Capitan Codreanu

Capitan Codreanu

Oliver Jens Schmitt

The first biography of the Romanian fascist leader, Corneliu Zelea-Codreanu, a key figure in Southeast European history.

He founded the »Legion of the Archangel Michael«, was sentenced to death as a murderer, honoured as the »fairly-tale Prince« and »Messiah«, and shot in 1938 while trying to flee. Extreme political anti-Semitism, a social revolution and the creation of a »new man«: after Hitler and Mussolini, Corneliu Zelea-Codreanu (1899-1938) was the third in a series of charismatic fascist leaders in Europe between the wars. Nevertheless, Codreanu remains almost unknown to this day. Swiss historian Oliver Jens Schmitt, who teaches in Vienna, relates his story in the context of Europe. Like Hitler, Codreanu planned a putsch. He was arrested and, because judges were sympathetic towards him, he became an idol for rightwing nationalist circles. Schmitt narrates the story of student riots, religiously charged mass marches and the magnetism that Codreanu exerted on all classes of society – in particular on intellectuals such as Mircea Eliade and Emil Cioran – up to his violent death and the rekindling of his cult today.

Capitan Codreanu

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