attribution. The nationalisation was preceeded by the requisition of goods, a symbol of the democratic political system.
The most important industrial objectives of the Severin district were rationalized during June 1948 after they were obliged to deliver a series of products according to the convention of Armistice.
To sun it up, the act of nationalisation got its fundamental purpose, that was to liquidate the private property.
The agrarian reform, adopted by the Groza government had the purpose to attract the rural population to the side of the communists and their political allies. This reform was the basis of the future changes in the economic and social domain, negating the acts of the traditional parties to perform the agrarian reform. The colonisation, in Banat, of some poor peasants from other regions has developed the communists’ desire to win some adept on their side.
The agriculture of Severin ressembled to the one of Caraș. The problems were the following: the lack of hand work and machines, the financial crise and so on.
There have been founded different common places for growing animals, farms, and the state took all the agricol inventary. There were also founded four centers for renting machines in Lugoj, Caransebeș, Balinț and Făget.
The agrarian reform of 1945 affected directly the forest domain of the Severin district. As an immediate result of this reform, many parts of land, forests and vineyards were taken under state control.
During 1945-1948, it started the expropriation of the royal goods. After the reform, many farms were build, which were directly depended to the Ministery of Agriculture.
There were signaled many abuses and a multitude of wrong measures in the process of the agrarian reform.
In this studied period, the Community of Fortune from Caransebeș controlled vast surfaces of land. The agricol inventary proved to be indispensable for the survival of the peasants and their farms. The work of land had to support the peasants with food. Unfortunately, in the summer of 1944, because of some objective causes, just a small part of the fields were cultivated with seeds. The success of these campains in agriculture is dued to different factors, such as: supplying the peasants with corn and maze, acquisition of agricol machines and seeds. Because of the drought of 1946-1948, the Severin district got directly involved in this situation trough different measures: sending woods for fire and food, workers for helping the peasants, taking children into custody by C.A.R.S. and so on.
The cooperation played an important role in this period of time, in fact a double role, that is, on one hand supplying the population from the rural regions, and on the other hand making changes casier between villages and cities. An important support came from the popular banks of this area, which gave lots of credits for the peasants in 1945. After the bank etatization, the government gave more credits to the citizens, especially to the peasants.
In 1984 the cooperatist movement extended with the help of the state. To sum it up, the evolution of the agriculture was influenced by the situation of the national economy and the specific of the mentioned area.
The great changes of the economy put their print over the social structure of the population. The sindicates represented the interests of traders in Caraș, and they got involved in helping the peasants and their trades. Supplying the traders with main materials and obtaining credits were two problems taken into account by the central and local authorities. By perfectioning the qualified workers and their work, they tried to attract people and leave the “black work” forever. The working program, the right to free days and the pension age time were problems which affected the traders and their co-workers. The system of taxes, that the traders were obliged to pay to the state have diminueshed substantialy the incomes of this professional cathegory. For this reason, in this period, the traders of Severin came up with extreme measures, such as: organizing meetings with the mass-media, adressing telegrams to the Ministery of Finance and so on.
The years that followd, especially the one of 1947, represented the attempt of the traders to freed themselves of all taxes to the state, considered unuseful. In 1948, the system of taxes came up with large modifications for all the cathegories of workers.
Alloting the right for money and materials for traders was an important measure of the government.
The traders got involved in different activities, such as: cultural and social activities, so that they could obtain substantial donations.
The political options expressed by the traders’ representatives of this area were good for the Groza governments’ views and for the communist Party.
To sum it up, even though they confronted with multiple problems concerning goods and materials between 1945-1948, the traders from Severin made a propaganda in the favour of the Groza government.
In this agitated period (1944-1948) there were necessary a series of measures that would stabilise the industry and trades. For the urban traders, an important action was the reopering of the industrial railways Oravița-Ieșenova-Vârșeț-Timișoara, belonging to the U.D.R. Society.
Between 1944-1947 took place some legislative changes, for example, the law for organizing the Professional Chambers, establishing prices for different trades, even banning some of them to get on the markets.
