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Claiming Ethnic Privilege: Aromanian Immigrants and Romanian Fascist Politics

  • ROLAND CLARK (a1)
Abstract

Large numbers of Aromanian immigrants in Southern Dobruja joined the fascist Legion of the Archangel Michael during the early 1930s. Deterritorialised by population transfers and state-building in Greek Macedonia, they reterritorialised themselves as ethnic Romanians ‘coming home’ to colonise Southern Dobruja. This article situates the Aromanian turn to fascist politics within the problems they faced during migration. It argues that Aromanians used fascism to assert their identities as Romanians and to claim ethnic privileges that had been denied them as immigrants.

Les immigrants aroumains de la Dobroudja du Sud ont été nombreux, au début des années trente, à s’engager dans la légion fasciste de l’Archange Michel. Déterritorialisés par les transferts de population et les efforts de création d’un État en Macédoine grecque, ils se sont reterritorialisés en tant que Roumains de souche ‘rentrés au bercail’ pour coloniser la Dobroudja du Sud. Cet article replace le choix fasciste des Aroumains dans le contexte des problèmes qu’ils ont connus au cours de leur migration. Selon l’auteur, les Aroumains se sont servis du fascisme pour affirmer leur identité en tant que Roumains et pour revendiquer des privilèges ethniques qui leur avaient été refusés lorsqu’ils étaient immigrants.

In den frühen dreißiger Jahren traten zahlreiche aromunische Einwanderer in der südlichen Dobrudscha der faschistischen Legion des Erzengels Michael bei. Die durch Bevölkerungsumsiedlungen und Staatenbildung in Griechisch-Mazedonien deterritorialisierten Aromunen suchten sich als ‘heimgekommene’ ethnische Rumänen durch Ansiedlung in der südlichen Dobrudscha eine neue Heimat zu schaffen. Dieser Beitrag führt die Hinwendung der Aromunen zum Faschismus auf die Probleme zurück, mit denen sie sich während der Migration konfrontiert sahen. Er argumentiert, dass die Aromunen den Faschismus instrumentalisierten, um ihre Identität als Rumänen zu stärken und ethnische Privilegien zu beanspruchen, die ihnen als Einwanderern verwehrt worden waren.

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1 The term ‘nationalizing nation-state’ is taken from Rogers Brubaker, who uses it to describe states that display a tendency ‘to see the state as an “unrealized” nation-state, as a state destined to be a nation-state, the state of and for a particular nation, but not yet in fact a nation-state (at least not to a sufficient degree); and the concomitant disposition to remedy this perceived defect, to make the state what it is properly and legitimately destined to be’. The efforts of the interwar Romanian state to facilitate the dominance of ethnic Romanians in all spheres of public life make it a classic example of a nationalising nation-state. Brubaker, Rogers, Nationalism Reframed: Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996) 63.

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10 Heinen, Legiunea “Arhanghelul Mihail”, 300; Moţa, Ion, Corespondenţa cu Welt-Dienst (1934–1936) (Munich: Colecţia Europa, 2000); CNSAS, Fond documentar D.012694, vol. 3, f. 61.

11 Mann, Michael, Fascists (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 237.

12 M. P. Florescu, ‘Pădurile Moţilor’, Apărarea naţională, 18 Dec. 1927, 5.

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17 Davis, ‘Certifiably Romanian’, 61, 78; Georgescu, Tudor, ‘Pursuing the Fascist Promise: Transylvanian Saxon “Self Help” from Genesis to Empowerment, 1922–1935’, in Pyrah, Robert and Turda, Marius, eds, Re-Contextualizing East Central European History: Nation, Culture, and Minority Groups (London: Legenda, 2010), 5573.

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20 Niessen, James, ‘The Greek Catholic Church and the Romanian Nation in Transylvania’, in Niessen, James ed., Religious Compromise, Political Salvation: The Greek Catholic Church and Nation-Building in Eastern Europe (Pittsburgh: Carl Beck Papers in Russian and East European Studies, 1993), 59.

21 Nieß, Wolfram, ‘“Hai să dăm mână cu mână, cei cu inima română”: Der geplante Propagandazug der Legion durch Bessarabien von Sommer 1930’, in Heinen, Armin and Schmitt, Oliver Jens, eds, Inszenierte Gegenmacht von rechts: Die ‘Legion Erzengel Michael’ in Rumänien 1918–1938 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2013), 244–5.

