A.C. Cuza

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Alexandru C. Cuza

Alexandru C. Cuza also A.C. Cuza (November 8, 1857 – November 4, 1947) was a Romanian professor of law and political economy as well as an anti-Semitic Christian nationalist politician. He is well-known particularly because of his association with Nicolae Paulescu as well as his influence on Corneliu Zelea Codreanu.

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Education

After attending secondary school in his city of birth, Iasi, and in Dresden, Cuza studied law at the University of Paris and later transferred to Université Libre de Bruxelles, where he took doctorates in political science and economy (1881), as well as law (1882).[1]

Early Political Activity

While in Brussels, Cuza had contact with two Romanian socialists, Constantin Mille and Basil G. Morţun, whose circle he briefly joined upon returning to Romania. Later, however, he departed from the socialists and became a Conservative. Cuza then joined the literary society Junimea and contributed to its magazine, Convorbiri Literare ("Literary Discussions"), and in 1890 served as deputy mayor of Iasi. Two years later, he was elected into the Parliament, representing the Conservative Party, from 1892 to 1895. [1]

However, he eventually left conservative politics and decided to start activities for the improvement of Romania on his own. He worked with the historian A.D. Xenopol to create the Liga contra alcoolismului ("The League Against Alcoholism") and its magazine, Biblioteca Ligii contra alcoolismului ("Library League Against Alcoholism"). [1]

A.C. Cuza became a professor at the University of Iasi in 1901. In a few years he began working with the famous professor Nicolae Iorga, first in 1905 by working on the newspaper Neamul Românesc ("Romanian People"), and later in 1910 the two founded the Democratic Nationalist Party. During those years, especially in 1908, Cuza had written numerous articles for that newspaper dealing with Jews in the press and the effects of Jewish media influence. In 1912, they established the party's paper Unirea ("Union"), and by 1914 Cuza was making speeches advocating land reform for the peasants and universal suffrage. However, eventually in a few years he broke from his partnership with Iorga because of disagreements on how to deal with the Jewish Problem. [1]

"Nationality in Art"

Cuza with his family

One of Cuza's books, Naționalitatea în artă ("Nationality in Art"), which was published in 1908, was an influential work among Christian nationalist anti-Semites in Romania, especially by the 1920s and 30s, when the professor of theology Nichifor Crainic praised it.[2] This work explained how culture, especially the arts, is ultimately the creation of nationality or the ethnic soul. In here Cuza declared that "A nation is all the individuals of same blood, forming by their cohesion a natural related collective being with its own organs and state which are social classes and the State and the same soul, which is nationality. Just as the soul of humanity is the decisive factor of its manifestations, so also the soul of nations, which is nationality, determine, in the characteristic way for each, in all domains, their manifestations..." and that "Nationality is the creative power of human culture, culture is the creative power of nationality." [3]

This book also discussed the distortion or destruction of a nation's culture due to the presence of a foreign ethnicity, such as the Jews. Cuza wrote extensively in this book on how Jews were the greatest threat to Romanian culture. One of his major points was on how Jews were racially different from Europeans, declaring that "Indo-European peoples and Semitic peoples are today still completely different... Jews almost everywhere form a special society.." He also emphasized that because they believed themselves to be a racially superior "Chosen People" they would thus resist being assimilated into any other culture and at the same time be determined to subvert and change the culture of the peoples in whose nation they live in. As Cuza wrote, "Jewish morality fatally, has two morals from the same fundamental dogmas of the Jewish religion, considering themselves a 'chosen people' - and all other people as 'goyim' (Gentiles), unbelievers, inferior beings with no rights and related to animals. It results from this, the neighbor, for Jews, is only a Jew, which is the only one to which he has moral duties. But when compared to those of other faiths - no one. This concept is found clearly expressed in the Bible..." [3]

"The Science of Anti-Semitism"

In 1922, Cuza, after having created a new organization with Nicolae Paulescu called the National Christian Union [4], had written what is now his most well-known work on the Jewish Problem because of its impact upon Romanian students at the time. This article, "The Science of Anti-Semitism", was published in the magazine Apararea Nationala ("The National Defense") in 1922 along with another article by Professor Paueslcu. [5]

