Horia Sima

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Horia Sima


In office
1940–1993

Born July 3, 1907(1907-07-03)
Făgăraș, Romania
Died May 25, 1993 (aged 85)
Madrid, Spain
Nationality Romanian

Horia Sima (born July 3, 1907 died May 25, 1993) was the Romanian leader of the Legionary Movement from 1940 until his death in 1993.

Biography

Horia Sima was born on July 3, 1906 , in the village Mandra in Southern Transylvania. He had a difficult childhood, but impressed his teachers in school. He studied literature and philosophy at the University of Bucharest and became a professor on those subjects in Banat after graduating. [1] Sima had joined the anti-Jewish and highly religious Christian nationalist organization called the Legion of the Archangel Michael (also known as the Iron Guard) in November of 1927, the same year it was founded by Corneliu Zelea Codreanu. Throughout the 1930s, in the face of strong oppression from the government the Legionary Movement grew larger and larger. In February 1938, King Carol II forcibly changed the Romanian constitution and established himself as a dictator, ruling with his Minister Armand Calinescu. In March of that year, Codreanu was imprisoned at unfair and biased trials and in a few months illegally murdered by order of Calinescu. [2]

Sima was prominent only when he first became the leader of the Legion in October of 1938, after a new Legionary Command (of which Sima was a part) was organized due to the fact that Corneliu Codreanu was imprisoned and other top Legionaries arrested or assassinated. In 1940, Sima and Ion Antonescu made a coup against the tyrannical King Carol II and together created the National Legionary State. It was only after this state was established that Horia Sima became the top commander of the Legion. [2] Of the establishment of the National Legionary State, Horia Sima said in his book Era Libertaţii - Statul naţional-Legionar vol. 1 ("It was Freedom - National Legionary State vol. 1") that "Rarely in our people's history has there been experienced a moment of collective exaltation of as impressive enthusiasm as that of the popular masses after the expulsion of King Carol from the country. You cannot even compare the intensity of national sentiment with that rush of joy in the annexed provinces, when the Union of 1918 was formed." [3]

Horia Sima on the Legionary Martyrs Day - September 22, 1940

Sima and Antonescu then proceeded to nationalise or Romanianize the nation's economy, trade, industry, and mass media. Jews had previously gained an unreasonable and ridiculous amount of ownership of factories, companies, newspapers, cinemas, and various economic positions. Romania would no longer allow the Jews, an alien ethnicity whose influence previously had negative effects on Romanian life, to dominate their nation's economy and media and distort Romanian culture and lifestyle. [4]

However, by January of 1941 Antonescu, being very ambitious and determined to take complete power, turned against the Legionaries, since he was unable to replace Sima as the Legion's leader. Antonescu took anti-Legionary measures such as removing Legionaries from government positions and later arresting and killing hundreds of Legionaries. The Legionary Movement rebelled against Antonescu in reaction to this and after Horia Sima failed to make a coup against Antonescu, he fled to Berlin, Germany. [2]

Because of Antonescu's feud with the Legion, the Third Reich government, as an ally of Antonescu's government, did not take the Legionaries' side. While in Germany, Sima and other Legionaries were kept in concentration camps by the Germans, although they were treated well. When Antonescu was overthrown in 1944 and Romania switched sides in World War II, joining the Allies, Horia Sima and the other Legionaries were released by the Germans. Upon this release, Sima established with German help a Legionary government in Vienna to assist in the battle against Communism. However, by 1945 the Soviet conquest could not be stopped so they retreated westwards. [5]

Sima and most other Legionaries fled to Italy or to parts of Germany, where they established Romanian Committees to help Romanian refugees fleeing from Communism get into Western Europe. By 1949-50, Sima and other top Legionaries started collaborating with French, American, and British authorities to fight Communism, especially by assisting in emigrants from the Soviet Union (which would weaken Communist regimes in Eastern Europe). The French-American military then assisted in preparing Legionaries to move into Romania in order to physically fight Communists and start an anti-Communist uprising in that nation. By 1954, the agreement was cancelled due to Soviet infiltration of British intelligence (led by Kim Philby) and because Western powers wanted to establish a "peaceful coexistence" with Stalin's regime. [6]

Sima Portrait

Although some Legionaries in Romania continued fighting the Communists into the 1960s, most Legionaries went into exile, scattered across nations in Europe, North America, South America, and Australia. Horia Sima, from the 1950s onwards, had lived throughout Germany, Italy, France, and finally to Franco's Spain (where he received political refugee status). Various dissident groups created factions splitting off from Horia Sima's rule, although Sima was considered leader by the largest amount of Legionaries. For decades later, most Legionaries could not do much other than write articles, books, and translate works. However, in 1989 after Ceausescu's Communist regime was overthrown in Romania, Sima and other Legionaries took the opportunity to attempt to revive Legionarism in Romania. Legionaries created various parties, although Sima could not go to Romania himself since he had been sentenced to death there since 1946. Unfortunately, the Legionary parties came into conflict with each other and none could establish a large movement. Sima died in May 25, 1993 in Madrid, Spain unable to end the quarrels among the various groups. However, the Legionary Movement still continued in its new form and modern Legionaries today are still working to educate the younger generations as to the truth of Legionary history.[7]