22 Oliver Jens Schmitt, ‘“Zum Kampf, Arbeiter”: Arbeiterfrage und Arbeiterschaft in der Legionärsbewegung (1919–1938)’, in Heinen and Schmitt, eds, Inszenierte Gegenmacht, 336.

23 Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, tr. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem and Helen R. Lane (London: Penguin, 1977) 142.

24 Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, tr. Brian Massumi (Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press, 1987) 7.

25 Ibid. 315.

26 Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, 144.

27 Ibid. 197; Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, 19, 180–1.

28 Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, 215.

29 Perry, Duncan M., The Politics of Terror: The Macedonian Liberation Movements 1893–1903 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1988), 21–2.

30 Iorga, Nicolae, quoted in Cătălin Negoiţă, Între stânga şi dreapta: Comunism, iredentism, şi legionarism în Cadrilater (1913–1940) (Craiova: Editura Fundaţiei Scrisul Românesc, 2009), 127.

31 Hagigogu, Steriu T., Emigrarea aromânilor şi colonizarea Cadrilaterului (Bucharest: Tipografia Romano-Unite, 1927) 78; Noe, Constantin, ‘Celnicii şi fâlcarea’, Sociologie românească, 3, 1–3 (1938) 1824.

32 Brailsford, H. N., Macedonia: Its Races and their Future (New York: Arno Press, 1971), 176–7.

33 Brailsford, Macedonia, 179; Kahl, Thede, Istoria Aromânilor (Bucharest: Tritonic, 2006) 1719; Capidan, Theodor, Românii nomazi: Studiul de viaţa românilor din sudul Peninsulei Balcanice (Cluj: Institutul de Arte Grafice Ardealul, 1926).

34 Fleming, K. E., The Muslim Bonaparte: Diplomacy and Orientalism in Ali Pasha's Greece (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999), 36.

35 Abeleanu, Dem., Neamul aromânesc din Macedonia (Bucharest: Institutul de Arte Grafice C. Sfetea, 1916), 4153.

36 Abeleanu, Neamul aromânesc, 20–1, 30–8.

37 Brailsford, Macedonia, 177; Wave, A. J. B. and Thompson, M. S., The Nomads of the Balkans: An Account of Life and Customs Among the Vlachs of Northern Pindus (London: Methuen, 1914), 77.

38 James Frusetta, ‘Bulgaria's Macedonia: Nation-Building and State-Building, Centralization and Autonomy in Pirin Macedonia, 1903–1952’, PhD thesis, University of Maryland, 2006, 74–7, 104–5, 111–24.

39 Zeana, Ionel, ed., Antologie de lirică populară aromână (Bucharest: Biblioteca Culturii Aromâne, 2002), 4950; Ciolacu, Nicolae, Haiducii Dobrogei: Rezistenţa armată anticomunistă in Munţii Babadagului, Dobrogea (Constanţa: Editura Munteia, 1998), 151.

40 Abeleanu, Neamul aromânesc, 53–62; Motta, Guiseppe, ‘The Fight for Balkan Latinity: The Aromanians until World War I’, Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 2, 3 (2011), 254.

41 Berciu-Drăghicescu and Petre, eds, Şcoli şi biserici româneşti, 103–12; Brezeanu, Stelian and Zbuchea, Gheorghe, eds, Românii de la sud de Dunăre (Bucharest: Arhivele Naţionale ale României, 1997), 155–7.

42 Abeleanu, Neamul aromânesc, 28–9.

43 Kontogiorgi, Elisabeth, Population Exchange in Greek Macedonia: The Rural Settlement of Refugees 1922–1930 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006) 237. On the reception of the Bulgarian church in an Aromanian region of Greek Macedonia, see Karakasidou, Anastasia N., Fields of Wheat, Hills of Blood: Passages to Nationhood in Greek Macedonia, 1870–1990 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997), 84–7.

44 Motta, ‘The Fight for Balkan Latinity’, 254–5.

45 From 1903 onwards the Greek government also began sponsoring violence in Ottoman Macedonia. Roudometof, Victor, Collective Memory, National Identity, and Ethnic Conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian Question (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2002), 94.

46 Motta, ‘The Fight for Balkan Latinity’, 255–6.

47 Berciu-Drăghicescu, Adina and Petre, Maria, eds, Şcoli şi biserici româneşti din Peninsula Balcanică: Documente (1864–1948) (Bucharest: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti, 2004), 203–5; Negoiţă, Între stânga şi dreapta, 23–35, 112–13.