A.C. Cuza

These two articles were so influential that Corneliu Codreanu wrote, in his book For My Legionaries, that "The articles of Professors Cuza and Paulescu were religiously read by all the youth and had everywhere upon students both in Bucharest and in Cluj a resounding impact. We considered the publication of each issue a triumph, because it was for us another munitions transport for combating the arguments in the Jewish press." [6]

In his article "The Science of Anti-Semitism" Cuza discussed how anti-Semitism was not a "madness" as Jews and philosemites argue, but a natural reaction to the negative presence of Jews which can even be scientific once the Jews and their behavior are studied scientifically. He remarked in this aticle that "As for the Jews, their explanation of anti-Semitism is more characteristic yet. In addition to the usual cliche, 'with hatred and savagery' - naturally with no motive, they do not care to discuss motives - according to them, anti-Semitism is a madness, an intellectual degeneration, an affliction of the spirit..." [5] and then listed out respectable and cultured people throughout history who were opposed to Jews in their nations:

"It was this savagery and madness which darkened the understanding of the most prominent representatives of the culture of all nations, such as Cicero, Seneca, Tacitus, Mohamed, Martin Luther, Giordano Bruno, Frederick the Great, Voltaire, Josef II, Napoleon I, Goethe, Herder, Immanuel Kant, Fichte, Schopenhauer, Charles Fournier, Ludwig Feuerbach, Richard Wagner, Bismarck, Rudolf Virchow, Theodor Billroth, Eugen Duhring - and countless others in all fields to come out against the Jews. Savagery and madness, finally, explains the anti-Semitism of the most distinguished representatives of our culture, such as Simion Barnutiu, B.P. Hajdau, Vasile Alecsandri, Vasile Conta, Mihail Eminescu." [5]

Upon listing these people, Cuza then exclaimed: "And the venality of those Judaized is incapable of explaining anti-Semitism as a social phenomenon..." People are instinctually repulsed by Jews and feel them to be a threat. Often an instinctual reaction to the Jews is accompanied by "savagry and hatred", since instinct is blind, although it is essential to one's own existence and survival. Then, among intellectuals and later common people, a concious realization of the Jewish problem followed by a scientific-intellectual study of the problem occurs. Cuza proceeded to summarize his findings on the Jews after studying them intellectually (the fields of study being history, anthropology, theology, politics, political economy, and philosophy), explaining "The science of anti-Semitism has as its object Judaism as a social problem, being thus, necessarily, the synthesis of all sciences that can contribute to its solution." [5] He then presented an overview of his studies:

"History establishes that from the earliest times the Jews have been a people wandering among others, nomadic, country-less. The science of anti-Semitism establishes that this nomadism is contrary to the well-being of agricultural, sedentary peoples and cannot be tolerated.

Anthropology establishes that Jews are a mixture of unrelated races, differing among themselves, as the Semitic, Aryan, Negro, Mongolian. The science of anti-Semitism explains the sterility of the Jewish nation in the domain of culture, as a result of this mongrelization and shows that this mongrel cannot contribute anything to the culture of other nations, which they only falsify, denaturing their characteristics.

Theology establishes that the Jewish religion is an exclusivist religion, based on the special covenant made between their God, Yahweh, and the Jews considered as a chosen, sacred (am codes) people, apart from other peoples. The science of anti-Semitism rigorously deduces that such a concept excludes the possibility of any peaceful cooperation or any assimilation with the Jews.

Politics establishes that everywhere, within the other nations, Jews have their unique social organization, constituting a state within the state. The science of anti-Semitism concludes' that Jews are an anarchic element, dangerous to the existence of all states.

Political Economy establishes that Jews have lived in all times, even in Palestine, as a superimposed people over other nations, exploiting their labour, themselves not being direct producers. The science of anti-Semitism says that any people has the right to defend its productive labor from exploitation by Jews, who cannot be tolerated living like parasites, jeopardizing peoples’ existence.

