Gheorghe Argeșanu

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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).


Born in Caracal, he was promoted 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 appointed as premier by King Carol II after the assassination of his predecessor Armand Călinescu by the nationalist 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 by orders from Horia Sima) and the arbitrary arrest and execution without trial of at least three Iron Guard members in each county. He was replaced as premier by Constantin Argetoianu.

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

Argeşanu was married to the pianist Manya Botez.