48 Berciu-Drăghicescu and Petre, eds, Şcoli şi biserici româneşti, 177–82, 194–5, 227–9.

49 Panduru, , ‘“De la “Cercul studenţilor aromâni”’, Neamul românesc, 5, 45 (9 Apr. 1910): 1112; Maiorescu, Titu, România, războaiele balcanice şi Cadrilaterul (Bucharest: Editura Machiavelli, 1995) 161–5, 241–54.

50 Boga, L. T., Românii din Macedonia, Epir, Tesalia, Albania, Bulgaria şi Serbia (Bucharest: Tipografia Vocea Poporului, 1913), 45; Abeleanu, Neamul aromânesc, 62–7; Revista Macedoromână, 2, 1 (1930).

51 Kontogiorgi, Population Exchange, 73–6.

52 Kontogiorgi, Population Exchange, 169.

53 Karakasidou, Fields of Wheat, 146–61.

54 Karakasidou, Fields of Wheat, 156–7; Wave and Thompson, The Nomads of the Balkans, 77.

55 Romanian Legation in Athens to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 18 Dec. 1926; in Berciu-Drăghicescu and Petre, eds, Şcoli şi biserici româneşti, 418–19.

56 Nouzille, Jean, ‘La Frontière Bulgaro-Roumaine en Dobroudja’, Revue Roumaine d’Histoire, 35, 1–2 (1996), 2730.

57 Iordachi, Constantin, Citizenship, Nation- and State-Building: The Integration of Northern Dobrogea into Romania, 1878–1913 (Pittsburgh, Pa.: Carl Beck Papers in Russian and East European Studies, 2002), 14.

58 Giurescu, C. C., ‘Din Istoria Nouă a Dobrogei’, in Dobrogea: Patru conferinţe ale Universităţii Libere (Bucharest: Cartea Româneasca, 1928) 5374.

59 Iordachi, Citizenship, Nation- and State-Building, 16–32, 46–63.

60 Iordachi, Citizenship, Nation- and State-Building, 34–8; Solonari, Vladimir, Purifying the Nation: Population Exchange and Ethnic Cleansing in Nazi-Allied Romania (Washington DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2010), 33–4.

61 Nouzille, ‘La Frontière Bulgaro-Roumaine en Dobroudja’, 30–40.

62 Cătănuş, Dan, Cadrilaterul: Ideologie cominternistă şi irdentism bulgar, 1919–1940 (Bucharest: Institutul Naţional pentru Studierea Totalitarismului, 2001).

63 Pintea, A. N., Chestiuni Dobrogene (Bazargic: Tipografia Gutemberg, 1924).

64 Basciani, Alberto, Un conflitto balconico: La contesa fra Bulgaria e Romania in Dobrugia del Sud, 1918–1940 (Cosenza: Periferia, 2001), 96–8, 105–8.

65 Nouzille, ‘La Frontière Bulgaro-Roumaine en Dobroudja’, 41.

66 Basciani, Un conflitto balconico, 92.

67 Quoted in Solonari, Purifying the Nation, 41.

68 G. Murnu, ‘Rolul macedo-românilor în viitorul economic al României’, Peninsula balcanica, 6 May 1923, 5–6.

69 Basciani, Un conflitto balconico, 90, 94.

70 Hagigogu, Emigrarea aromânilor, 19–40; Muşi, Vasile Th., Un deceniu de colonizare în Dobrogea-Nouă, 1925–1935 (Bucharest: Societatea de Cultură Macedo-Româna, 1935).

71 Basciani, Un conflitto balconico, 95, 102.

72 ‘Omorârea colonistului macedo-român Tănase Goţa’, Macedonia, 13 Nov. 1927, 1; Muşi, Un deceniu de colonizare, 126, 138–9; Ciorbea, Valentin, ‘Terorism în Cadrilater (1919–1940)’, Dosarul Istoriei, 7, 1 (65) (2002), 41–3; Romanian National Archives (ANIC), Fond Direcţia Generală a Poliţiei, dosar 93/1931, f. 17.

73 Muşi, Un deceniu de colonizare, 75.

74 Quoted in Solonari, Purifying the Nation, 42.

75 Basciani, Un conflitto balconico, 120–1, 139.

76 ANIC, Fond Direcţia Generală a Poliţiei, dosar 93/1931, f. 12.

77 Ibid. 14.

78 Ibid. 16.

79 ANIC, Fond Direcţia Generală a Poliţiei, dosar 30/1926. For a summary of the problems faced by Aromanians outside Romania, see Lascu, Stoica, ‘Împropriatărirea românilor balcanici în Cadrilater’, Dosarul istoriei, 7, 1 (2002), 2840.

