Why did Joseph Stalin return Northern Transylvania to Romania after the end of World War II?

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Futurist
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Why did Joseph Stalin return Northern Transylvania to Romania after the end of World War II?

Post by Futurist » 01 Jan 2016 02:50

So far, I can think of three possible reasons:

1. The success of King Michael's Coup in Romania and having Romania switch sides in World War II afterwards.

2. The fact that unlike Romania, Hungary participated in Operation Barbarossa in spite of the fact that it had no legitimate territorial grievances against the Soviet Union.

3. The fact that Romania was more populous than Hungary was (regardless of who ended up getting Northern Transylvania) might have meant that appeasing Romania was a higher priority to Stalin than appeasing Hungary was (especially considering that Stalin put both of these countries under Communist rule after the end of World War II).

Anyway, is there anything that I am forgetting to list here? Indeed, I am missing something here?

Any thoughts on this?

Futurist
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Re: Why did Joseph Stalin return Northern Transylvania to Romania after the end of World War II?

Post by Futurist » 01 Jan 2016 05:57

For reference:

Image

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McGuba
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Re: Why did Joseph Stalin return Northern Transylvania to Romania after the end of World War II?

Post by McGuba » 12 Apr 2016 00:05

Anyway, is there anything that I am forgetting to list here? Indeed, I am missing something here?
4. Bessarabia:
The Soviet Union did not recognize incorporation of Bessarabia into Romania and throughout the entire interwar period engaged in attempts to undermine Romania and diplomatic disputes with the government in Bucharest over this territory. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed on August 23, 1939. By Article 4 of the secret Annex to the Treaty, Bessarabia fell within the Soviet interest zone.
In spring of 1940, Western Europe was overrun by Nazi Germany. With world attention focused on those events, on June 26, 1940, the USSR issued an ultimatum to Romania, demanding immediate cession of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina. Romania was given four days to evacuate its troops and officials. (Wiki)
Giving N. Transylvania to Romania might as well serve as a compensation for Bessarabia, which again returned to the USSR in 1944. A compensation which did not cost anything to the Soviet Union.

5. The partition of Transylvania to a Northern and a Southern part was considered "unnatural" by both the Romanians and Hungarians and both were hoping to reunite it as part of their country after the war in the East. And indeed, throughout its long history it was always one territorial unity, usually enjoying an autonomy, whether it was part of the Hungarian Kingdom, a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire, part of the Austrian Empire or Austria-Hungary. As a result its road and railroad network, economy, administration etc was set up as such and its partition created problems and made both countries unhappy. Hence both countries took part in the "Crusade" against bolshevism above their strength to gain the favour of the Reich hoping to get the other half as well. What was exactly what Germany wanted. And again, it did not cost Germany anything... So much about "Divide et Impera".

Obviously as Romania successfully changed sides in WW2 and finished on the side of the victors there was not much hesitation on which of the two should gain the other half.

If Hungary had changed sides as well, well... then it would have been a much more interesting situation...

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Why did Joseph Stalin return Northern Transylvania to Romania after the end of World War II?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 07 Mar 2017 12:48

Hi Futurist,

Yes, you might have missed something. In the Hungarian 1910 census, Hungarians only formed 31.6% of the population in the area.

It seems unlikely that the Hungarian proportion had increased to 53% under interwar Romanian rule.

A mutually acceptable solution is obstructed by the Hungarian majority areas being far from the border, near the centre of Romania, with Romanian majority areas between them and the Hungarian border, as your maps show.

Cheers,

Sid.

catalin_67
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Re: Why did Joseph Stalin return Northern Transylvania to Romania after the end of World War II?

Post by catalin_67 » 28 Mar 2017 17:29

the main reason was to appease Romania regarding its lost of Bessarabia, but, of course, ethnicity and August. 23 counted. I'd add the slavic USSR populations had more bad memories about Hungarians, before 1914, than about Romanians. A greater Hungary would meant a greater revisionist

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