The Legion of the Archangel Michael (LAM) was a notorious fascist group in Romania from the years 1927-1941. It was a highly religious fascist movement, led by Corneliu Codreanu, and attracted many young men to its banner in the middle of the 20th century. However, its appeal appears to not be limited to the past. In 2017, at the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, one of the lead organizers of the rally was seen wearing a shirt depicting Codreanu. In 2019, London’s Sanctuary Press published a new translation of Codreanu’s memoir, and in Romania, the Alliance for the Unity of Romanians (AUR) party is currently gaining traction.
The main aim of the thesis is to examine what makes the LAM so appealing to members of the modern far right. The primary reasons are the role of religion, and the decentralized nature of the movement. In this way, the LAM is compared to modern groups such as the Proud Boys. Both were quick to use violence for political ends. Further, the religiosity of the LAM, especially the fact that it was highly politicized for the sake of nation building, likely plays a role in the attraction of the modern far right of the United States. These are the main reasons explored to explain why, despite the movement’s failure to truly take power in Romania, there is still current attraction to the movement as a whole in the modern day.
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