Garda de Fier
- Iron Guard
Founded in 1927
The Garda de Fier was a fascist and anti-Semitic movement in Romania, whose members were known as ‘Legionnaires’. Originally established in 1927 under the name ‘legion of the Archangel Michael’ and organized into paramilitary units, the Garda de Fier soon became a mass political movement. It was officially dissolved in 1933, but continued to function, even receiving the third largest number of votes in Romania’s 1937 election. During the mid-1930s the Garda de Fier also established ties with the Nazi regime in Germany. In 1938, Romania’s King Carol II again outlawed the Garda de Fier. Nonetheless, in 1940-09 he made a deal with the movement and invited its leaders into the government. The Garda de Fier immediately launched a wave of terror against Romania’s Jews in hopes of removing them from Romanian life. The passed racist laws and revitalized their ties with the Nazis and the fascist government in Italy. In 1941-01 the Garda de Fier unsuccessfully attempted to take over the government completely. The failed coup was accompanied by pogroms, in which 123 Jews were killed. Most of the Garda de Fier leaders then fled to Germany. After the war, many of the Garda de Fier members escaped to Spain and Portugal, where they avoided trial as war criminals.
Founded in Romania.
Encyclopedia of the Holocaust / R. Rozett, S. Spector. - Jerusalem, 2006. - p. 277, 278