Ion Antonescu

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Ion Antonescu (yôn äntônĕs´kōō), 1882–1946, Romanian marshal and dictator. He served in World War I and later became chief of staff, but he fell into disfavor with King Carol II because of his pro-Nazi attitude and his suspected intrigues with the Iron Guard. In World War II, on Sept. 4–5, 1940, Carol, threatened with revolution and German intervention, appointed Antonescu premier with dictatorial powers. On Sept. 6, Antonescu forced the king to abdicate in favor of Carol's son, Michael. In Nov., 1940, Romania joined the Axis Powers, and Antonescu gave Adolf Hitler virtual control over Romanian economy and foreign policy, tolerated violent pogroms against the Jews, and declared (June 22, 1941) a "holy war" on the Soviet Union. With two Soviet armies deep in Romania, King Michael in Aug., 1944, had Antonescu and his cabinet arrested in a dramatic coup. Antonescu was tried (1946) for war crimes and executed.

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Antonescu, Ion (1882–1946) Romanian general and fascist dictator. In 1938 he was imprisoned by King Carol II for leading an unsuccessful fascist coup. In September 1940, in the face of German aggression, Carol appointed Antonescu premier. Carol was forced to abdicate in favour of his son Michael, and Antonescu assumed dictatorial powers. Romania joined the Axis Powers and helped in the fated invasion of the Soviet Union. At home, Antonescu unleashed pogroms against Romanian Jews. The Red Army invasion of Romania led to his arrest. Antonescu was executed for war crimes.