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Recommendation to Postpone Deportation of Romanian Jewry

[entry from Fildermans diary]
October 10, 1942

The order arrived in the evening and it was to be forwarded the next day to the various police stations that we're to carry it out. Police Minister general Piki Basiliu revealed its contents to Dr. Stefan Anthal, one of the notables of the Jewish community of Romania, toward whom he had manifested on various occasions a willingness to solve questions [concerning the Jewish community].

Anthal's efforts to cancel, postpone or at least change this decision, which spelled death for some 40,000 people, were all in vain. It was almost 11:00 p.m. when Anthal, completely exhausted and despairing, yet firmly resolved to try the impossible until the last moment, left the minister's house. He returned after half an hour bringing me [Dr. Filderman] with him.

The talks were resumed and went on until 2:00 a.m.; many arguments were presented and the discussion occasionally rose to dramatic heights. This time it was the minister who reached the limit of his resistance. He was finally persuaded, and he agreed to undertake a last-minute effort and turn to Antonescu. At the same time, in the middle of the night, he summoned his aide-de-camp, Colonel A. Madarjac, and dictated a report to him. In the report he presented arguments relating to the rainy season and the approaching winter, and recommended that the deportation should be delayed until spring. The four men left at dawn and the minister asked Dr. Filderman and Dr. Anthal to return that same day at noon. The deportation order was not issued that morning.

After a long and painful wait, the minister came to the meeting place in the prime ministers office at 3:00 p.m. and reported that he had found Antonescu in good spirits and that the report was approved.

Source: Jean Ancel, "Plans for Deportation of the Romanian Jews and their Discontinuation in Light of Documentary Evidence (July-OctobER 1942)," Yad Vashem Studies, Vol. 16, 1984, pp. 403-404.

Source: Yad Vashem