Horia Sima

Horia Sima was a Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

n fascist
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 politician. After 1938, he was the second and last leader of the fascist and antisemitic para-military movement known as the Iron Guard
Iron Guard
The Iron Guard is the name most commonly given to a far-right movement and political party in Romania in the period from 1927 into the early part of World War II. The Iron Guard was ultra-nationalist, fascist, anti-communist, and promoted the Orthodox Christian faith...


In Romania

Sima was born near Făgăraş
Făgăraș is a city in central Romania, located in Braşov County . Another source of the name is alleged to derive from the Hungarian language word for "partridge" . A more plausible explanation is that the name is given by Fogaras river coming from the Pecheneg "Fagar šu", which means ash water...

, in Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

 (part of Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 at the time). Between 1926 and 1932, Horia Sima was a student at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of the University of Bucharest
University of Bucharest
The University of Bucharest , in Romania, is a university founded in 1864 by decree of Prince Alexander John Cuza to convert the former Saint Sava Academy into the current University of Bucharest.-Presentation:...

. After this, he started to work as a local high-school teacher of logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

 and philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

. In October 1927 he joined newly-formed Iron Guard
Iron Guard
The Iron Guard is the name most commonly given to a far-right movement and political party in Romania in the period from 1927 into the early part of World War II. The Iron Guard was ultra-nationalist, fascist, anti-communist, and promoted the Orthodox Christian faith...

 and became responsible for the Banat
The Banat is a geographical and historical region in Central Europe currently divided between three countries: the eastern part lies in western Romania , the western part in northeastern Serbia , and a small...


Sima became commander of the Legion after the founder and leader of the Iron Guard, Corneliu Zelea Codreanu
Corneliu Zelea Codreanu
Corneliu Zelea Codreanu was a Romanian politician of the far right, the founder and charismatic leader of the Iron Guard or The Legion of the Archangel Michael , an ultra-nationalist and violently antisemitic organization active throughout most of the interwar period...

, was imprisoned. Tension built up following a series of assassinations of Iron Guard members, including Codreanu (who was killed in prison), in late November 1938. In early 1939, Sima was able to flee to Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 through Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a state stretching from the Western Balkans to Central Europe which existed during the often-tumultuous interwar era of 1918–1941...

. In the summer of the same year, he was sent back in order to prepare and conduct the assassination of the Romanian Prime-Minister, Armand Călinescu
Armand Calinescu
Armand Călinescu was a Romanian economist and politician, who served as Prime Minister between March 1939 and the time of his death.-Early life:...

, on September 21, 1939. On July 4, 1940, he joined the cabinet of Ion Gigurtu
Ion Gigurtu
Ion Gigurtu was a Romanian politician, Land Forces officer, engineer and industrialist who served a brief term as Prime Minister from July 4 to September 4, 1940, under the personal regime of King Carol II. A specialist in mining and veteran of both the Second Balkan War and World War I, he made a...

 as Minister of Religion and Arts, alongside two other Iron Guard members, but resigned four days later.

In September 1940, King Carol II
Carol II of Romania
Carol II reigned as King of Romania from 8 June 1930 until 6 September 1940. Eldest son of Ferdinand, King of Romania, and his wife, Queen Marie, a daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second eldest son of Queen Victoria...

 abdicated and the Iron Guard entered a tense alliance with the general Ion Antonescu
Ion Antonescu
Ion Victor Antonescu was a Romanian soldier, authoritarian politician and convicted war criminal. The Prime Minister and Conducător during most of World War II, he presided over two successive wartime dictatorships...

 (the National Legionary State
National Legionary State
The National Legionary State was the Romanian government from September 6, 1940 to January 23, 1941. It was a single-party regime dictatorship dominated by the overtly fascist Iron Guard in uneasy conjunction with the head of government and Conducător Ion Antonescu, the leader of the Romanian...

). At that point Sima was able to return from exile as vice-premier in the government and Commander of the Legionary National Socialist and para-military movement. The Romanian territorial cessions in the summer of 1940, secretly instrumented by his Nazi
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 protectors, offered him the pretext for sparking a huge wave of xenophobic
Xenophobia is defined as "an unreasonable fear of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange". It comes from the Greek words ξένος , meaning "stranger," "foreigner" and φόβος , meaning "fear."...

 and antisemitic attitudes. As a member of the government, Sima initiated a series of brutal pogrom
A pogrom is a form of violent riot, a mob attack directed against a minority group, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes and properties, businesses, and religious centres...

s, assassinations and de-possessions among Jews
History of the Jews in Romania
The history of Jews in Romania concerns the Jews of Romania and of Romanian origins, from their first mention on what is nowadays Romanian territory....

 and competing politicians.

