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Corneliu Codreanu ( September 13th, 1899 - July 17th, 1962) was the founder of the fascist Iron Guard and Holy Protector of Romania from 1944-1962. Born in Husi, Romania, he served in World War I, studied law and joined right-wing anti-semitic movements. He founded the ultra-Orthodox Iron Guard in 1927, which eventually gained funding from the New Russian Empire. As the Iron Guard gained political influence, the group was banned and Codreanu was forced to flee to Russia, which had a ruling philosophy similar to the Iron Guard. When the German People's Republic invaded Romania in 1940, Codreanu returned to lead Iron Guard partisans against the Communist occupiers. The Iron Guard became the most effective partisan movement in Europe, attacking German supply lines and ambushing German troops, impeding German expansion east. Codreanu and most of the Iron Guard hid in the mountains of Wallachia. When Russia invaded to support the partisans in 1944, Codreanu invaded Bucharest, declaring himself Holy Protector of Romania, creating an Orthodox theocracy based on his personality cult. Codreanu played a central role in the total extermination of Romania's Jews. He also targeted the Roma population for extermination. After World War II ended, the close relation between Russia and Romania deteriorated as Codreanu called for Russia to give back Bessarabia. Even the Russian government could not support Codreanu's brutality. However, after World War III broke out, Codreanu was forced to give Russia support. In the spring of 1955, a revolution broke out against Codreanu, and the Russians invaded to crush the revolution. Romania was declared a protectorate, and Codreanu eventually degenerated into figurehead status.
Codreanu was executed by his own citizens after the Americans occupied Romania in 1962.