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Romania's Holy WarSoldiers, Motivation, and the Holocaust$
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Grant T. Harward

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501759963

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2022

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501759963.001.0001

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Propaganda and Discipline

Propaganda and Discipline

(p.206) Chapter 7 Propaganda and Discipline
Romania's Holy War

Grant T. Harward

Cornell University Press

This chapter explains how propaganda and discipline functioned. The Antonescu regime worried about soldiers' motivation, so the General Staff increased propaganda efforts and enforced strict discipline. Because of Romanians' ideological beliefs, most soldiers accepted army propaganda messages about holy war, defending European civilization, German–Romanian comradeship, and the threat of Judeo-Bolshevism. However, soldiers were increasingly less convinced by army propaganda’s promises of final victory, especially in the aftermath of Stalingrad. The Romanian Army maintained strict discipline through various means, the most notorious being corporal punishment, but also including penal, capital, and financial sanctions. The General Staff transformed an old practice, the rehabilitation of officers through bravery in combat, into an extensive new system that provided the Romanian Army desperately needed manpower. The Romanian Army’s propaganda efforts and strict discipline reinforced its solders' motivation in the holy war against Judeo-Bolshevism.

Keywords:   Antonescu regime, army propaganda, soldier motivation, army discipline, corporal punishment, war crimes, Judeo-Bolshevism

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