The Treaty of Craiova and Southern Dobrudja

September 7, 1940 – The Treaty of Craiova is made between Romania and Bulgaria, the result of which is that Romania loses Southern Dobrudja to Bulgaria.

Dobrudja is an area of north-eastern Bulgaria comprising the administrative districts named for its two principal cities of Dobrich and Silistra. It has an area of 7,565 km² and a population of 358,000. When it was a part of Romania from 1913 to 1940 it was known in Romanian as Dobrogea Nouă (“New Dobruja”).

Southern Dobrudja was part of the autonomous Bulgarian principality within the Ottoman Empire from 1878 until Bulgaria’s defeat in the Second Balkan War, when the region was ceded to Romania under the Treaty of Bucharest (1913).

Below is a map of Romania and Bulgaria with Southern Dobrudja highlighted in yellow. Northern Dobruja is highlighted in orange.

Southern Dobrudja map

On 7 September 1940 Southern Dobrudja was restored to Bulgaria under the Treaty of Craiova. The treaty was followed by a mandatory population exchange: about 110,000 Romanians (almost 95% of which settled there after 1913) were forced to leave Southern Dobrudja, whereas 77,000 Bulgarians had to leave northern Dobrudja. Only a few hundred Romanians and Aromanians are now left in the region.

The overprinted stamp shown here was issued in 1916 by the Bulgarian Post Office for use in Dobrudja (when it belonged to Romania) and commemorates the Bulgarian occupation of the area.  Bulgaria was an ally of the Central Powers during World War I and waged a successful war campaign against the Romanian, Russian, and Serbo-Croatian forces conquering the entire territory of Dobrudja, as well as the Romanian capital Bucharest (together with forces of Germany and Austria-Hungary).

dobrudja stamp 1916

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