Open letter to the political leaders of the Allied and United Powers

Radu Golban

I am writing to inform you of the situation regarding the re-establishment in Romania, in fact and in law, of a Nazi organisation which was disestablished in 1944 in fulfilment of the obligations assumed by the Romanian state under the peace treaties at the end of the Second World War (WW II). In both my opinion and that of the public law experts whom I have consulted, this rehabilitation of a pro-Hitler group may bring particularly serious consequences, not only for the rule of law in Romania but also for the international legal order, which is founded upon the treaties that brought the global conflagration to an end.


At my request, the situation which I am outlining to you and which could become, at far more than a symbolic level, an attack on the post-war status quo has undergone several expert assessments by specialists with indisputable professional reputations in the field of international public law. It is my honour to provide you with the texts written by the experts whom I consulted, which are annexed to this letter, in the belief that they will be of help to you.


The issue that I am reporting concerns the legal and political consequences at national and international level of Romania’s decision to recognise a political ethnic group known as the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (DFGR) as the “successor in title to the German Ethnic Group”. I point out that in the Nuremberg Trials, the GEG was classed as a fascist organisation which was guilty of supporting Hitler’s war, among other things, including with regard to the Holocaust.


The GEG was therefore dissolved in 1944 and a ban was placed on its re-establishment as a result of the obligations assumed by the Romanian Government under the Armistice Agreement which was reached with the Allies (article 15 of the Agreement).


Subsequently, under the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947, the Allied and United Powers agreed, and Romania accepted and undertook, that “the Romanian state will not, in future, allow organisations of this kind, whose aim is to deprive the Romanian nation of its democratic rights, to exist and be active” (article 5 of the Treaty).


According to the terms of the post-war international legal instruments to which Romania committed itself, the disestablishment of the GEG consisted of the dissolution of this legal entity, the trial and conviction of its leaders, the purging of the organisation’s members, and the confiscation of its assets. As a result, the German Ethnic Group had no successors, and its re-establishment was prohibited.


However, the Romanian courts have granted the DFGR’s request to be recognised as the successor to all of the GEG’s rights. A court has therefore also agreed to the DFGR’s requests to take possession of the GEG’s assets, even though their confiscation was among the obligations that Romania assumed under the peace treaties, at the Allies’ request.


Specifically, based on its recognition as successor in title to the GEG, which is also confirmed in official information released by the Romanian government, the DFGR has made 136 court applications for the return of properties including schools, old people’s homes and offices of public institutions.


These are not merely my opinions, but also the conclusions in the expert assessment which was rigorously undertaken by the renowned Professor and Doctor of Laws Michael Kilian, who demonstrates that “the GEG was a body corporate established under public law whose legal and mandatory successor in September 1944 was the Romanian state according to the terms of the armistice. This body corporate therefore ceased to exist. Its assets passed to the Romanian state and were expended by it, without being replaced. As such, legal succession from the point of view of public law is no longer possible, by definition. It lacks capacity to succeed to these assets (…) Therefore, the existing effect of international law on the treaties between the Allies and Romania of 1944 and 1947 is that legal succession to the assets of the GEG in 1940 is outlawed with no compensation.”


I feel duty bound to point out that the Public Prosecutor’s Office appealed the court’s decision to recognise the DFGR as “the “successor in title to the German Ethnic Group”, and argued that “the state was not defended during the trial” and that “the appealed judgment can also be criticised for the fact that it was delivered in breach of the Armistice Agreement that was signed in 1944”, but the action brought by the Public Prosecutor’s Office was dismissed as out of time.


The recreation of the GEG as a legal entity and the return of its assets to the DFGR, its official successor, therefore constitutes a breach of the obligations assumed by Romania under article 5 of the Paris Peace Treaty and sets the dangerous precedent of repudiating it.


I believe that the weakening of the binding force of this Treaty due to the calling into question of one of its fundamental principles, which underpinned the post-war global order, i.e. the definition of Nazism as a criminal ideology and the permanent disestablishment of the entities that transposed it into political reality, poses a major risk to global security. This risk comes at a time when social, political and economic tensions, against the background of a resurgence of extremist, xenophobic, national populist, intolerant, racist and anti-Semitic movements in Europe (including in Germany, where they have managed to get into Parliament, and also in Romania), raises the spectre of a new and bloody conflagration, which means that war is no longer out of the question during the lifetime of this generation.


This is why I have decided to contact you, in the hope that you will take the steps necessary to persuade Romania to fulfil its obligations under the Paris Peace Treaty and therefore cancel the registration of the DFGR and its recognition as successor to the GEG, and at the same time terminate all of their effects in terms of assets and otherwise.


Below are links to the documents I have quoted:




Dr. Radu-Eugen Golban