Gheorghe Argeşanu

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Gheorghe Argeşanu in the 1930s
Gheorghe Argeşanu in the 1910s

Gheorghe Argeşanu (February 28, 1883—November 26/27, 1940) was a Romanian cavalry general and politician who served as a Prime Minister of Romania for about a week in 1939 (September 21-September 28).

Biography[edit]

Born in Caracal, he was advanced to a leadership position in the Romanian Army during World War I, and served as Minister of Defense in the second Miron Cristea cabinet (March–October 1938).

He was selected as premier by King Carol II after the assassination of his predecessor Armand Călinescu by the fascist Iron Guard, and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General. His first noted measures included the public display of the bodies of Călinescu's assassins (who had been killed shortly after carrying out their orders from Horia Sima) and the arbitrary arrest and execution without trial of three Iron Guard members in each county. He was replaced as premier by Constantin Argetoianu.

After the establishment of the Iron Guard's National Legionary State, Argeşanu was imprisoned without trial in Jilava, and ultimately killed during the Jilava Massacre by members of the Iron Guard on the same night as 63 other political prisoners, in retaliation for the violence he had endorsed.