chapter  4
12 Pages

Sacralised Politics in Action: the February 1937 Burial of the Romanian Legionary Leaders Ion Mota and Vasile Marin

When referring to movements such as the Spanish Falange or the Romanian Iron Guard, Italian historian Emilio Gentile has argued that they ‘may already be placed within the dimension of sacralised politics, notwithstanding their exaltation of Catholic or Orthodox Christianity, because their ideology makes the sacralisation of the nation and the State evident, even if through a strongly politicised version of a traditional religion’.1 Furthermore, Gentile considered that ‘movements like the Iron Guard assume, in reality, the character of a political religion in that they become the main factor of legitimation for the sacralisation of the nation, and for the nationalisation of Orthodox Christianity itself’.2 The presence of clergy in this type of political project has provoked questions about the relationship between the church and fascism, to the point where some scholars emphasise the development of a ‘clerical fascism’. Starting from these considerations, one can argue that the Romanian version of fascism embodied by the Legionary Movement, also known as the Iron Guard, provides one of the most intriguing case studies.