The Severin district had to deal with some negative effects too, because the state started to controll everything and everyone from the trading domain. Its commerce was affected by the sovietic robberies and abuses from 1944-1945.
The instability of the internal market, and the lack of products because of the soviet army have encouraged the traders to form societies of their own, professional organisations of traders, such as: The Society of Traders specialised in: wood, cereals, iron, meat and lambs, textiles, glass, food, skin and shoes, but all of them had to respect the government’s rules.
In conclusion, the commerce in Severin between 1944-1948 was limited by the political factor and the state’s control over it.
After the events that took place on August 23rd, 1944, the banks lost their independence in operations and they became toys of the state. In the second part of 1944, the Romanian National Bank was obliged to use its own resources in order to creditate the army and the war, the industry and the population.
In the postwar period, the state’s control got all over the economy. According to the Groza government, this control was more than necessary. There were taken a series of measures, such as:
- the etatization of B.N.R. (december, 1946);
- reorganizing the popular banks (June, 1947);
- the law for controlling the credits (July, 1947);
- the monetary reform (August, 1947);
- nationalizing the main means of production, including banks (June, 1948);
- founding the State Comission of Planning (July, 1948);
- decret no. 197 for liquidating the societies of credit (August, 1948);
- decret no. 320 for organizing the Bank of the Romanian Popular Republic (December, 1948) – with a central role in the bank system.
Between 1945-1946 it is signaled the liquidation of a great number of banks from Caraș, which are not going to be mentioned in the “Oficial Bank Newspaper” of this period. The most important bank remains the commerce and industrial Bank from Oravița. În 1945, in Caraș were signaled two representative banks: “Orăvițana” from Oravița and “Berzova” from Reșița. There were other banks that functional in Vărădia, Bocșa Montană, Sasca Montană and so on. In 1946, the majority of the banks have raised the social capital, an action that evoided the bankrupcy. Between 1947-1948 bank-societies from Caraș have sensed the effects of these measures.
Between 1944-1948, the financial situation of Caraș was pretty bad, because of the external context not very favourable for our country. The central and local authorities tried to take measures to re-establish the situation.
The bank sector of Severin developed in a remarcable way, but it decreased because of the economic crisis between 1929-1933 and during the regime of Antonescu (1941-1944).
The most important banks were in Lugoj, Caransebeș and Orșova, some of them were liquidated in 1941-1944.
According to my research I will start revealing a situation regarding each city of the districts up mentioned.
Lugoj is a place where the bank system had a flourishing period concerning the trades and the wealth of the population.
Caransebeș was an important centre of railways there were signaled many banks with a great capital and a wealthy economoy.
Lugoj is a place where the bank system had a flourishing period concerning the trades and the wealth of the population.
Caransebeș was an important centre of railways there were signaled many banks with a great capital and a wealth economy.
To sum it up, the banks from Severin knew an ascendant evolution, but in the years followed, 1944-1945, their number decreased considerably. Here is an example of banks which were placed in: Craiova, Lugoj, Făget, Sibiu, Caransebeș and so on. There were also in Teregova and Mehadia (Severin), Bozovici (Caraș), Buziaș (Timiș), Sacul and Eșelnița (Severin).
There mustn’s be omitted the enssurece societies, like: “Dacia-România” – in Lugoj and Orșova; “Franco-Română” – in Lugoj; “Steaua României” – in Lugoj and Caransebeș; “Minerva” – in Lugoj; “Urania” – in Caransebeș.
Popular banks were placed in Lugoj – “Lugojana”; “Plugarul Sinteștean” (Sintești); “Soarele” (Cireșul); “Granița” (Teregova); “Luceafărul” (Mehadia); “Economia” (Orșova); “Timișul” and The Popular Bank of Teachers in Lugoj. Their purpose was to help peasants with money, tools, machines and seeds for their land.
In 1945, Incoop. gave credits for agriculture too.
Between 1944-1948, a multitude of factor had strong implications in the financial situation of Severin. Others preocupations of the authorities were represented by the rebuilding of the national roads and railways.
