CreditDaniel Mihailescu/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
King Michael of Romania, who was credited with pre-emptively saving thousands of lives in World War II when, at 22, he had the audacity to arrest the country’s dictator, a puppet of Hitler, died on Tuesday at his residence in Switzerland. He was 96.
The king was often remembered for distinctions that were not of his own making. He is, for example, said to have been the only man to both precede and succeed his own father as king.
But his shining achievement was assuredly his doing. It came on Aug. 23, 1944, when Michael, whose powers were perceived as largely ceremonial, bravely summoned Hitler’s crony Ion Antonescu, the fascist dictator of Romania, to his palace and arrested him.