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Holy Legionary YouthFascist Activism in Interwar Romania$
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Roland Clark

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453687

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453687.001.0001

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Youthful Justice

Youthful Justice

(p.28) 2 Youthful Justice
Holy Legionary Youth

Roland Clark

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the rise of Romania's antisemitic student movement whose origins can be traced back to the protests of December 10, 1922, when 3,000–4,000 students from all over the country met in the amphitheater of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Bucharest and declared a general strike. Romanian universities had been plagued by ultranationalist student violence since 1919. One of the leaders of the student gangs was Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, who was expelled from the university in June 1921 for assault and vandalism but continued to play an active role in student politics. This chapter discusses the antisemitic violence of ultranationalist students, with particular emphasis on hooliganism against Jews. It also considers the vandalism and violence that usually accompanied student congresses, the trial of Codreanu for planning a series of assassinations, and the ultranationalists' framing of his trial as a problem of “justice.” Finally, it evaluates the National Christian Defense League's strategy of provoking official reactions and then portraying its members as victims.

Keywords:   antisemitism, Romania, student movement, student violence, Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, ultranationalism, hooliganism, Jews, justice, National Christian Defense League

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