|7 September 1940
|Craiova, Kingdom of Romania
|French and Romanian
The Treaty of Craiova (Bulgarian : Крайовска спогодба, romanized: Krayovska spogodba; Romanian : Tratatul de la Craiova) was signed on 7 September 1940 and ratified on 13 September 1940 by the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Romania. Under its terms, Romania had to allow Bulgaria to retake Southern Dobruja, which Romania had gained after the 1913 Second Balkan War. Bulgaria had to pay 1 million lei as compensation for the investment provided to the region by Romania.
The treaty stipulated that a population exchange between Bulgaria and Romania had to be made. Thus, 103,711 Romanians, Aromanians and Megleno-Romanians living in Southern Dobruja were forced to move to Northern Dobruja (part of Romania), and 62,278 Bulgarians located in the north were forcibly moved to the south. The Dobrujan Germans, who were affected by these relocations, would eventually be transferred to Nazi Germany.
Unlike all other territorial treaties mediated by Nazi Germany, the Treaty of Craiova was not reversed by the Allies after WWII and Southern Dobruja remained Bulgarian.
The Second Vienna Award, arbitrated by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, signed on 30 August 1940, assigned the territory of Northern Transylvania from Romania to Hungary. Although the devolution of Northern Transylvania had been made under the diplomatic pressure of Germany, the country did not directly intervene in the Treaty of Craiova. However, it was also implemented by indication of Adolf Hitler, who on 31 July 1940 expressed his wish for the south of Dobruja to be returned to Bulgaria to restore the 1912 Bulgaria–Romania border.
The government of Romania received Hitler's message with surprise and expressed the wish to preserve at least the port of Balchik and the city of Silistra. The German ambassador declared that Romanian sacrifices to Bulgaria would make Hitler more sympathetic towards Romania in negotiations between Hungary and Romania on the Transylvania dispute. The Romanians attempted to keep both cities, but the Bulgarian government refused since it was aware of the German support.
Formal negotiations began on 19 August 1940 in the city of Craiova after previous contacts had been made in which the positions of the two parties had become clear. The negotiations were not easy, and it was only in the face of the threat of Italian–German arbitration during the Hungarian-Romanian negotiations on August 29, which Romania was trying to achieve the benevolence of the Axis powers, that the Romanian delegation announced its readiness to cede all of Southern Dobruja. The Romanians also attempted to delay the talks while they tried to persuade the Germans to maintain the territorial integrity of Romania.
The Treaty of Craiova finally crystallized in a return to the 1912 borders. The southern part of the Dobruja, which had been conquered by Romania during the Second Balkan War, 7,142 km2 (2,758 sq mi) and a population of which ethnic Romanians made up 25% or 28.4% (depending on the source). The agreement was signed on 7 September 1940 by Alexandru Cretzianu and Henri-Georges Meitani, representing King Michael I of Romania, and Svetoslav Pomenov and Teokhar Papazoff, representing Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria. The treaty was ratified on the Romanian side on September 13 by Prime Minister and Conducător Ion Antonescu, but not by King Michael I.was returned to Bulgaria and assumed for Romania the loss of a territory with an area of
The loss of Southern Dobruja did not cause an uproar in Romania, unlike the transfer of Northern Transylvania to Hungary in the almost-simultaneous Second Vienna Award, since Northern Transylvania was more important in the nationalist ideal, with the Romanian governments successively insisting on recovering it.The surrender of the Cadrilater ("Quadrilateral", another name for Southern Dobruja) was interpreted by the Romanian political class as "a mutilation of the country" forced by the pressures of the Axis, and by the authorities in Bulgaria as the "correction of an injustice".
On the insistence of Romania, the treaty involved a population exchange.The 103,711 Romanians who lived in the area were forced to leave their homes and move to Northern Dobruja, and the 62,278 Bulgarians residing in the northern part were forced to move to the south. Most of those Romanians were settlers who had emigrated to Southern Dobruja after the Treaty of Bucharest, which assigned the region to Romania. The Aromanian settlers, most of whom were native to Greece, were counted as Romanians and also left the zone. The case of the Megleno-Romanian settlers was not different; they were deported from Southern Dobruja and settled in the village of Cerna within Romanian borders.
