The National-Christian Defense League (Romanian: Liga Apărării Naţional Creştine or LANC) was a virulently anti-Semitic political party of Romania formed by A. C. Cuza.[1]

The group had its roots in the National Christian Union, formed in 1922 by Cuza and the famed physiologist Nicolae Paulescu. This group, which used the swastika as its emblem, morphed in to the LANC in 1923.[2] The LANC became assocaited with extreme anti-Semitism, calling for a gradual withdrawal of rights for Jews which would include the withdrawal of political rights for all Jews, the withdrawal of citizenship for most and a gradual policy of appropriation of Jewish land and businesses.[3] The party banner became the flag of Romania with a swastika in the center.[4] Much of LANC's ideas were framed within theological arguments which were created by Nichifor Crainic, who served as Secretary General of the group.[5]

Initially the LANC gained some support and its blue shirted militia group, the Lăncieri, gained notoriety for their anti-Semitic activities in the universities.[6] Increasing its influence the LANC mopped up most of the followers of groups such as the National Fascist Movement and the National Romanian Fascia during the mid 1920s[7] However the group received a blow in 1927 when influential student leader Corneliu Zelea Codreanu left to form his own group (which ultimately emerged as the Iron Guard) and the LANC's stock fell somewhat. However they regrouped and returned to the Chamber of Deputies in 1933, returning nine members in the general election.[8]

Despite this recovery the League had still fallen some way behind the Iron Guard and it soon became clear that it needed to expand if it hoped to have any power. As such Crainic took the lead in organising negoatiations with Octavian Goga and his National Agrarian Party and the LANC was merged with this party to form the National Christian Party on July 16,1935.[9]


  1. Background and Precursors to the Holocaust, p. 14
  2. Background and Precursors to the Holocaust, p. 21
  3. Background and Precursors to the Holocaust, p. 22
  4. Background and Precursors to the Holocaust, p. 23
  5. Background and Precursors to the Holocaust, p. 25
  6. Background and Precursors to the Holocaust, p. 26
  7. Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism: 1914-1945, London: Routledge, 2001, p. 136
  8. Background and Precursors to the Holocaust, p. 26
  9. Background and Precursors to the Holocaust, p. 26

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Historical political parties in Romania (1856-1947)

Liberal: National Liberal Party, Free and Independent Faction, National Liberal Party-Brătianu, National Liberal Party-Tătărescu
Conservative: Conservative Party, Conservative-Democratic Party, Constitutional Party
Agrarian: National Peasants' Party, Bessarabian Peasants' Party, National Agrarian Party, Peasants' Party, Ploughmen's Front, Socialist Peasants' Party
Fascist, corporatist, and far right: Iron Guard, Crusade of Romanianism, National-Christian Defense League, National Christian Party, National Fascist Movement, National Italo-Romanian Cultural and Economic Movement, National Renaissance Front, National Romanian Fascia, National Socialist Party, Romanian Front
Communist, socialist, and social democratic: Romanian Communist Party, Romanian Social Democratic Party, Romanian Social-Democratic Workers' Party, Romanian Social Democratic Party of Bukovina, Social Democratic Party of Transylvania and Banat, Socialist Party of Romania
Nationalist: Democratic Nationalist Party, National Party, People's Party, Romanian National Party
Ethnic minority: German Party, German People's Party, Hungarian People's Union, Jewish Party, Magyar Party
Other: Union of Patriots