References

  1. Ronnett, Alexander E. Romanian Nationalism: The Legionary Movement. Chicago: Romanian-American National Congress, 1995.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ronnett, Alexander E. and Bradescu, Faust. "The Legionary Movement in Romania." The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 193-228.
  3. Sima, Horia. Era Libertaţii - Statul naţional-Legionar vol. 1 ("It was Freedom - National Legionary State vol. 1"). Editura "Miscarii Legionare", Madrid, 1982.
  4. Sima, Horia. Sfarşitul unei domnii sângeroase ("The End of a Bloody Reign"). Editura "Miscarii Legionare", Madrid, 1977.
  5. Sima, Horia. Guvernul National Român de la Viena ["Romanian National Government in Vienna"]. Editura Miscãrii Legionare: Madrid, 1993
  6. Valenas, Liviu. Miscarea Legionara intre adevar si mistificare ("The Legionary Movement between Truth and Deception"). Editura Marineasa, Timisoara, 2000.
  7. Valenas, Liviu. Miscarea Legionara intre adevar si mistificare ("The Legionary Movement between Truth and Deception"). Editura Marineasa, Timisoara, 2000.

Bibliography

Primary Sources

  • Sima, Horia. Cazul Iorga-Madgearu ["The Case of Iorga-Madgearu"]. Madrid: Editura Carpații, 1961.
  • Sima, Horia. Ce este comunismul? ["What is Communism?"]. Madrid: Editura Dacia, 1972.
  • Sima, Horia. Destinée du nationalisme. Paris: P.E.G., 1951. (This is the French translation of Menirea Nationalismului)
  • Sima, Horia. Destinos do nacionalismo. Lisboa: Nova Arrancada, 1999. (This is the Portugese translation of Menirea Nationalismului)
  • Sima, Horia. Doctrina legionară ["Legionary Doctrine"]. Madrid: Editura Mişcării Legionare, 1980.
  • Sima, Horia. Era Libertaţii - Statul naţional-Legionar vol. 1 ("It was Freedom - National Legionary State vol. 1"). Madrid: Editura "Miscarii Legionare, 1982.
  • Sima, Horia. Era Libertaţii - Statul naţional-Legionar vol. 2 ("It was Freedom - National Legionary State vol. 2"). Madrid: Editura Miscãrii Legionare, 1990.
  • Sima, Horia. Istoria Mişcarii Legionare ("History of the Legionary Movement"). Timişoara: Editura Gordian, 1994.
  • Sima, Horia. Guvernul National Român de la Viena ("Romanian National Government in Vienna"). Madrid: Editura "Miscarii Legionare, 1993.
  • Sima, Horia. Menirea Nationalismului ("The Meaning of Nationalism"). Salamanca: Editura Asociaţiei Culturale Hispano-Române, 1951.
  • Sima, Horia. Pentru ce am pierdut războiul din rasarit şi am căzut în robia comunistă ["Why we lost the War in the East and Fell into Communist Slavery"]. Madrid: Editura Biblioteca Documentară Generaţia Noua, 1973.
  • Sima, Horia. Prizonieri ai Puterilor Axei (“Prisoners of the Axis Powers”). Madrid: Editura "Miscarii Legionare, 1990.
  • Sima, Horia. Sfarşitul unei domnii sângeroase ("The End of a Bloody Reign"). Madrid: Editura "Miscarii Legionare", 1977.
  • Sima, Horia. The History of the Legionary Movement. Liss, England: Legionary Press, 1995.
  • Sima, Horia. ?Qué es el nacionalismo?. Madrid: Fuerza Nueva, 1976. (This is the Spanish translation of Menirea Nationalismului)

Secondary Sources

  • Codreanu, Corneliu Z. For My Legionaries. Fourth Edition. Introductions by Kerry Bolton and Lucian Tudor and a historical overview by Lucian Tudor. London: Black House Publishing, 2015.
  • Nagy-Talavera, Nicholas. The Green Shirts & The Others: A History of Fascism in Hungary and Rumania. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press/Stanford University Press, 1970.
  • Ronnett, Alexander E. Romanian Nationalism: The Legionary Movement. Chicago: Romanian-American National Congress, 1995.
  • Sturdza, Michel. The Suicide of Europe: Memoirs of Prince Michel Sturdza, Former Foreign Minister of Rumania. Boston & Los Angeles: Western Islands Publishers, 1968.
  • Tudor, Lucian. "The Romanian Iron Guard: Its Origins, History and Legacy." The Occidental Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Spring 2014).
  • Valenas, Liviu. Miscarea Legionara intre adevar si mistificare ("The Legionary Movement between Truth and Deception"). Timisoara: Editura Marineasa, 2000.

See also


External links