Bucharest (Jan. 15)
Charges of plotting to overthrow the constitutional authority have been brought against the following antisemitic leaders: Zelea Cornieliu Codreanu, Stelescu, Chief of the Battalion in Galatz, Moise Lefter, Jon Banier, Chief of the Jassy Battalion, Nicolas Totu, Chief of the Kimpolung Battalion, Jon Danila, Chief of the Borsha Battalion, and Amos Horatiu Pop, Chief of the Turda Battalion, it is reported here. The proceedings against them are being taken under the provisions of the Marzescu anti-sedition law.
The accused are charged with having organised a movement for “integral Roumanianism and the removal of Jews from all spheres of activity”, and for that purpose to have been preparing a revolt to overthrow the Government and to establish a regime in which they would be able to accomplish their aims. The organisations, the statement says, were thus by subversive means seeking to dispense with the authority of the legally elected Government and the representative political parties, destroy the principle of democratic representation through general and free elections, and set up a dictatorship on Fascist lines. For this purpose the two organisations, the Iron Guard and the Archangel Michael, were organised as military bodies armed for military combat. The organisations were making final preparations to effect a coup d’etat by force of arms. All legions were under the command of a supreme chief, whom they were bound by caths of allegiance to obey without question till death. The organisations were arranged in battalions, one in each area, with platoons and cells. A cell, the smallest group of the organisation, consisted of a chief and 13 legionaries, sworn to loyalty to their chief till death. The legionaries and their chiefs were provided with uniforms. The chiefs also had swords, The salute was the old Roman salute of extending the right arm, employed also by the Fascists and the Hitlerists. The legion had in its gift two distinctions, a medal known as the “Knight of the Cross”, and a medal “For Work And Sacrifice”. These distinctions were conferred on members for exceptional services.
In addition to the organised legions, the names of whose members are now known to the authorities, there were also certain bodies of outside sympathisers with the movement, and a supplementary body of “musketeers”. These people did not take the oath of allegiance, but were pledged only by hand-shake and word of honour.
The movement started with five battalions, and lately numbered twelve. It is impossible, the statement says, to establish the exact number of the legionaries, but the documents found suggest that there were over 6,000 throughout the country. Nothing is yet known of the number of their sympathisers throughout the country. Most of the active legionaries were students of the universities or the Lyceums, and the sympathisers were State officials, farmers, etc.
The documents seized by the authorities show that active preparations had already been made for actual fighting. All orders sent by headquarters to the area commanders called on them to be ready for battle. That this was not a metaphor employed to indicate a propaganda fight, is shown by the fact that all the preparations made indicate that a real battle was intended, with the employment of arms and in regular military formation.