National-Christian Defense League
The National-Christian Defense League ( or LANC) was a virulently anti-Semitic political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 of 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...

 formed by A. C. Cuza
A. C. Cuza
A. C. Cuza was a Romanian far right politician and theorist.-Early life:Born in Iaşi, after attending secondary school in his native city and in Dresden, Cuza studied law at the University of Paris, the Universität unter den Linden, and the Université Libre de Bruxelles...



The group had its roots in the National Christian Union, formed in 1922 by Cuza and the famed physiologist Nicolae Paulescu
Nicolae Paulescu
Nicolae Paulescu was a Romanian physiologist, professor of medicine, the discoverer of insulin . The "pancreine" was a crude extract of bovine pancreas in salted water, after which some impurites were removed with hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide.-Early life and activities:Born in Bucharest,...

. This group, which used the swastika
The swastika is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing form in counter clock motion or its mirrored left-facing form in clock motion. Earliest archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization of Ancient...

 as its emblem, morphed in to the LANC in 1923. The LANC became associated with extreme anti-Semitism, calling for a gradual withdrawal of rights
Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory...

 for Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 which would include the withdrawal of political rights for all Jews, the withdrawal of citizenship
Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national, or human resource community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities...

 for most and a gradual policy of reapportionment of Jewish land and businesses. The party banner became the flag of Romania
Flag of Romania
The national flag of Romania is a tricolour with vertical stripes: beginning from the flagpole, blue, yellow and red. It has a width-length ratio of 2:3....

 with a swastika in the center. Much of LANC's ideas were framed within theological
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 arguments which were created by Nichifor Crainic
Nichifor Crainic
Nichifor Crainic was a Romanian writer, editor, philosopher, poet and theologian famed for his traditionalist and antisemitic activities...

, who served as Secretary General of the group.


Initially the LANC gained some support and its blue shirted militia group, the Lăncieri
The Lăncieri or 'Lance-bearers' were a Romanian fascist paramilitary movement who adopted a blue shirted uniform and contributed to the country's political street battles in the 1920s and 1930s....

, gained notoriety for their anti-Semitic activities in the universities. Increasing its influence the LANC mopped up most of the followers of groups such as the National Fascist Movement
National Fascist Movement
The National Fascist Movement was a Romanian political movement formed in 1923 by the merger of the National Romanian Fascia and the National Italo-Romanian Cultural and Economic Movement....

 and the National Romanian Fascia
National Romanian Fascia
The National Romanian Fascia was a small fascist group that was active in Romania for a short time during the 1920s.Led by Titus Vifor, the group emerged from the short-lived National Fascist Party in 1921 and, at its peak, had around 1,500 members...

 during the mid 1920s. Support for LANC was particularly strong in Bukovina
Bukovina is a historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains.-Name:The name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became...

, Maramures
Maramureș may refer to the following:*Maramureș, a geographical, historical, and ethno-cultural region in present-day Romania and Ukraine, that occupies the Maramureș Depression and Maramureș Mountains, a mountain range in North East Carpathians...

, Northern Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

 and 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...

 and this central northern region was to prove most responsive to fascism in Romania throughout the 1920s and 1930s.


However Cuza's leadership, characterised as it was by his level-headed professorial approach, led to some discontent particularly amongst the group's youth and student movement, the Legion of the Archangel Michael of 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...

, where the prevailing mood was one in favour of violent action. As a result LANC received a blow in 1927 when Codreanu and his Legion broke off to form a distinct movement (which ultimately emerged 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...

) and the LANC's stock fell somewhat.


The LANC managed to regroup and returned to the Chamber of Deputies
Chamber of Deputies of Romania
The Chamber of Deputies is the lower house in Romania's bicameral parliament. It has 315 seats, to which deputies are elected by direct popular vote on a proportional representation basis to serve four-year terms...

 in 1933, returning nine members in the general election. Despite this recovery the League had still fallen some way behind the Iron Guard and it soon became clear that it needed to expand if it hoped to have any power. As such Crainic took the lead in organizing negotiations with Octavian Goga
Octavian Goga
Octavian Goga was a Romanian politician, poet, playwright, journalist, and translator.-Life:Born in Răşinari, nearby Sibiu, he was an active member in the Romanian nationalistic movement in Transylvania and of its leading group, the Romanian National Party in Austria-Hungary. Before World War I,...

 and his National Agrarian Party
National Agrarian Party (Romania)
The National Agrarian Party was a right-wing agrarian political party active in Romania during the early 1930s....

 and the LANC was merged with this party to form the National Christian Party
National Christian Party
The National Christian Party was a Romanian political party, the product of a union between Octavian Goga's National Agrarian Party and A. C. Cuza's National-Christian Defense League; a prominent member of the party was the philosopher Nichifor Crainic...

on July 16, 1935.

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