Codreanu, Corneliu Zelea (kŏrnĕˈlyō zĕlˈyä kôdrĕäˈnō) [key], 1899–1938, Romanian political leader and anti-Semitic terrorist. Active in the Romanian student movement against leftists and liberals, he founded (1927) and led the militant, fascist Iron Guard until his conviction for treason in 1938. He shot and killed the prefect of Iaşi in 1924 and instigated the murder of Premier Ion Duca in 1933. Both times he was acquitted. Shortly after his imprisonment in 1938, he and 13 of his followers were killed, allegedly while trying to escape.
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