Antonescu, Ion


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Antonescu, Ion

(yôn äntônĕs`ko͞o), 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 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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 because of his pro-Nazi attitude and his suspected intrigues with the Iron GuardIron 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.
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. In World War II, on Sept. 4–5, 1940, Carol, threatened with revolution and German intervention, appointed Antonescu premier with dictatorial powers. On Sept. 6, Antonescu forced the king to abdicate in favor of Carol's son, MichaelMichael,
1921–, king of Romania (1927–30, 1940–47). His father, Prince Carol (later Carol II), renounced his right of succession in 1925, and young Michael ascended the throne under a regency on the death of Ferdinand.
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. In Nov., 1940, Romania joined the Axis Powers, and Antonescu gave Adolf Hitler virtual control over Romanian economy and foreign policy, tolerated violent pogroms against the Jews, and declared (June 22, 1941) a "holy war" on the Soviet Union. With two Soviet armies deep in Romania, King Michael in Aug., 1944, had Antonescu and his cabinet arrested in a dramatic coup. Antonescu was tried (1946) for war crimes and executed.

Antonescu, Ion

 

Born June 2 (14), 1882, in Pitesti; died June 1, 1946. Fascist military dictator of Rumania from 1940 to 1944; general.

Antonescu participated in the suppression of a peasant uprising in 1907 and in the military intervention against the Hungarian Soviet republic in 1919. In 1933 he became chief of the Rumanian general staff and in 1938 minister of defense. He became dictator of Rumania in September 1940. Antonescu and his government plunged Rumania into the war unleashed by Hitler against the USSR. After the popular uprising of Aug. 23, 1944, he was arrested. The people’s tribunal of Bucharest sentenced him to death as a war criminal, and he was executed in 1946.

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