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Duca Assassins Tried Monday in Bucharest

March 18, 1934
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Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, leader of the anti-Semitic Iron Guard and several of his henchmen will go on trial here Monday morning charged with the assassination of Premier Ion G. Duca on December 29. Premier Duca was killed by Nicholas Constantinescu, student member of the Iron Guard at Sinaia station as he was returning from an interview with King Carol.

After the murder of Premier Duca, Codreanu disappeared and was reported to have fled to Germany. An intensive search for him failed. Yesterday Codrcanu was arrested by police as he was about to enter a building in which military courts were sitting. He declared that he had come with the intention of surrendering himself so that he could stand trial with the men accused of the murder.

Codreanu was accompanied by Colonel Zavoianu in whose home he had been hidden, his lawyer and by the priest Dimitrescu, known as an anti-Semitic agitator. Codreanu and the two men who were with him will be tried as accomplices in the murder.

“SOLD RUMANIA TO JEWS”

That the murder of Premier Duca was not an individual act was indicated by the statement of Constantinescu, who said: “I killed Duca because he sold Rumania to the Jews.”

Immediately after the Liberal government of Premier Duca ordered the suppression of the Iron Guard, which had been carrying on a violent anti-Semitic campaign all over Rumania, Codreanu declared in his paper, Guard, that any attempt to suppress his group would be answered with a reign of terror. He even sent direct personal threats to Premier Duca.

When the Premier carried out the suppression of the Iron Guard, Codreanu fled disguised as a woman.

Codreanu began his career about ten years ago. After contacts with the German anti-Semites while yet a student in Germany, he returned to Rumania and assassinated the prefect of Jassy because he arrested students who had carried out an attack on the Jews. Codreanu was arrested but later freed.

He then organized the anti-Semitic League of the Archangel Michael, which was later renamed the Iron Guard.

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