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Jilava Massacre

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The Jilava Massacre was an event that took place during the night of November 26, 1940, at Jilava penitentiary near, Bucharest, Romania and sixty-four political detainees were killed by the Iron Guard and high-profile assassinations were in the aftermath. After halfway through the fascist National Legionary State, it soon became the first open clash between the Guard and Ion Antonescu who would oust the former from power during January of 1941.

BackgroundEdit

During the reign of King Carol II, many measures against the Iron Guard were gathered in pace during the later times of the 1930s when a cycle of violence on both sides soon have left many dead and it included Prime Minister Armand Călinescu and Iron Guard President, Corneliu Zelea Codreanu. When Carol abdicated in September 1940 and the Guard came to power, the members wanted to seek revenge and to eliminate and murder those in participation of the legal and illegal actions from the king's regime. Within the first month of power in the hands of Antonescu, he approved an official probe for all of who could not account for becoming very wealthy as fast as possible in the soon-to-be last years of Carol's reign in which, established a special court to investigate crimes committed by the Iron Guard.

The court decided to order an arrest for those who were investigated and were imprisoned at Jilava which entrusted them to custody of special Legionary formations, described by Alexandru Creţianu as "nothing less than an improvised version of the SS strong-arm squads".

When the investigation was underway, the court wished to obtain testimony from all of the detainees in order to prepare for their trials and it ordered several of them to be transferred to another jail and their depositions would be taken. But then, Ştefan Zăvoianu, the Bucharest Prefect of Police ni charge of the Legionary squads guarding the detainees, believed Antonescu changed his mind about killing those and executing them for those who were responsible for Codreanu's death and he refused to comply with the order. This alerted military authorities and decided to replace the squads with regular Military guards and move the prisoners themselves. Zăvoianu was informed of this decision on November 26, and that night the squads shot dead every one of their charges: politicians, senior military officers, and policemen who were accused of complicity in Codreanu's arrest and execution.

VictimsEdit

The execution team was commanded by Dumitru Grozea, who was head of Legionary Workers' Corps and its members were aged between 18 and 25. Gheorghe Creţu killed 14 inmates was testified to a trial that Grozea gave order to shoot at around 11:45 PM and each executioner was sent to a particular cell which ordered prisoners to stand and were shot. The executioners gathered before the guards and together they went and paid homage before Codreanu's remains.

For those who were assassinated, were former Prime Minister Gheorghe Argeşanu, Former Justice Minister Victor Iamandi, former Bucharest prefect and interior minister Gabriel Marinescu, several high-ranking officers of the Gendarmerie, even its own head inspector General Ioan Bengliu, Colonel Zeciu who organized the killing of Codreanu and thirteen other legionaries, Majors Aristide Macoveanu and Iosif Dinluescu, Staff Sergeant Sârbu who decided to strangle Codreanu tightly with a wire, Mihail Vârfureanu who was a former legionnaire and decided to tell information and was responsible for assassinating Guardist Nicoleta Nicolescu, a former Chief of the Secret Police Mihail Moruzov, and his deputy too. There were two more who were not responsible for excesses against the Iron Guard but in the past, they paid many of its members, including Codreanu's successor, Horia Sima. Zăvoianu knew that the Legion would try to rid of witnesses before trials or investigations could take place.

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