KING CAROL, HITLER AND LUPESCU

By A. L. Easterman
Victor Gollancz Ltd, London, 1942



 
THE INNER HISTORY of Carol, ex-king of Roumania, his relations with the internationally famous yet virtually unknown Mme Lupescu, and the conflict with Hitler which cost Carol his crown, and led to his exile in Mexico.





This is a remarkable revelation of the inner history of Carol, ex-King of Roumania, once dubbed the "royal rapscallion," of his relations with the internationally famous, yet virtually unknown, "woman behind the throne," Madame Lupescu, and of his conflict with Hitler which cost him his crown and led to his exile in Mexico. Mr. Easterman brings to light many sensational and hitherto untold stories—including the first detailed account of the tragic drama before and during the abdication of King Carol, forced to relinquish his throne by General Antonescu and his accomplices, the fascist terrorist Iron Guard.

Not the least outstanding feature of this unusual book is the hitherto unrevealed account of Carol's meeting with Hitler at Berchtesgaden. Hitler's tirades in the face of Carol and his son, the Crown Prince Michael, are revealed as the beginning of the open clash between the Nazi Führer and the Roumanian King, and of Hitler's determination to crush the defiant monarch. The interview is a Wagnerian climax to the tragic failure of Carol's famous State visit to London in November, 1938, when he came not only for glitter but to seek aid against Hitler.

Mr. Easterman brings to light the "inside story" of Carol's relations with Britain and France in the light of Hitler's forthcoming aggression in Europe and during the first year of the war. He discusses in detail the puzzling question of whether Carol was the supporter, the tool or the victim of Hitler and whether, in fact, he "sold" his country to Nazi Germany, or was betrayed into surrendering it to the Axis. Mr. Easterman discloses the real purpose of Carol's State visit to London, and gives his specific proposals to Britain to enable him to withstand the Führer's aim to destroy the independence of Roumania, as part of his projected major European aggression. Here is the first full account of the King's frantic efforts to secure a British guarantee on the same lines as that given to Poland, and of Chamberlain's blind refusal until pressed by the British Labour leaders at a dramatic early morning meeting with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street, "before Sir Horace Wilson arrives." There is also the astonishing account of how Carol was "let down" over the question of British aid to Roumania when the British Trade Mission haggled over a credit of £5,500,000 at 5½% interest and the settlement of British commercial debts owing by Roumanian trading interests—when Carol required £50,000,000 to put his country in a state of defence against Hitler, and Hitler was pressing, with menaces, for "concessions."

Other chapters give an absorbing account of Carol's struggles with the Iron Guard, Hitler's greatest Fifth Column, and tell the grim story of the murder of its leader, Codreanu, himself a murderer, with his chief henchmen, on a lonely road near Bucharest "while trying to escape" from Carol's guards. Hitler's steady and relentless pressure on Carol, the Nazi intrigues and menaces, Carol's vain efforts to secure the help of the Western democracies, his gradual surrender to Germany and the final, humiliating ruin of Roumania following the "Vienna Diktat," revealing the foulest of Hitler's trickery and chicanery, are told in full and arresting detail. They form a vivid narrative of treachery, espionage, rebellion, and the collapse of a Throne and State.






CONTENTS

I   Abdication from Treachery
II   Rebel Prince and Lover
III   Restless Exile
IV   Who is Magda Lupescu?
V   "Master of My Country"
VI   Fascist Prelude to London
VII   London Somersault
VIII   Glitter but no Gold
IX   Berchtesgaden—via Paris
X   King meets Fuehrer
XI   Carol strikes at Hitler's "Protégés"
XII   Goebbels goes Biblical
XIII   Guarantee without Security
XIV   Oncoming Storm
XV   Murder of a Premier
XVI   Carol in Hitler's Trap
XVII   A State in Ruins
XVIII   Report on Surrender
XIX   "Sixth-Sense" Jew-baiter
XX   The Prisoner Escapes
XXI   "Foreigners without Protection"
    Postscript: Jungle
    Epilogue





King Carol II


Helena Lupescu







Mr. Easterman is particularly well qualified to write this book. As Foreign Editor of the Daily Express and, later, as Chief Foreign Correspondent and, from the beginning of the war until the collapse of France, Chief Correspondent of the Daily Herald, he is one of the few men who can claim to know Europe "from the inside," in all its bewildering tangle of diplomacy and counter-diplomacy. He has travelled extensively both in Europe and in the United States, and has had the opportunity of meeting and talking to the leaders of diplomatic and political Europe. During the past few years he has made a close study of Roumanian affairs. In January 1938 he was sent to Roumania on a special mission of investigation into Carol's sensational appointment of the Fascist anti-semite Octavian Goga as Premier—an act which bewildered all Europe, coming, as it did, after Hitler had begun to disclose his design to overrun the Continent and plunge civilisation into war. Mr. Easterman was then attracted by the unusual character and personality of King Carol, with whom he had an interview which made a world-wide stir. He also talked to Lupescu—a rare privilege for a journalist, for she shunned publicity and the press.

King Carol, Hitler and Lupescu is the fruit of much research and "piecing together" of facts relating to these remarkable people, and to the part they have played in the affairs of a strange and little-known country, in the wider scene of Europe on the verge of chaos and in the war which has engulfed them and millions of others. Out of this book there emerges a new conception of Europe's most colourful monarch and his woman companion who, for twenty years, has set the world talking—and guessing.