DRACULA IS DEAD
AT LEAST, WE THINK HE'S DEAD
ROMANIAN NAZI OILMAN BURIED IN TRANSYLVANIA
Family Requests Mourners Send Donations Against Charity, Rather Than The Traditional Garlic Wreaths
Iosif Constantin Dragan, Romania's richest man, passed away quietly in the Spanish resort of Mallorca, where he had lived luxuriously for many years on his profits from World War II. Dragan was a Fascist, a member of the Romanian Iron Guard, and a corporatist entrepreneur who supplied gas and oil to Mussolini's military in the 1940's.
After the war, Romania fell to the Communists, and Dragan set up shop in Italy, where his Fascist activities during the war did not preclude his increasing his fortune in the petroleum industry. Toward the end of the Communist era, Dragan allied himself with dictator Nikolai Ceausescu. Dragan managed to survive Ceausescu's overthrow, and went on to become Romania's first billionaire under the re-established capitalist regime.
Dragan was an unrepentant Rightist fanatic, and founded Liga Mareşal Ion Antonescu after the fall of Ceausescu. Antonescu was the Nazi collaborator who ran the Bucharest government during WWII, with disastrous effect upon the Romanian people and their neighbors. He built the "labor camps" and the "trains of death" responsible for the "ethnic cleansing" of much of Romania's Jewish and Roma population. Able to support all this, yet continue doing business with all parties, Dragan was a survivor, adapting to his environment like a man turning into a bat at the full moon.
Dragan's old organization, the Romanian Iron Guard, were considered by the Nazi's to be too violently and unscientifically anti-Semitic: Unprofessional mass-murderers. The Guard, or Legion of the Archangel Michael, conducted pogroms and slaughtered Romanian and Ukranian Jews wholesale in orgies of violence that made even the Germans cringe. All together, the Romanian Fascists killed over 300,000 Jews and Gypsies outright, second only to the Germans in the Holocaust.
Unique among extreme Rightist ideologies in Europe at the time, the movement was based upon elements of Orthodox Christian theology, and thus appealed to religious conservatives among the peasantry in the Romanian countryside. Their symbol was the Triple Cross, similar to the "Pound" or "Tic-Tac-Toe" sign on modern telephones. The Iron Guard's founder, Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, started out in the National-Christian Defense League, which succeeded the National Christian Union founded by A. C. Cuza, who based much of the group's political philosophy upon Romanian Orthodox Church doctrine, and raw anti-Semitism.
Cuza also founded the Universal Antisemitic Alliance in Bucharest in 1895, pre-dating Hitler by over thirty years, and The League Against Alcoholism, a sort of prehistoric private "War on Drugs." They also considered abortion to be a sin, homosexuality to be a scourge, and demonized liberalism. American Republicans will find much to admire in the Romanian fascist movement. They even controlled the legislature for a time, under the Conservative banner. They also founded private militia's, like America's Pinkertons, Wackenhut and Blackwater. Ultimately, violence and intimidation in the name of the established order of wealthy individuals, giant corporations, and powerful government entities was their hallmark.
In addition to raking in cash, oilman Iosif Dragan devoted his life to rewriting and distorting history, to which end he built up a media empire that might have been a model for Italy's Berlusconi, or Australia's Rupert Murdoch. In all but name, Dragan was a modern American Republican.
Villagers drove a stake through his heart before burying him. "Just a precaution. We don't believe the legends, so much. Just a precaution," the priest said, and hurried away before the sun set behind the Transylvanian Mountains.
THE CANADIAN PRESS
"Ex-Nazi Romanian billionaire Iosif Constantin Dragan dead at 91"
' Iosif Constantin Dragan, a billionaire businessman who supported Romania's pro-Nazi movement during the Second World War, died Thursday. He was 91. Dragan died in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, where he lived, Romanian news agency Agerpres reported, citing a family statement. No cause of death was given. Dragan was banned from Romania after the war by the communist government because of his support for the Nazi Iron Guard movement. He moved to Italy and in 1948 founded petroleum products company Butan Gas. He had an estimated wealth of $1.6 billion in 2006 making him Romania's wealthiest man, Romanian Capital magazine reported. After the communist government was overthrown in 1989, he backed far-right politicians and newspapers in Romania. '
"Romanian Billionaire Buried in Transylvania"
' Thousands of people from the Transylvanian town of Lugoj in central Romania have attended the funeral ceremony of billionaire Iosif Constantin Dragan. Dragan, who was 91, died last week in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Reports in the local media show that in 2006 Dragan had a wealth of around $1.6 billion, making him Romania's wealthiest man. Dragan was mainly involved in business dealings with oil and gas. A close friend of former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, he was a promoter of the Latin origin of Romanian people. After the end of communism in Romania in 1989, he founded a university in Lugoj and set up several newspapers, including a hardline nationalist weekly magazine. '
' At the age of 35, Veronica Gusa de Dragan became the richest Romanian woman. She administers the 1,5 billion dollar belonging to his dead husband. After the death of her multi-millionaire husband, Veronica Gusa de Dragan (35 years old) became the richest woman in Romania. She will administer a fortune equivalent to approximately 1,5 billion dollar. Iosif Constantin Dragan’s widow has lived for 13 years by "Ceausescu’s multi-millionaire" side. Now, she will be in charge of managing ButanGas, company whose turn-over this year will reach 86 million dollar. Actual Ms. Dragan is the only daughter of General Stefan Gusa, former head of the Romanian Armed Forces and the key-character in December 1989 events. The general mysteriously died in April 1994, four years after the Revolution. Veronica married the businessman, former congenial with Iron Guard and, subsequently, with Ceausescu, in 1995. She was 22, he was 78. Yesterday, at her husband’s funeral, the widow behaved like "an iron lady". She denied the access to funeral of the approximately 800 people who wanted to say good-bye from the most popular man in Lugoj. '
"Iosif Constantin Drăgan"
' Drăgan was involved in a series of controversies, including some alleged deals with the Securitate, his admiration of Romanian Fascist leader Ion Antonescu and being one of the main figures in the Protochronist current of Romanian historiography. Born in Lugoj, he graduated from Law School at the University of Bucharest in 1938, and earned in 1940 a scholarship at the University of Rome, where he studied political science and economics, earning a Ph.D. in law. At the time, Drăgan was attracted to fascist ideals and the Iron Guard, representing a corporatist trend inside the latter. In 1941, he started a company which exported Romanian petroleum products to Fascist Italy. After World War II, in 1948, he established a gas distribution company in Italy, Butan Gas. After the war, with the Romanian Communist Party gaining power in Romania, he was not allowed for 30 years to return to Romania. '.
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