Taken from “Romania Day”
Corneliu Zelea Codreanu – a tragic hero who stood up against an autocratic corrupt monarchy and the threat of communism. A man of action more than a man of words. He lived by modest means, avoiding the opportunities of a privileged life, and died a brutal death for his beliefs. To add insult to injury, he was vilified after his passing and his grave was desecrated by the bolsheviks. His remains are missing to this day.
Arrested for “slander” (calling fellow politician a deceiving traitor in a public letter), he was condemned to 10 years of hard labor. King Carol decided to “shorten” his sentence by killing him and 13 other fellow legionaries in a November night. Strangled and burnt with acid, they were buried below 7 tons of cement. Two years later, the king was forced to abdicate following a disastrous division of Romania, which caused it to lose half of its territory (and eventually dragged it into WW2).
After the king’s abdication, the legionaries found the spot of the burial and dug up the bodies. They were buried accordingly in a public ceremony.
Read his book (amazon link) For My Legionaries (The Iron Guard)
Bodies dug up from the mass grave. Digging lasted all day, bodies were dug up in the evening.
Tudor Arghezi, a prominent Romanian poet (contemporary with Codreanu) wrote a sad poem dedicated to Codreanu’s memory: Fat-Frumos (referring to his physical beauty and honorable character)
Full Romanian Poem here – Partial Translation below
Fat-Frumos (Knight Hero, or Prince Charming)
Where did he go, Prince Charming,
We no longer see him,
No matter how strongly the sun shines,
Now matter how much the moon comes down?
Desert mountains with its peaks are looking sad
To see him at least once,
Alive if he’s living or dead is he died.
His song which had put a spell on the country
Glowed as if in a dream,
Has suddenly stopped singing.
Broken from the woods, lost in the lowlands
And empty soul, a sad country
Which finds no purpose anymore