80 I. C. Grădişteanu, ‘O situaţie intolerabilă’, Peninsula balcanica, 6 May 1923, 3; T. Hagigogu, ‘Bulgari ne persecută’, Peninsula balcanica, 6 Oct. 1926, 1.

81 Meghea Gh. Petru, ‘Starea desperată a Românilor din Meglenia’, Peninsula balcanica, 6 June 1923, 11. Cf. the situation of Aromanians living in Sofia, Bulgaria, ‘Situaţia aromânilor din capital Bulgariei’, Macedonia, 12 Dec. 1927, 3; ‘Un echivoc – Congresul macedo-bulgar din Leiptzig’, Universul, 22 Feb. 1925) in Brezeanu and Zbuchea, eds, Românii de la sud de Dunăre, 275.

82 ANIC, Fond Societatea Studenţilor Macedo-Români, dosar 3/1928, f. 4, 17.

83 Constantin Papanace, quoted in Gica, Alexandru, ‘The Recent History of the Aromanians in Romania’, New Europe College Yearbook, 2008–2009 (Bucharest: New Europe College, 2009).

84 Teja, Constantin (10 May 2000), in Conovici, Mariana, Iliescu, Silvia and Silvestru, Octavian, eds, Ţara, Legiunea, Căpitanul: Mişcarea Legionară în documente de istorie orală (Bucharest: Humanitas, 2008), 43–5.

85 ‘Colonizarea cu Macedoneni şi naţionalizarea ţării’, Apărarea naţională, 6 June 1927, 2.

86 Ion N. Caranica, ‘Cadrilaterul văzut de aproape’, Apărarea naţională, 6 June 1927, 1.

87 Gica, ‘Recent History of the Aromanians in Romania’.

88 ‘Colonizarea cu Macedoneni şi naţionalizarea ţării’, Apărarea naţională, 6 June 1927, 2.

89 CNSAS, Fond Informativ, dosar 210821, vol. 1, f. 241–8.

90 Codreanu, Pentru legionari (Bucharest: Editura Scara, 1999), 304.

91 CNSAS, Fond Penal, dosar 13997, vol. 1, f. 18, vol. 2, f. 13.

92 ANIC, Fond Direcţia Generală a Poliţiei, dosar 37/1931, f. 13–18, 22.

93 St. M., ‘Cei 7 studenţi Macedoneni închişi la Văcăreşti’, Garda de Fer, 1 Sept. 1930, 1.

94 CNSAS, Fond Informativ, dosar 210821, vol. 1, f. 241–8.

95 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), Fond Ministerul de Interne – Diverse, Reel 138, dosar 2/1930, f. 91–3.

96 Heinen, Legiunea ‘Arhanghelul Mihail’, 235.

97 Papanace, Constantin, Evocări (Madrid: Benzal, 1965), 78; Romanian National Archives – Iaşi, Universitatera Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Rectoratul, Reel 266, dosar 1480/1934, f. 358–9. See also ‘Şcolile din Macedonia nu s’au deschis inca’, Armatolii, 10 Nov. 1933, 4.

98 U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives (USHMM), Fond Ministerul de Interne – Diverse, Reel 137–8, dosar 5/1929, f. 18, 24–7, 43.

99 USHMM, Fond Ministerul de Interne – Diverse, Reel 136–7, dosar6/1927, f. 175–6.

100 CNSAS, Fond Informativ, dosar 210821, vol. 1, f. 35, 48–53, 241–8, vol. 2, f. 72.

101 Scurtu, Ioan, Beldiman, Corneliu, Tampa, Natalia, Tănase, Tiberiu, Troncotă, Cristian, and Bordeiu, Puiu Dumitru, eds, Ideologie şi formaţiuni de dreapta în România, Vol. 4 (Bucharest: Institutul Naţional Pentru Studiul Totalitarismului, 2003), 83.

102 Basciani, Un conflitto balconico, 170.

103 Ciolacu, Haiducii Dobrogei, 46–8.

104 ‘Protestul studenţilor împotriva atacurilor din Cadrilater’, Calendarul, 16 Oct. 1933, 4.

105 ‘Către tinerii intelectuali din Dobrogea nouă’, Armatolii, 1 Dec. 1933, 2; CNSAS, Fond documentar D.012694, vol. 12, f. 12–13.

