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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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Iron-Clad Breasts and Lily-White Souls

Iron-Clad Breasts and Lily-White Souls

(p.151) 6 Iron-Clad Breasts and Lily-White Souls
Holy Legionary Youth

Roland Clark

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the Legion of the Archangel Michael's use of peaceful methods. These gave the movement the high moral ground as it competed with Romania's major political parties. In stark contrast to their celebration of violence during the early 1930s, between 1934 and 1938 legionaries spoke constantly about cultivating themselves, educating their fellow Romanians, and creating a new moral elite. They argued that legionary education was the key element that attracted “many young Christians” to the movement. Legionary propaganda emphasized workers' rights, anti-Masonry, and antipoliticianism during the Great Depression. This chapter discusses the Legion's peaceful propaganda through community events, marches, work camps, and businesses from 1935 to 1937 that gave the movement unparalleled growth during the period. It also considers the legionaries' sacrificial giving in terms of time and money, along with their emphasis on masculinity and other virtues reminiscent of those of interwar European fascism.

Keywords:   fascism, Legion of the Archangel Michael, Romania, education, peaceful propaganda, workers' rights, marches, work camps, sacrificial giving, masculinity

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