Marele Romaniei National Legionar Imperiul/Great Romanian National-Legionary Empire




Chisinau (formerly Bucharest)

Head of State

His Majesty, Rege Carol II of Romania (1930-1953), His Imperial Majesty, Imparat Mihai I of Romania (from 1953)

Ruling Party

Frontul Renasterii Nationale (1938-1940), Partidul Natiunei (1940-1947), Partidul National Crestine Fascista (1947-1958), Garda de Fier (from 1958)

Head of Government

Guta Tatarescu (1939-1941), Ion Antonescu (1941-1958), Horia Sima (1958-1987), Eugen Barbu (from 1987)


Like neighbouring Bulgaria, Romania’s relations with Germany were not strong. In particular, King Carol II distrusted the Germans due to their inaction during the early days of the war against Russia, their support for Hungarian irredentism and for the Iron Guard movement in his country. Carol also knew he was deeply unpopular with the German regime due to his former Jewish mistress, Magda Lupescu. Faced with hostility from virtually all Romania’s neighbours (Hungary, Bulgaria, the USSR), Carol tried to appease the Axis powers by making his regime more overtly fascist. In 1938 he suspended the constitution and created the Party of the Nation as an umbrella fascist movement, incorporating parts of the Iron Guard under Horia Sima (who became Culture Minister, a junior cabinet position he aggrandised during his tenure), but balancing them with other fascist parties, most importantly the pro-Italian National Fascist Movement of Titus Vifor, and the Crusade of Romanianism of General Nicolae Radescu, and with conservative politicians and military men.

This reformed regime oversaw the defence of Bessarabia (in June to July 1940, out of which Ion Antonescu emerged as a national figure) and the conquest of Transnistria (from July 1941), and moves toward Italian-Romanian union, including co-sovereignty over the Principality of Aromanian Macedonia.

Italian-Romanian relations declined almost immediately after Carol’s death. Power within the Party of the Nation shifted from the ‘Roman faction’ around the former National Fascist Movement and toward the ‘Berlin faction’ around Horia Sima.

With strengthened relations between Italy and Hungary after the suppression of the 1957 Arrow Cross Uprising, moves toward Italian-Romanian union were shelved, symbolised by Mihai’s proclamation of the Romanian Empire and a shift to a more narrowly nationalist, rather than pan-Roman, identity in official ideology (known as Protocronism or Dacianism). The issue of Italo-Romanian co-sovereignty over Macedonia has yet to be resolved.