The perpetrators of the Holocaust were not only Germans. For example, the nationalist governments of two allies of Germany, Romania and Croatia, both murdered Jews themselves without any prompting from the Nazis. In the case of Romania, Mihai Antonescu, the foreign minister and deputy prime minister, set out the ideology behind the terror at a cabinet meeting in July 1941.
At the risk of being misunderstood by certain traditionalists who may be among you, I am all for the forced migration of the Jewish element of Bessarabia [Moldova] and Bukovina [now in Ukraine], which must be dumped across the border... You must be merciless to them... I do not know how many centuries must pass before the Romanian people shall again encounter such total freedom of action, such opportunity for ethnic purification and national revision... This is a time in which we are masters of our territory. Let’s use it. If necessary, fire the machine gun. I couldn’t care less if history remembers us as barbarians... I take formal responsibility in telling you there is no law... So, no formalities, complete freedom.
In the months and years which followed, more than 200,000 Jews, including those shown being deported in the photograph, were murdered by the Romanian army and police in modern Moldova and Ukraine through a combination of mass shootings, use as slave labour and starvation.
Photo: Moldovan Jews are deported to Transnistria by Romanian forces, 1941; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Speech: Jean Ancel (ed.), Documents concerning the fate of Romanian Jewry during the Holocaust, VI (Beate Karlsfeld Foundation, 1986)