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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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Elections, Violence, and Discipline

Elections, Violence, and Discipline

(p.95) 4 Elections, Violence, and Discipline
Holy Legionary Youth

Roland Clark

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the Legion of the Archangel Michael's willingness to engage in political violence during elections as well as its system of discipline and punishment. Corneliu Zelea Codreanu stated in 1932 that the Legion's goal was not to win elections but rather to ensure that Romania should “be led according to the will of the legionaries.” Aware that contesting the 1933 elections would not be an easy proposition, Codreanu formed disciplined echipe morţii (death teams) who would use violence to ensure that their message was heard. This chapter first discusses the legionaries' assassination of the prime minister, Ion G. Duca, and the subsequent arrest and imprisonment of some legionaries. It then considers how the assassination boosted the Legion's reputation and how the “heroism” of prison inspired old and new recruits alike to be willing to make even greater sacrifices for the Legion. It also explains how the Legion disciplines and punishes its members.

Keywords:   political violence, Legion of the Archangel Michael, elections, discipline and punishment, assassination, Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, Romania, echipe morţii, Ion G. Duca, imprisonment

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