106 Ciolacu, Haiducii Dobrogei, 51–4.

107 CNSAS, Fond documentar, dosar 012694, vol. 12, f. 19.

108 B. Papanace, ‘Armatolii’, Armatolii, 1 Nov. 1933, 1.

109 I. Caranica, ‘Criptostrainii şi organizaţiile naţionaliste’, Armatolii, 10 Dec. 1933, 1; Constantin Papanace, ‘Uneltiri Judaice’, Legionarii, 1 Oct. 1937, 1.

110 Niculae Cuvendu, ‘Ce suntem şi ce vrem noi’, Armatolii, 1 Nov. 1933, 1.

111 ‘Colonizarea Cadrilaterului: Agronomii’, Armatolii, 10 Nov. 1933, 4; ‘Colonizarea Cadrilaterului: Locuinţele coloniştilor’, Armatolii, 20 Nov. 1933, 4; Ionel St. Nacu, ‘Minoritatea Bulgara’, Armatolii, 1 Dec. 1933, 1, 3; Cola G. Ciumetti, ‘Bulgarii din România şi politicienii noştri’, Legionarii, 15 Nov. 1937, 1.

112 Castru, ‘Scolile noastre de peste hotare’, Armatolii, 1 Nov. 1933, 1; ‘Tradegia unor români din Albania’, Armatolii, 1 Nov. 1933, 2; ‘Pensionarii români din Macedonia’, Armatolii, 10 Nov. 1933, 4; Diogene, ‘Sinceritatea prieteniei Sârbesti’, Armatolii, 24 Dec. 1933, 4.

113 CNSAS, Fond Informativ, dosar 258626, f. 91–9.

114 Dragos Protopopescu, ‘Dreptate pentru Macedoneni’, Porunca vremii, n.d., in CNSAS, Fond Informativ, dosar 210821, vol. 3, f. 112; Ilie I. Imbrescu, ‘Dreptatea oamenilor. . . şi dreptatea lui Dumnezeu’, Legionarii, 1 Oct. 1937, 1.

115 Scurtu et al., eds, Ideologie, vol. 4, 231.

116 Fond documentar, dosar 008912, vol. 2, f. 111.

117 ANIC, Fond Ministerul de Interne - Diverse, dosar 10/1935, f. 19, 84.

118 Ibid. dosar 3/1936, f. 145–6; CNSAS, Fond documentar, dosar 012694, vol. 12, f. 33–5, 45.

119 CNSAS, Fond documentar, dosar 012694, vol. 12, f. 86–7.

120 Ibid. f. 73–5.

121 M. Delaolt, ‘Pionierii fascimului’, Macedonia, 28 Nov. 1927, 2. In 1939 the Italian Legation in Bucharest began a successful cultural programme aimed at attracting Aromanians to Italy. CNSAS, Fond Documentar, dosar 012694, vol. 12, f. 142, 163, 177, 179.

122 ANIC, Fond Direcţia Generală a Poliţiei, dosar 93/1931, f. 5, 7.

123 Ibid. f. 13.

124 Apărarea, 24 Mar. 1931; quoted in ANIC, Fond Direcţia Generală a Poliţiei, dosar 93/1931, f. 9.

125 Ibid. f. 3.

126 CNSAS, Fond Documentar, dosar 012694, vol. 12, f. 2.

127 Ibid. f. 4–36, 57–8.

128 Ibid. f. 33–9.

129 Papanace, Evocări, 16.

130 CNSAS, Fond Penal, dosar 011784, vol. 14, f. 318–19; Ciolacu, Haiducii Dobrogei, 89.

131 CSNAS, Fond Informativ, dosar 210821, vol. 1, f. 241–255.

132 CNSAS, Fond Documentar, dosar 012694, vol. 12, f. 113–14.

133 Ibid. f. 140–1.

134 Solonari, Purifying the Nation, 95–113.

135 CNSAS, Fond Penal, dosar 13997, vol. 2, f. 14.

136 Ciolacu, Haiducii Dobrogei, 96–7.

137 Burks, Richard Voyles, The Dynamics of Communism in Eastern Europe (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1961).

138 Kopstein, Jeffrey and Wittenberg, Jason, ‘Who Voted Communist? Reconsidering the Social Bases of Radicalism in Interwar Poland’, Slavic Review, 62, 1 (2003), 87109.

I would like to thank R. Chris Davis and Sacha Davis as well as the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.

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