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Codreanu, Corneliu Zelea


Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


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(1899–1938), nationalist agitator and leader of the iron guard . Too young to fight for his native romania in World War I, he nonetheless received a military upbringing and developed a respect for the values of discipline and order. Such an outlook was accompanied by dislike of the modern world, violent antisemitism , and hatred of communism as part of a wider Jewish conspiracy. He moved into far-right politics, helping to break up the Iasa strikes of 1919–20 and mobilizing assaults on Jewish students. In 1923 he assisted in the foundation of the National Christian Defense League (LANC) which was appalled by the new constitution that granted equal rights to Jews. Gravitating to terrorism , Codreanu involved himself in a plot to kill the prime minister, and in 1924 murdered the police prefect Constantin Manciu, but on neither occasion was he successfully prosecuted. In 1927 he established the Legion of the Archangel Michael, having undergone a vision of the Saint during one of his many stays in prison. Modeled on fascism , this movement enjoyed considerable popularity thanks to the onset of the great depression [2] and the failings of parliamentary democracy under King carol ii . In 1930 the Legion acquired a youth wing, the Iron Guard, by which name Codreanu's movement became popularly known. Borrowing heavily from mussolini's blackshirts, it continued a policy of murder ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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