In the financial exercises from 1946/1947 and 1947/1948, the budget of the Severin district received a substantial increase, determined by the high level of incomes.
The monetary reform from August 1947 determined also a great development of the budget on the financial exercise from 1948/1949.
To sum it up, the financial and bank situation of the Severin district during 1944-1948 reflects the daily problems of the citizens in the area and their direct dependence to the economic sectors.
Also, the authorities of the Caraș district were preoccupied with the electrification of all the villages in this area. Between 1944-1948, the edilitary works realized in Caraș were at a low level because of their fonds.
In conclusion, the development and the modernisation of the means of communication, the urban works and the electrification, all continued during the second world war and in the transition years to the communist regime (1944-1948).
Moreover, this period, short, from the point of view of its chronology, but filled with events, has emphasized the passing of Romania to a new political regime controlled by the Soviet Union, very foreign and strange to the romanian soul, that is, Banat, a region that was flourishing from the point of view of its economy, but strongly affected by this change.
The Party system of Romania was strongly affected by the exchanges of forces externly and internly. But, the political parties which activated on the teritory of Banat evoluated in specific circumstances, determined by the symphathy towards P.S.D. in the urban (medium) environment, and P.N.Ț. in the rural environment.
Because of this reason, the communist party tried permanently to diminuish the influence of social-democrats over the sindicats, used all the possible means to ensure the supremacy of F.U.M. and to eliminate these people who knew the same communist ideology from leaders, enterprises, army and administration. In the Caraș district, the Romanian Communist Party was preoccupied with attracting more people form workers and peasants.
In spite of the nice colaboration between political parties of Groza government, on local level, soon started to come out serious problems, which needed the intervention of the prime-minister in Banat, to calm down the situation. The foundation of the Political Committees in districts was initially considered a reliable solution for solving all the existent conflicts between the Communist Party and its allies. In fact, P.C.R. had, in this region, a non-friendly attitude towards the PSD, FP and PNP. In the electoral campain, in which it had a lot of media representers, the organisation of Caraș of the communist party developed a vast activity in the local villages.
The obligation of recognizing a certain participant of PNȚ, although the ellections were forgered, it represented a big hit for the local organisation of PCR.
The victory in ellections of BPD had determined a great attraction of members to PCR. After the ellections from 1946 november, there were three important factors, such as:
- attracting even more members, no matter the social level;
- attacking their number one enemy, PNȚ;
- preparing the fusion between PSD and PCR.
1948 represented, from a political point of view, the intensification of preparing for the up-mentioned fusion, but also for re-organizing the party.
Just after the “state hit”, PSD tried to rebuild completely its influence in Banat, especially in Caraș.
To keep its friendship with PSD, the Communists named mayers in villages from PSD.
The popularity of Constantin-Titel Petrescu in Caraș, determined the people to reject the government of Groza. The change of attitude lead to excluding the unwanted members of PSD from the fusion process. The open conflict between PCR and PSD in which it concerns the control over local sindicats will lead to the subordination of sindicats to the communists.
The ellection result determined a close relationschip between PSD and PCR, and fastened the foundation of a “unique worker party”. After it’s foundation, PMR, resulted from fusion of PCR and PSD, under Vasile Ionescu, the ex-members of PSD joined this new party and followed it at the ellections from march 1948.
The close relation between FP and PCR and their only purpose, that was, to freed the administration and to make a new agrarian law, created the illusion of a permanent colaboration between the two parties.
The trust of communists for FP generated a new system of leaders, members of FP in the administration. The dissapointment occured because of the members of FP over PNȚ-Maniu, and this lead to the complete subordination of FP to the PCR.
The traditional parties (PNȚ and PNL) reopened their perspectives and rebounded their friendship relations, and this lead to alarming PCR, in Caraș.
All social and politic actions of PNȚ were delayed by PCR. PCR tried to forbid these two parties. Another thing happened, in the opposition, entered the party of Constantin-Titel Petrescu PS-DI, and this determined a hard situation for PCR.