Bulgaria had to compensate the displaced Romanians for their losses of equity, million lei for investments made to the region. Although the bilateral treaty involved the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, it was carried out peacefully and in accordance with the international laws at the time: this contrasted sharply with Romania's concessions to the Soviet Union and to Hungary at this time, as both of those events saw considerable violence. Romania additionally proposed to exchange all members of the respective ethnic minorities residing in the rest of the two countries, but this was rejected by Bulgaria.and pay Romania 1
The forced relocations also affected the Dobrujan Germans, most of whom lived in Northern Dobruja, under Romanian rule, although some of them also lived in the Bulgarian southern part. They were ultimately transferred to Nazi Germany through the Heim ins Reich ("back home to the Reich") policy.
Northern Dobruja is the part of Dobruja within the borders of Romania. It lies between the lower Danube river and the Black Sea, bordered in the south by Southern Dobruja, which is part of Bulgaria.
The Kingdom of Romania was a constitutional monarchy that existed in Romania from 13 March (O.S.) / 25 March 1881 with the crowning of prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen as King Carol I, until 1947 with the abdication of King Michael I of Romania and the Romanian parliament's proclamation of the Romanian People's Republic.
Following the outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939, the Kingdom of Romania under King Carol II officially adopted a position of neutrality. However, the rapidly changing situation in Europe during 1940, as well as domestic political upheaval, undermined this stance. Fascist political forces such as the Iron Guard rose in popularity and power, urging an alliance with Nazi Germany and its allies. As the military fortunes of Romania's two main guarantors of territorial integrity—France and Britain—crumbled in the Fall of France, the government of Romania turned to Germany in hopes of a similar guarantee, unaware that the then-dominant European power had already granted its blessing to Soviet claims on Romanian territory in a secret protocol of 1939's Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.
Southern Dobruja, South Dobruja or Quadrilateral is an area of northeastern Bulgaria comprising Dobrich and Silistra provinces, part of the historical region of Dobruja. It has an area of 7,566 km² and a population of 358,000. It was a part of Romania de jure from 1913 to 1918 and again from 1919 to 1940.
The Megleno-Romanians, also known as Meglenites, Moglenite Vlachs or simply Vlachs, are a small Eastern Romance people, originally inhabiting seven villages in the Moglena region spanning the Pella and Kilkis regional units of Central Macedonia, Greece, and one village, Huma, across the border in North Macedonia. These people live in an area of approximately 300 km2 in size. Unlike the Aromanians, the other Romance speaking population in the same historic region, the Megleno-Romanians are traditionally sedentary agriculturalists, and not traditionally transhumants. Sometimes, the Megleno-Romanians are referred as "Macedo-Romanians" together with the Aromanians.
About 10.5% of Romania's population is represented by minorities. The principal minorities in Romania are Hungarians and Romani people, with a declining German population and smaller numbers of Poles in Bukovina, Serbs, Croats, Slovaks and Banat Bulgarians, Ukrainians, Greeks, Jews, Turks and Tatars, Armenians, Russians, Afro-Romanians, and others.
The Second Vienna Award, also known as the Vienna Diktat, was the second of two territorial disputes that were arbitrated by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. On 30 August 1940, they assigned the territory of Northern Transylvania, including all of Maramureș and part of Crișana, from Romania to Hungary.
Cerna is a commune in Tulcea County, Northern Dobruja, Romania. It is composed of four villages: Cerna, General Praporgescu, Mircea Vodă, and Traian. The commune is inhabited by a large number of Megleno-Romanians.
Eugen Filotti was a Romanian diplomat, journalist and writer. As a diplomat he worked at the League of Nations in Geneva and then as minister plenipotentiary in Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, and Hungary. As minister plenipotentiary to Budapest he issued transit visas for Jews during the Holocaust. He was secretary general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1944–1945. As writer he published several translations of literary works.
Bulgarians are a recognized minority in Romania, numbering 7,336 according to the 2011 Romanian census, down from 8,025 in 2002. Despite their low census number today, Bulgarians from different confessional and regional backgrounds have had ethnic communities in various regions of Romania, and during the Middle Ages Bulgarian culture has exerted considerable influence on its northern neighbour. According to one Bulgarian estimate, Romanian citizens of Bulgarian origin number around 250,000.
Constantin Atanasescu was a Romanian lieutenant general during World War II. He retired in 1940, but was promoted to general in 1947 while in reserve.
