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The Eternal Iconostasis: Hymn of the Legionary Youth (Iron Guard Anthem)

Corneliu Zelea Codreanu (front row, center) with founding members of the Romanian legionary movement “Legion of the Archangel Michael,” 1931.

“Legionary life is beautiful, not because of riches, partying or the acquisition of luxury, but because of the noble comradeship which binds all Legionaries in a sacred brotherhood of struggle.”


Sfânta tinerețe legionară

Sfânta tinerete legionara,Holy young Legionary,
Cu piept calit de fier si sufletul de crinWith a chest like iron and a soul like a lily
Iures ne-nfrânat de primavera,Unbridled he rushes in spring,
Cu fruntea ca un iezer carpatin,With a forehead like a Carpathian waterfall,
Cu bratele suim în soareWith arms going up in the sun
Catapetesme pentru veac;[An] eternal Iconostasis;
Le zidim din stânci, din foc, din mareWe built it from rocks, from fire, from the sea
Si dârz le tencuim cu sânge dac…And stoutly we daubed it with Dacian blood…
Garda, CapitanulThe Guard, the Captain
Ne preschimba-n soimi de fierWe transformed into iron hawks
Tara, CapitanulThe Country, the Captain
Si Arhanghelul din cer.And the Archangel from heaven.
Moartea, numai moartea legionaraDeath, only death Legionary
Ne este cea mai scumpa nunta dintre nunti,It is the most costly wedding of weddings,
Pentru sfânta cruce, pentru taraFor the holy cross, for the country
Înfrângem codrii si supunem munti;We will defeat the forests and make the mountains obey.
Nu-i temnita sa ne-nspaimânte,There is no prison that can scare us
Nici chin, nici viforul dusman;No pain, no enemy storm;
De cadem cu toti, izbiti în frunte,If we all fall, struck in the forehead,
Ni-i draga moartea pentru Capitan!Death is dear to us for the Captain!
Garda, CapitanulThe Guard, the Captain
Ne preschimba-n soimi de fierWe transformed into iron hawks
Tara, CapitanulThe Country, the Captain
Si Arhanghelul din cer.And the Archangel from heaven.
Sfânta tinerete legionara,Holy young Legionary,
Suim biserici, stam viteji în închisori…We build up churches and stay brave in prison…
În prigoana orisicât de-amaraIn persecutions all who are bitter
Cântam si ne gândim la Nicadori,Sing and think of the Nicadori,
Purtam în crivat si în soareWe carry in blizzard and in sun
Lumini pentru biruitori,Lights for victors,
Pentru cei viteji zidim altareFor the brave we build altars
Si-avem doar gloante pentru tradatori!And for traitors we have only bullets!
Garda, CapitanulThe Guard, the Captain
Ne preschimba-n soimi de fierWe transformed into iron hawks
Tara, CapitanulThe Country, the Captain
Si Arhanghelul din cer.And the Archangel from heaven.

Brief Note on Codreanu and Jewish Treatment in Romania

Iron Guard leader, Corneliu Zelea Codreanu played leadership roles in a number of political organizations in his early career, from “The Guard of the National Conscience,” the “League of National Christian Defence,” the “Legion of the Archangel Michael,” and finally, the Iron Guard. His goal within these movements was to defend the newly established Greater Romania against those he considered the enemies, namely, the Soviet Union and the Jewish people. Romania’s Fascist movement has been described as unusually morbid, and a “death cult,” blending nationalistic violence and fanatical Christian martyrdom. The rationale of Codreanu’s thought and direct statements about Democracy is almost entirely based on a belief in a struggle between the Romanian state, and the Jews; and that rationale on the issue, justified discrimination, and the taking of private ownership, land and rights from Jews, even physically attacking Jewish communities. These facts are important to understand, as to reject the contemporaries, not interested in theory and philosophy, but in dishonestly propagandizing (see White Supremacists Put Romanian Fascist Codreanu Back in Spotlight). Codreanu was assassinated by the state’s police during his imprisonment. The spirit of the Romanian Iron Guard Hymn of the Youth is very reminiscent of Giovinezza, and it appeals to many of us. It is interesting studying the influence and variants of Italian Fascist doctrine.

Nicholas Nagy-Talavera was a Hungarian-American of Jewish descent, a historian and dissident. The historian recounts the day he met Codreanu, describing him as a charismatic man, childlike and radiant, in whom he could see nothing evil in:

“There was suddenly a hush in the crowd. A tall, darkly handsome man dressed in the white costume of a Rumanian peasant rode into the yard on a white horse. He halted close to me, and I could see nothing monstrous or evil in him. On the contrary. His childlike, sincere smile radiated over the miserable crowd, and he seemed to be with it yet mysteriously apart from it. Charisma is an inadequate word to define the strange force that emanated from this man. He was more aptly simply part of the forests, of the mountains, of the storms on the snow-covered peaks of the Carpathians, and of the lakes and rivers. And so he stood amid the crowd, silently. He had no need to speak. His silence was eloquent; it seemed to be stronger than we, stronger than the order of the prefect who denied him speech. An old, whitehaired peasant woman made the sign of the cross on her breast and whispered to us, “The emissary of the Archangel Michael!” Then the sad little church bell began to toll, and the service which invariably preceded Legionary meetings began. Deep impressions created in the soul of a child die hard. In more than a quarter of a century I have never forgotten my meeting with Corneliu Zelea Codreanu.”—Hungarian Jewish historian, Nicholas Nagy-Talavera

Codreanu with Fellow Romanians in show of Brotherhood

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