In the Shadow of the Apocalypse
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A captivating story of interwar Romania, fascist extremism, and revolutionary youth!
An exploration of the psychology and mysticism behind the rise of a violently nationalistic and anti-Semitic extreme right movement in interwar Romania, In the Shadow of the Apocalypse is a fictionalized account of an actual historical organization, the Legion of the Archangel Michael, also known as the Iron Guard (the Heralds, in the novel), responsible for heinous crimes against the Jewish population as well as anyone who opposed their views. Written in cinematic sequences, the novel captures the intensity of an inter-generational struggle between parents complacent in their comfortable lives and children eager to change the world, but whose high ideals are hijacked and twisted by extremist ideological propaganda.
Completed in 1948, the novel played its own part in Romania's postwar history, as it became the chief evidence for the prosecution in a famous 1960 trial staged by the communist authorities against the author Dinu Pillat and a number of other intellectuals. Accused of "the crime of having plotted against the social order" on the basis of a distorted reading of the novel, Pillat was sentenced to 25 years of forced labor and 10 years of deprivation of civil rights and liberties. He was freed from prison in 1964 only to succumb to cancer in 1975, but the manuscript was not found until 2010 when it was finally recovered from the archives of the former Romanian communist secret service, the Securitate and published.
A story with its own twisted history, In the Shadow of the Apocalypse is not only an engrossing adventure, a subtle dive into the human psyche, and a powerful testimonial against the damage and dangers of extremisms of all kinds, but also a must-read warning for our own times!
Christian Orthodoxy, prewar Romania, Dinu Pillat, Nazi movement, Romania, Romanian anti-Semitism, Christian Orthodoxy mysticism, Eliza Claudia Filimon, Legion of the Archangel Michael, interwar Romania, Fascism, Noica-Pillat Trial, Anti-Semitism Romania, George T. Sipos, Iron Guard, anti-Semitism, Romanian nationalism, James Christian Brown, Romanian fascism