In the end, the communists succeeded to overtake control and to eliminate the traditional parties and the PSDI, too. During 1947, it was consigned the elimination of PNȚ-Maniu and its members in Caraș. Because of the lack of oficial information, the colportage will play an important role during 1948. The popularity of Constantin-Titel Petrescu in Caraș and his party determined the local communists authorities to take drastic measures against PSDI starting with 1948, after the foundation of PUM. Consequently, after the year of 1948, many members of PSDI were trown into jails, including the workers’s leaders of Reșița (such as: Iosif Mustețiu, George Hromadka, Traian Cercega).
The Democrat Jewish Committee, was an important political party of nationalities, which had seen in the Groza government an important way to recapture the jewish goods, confiscated ba the antonescian regime. The foundation of CDE was realized in 1946.
The nationalist tone taken at the end of 1944 by Madosz (UPM and FAS from Romania was soon abandoned).
These two organisations had to adopt a realist position, constructive and with cultural satisfaction. UPM was supported by Petru Groza and Vasile Luca and this determined the obtaining of some local and central privillages.
Moreover, the government received all the possible support from the ellected nationalities in november 1946.
Although, as a reward for the rights obtained – UPM, CDE, FASR, remained loyal to Groza government.
At the beginning of 1947, some CDE organisations from Caraș had eliminated by their own members. CDE, entitled as a “representer of the entire jewish population”, has supported the actions of PCR. His propaganda was centered on eliminating the sionism and attacking the traditional parties.
The communist influence over the central organisation of UPM in Caraș has increased considerably by the end of 1947, and it was taken over by FDP, lead by Ion Fialcheivici, part of the Financial Subcomission. From now on, UPM, with a reorganised leadership, will follow the communist system.
The decreased number of members in FASR Caraș, during 1947, explains the attraction of some serbian nationalities. There is no information about the activity of FASR during 1948, but it is more than certain that this formation was self-disolved.
d. The political situation in Severin (1944-1948)
The organisation of PCR in Severin, first integrated in BND, and them in FND, was lead by a committee of 9 members, and its organisatoric structures included over 83 members.
● The Communists from the Severin district were the initiators of vast meeting in favour of FND, coalition which had an important role. They are preoccupied with the administrative “epuration”, because they wanted to take absolut decreased popularity, they couldn’t make mayers from their members of the party, in Lugoj, Caransebeș and Orșova.
During 1945, the number of PCR members of Severin decreased. This year was, from a political point of view, a rough and agitated one. After the installation of Groza government, the communists started the administrative “epuration”, the colaborated with the social-democrats of FUM. From an organisatorical point of view, this year proved to be a real challenge for the communists in Severin district.
The Communist Party got involved in january 1946 in solving some organizational problems, such as: “introducing the politic line in all and its application"” "strenghtening PCR to cooperate with the democratic forces, to win the ellections”, and the “administrative epuration”.
Counting on the information of the Legion of Guards of Severin, we may conclude that the communist party was considered, in Severin, one of the most important “fief” of national-peasants. Also, PSDI obtained more votes in urban industrialized centers of Severin, being competitive with Rădăceanu-Voitec, leaders of PSD, part of BPD.
From an organizatorical point of view, at the beginning of 1947, the communists from Severin counted on the support of the prefects and officials.
The preparings for founding PUM have increased in 1948, when the communists were directly interested in the fusion with the social-democrats. 1948 was characterized by a vast action of “cleaning the enemies of the party”.
They all tried to win the ellections from 28 march 1948 and to ensure the victory for the National Meeting.
During 1944-1945, the social-democrats tried to attract more members to their party; they had success in rural places, but also in: Lugoj, Caransebeș, Orșova, Topleț, Nădrag, Ferdinand.
During 1946, there were many excludings from the party of PSD, determined by the option of PSDI not to get involve convince the public opinion by the methods of communist in the ellections. After the ellections’ forgery in november 1946, the communists enlarged their actions to eliminate their enemies, the social-democrats.
