Philippe Henri BlasenJun 13, 2022
La 'primaute' de la nation roumaine" et les 'etrangers'
Les minorites et leur liberte du travail sous le cabinet Goga et la dictature royale
Casa Cartii de Stiinta 2022
After decades of rule by the National Liberal Party or one of its centre-right, mainstream rivals – usually either the Conservative Party or the National Peasant Party, – in December 1937 King Carol II appointed the antisemitic National Christian Party (PNC), led by Octavian Goga and A. C. Cuza to form a government, effectively ending the democratic consensus and Francophile orientation in Romanian politics. During their 45 days in power, Goga and Cuza introduced sweeping changes to basic civil rights for a large number of Romanian citizens, in particularly for Jews. As tensions between the right-wing parties became increasingly violent, Carol abolished parliamentary democracy entirely, introducing a royal dictatorship. Carol further extended the limitations on civil liberties begun under Goga and Cuza, ruling through a series of cabinets and bringing the country into German sphere of influence. The royal dictatorship collapsed in September 1940, giving way to the National Legionary State, in which General Ion Antonescu ruled as dictator alongside the fascist Legion of the Archangel Michael, led by Horia Sima. Antonescu became the sole ruler of Romania after the Legion rebelled against him in January 1941, guiding the country through the Second World War and the Holocaust.
Philippe Henri Blasen's La 'primaute' de la nation roumaine" et les 'etrangers': Les minorites et leur liberte du travail sous le cabinet Goga et la dictature royale (2022) represents the definitive work on both the Goga and Cuza government and the royal dictatorship to date. Blasen shows how these governments related to several different ethnic minorities, in particular to Saxons, Hungarians, Ukrainians, and Jews. He demonstrates that each of these minorities mobilized in new ways in order to meet the challenges of an overtly discriminatory regime, and that the regime was willing to negotiate with them. Antisemitism is consistently separated from policies towards Germans, Hungarians, and Ukrainians in the literature on this topic, but Blasen brings them together convincingly in a productive way. Finally, he moves beyond talking about undifferentiated ethnic minorities to engage with how government policies aimed at minorities impacted specific professions such as journalism, medicine, engineering, architecture, and free enterprise.
Roland Clark is a Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Liverpool, a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right, and the Principal Investigator of an AHRC-funded project on European Fascist Movements.