Philosophy establishes that Judaism’s concept of life is an anachronism contrary to human advancement. The science of anti-Semitism imposes, as a duty toward civilization, that this cultural monstrosity be eliminated by the united efforts of all nations." [5]

Cuza finally concluded that "The science of anti-Semitism finally comes to explain this phenomenon, enlightening further the consciousness of people, fully satisfying their instinct and its violent eruptions thus legitimized by revealing their cause - the parasitism of the Jews. Thus it gives us the formula of the scientific solution for the problem of Judaism, which in order to realize we have only to apply." [5]

Later Political Activity

While doing activism with Paulescu for the National Christian Union, Cuza was a mentor to Corneliu Codreanu along with many other nationalist students such as Ion Mota. By March, 1923 Cuza and Codreanu then established the Liga Apărării naţionale Creştine or "National Christian Defense League" (L.A.N.C.), which was the major anti-Jewish nationalist party across Romania and inspired students throughout many universities to make meetings and rallies. The party's banner used the swastika merged with the Romanian flag. [1]

In 1927, after a split had occurred in the L.A.N.C., and after Codreanu decided that Cuza's tactics of trying to work within the Parliament were hopeless, Codreanu split off and created his own group, the Legion of Michael the Archangel (which was eventually known as the Iron Guard). By the 1930s, the Legionaries and the L.A.N.C. got into violent clashes after tensions built up due to Cuza's decision that the Legion was a threat to his success and needed to be attacked verbally, but this eventually led to physical fights. By the late 1930s Cuza had acquired a significant position in the Romanian government (through a new party called the National Christian Party), although ultimately he could not solve the Jewish Problem to the extent that he wished. By 1938, King Carol II dismissed the government officials including Cuza and Octavian Goga and established himself as dictator. It was in this situation that, after Codreanu's murder, the Iron Guard would eventually take power by force in 1940 under the leadership of Horia Sima and Ion Antonescu. [7]

Alexandru C. Cuza died in 1947 in Sibiu, after having seen the Romanian country he loved fall to Communism, and was buried in the Central Cemetary. [1]

Written Works

  • Generația de la 1848 și era nouă ["The Generation of 1848 and what was new"] (1889)
  • Obiectul economiei politice și însemnătatea ei ["The Subject of Political Economy and its Importance"] (1901)
  • Naționalitatea în artă ["Nationality in Art"] (1908)
  • Jidanii în Presă ["Jews in the Press"] (1911)
  • Scăderea poporaţiei creştine şi înmulţirea jidanilor ["The Decrease in Christian Population and the Multiplication of Jews"] (1911)
  • Doctrina naționalistă creștină ["The Nationalist Christian Doctrine"] (1924)
  • Învățătura lui Iisus, judaismul și teologia creștină ["The Teachings of Jesus, Judaism and Christian Theology"] (1925)
  • Mişcările studenţeşti şi cauzele lor ["Student Movements and their Causes"] (1925)
  • Agricultura şi industria în România ["Agriculture and Industry in Romania"] (1927)
  • Lupta pentru credință ["The Fight for Faith"] (1928)
  • Studii economice-politice ["Political Economic Studies"] (1930)

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Biography of A.C. Cuza with Bibliography at ac-cuza.info, major source on Cuza's life: Gabriel Asandului, A.C. Cuza – Politică şi cultură ("A.C. Cuza - Politics and Culture"), Iaşi, Ed. Fides, 2007.
  2. Crainic, Nichifor , “Naţionalitatea în Artă,” Gîndirea ("Thought"), March 1935
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cuza, A.C. Naționalitatea în artă ("Nationality in Art"), Bucureşti: Cartea Romaneasca, 1905.
  4. Şeicaru, Pamfil. Un junimist antisemit–A.C. Cuza ("An Anti-Semitic Junimist - A.C. Cuza").Madrid: Carpaţii, 1956.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Cuza, A.C. "Ştiinţa antisemitismului" ("The Science of Anti-Semitism"), Apararea Nationala ("The National Defense") No. 16, Nov. 15, 1922, lst year.
  6. Codreanu, Corneliu Zelea. For My Legionaries. Third Edition. Translated and edited by Dr. Dimitrie Gazdaru. York, SC: Liberty Bell Publications, 2003. Page 37.
  7. Nagy-Talavera, Nicholas M. The Green Shirts and the Others: A History of Fascism in Hungary and Rumania. (Hoover Institution Press, 1970).

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