From an organizatorical point of view, in 1947, PSD Severin was well structured, and it represented the final level in taking control by communists over PSD. At the beginning of 1948 took place the final prepargings for anihilating PSD. Some members resigned and got into PSDI, lead by Titel Petrescu.
FP, antoher political party was supported by a part of peasants and by intellectuals from Severin district, but it had problems from an organizatorical point of view during 1944-1945, determined by objective reasons, such as: the lack of well prepaired members or leaders, the strong influence of the communists. FP, the main ally of the communists in the rural place, in April 1946, confronted with some organizatorical problems, such as: the lack of fonds and means of transport, the decrease of popularity and prestige.
They attracted members from: Socul, Caransebeș, Binchiș and Teregova. Just after the ellections, because of organizatoric deficiences, they started a new system of government.
At the beginning of 1947, it started the reorganisation of FP in Severin. During 1948, the organisation of FP was in great action. In 1948, FP got involved in the activity of PMR.
● The National-Peasants form the district have regrouped quickly enough, taking into account their popularity. At the end of 1944, they’re got involved in some social actions, they attracted the peasants, intellectuals, priests and teachers; this party was considered the main enemies of FND.
PNȚ-Maniu from Severin, started a vast propaganda in April 1946, helped by priests and teachers from the rural environment, and their only purpose was to maintain the democratic system. After all these, PNȚ was restructured by Emil Ghilezan in september 1946. This year was dominated by resigns and the number of their members decreased.
At the beginning of 1947, the most powerfull organisations of national-peasants from the district were located in Teregova, Caransebeș and Orșova, because of their traditional political forces. This year was characterised by the intensification of pressures over national-peasants from the area.
● The process of reorganisation of the National Liberal Party in Severin started in september 1944, under the leadership of Cornel Corneanu and Titus Popovici. The liberals were not considered a threat for the communists.
PNL-Brătianu form Severin was weaker than PNȚ-Maniu.
The electoral campain was very tensioned, but there were some small incidents in different villages of Severin, which affected PNL-Brătianu a lot.
Again, at the beginning of 1947, PNL-Brătianu developed a great propagandistic activity.
After the dissolution of PNȚ-Maniu, the liberals from Severin evoided to act against the communist system.
During 1948, the local police and guard confirmed the symphathy of this politic formation in the rural place.
After winning the ellections, FDP developed their politic meetings in favour of PNL-Brătianu.
● On March 10th, 1946 at the Congress of PSD, it happened a rupture between the central organisations of Banat and were added to PSDI. After the ellections, the party intensified their activity. The propaganda was made by people, evoiding the meetings, which could determine hostile actions of the authorities.
● After the state hit, on August 23rd, 1944, the Madosz of Banat, from Severin was considered a “support for the democratic national relationships”. This party got involved in the ellections together with PCR.
About the CDE we have small information. This party was considered to be a mass organisation, ruled by the Regional Committee of PCR Banat, accused of having all Kind of members and speculants. Some success in the organizatoric plan were registred in September 1946. At the end of 1947, CDE Lugoj got togheter with PCR in the ellections.
Romania was taken by the communists, once with the results of the ellections for the Parliament and their immediate consequences, such as: signing the Treaty of Peace with the great powers; banning the parties of opposition and massive arrests of members; exiling the King and naming the popular republic after the russian model, all these have marked the entrance of our country in a new, but heavy period of our history. Not even the population of Banat didn’t escape the hard period.
The system that was forcing people to give away part of their crops, one that had been introduced by the government and had already had devastating effects in the rural areas of Romania, the abuses of the local and national authorities, the pressure the traditional parties had to put up with hoping for a considerable assistance from the United States, preventing in this way a future existance of communist structures in our country led to more radical actions of their opponents, in order to mentain – by all means – democracy and the good relationschips Romania had always had with countries like France or Great Britain.
The anticommunist resistence movement from Banat offered a real immage of the way in which the local population got to know the new system, brought from outside and which reached to high levels of terror of opression.