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Iron Guard

Iron Guard, Romanian nationalistic, anti-Semitic, and antiparliamentary group, founded in 1924 by Corneliu Zelea Codreanu. Originally named the Legion of the Archangel Michael, it was organized on military lines and operated through terrorism. Its most notable victims were Premier Ion Duca, assassinated in 1933, and ex-Premier Nicolae Iorga, assassinated in 1940. Banned in 1933, the Iron Guard carried on as the All-for-the-Fatherland party. When King Carol II proclaimed his personal dictatorship in 1938, he had Codreanu and other leading Guardists imprisoned and eventually shot. Following the king's abduction in 1940, Marshall Ion Antonescu seized power with the help of the Iron Guard, but soon found himself in disagreement with it. He suppressed (1941) an Iron Guard rebellion, and Horia Sima, then leader of the Guard and vice premier, fled to Germany. With the collapse of the Axis Powers in World War II the Iron Guard disappeared from Romanian politics.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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