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Nicolae Iorga

Nicolae Iorga (a.k.a. Nicolas Jorga, January 17, 1871, Botoşani - November 27, 1940, Strejnic, Prahova), was a historian, university professor, literary critic, memorialist, playwright, poet, and Romanian politician. He served as a member of parliament, as President of the post-World-War-I National Assembly, as minister, and (1931-32) as Prime Minister. He was co-founder (in 1910) of the Democratic Nationalist Party and was ultimately assassinated by fascist legionnaire commandos.

Iorga attended university in Iaşi, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude after completing his undergraduate studies in a single year. He went on to study in Paris, Berlin, and Leipzig, obtaining his doctorate in 1893. A prolific author, he is estimated to have written 1,250 published volumes and 25,000 articles. He traveled extensively throughout Europe, and his written works in many languages bear out the claim that he could read, write, and speak virtually all of the major modern European languages.

Upon receiving his doctorate in 1893, Iorga became a member of the Romanian Academy, becoming a full member in 1911. From 1902 to 1906 he was the editor of the nationalist Semănătorul ("The sower") review, going on in 1906 to found the newspaper Neamul românesc ("Romanian Nation"). For the rest of his life, even while serving in parliament or as a minister, he was a daily contributor to that paper.

Iorga was assassinated in 1940, during the regime of General Ion Antonescu, by a group of commandos of the Iron Guard, whoconsidered him responsible for the 1938 death of their charismatic leader, Corneliu Zelea Codreanu: after Iorga (in his capacity as a minister) had denounced Codreanu, Codreanu was arrested and imprisoned, then was shot, putatively during an attempted prison escape. After the earthquake of 1940, when Iorga had to leave his damaged home in Vălenii de Munte for another residence in Sinaia, a group of legionaire commandos from Bucharest took him from the house in Sinaia to the Strejnicu forest near Bucharest, tortured him, shot him in the back, desecrated his body, and left it by the side of a road.

It is worth noting that the other founder, with Iorga, of the Democratic Nationalist Party was A.C. Cuza, a violent anti-Semite who split off in 1920 to found the National Democratic Christian Party, a precursor of Romanian Fascist groups such as the legionnaires.

In recent years, apologists for the fascist legionnaires and Iron Guard have claimed that the assassination was performed not on the orders of the fascist leadership, but under the command of Josef Stalin. The claim that communists infiltrated the fascist groups and carried out the assassination for their own purposes is generally classed as an example of Holocaust denial.