Ion Gigurtu was a far-right Romanian politician, Land Forces officer, engineer and industrialist who served a brief term as Prime Minister from 4 July to 4 September 1940, under the personal regime of King Carol II. A specialist in mining and veteran of both the Second Balkan War and World War I, he made a fortune in interwar Greater Romania. Gigurtu began his career in politics with the People's Party (PP) and the National Agrarian Party, moving closer to the far right during the 1930s, and serving as Minister of Industry and Commerce in the cabinet of Octavian Goga. Shortly after the start of World War II, Gigurtu was affiliated with King Carol's National Renaissance Front, serving as Public Works and Communications Minister and Foreign Minister under Premier Gheorghe Tătărescu, before the territorial losses incurred by Romania in front of the Soviet Union propelled him as Tătărescu's replacement.
Dobrujan Bulgarians — also spelled Dobrudžans, Dobrudzans, and Dobrudjans — is a regional, ethnographic group of ethnic Bulgarians, inhabiting or originating from Dobruja. Today, the larger part of this population is concentrated in Southern Dobruja, but much is spread across the whole of Bulgaria and the diaspora. Until the early 1940s, the Dobrujan Bulgarians lived also in the whole of Dobruja, part of the Ottoman Empire at the past and part of the Kingdom of Romania then. In September 1940, the governments of Bulgaria and Kingdom of Romania agreed to a population exchange according to the Treaty of Craiova. The Bulgarian population in Northern Dobruja was expelled into Bulgaria-controlled Southern Dobruja, today Dobrich Province and Silistra Province.
Sabin Manuilă was an Austro-Hungarian-born Romanian statistician, demographer and physician. A nationalist activist during World War I, he became noted for his pioneering research into the biostatistics of Transylvania and Banat regions, as well as a promoter of eugenics and social interventionism. As a bio- and geopolitician, Manuilă advocated the consolidation of Greater Romania through population exchanges, colonization, state-sponsored assimilation, or discriminatory policies.
The territorial evolution of Romania includes all the changes in the country's borders from its formation to the present day. The precedents of Romania as an independent state can be traced back to the 14th century, when the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia were founded. Wallachia during its history lost several portions of its territory, either to the Ottomans or the Habsburgs. However, this land would be later essentially recovered in its entirety. Moldavia, on the other hand, suffered great territorial losses. In 1774, the Habsburgs invaded Bukovina and annexed it one year later, and in 1812, the Russian Empire took control of Bessarabia. Both territories were later exposed to powerful colonization policies. The principalities declared unification in 1859 as the Principality of Romania. This new state sought independence from the Ottoman Empire's vassalage, and in 1878, it fought a war against it alongside Russia. However, the latter would annex Southern Bessarabia, which was recovered decades before. Romania received Northern Dobruja as compensation, and would wage a war for the southern part against Bulgaria in 1913.
The population exchange between Bulgaria and Romania was a population exchange carried out in 1940 after the transfer of Southern Dobruja to Bulgaria by Romania. It involved 103,711 Romanians, Aromanians and Megleno-Romanians living in Southern Dobruja and 62,278 Bulgarians from Northern Dobruja. After this operation, the application of a population exchange in other cases such as Transylvania was considered.
The Dobruja Day is a public holiday of Romania celebrated every 14 November that commemorates the incorporation of the region of Northern Dobruja into Romania on 14 November 1878.
The Aromanians in Bulgaria, commonly known as "Vlachs" and under several other names, are a non-recognized Aromanian ethnic minority in Bulgaria. There are an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 Aromanians in Bulgaria, although estimates coming from Bulgarian Aromanians themselves raise this number to 6,000. They live in the Western Rhodopes, the Blagoevgrad, Pazardzhik, Plovdiv and Sofia provinces and in the city of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria itself. More precisely, the Aromanians of Bulgaria are concentrated in the villages of Anton and Dorkovo and on the cities and towns of Blagoevgrad, Dupnitsa, Peshtera, Rakitovo, Samokov, Sofia and Velingrad, as well as on parts of the aforementioned provinces located in the Balkan Mountains. Some also live on the towns of Bratsigovo and Pirdop and on the cities of Plovdiv and Pazardjik, as well as on the Rila mountain range.
Edith von Coler was a German propagandist who acted as an agent of influence and unofficial diplomatic conduit in the Kingdom of Romania before and during World War II.
The 1941 Romanian census was conducted on 6 April 1941 in all territories still remaining in the Kingdom of Romania, following the loss of land to Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Soviet Union. After the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, Romania retook control of its lands that the Soviet Union had invaded, in which it conducted the census separately in the autumn of 1941. Later, Romania also annexed the Transnistria Governorate, finishing the census by conducting it there in December 1941.