At the point of the outbreak of the Second World War, in 1939, there were approximately 750,000 individuals who were of the Jewish faith. Yet fewer than half survived the war, despite the fact the Germany did not occupy the country. Clearly, though, there was influence from the Nazi Germany regime.
Most of the Jewish were killed by fellow Romanians in Pograms and shootings, coupled with starvation, disease and cold in the ghetto’s, after being deported to Transnistra. Transnistra is now located in the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, which occupies a thin strip of land between the River Dniester and the border with Ukraine. It is internationally recognised as part of Moldovia.
In addition, 6,000 Romanian Jews died of heat stroke in the summer of 1941 in deportations on the “death trains” following the last Pogrom.
To start researching, I would recommend visiting JewishGen. Register for a free account and search the databases. I do not have any Jewish ancestry, but have found both Butcher and Orlando examples for my One-Name Study.
One of the Shoah memoirs I own, The Seamstress, by Sara Tuvel Bernstein, takes place partly in Romania. Some of her friends converted for show, but that still didn’t save them.
Queen Mother Elena of Romania was honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for saving several thousand of her Jewish subjects. She also influenced her son, King Mihai, to oppose, and in some cases stop, deportations, massacres, and arrests.
That is a book I have read. I agree there were folk who converted in the hope that they would be spared, it is tragic that some many lives were lost. Equally as tragic, is the pain suffered by those who did survive who had seen such dreadful atrocities and lost so much.