The Rulers of Fascist Rumania Whom I had to Deal With
Ion Antonescu, President. Always appeared to be in a boiling temper when confronted with requests relating to life and death. He would pour his wrath, saturated with hatred of Jews, on the petitioner. Maria Antonescu, his wife. A vicious woman with a heart of stone. Traian Braileanu, Minster of Education. Insanely vicious personality. Radu Budisteanu, Minister of Religions. The worst of them all. General Dobre, Deputy Minister of Defense. A man of utmost brutality and refused extra flour for baking matzot (unleavened bread for Passover). General Potopeanu, Minister of Supply; Vasil Iascinski, Minister of Labor; and Gheorghe Alexianu, Governor of Transnistria. All heartless, cruel men who made no compromises towards Jews. Some occasionally showed a spark of human kindness including General Stoinescu, Minister of Finance; Dragos, Custodian of Confiscated Property; and Radu Lecca, Commissioner for Jewish Affairs. There were others who fell into this category. Also, there were “false friends,” who until a year before the end of the war had not stood with the Jews in their darkest hour, but now showed interest and sympathy and apparent friendship. Andreas Cassuto, the Papal legate, a truly noble friend of the Jews, brought all his force to bear regarding the repatriation of orphans and internees from Transnistria until he persuaded Antonescu and received confirmation from him that our request had been granted.