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Nichifor Crainic (December 22, 1889, Bulbucata, Giurgiu County—August 20, 1972, Mogoşoaia) was a Romanian writer, editor, philosopher, poet and theologian famed for his traditionalist and anti-semitic activities. Crainic was also a professor of theology at the Bucharest Theological Seminary and the Chişinău Faculty of Theology.

Contents

Pre WW2

Crainic was a contributor of poetry to the modernist magazine Gandirea. After become disenfranchised with the publication progressive views, rather than disassociate with the magazine he became increasingly intertwined in leadership positions in order to de-modernize it. At the end of a series of intellectual sparing within the publication itself, Crainic managed to wrest control of the magazine and institute a sea-change in editorial character supporting mystical Orthodoxy.

He developed an ideology given the name Gândirism (from gând – "thought"), a nationalist and neo-Orthodox Christian social and cultural trend. He edited Gândirea magazine, and collaborated with numerous other publications such as Ramuri, România Nouă, Cuvântul, and Sfarmă-Piatră. He was also the editor in chief of the newspaper Calendarul.

Nichifor Crainic became a leading pro-Fascist figure in the political turmoil of the late 1930s, openly praising Mussolini and Hitler. He was a convinced antisemite, although he claimed his prejudice to be a defense of the Gospels rather than a vision of racial hierarchies. His beliefs were a major influence on the Iron Guard legionary movement, although Crainic viewed himself as a supporter of the legionnaires' rival King Carol II. In a 1938 essay, he theoretised the "ethnocratic state" as applied to Romania:

"Our state has been a monarchy throughout its history. Monarchy is what gives this state its continuity. The crown of Romanian kings symbolises the greatness of the people and the permanence of Romanian awareness. (...)
The ethnocratic state differs profoundly from the democratic state. The democratic state relies on population figures, without distinction of race or religion. The basis of the ethnocratic state is the Romanian soil and the Romanian kin. (...)
Today, people of other races and creeds live on Romanian soil. These have arrived here through the means of invading (as the Hungarians have), through colonisation (as the Germans have), or through skillful infiltrations (as Jews have). (...)
The Jews are a permanent danger for any nation-state."[1]

A fulfilment of ethnocracy was to be achieved through the means of a monarch-led corporatist system:

"Once popularised and accepted by the entire nation, carried out by government teams hand-picked from professional elites and controlled by Parliament, [a plan to redress Romania] will be overseen by His Majesty the King.(...)
The corporatist regime culminates in the kingly authority."[1]

During WW2

In 1940 he was elected member of the Romanian Academy. He studied Theology at the Seminary in Bucharest, and received his Ph.D. diploma from the University of Vienna.

He was appointed Minister of Propaganda for the Ion Antonescu regime's anti-Jewish pogroms and actively sought the "removal" (killing) of Romanians of Jewish origin.

Post WW2

After the Soviet army defeated the Germans and occupied fascist Romania, Crainic went into hiding. A trial was conducted in his absence and he was found guilty of crimes against the people. He was eventually caught and imprisoned by the authorities of Communist Romania in 1947, and spent 15 years in Văcăreşti and Aiud prisons. He was expelled from the Academy by the Communist regime.

Between 1962 and 1968 he was the editor of the Communist propaganda magazine "Glasul Patriei" (=the voice of the motherland)- a magazine published in Romania by the Romanian Communist regime but sold only abroad, which they used as a tool to try to influence the Romanian intellectual émigrés to be patriotic and not work against the Communist Romania. It is believed that he was forced to be an informer for the feared Romanian secret police, the Securitate, after his release from prison.

Notes

  1. ^ a b Crainic, Programul statului etnocratic

References

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