Iron Guard

(redirected from Legion of the Archangel Michael)
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Iron Guard,

Romanian nationalistic, anti-Semitic, and antiparliamentary group, founded in 1924 by Corneliu Zelea CodreanuCodreanu, Corneliu Zelea
, 1899–1938, Romanian political leader and anti-Semitic terrorist. Active in the Romanian student movement against leftists and liberals, he founded (1927) and led the militant, fascist Iron Guard until his conviction for treason in 1938.
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. 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 IorgaIorga, Nicolae
, 1871–1940, Romanian historian and statesman. A professor at the Univ. of Bucharest, he founded (1910) and later led the National Democratic party; after World War I he was president of the Romanian national assembly.
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, assassinated in 1940. Banned in 1933, the Iron Guard carried on as the All-for-the-Fatherland party. When King Carol IICarol II,
1893–1953, king of Romania, son of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie. While crown prince, he contracted a morganatic marriage with Zizi Labrino but divorced her to marry (1921) Princess Helen of Greece.
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 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 AntonescuAntonescu, Ion
, 1882–1946, Romanian marshal and dictator. He served in World War I and later became chief of staff, but he fell into disfavor with King Carol II because of his pro-Nazi attitude and his suspected intrigues with the Iron Guard. In World War II, on Sept.
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 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.

Iron Guard


(in Rumanian, Garda de fier), a fascist organization created in 1931 by reactionary Rumanian bourgeois-landlord circles. The Iron Guard served as an agent of Hitler in Rumania. After its assassination of the Rumanian prime minister I. G. Duca in 1934, the organization was formally dissolved. It continued to operate under the name of “Everything for the Fatherland.”

After the establishment of the fascist monarchical dictator-ship in February 1938, King Carol II, recognizing the Iron Guard as a rival in the struggle for political power in the country, banned the organization and killed its leader, C. Codreanu, “in an attempt to escape.” In 1940 the leaders of the illegal Iron Guard, including Horia Sima, took part in the formation of General I. Antonescu’s fascist government; however, in January 1941, they came into conflict with Antonescu. After the liberation of Rumania from fascism in 1944, the Iron Guard was dissolved and banned.


Lebedev, N. I. “Zheleznaia gvardiia.” Kami’ II i Gitler. Moscow, 1968.