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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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Rise and Fall

Rise and Fall

(p.216) 8 Rise and Fall
Holy Legionary Youth

Roland Clark

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the fall of the Legion of the Archangel Michael. The elections of 1937 produced a hung Parliament in Romania. For the first time in the country's history, the incumbent party failed to win the election. On January 14 Corneliu Zelea Codreanu issued a circular ordering his legionaries to abstain from slander or negative comments about their electoral opponents and to “maintain an attitude of the greatest dignity.” At the same time, he ordered the legionaries to draw up blacklists of police officers and political opponents who tried to interfere with legionary propaganda. This chapter examines how the dictatorship of Romanian King Carol II ended the Legion as an effective social movement before discussing Romania's transformation into the National Legionary State. It also considers the legionaries' rebellion against General Ion Antonescu, Michael I's coup d'état against Antonescu, and the view that the Legion was a spiritual movement aimed at fighting communism.

Keywords:   dictatorship, Legion of the Archangel Michael, elections, Romania, Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, Carol II, rebellion, Ion Antonescu, Michael I, communism

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