Both Hungary and Bulgaria which had lost territory to Romania after World War I also made territorial claims to areas with substantial population of ethnic Hungarians and Bulgarians. Romania mobilized its army and prepared to fight. Hitler wishing to avoid such complications wrote to King Carol and urged negotiations. As a result, Romania ceeded the relatively small area of South Dobruja to Bulgaria, but refused to ceede Transylvania to Hungary. Hitler convoked a conference in Vienna. It was not meant to arbiutrate the dispute. Foreign Minister Von Ribbentrop simply produced a map detailing what the settlement was to be. The Vienna Arbitration Award as the Germans called it shocked the Romanian foreign minister who collaspsed when he saw the map and had to be revieved. The Germans awarded a huge slice of Transylvania slicing deep into Romania to Hungary. The award, however, kept the area with oil and gas resources in Romanian hands. Germany also guaranteed the resulting borders of Romania. While this did not molify Romanian opinion, it did alienate the Soviets who had further ambitions in the Balkans.
Territorial disputes had sparked a series of Balkan wars and sparked World war I. The Balkans and southeastern Europe included several small countries territorial disputes. Some were countries that had fought with Germany in World War I and lost territory (Hungary and Bulgaria). Others had fought with the Allies and gained territory (Romania and Serbia/Yugoslavia). Czechoslovakia was created out of territory controlled by both Austria and Hungary as part of te Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Treaty of Trianon (1920) was the peace treaty between Hungary (as a Austria-Hungary successor state) and the Allies ending World War I. It like the Versailles treaty was imposed by the Allies.
The First Vienna Award affected Czechoslovakia. It was made only a few weeks after the Munich Conference. NAZI Germany and Italy compelled Czechoslovakia to turn over southern Slovakia and southern Subcarpathia (now part of Ukraine) to Hungary (November 2, 1938). Czechoslovakia after Munich was no longer capable of resisting.
We are not entirely sure of Hitler's motives here, but it served Hitler's purposes in a varietyy of wats. First it weakened Czechoslovakia further, a country that was desposed to the Allies ad which Hitler hated with a passion. Second, it helped reduce the view of Munich Conference as veiled German agression by involving another country, namely Hungary. Third, it helped bring Hungary further into the NAZI orbit by providing territory that the Hungarians had coveted.
The Soviets demanded that Romania cede the provinces of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina. The population of both provinces which bordered on the Soviet Ukraine was largely Ukranian. The secret protocols to the NAZI-Soviet Non-Agression Pact had ceded control over Bessarabia to the Soviets. The Soviets demanded not only Bessarabia, but Northern Bukovina as well. Romania had a small military which could not possibly had resisted the Red Army. Hitler was concerned about the demands because they brought the Soviets even closer to the Romanian oil fields. The Romanians who had been cooperation with the Germans pleaded for Hitler to intervene. He refused. Although concerned anout the Soiviet move, Hitler did not want to risk any confrointation with the Soviets yet. The Germany military was still largely deployed in the west, having just defeated France and cintemplating a cross-channel invasion of Britain. Hitler already had his mind set on the east, but he was not yet ready. He rejected the Romanian pleas and the Romanians had to cede the provinces to Stalin. We have little information as to what happened in Bassarabia after it was annexed by the Soviets. We do know that the Volkdutsche were allowed to leave.
Both Hungary and Bulgaria which had lost territory to Romania after World War I. After the Soviets seized Bessarabia, Hungary and Builgaria both demanded their share of Romanian territory. They made territorial claims to areas with substantial population of ethnic Hungarians and Bulgarians. Romania was now isolated. The menacing Soviets were to the east. Germany had defeated and occupied France (June 1940) and it looked like Britain woukd also be defeated. Romania mobilized its army and prepared to fight Hungary.
South Dobruja was historically part of Bulgaria and had a largely Bulgarian population. It had been part of Bulgaria since historical times. Romania seized the province as a result of the Second Balkan War. I do not have details concerning Romanian rule over the ethnic Bulgariasn population of South Dobruja. Differences in religion and language undoubtedly caused problems.
Hungary was intent on obtaining Transylvania with anout 1.5 million ethnic Hungarians. Romania was just as intent on retaining it. King Carol adamently refused to ceede Transylvania to Hungary. It looked at first like war would break out between Hungary and Romania.
Hitler had used discension almong the Balkan states to persue NAZI goals in the region during the 1930s. Hitler had set the planning for his invasion of the Soviet Union in motion (July 1940). He wanted to avoid any Balkan war that would complicate those plans. Germany after the Munich Conference and the desmemberment of Czechoslovakia was essentially the dominant power in Eastern Europe. Now Hitler wanted to pacify the region so it did not interfere with his plans for war. Here a key consideration was the security of the Ploesti oil fields which Germany needed to be able to wage war. A war in the Balkans could complicate German war preparations. He wrote to King Carol of Romania and urged negotiations. The King had little alternative but to accept.
The Second Vienna Award affected Romania. Hitler convoked a conference in Vienna. It was not really a conference. Nor was it meant to arbitrate the dispute. Describing the awards as an arbitration is a misnomber. Arbitration involves referring negotiations beteen parties. There was no negotiating between the parties. The countries involved were simply informed of what had been decided. (An alternative term for these awards is the Vienna Diktat.) NAZI Germany and Italy compelled Romania to cede half of Transylvania (Northern Transylvania) to Hungary (August 30, 1940). Foreign Minister Von Ribbentrop simply produced a map detailing what the settlement was to be. The Germans awarded a huge area of Transylvania slicing deep into Romania to Hungary. The Vienna Arbitration Award as the Germans called it shocked the Romanian foreign minister who collaspsed when he saw the map and had to be revieved. This decession reversed the principaal terruitorial provisionof the Treaty of Trianon. Transyvania like many areas of southern Europe was multi-ethnic. The award set in motion massive movement of popultions.
Officially the arbitration was conducted by Germany and Italy. As far as I know, Italian participation was, as at Munich, lsargely window dressing. The real decesion was made by Hitler.
I am not sure why the award so favored Hungary. Hungary has traditionally been associated with Germany as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and before that for centuries under Hapsburg rule. It was a World War I Germany ally. And Hitler was anxious to bring Hungary into the Axis. This and the First Vienna Award are probably best explained by the desire to pacify Hungary and bring it firmly into the NAZI orbit. Notably redrawing the map so that Hungarian territory was closer to the Ploesti oilfields had some strategic value to Germany. Perhaps this was a way of punishing King Carol who the NAZIs distrusted. The award, however, kept the area with oil and gas resources in Romanian hands. Germany also guaranteed the resulting borders of Romania. While this did not molify Romanian opinion, it did alienate the Soviets who had further ambitions in the Balkans. After the War, Hungary was forced to return Transylvania to Romania.
King Cazrol, as a result of Hitler's mediation, ceeded the relatively small area of South Dobruja to Bulgaria. Southern Dobrudja because of its shape was called Cadrilater or "Quadrilateral". Romania returned it to Bulgaria under the Treaty of Craiova (September 7, 1940). The German soldiers supervising the transfer of jurisdiction were treated as saviors by the Bulgarians, such as the peasant women seen here (figure 1). After the War, Bulgaria retained this area.
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