Daily Telegraph din 22 Septembrie 1939 scria:
The assassination took place just outside the Royal Palace of Cotroceni, near Bucharest, where the Prime Minister had been to report to King Carol.M Calinescu’s motor-car was proceeding swiftly down the avenue from the palace and had turned left on to the Bucharest road. The chauffeur observed a cart on the side of the road, swerved, skidded, hit the curb, and swung round across the road.
Simultaneously, 10 or 11 men opposed fire with automatic pistols from both sides of the road. M Calinescu and the detectives accompanying him were killed instantaneously, but the chauffeur was unhurt.
The men jumped into three cars and drove to the Bucharest wireless station, which they invaded, pistols in hand.
They shot and wounded the door-keeper, forced their way into the broadcasting studio, and violently removed the announcer. Stopping a gramophone record which was being broadcast, one of the assassins screamed into the microphone:
“The death sentence on Calinescu has been executed and the legionaries are revenged”.
Before he could continue he was overpowered. It was through this announcement that Bucharest heard of the assassination. The news has so far not been published in the Press.
Mme Hagi-Anton, editress of the news bulletin, was wounded in the affray which followed. Seven legionaries were caught and disarmed, but three or four escaped.
Ten minutes passed before the radio announcer stated that the programme had been interrupted through an “unfortunate incident,” but would at once continue. The leader of the assassins, a lawyer called Dumitrescu, was apprehended later. Tonight two more of the legionaries who had escaped, learning that their comrades had confessed, shot themselves in the principal boulevard of Bucharest. Dumitrescu is an Iron Guard leader who fled to Slovakia during the round-up after the shooting of M Codreanu last year while attempting to escape after being sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for treason.
King summons council
He and his confederates returned to Rumania 10 days ago, making their headquarters at Ploesti, an oil-refining town 45 miles north of Bucharest. The plot was apparently hatched in Slovakia. When I visited the scene of the assassination a few minutes after the attack, I found the chauffeur still collapsed on the running-board of the car, and the bodies of the detectives still lying in pools of blood in the road. M Calinescu’s body had been removed. King Carol summoned a Council of State tonight at the Cotroceni Palace to discuss the situation.
All is quiet in Bucharest, and there appears to be no tendency towards a general uprising. The telephone service was cut till late this evening, when local calls were allowed in Rumanian only.
Six assassins executed – General as Premier
Six of the assassins were executed by shooting at 10 o’clock last night according to a message circulated in Berlin.
King Carol has appointed Gen George Argescanu, the former Minister of War, as Prime Minister in place of M Calinescu. Gen Argescanu is at present commander of the Bucharest Army Corps. M Gabriel Marinescu, hitherto Under-Secretary for Home Affairs, becomes Minister of the Interior, and Gen Ecus is the new Minister of War. The remainder of the Cabinet remains unchanged. The Cabinet decided to “continue its policy of strict neutrality.”
Search for arms
The Rumanian Government later issued a statement that the assassination of M Calinescu had been established definitely as the work of the Iron Guard and possessed no international political significance. Last night the post office, the broadcasting station and all important Government buildings in Bucharest were heavily guarded by gendarmes. Police controlled the roads leading out of the city, and all motorists and pedestrians were searched for arms. At least 1,000 cavalrymen, armed with machine-guns, were reported to be on their way to Bucharest late last night. The German wireless last night broadcast the following:
“Everywhere in Bucharest the question is being asked: “Who had an interest in this fearful deed?” Among the civilian population there is a unanimous conviction that it was planned by England.
“It is believed that the murder was a cunning plot of the English Government, which had its bloody work done by the Iron Guard”. It was also stated that political circles in Belgrade were convinced that Great Britain was the instigator of the assassination in the hope of bringing Rumania into the war. Later, the same statement was repeated with the exception that Poland was named jointly as the instigator of the dead.
Planned weeks ago
In the news bulletin broadcast last night by the Warsaw wireless station it was stated that news received in Warsaw Government quarters indicated that the assassination had been planned weeks ago by the Gestapo and had been carried out by their agents.
M Calinescu, King Carol’s “strong man”, became Prime Minister of Rumania in March this year on the death of the Patriarch, Dr Miron Cristea. He also held the portfolios of Minister of the Interior and Minister of War, thus having control over the police as well as the armed forces. Short, courageous and monocled – he lost his left eye in a bicycle accident when a child – M Calinescu had already survived three conspiracies this year to assassinate him. Forty members of the Iron Guard were arrested. The rank and file of the Iron Guard regarded him as responsible for the death of M Codreanu.
Since then it had been widely reported that certain remaining members of the Iron Guard had sworn to take his life, and wherever he went he was always heavily guarded.
In all his speeches M Calinescu, who was 46, showed himself determined to defend his country’s frontiers and Rumania’s political independence. The Iron Guard has been responsible for a number of political murders in Rumania, starting with the assassination of Dr Ion Duca, the Liberal Prime Minister, at a Bucharest railway station in 1934. Dr Duca was killed after issuing an order for the suppression of the Iron Guard. M Calinescu was to have paid his first visit to Britain last Easter to see his 16-year-old son, Barbu, who is at Maiden Erlegh School at Reading. Because of the international situation, however, he had to cancel his arrangements. Barbu Calinescu was due to return from London to Reading today for the new term.