In January 1941, during the Legionnaires Rebellion
Legionnaires' Rebellion and Bucharest Pogrom
The Legionnaires' rebellion and the Bucharest pogrom occurred in Bucharest, Romania, between 21 and 23 January 1941.As the privileges of the Iron Guard were being cut off by Conducător Ion Antonescu, members of the Iron Guard, also known as the Legionnaires, revolted...

, Antonescu made Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 choose between the military wing of the Romanian government and the Iron Guard. When Hitler decided to back him over the Guard, Antonescu proceeded to the suppression of the Legion from the government.


With the tacit agreement from Antonescu due to Hitler's influence, Sima was able to leave Romania for Germany, where he was imprisoned in a special, humane, section of the Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp
Buchenwald concentration camp was a German Nazi concentration camp established on the Ettersberg near Weimar, Germany, in July 1937, one of the first and the largest of the concentration camps on German soil.Camp prisoners from all over Europe and Russia—Jews, non-Jewish Poles and Slovenes,...

, one meant for Iron Guard members. Meanwhile, Romanian authorities sentenced him to death
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

 in absentia
In absentia
In absentia is Latin for "in the absence". In legal use, it usually means a trial at which the defendant is not physically present. The phrase is not ordinarily a mere observation, but suggests recognition of violation to a defendant's right to be present in court proceedings in a criminal trial.In...

, in order to ensure his permanent exile. In 1942, once again he was able to escape and flee to Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, but was soon extradited back to Germany on the orders of Galeazzo Ciano
Galeazzo Ciano
Gian Galeazzo Ciano, 2nd Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari was an Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Benito Mussolini's son-in-law. In early 1944 Count Ciano was shot by firing squad at the behest of his father-in-law, Mussolini under pressure from Nazi Germany.-Early life:Ciano was born in...


While interned, Sima was faced with the dissent of several groups of Legionnaires. These distanced themselves from Sima's policies, stating that they did not approve of the way in which he had run the country and the movement, and were starting to appeal to the German supervisors for distinctions to be made in their case. It was to be the beginning of a split which is still present in the political legacy of the Iron Guard.

When Romania changed sides in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, joining the Allies
In everyday English usage, allies are people, groups, or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out between them...

 in August 1944, Sima was released and he ended up building a pro-Nazi puppet government in exile, in Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

. As the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 offensive proved unstoppable, he fled to Altaussee
Altaussee is a small alpine Austrian village, nestled on the shores of the Altaussee lake, beneath the Loser Plateau. Occupying an area of 92 km², the village is home to 1,888 people. Altaussee is within the Salzkammergut region, in the state of Styria....

 under the alias Josef Weber. Living in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, in Italy, and finally in Francoist Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, he was yet again sentenced to death in Romania in 1946. At the same time, his activities in Germany and Romania got him the attention of the Kriminalpolizei
is the standard term for the criminal investigation agency within the police forces of Germany, Austria and the German-speaking cantons of Switzerland. In Nazi Germany during 1936, the Kripo became the Criminal Police Department for the entire Reich...


During his time in exile, Sima attempted to form connections with the mainstream ideologies of Anti-Communism
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed in reaction to the rise of communism, especially after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.-Objections to communist theory:...

, insisting on the Guard's allegiance to the Free World
Free World
The Free World is a Cold War-era term often used to describe states not under the rule of the Soviet Union, its Eastern European allies, China, Vietnam, Cuba, and other communist nations. The term often referred to states such as the United States, Canada, and Western European states such as the...

. The party oriented itself towards denunciations of the realities inside Communist Romania
Communist Romania
Communist Romania was the period in Romanian history when that country was a Soviet-aligned communist state in the Eastern Bloc, with the dominant role of Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its successive constitutions...

, but never achieved status as an important voice in the Romanian diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...


He died in Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

 and was buried alongside his wife Elvira Sima in Torredembarra
Torredembarra is a small town in the comarca of the Tarragonès, in the province of Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain.- External links :***...

 (near Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...



  • Europe at the crossroads: war or capitulation? Munich
    Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

     Verlag "Vestitori" 1955 (view here)
  • The Rumanian situation after 19 years of Communist slavery and policies of the western powers, 1944-1963; a declaration by the Rumanian Legionary Movement Rio de Janeiro
    Rio de Janeiro
    Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

    ? 1963?
  • Hunger In Romania 1964
  • Articole politice, 1950-1963 1967.
  • XLth anniversary of the foundation of the Rumanian legionary movement, 1927-1967; declarations of the legionary movement concerning the fate of the free world and the tragedy of the Rumanian people 1968
  • Ce este comunismul? Madrid, Editura Dacia, 1972.
  • Histoire du Mouvement Légionnaire, Rio de Janeiro, 1972 (The History of the Legionary Movement, Legionary Press, 1995)
  • An interview with Horia Sima, Commander-in-chief, Legion of the Archangel Michael "Thule of Palermo", 1977
  • The Truth About The Legionary Movement
  • The Natural World Order

External links

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