Centre for Romanian Studies

Centre for Romanian Studies header image 1

Entries from April 23rd, 2011

Four decades ago – A Romanian in Britain (A Story from the Home Office website)

April 23rd, 2011 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Diaspora, PEOPLE, Reviews

My greatest trouble in England arose from my refusal to give up my Romanian nationality. In retrospect this may seem bizarre, especially that I was menaced on a number of fronts: by Securitate operatives masquerading as diplomats keen to end my flouting of socialist order and drag me back to Romania; by a prospective mother-in-law who refused to allow her daughter to marry me unless I accepted British citizenship; and by officials of the British Home Office who assumed that my desire to retain what I saw as my unalienable right of birth, my nationality, might stem from communist loyalties.

Afterwards Lord Goodman decided to champion my cause, writing to the head of the Home Office that I was a

“man of impeccable character clearly determined to belong here and make a significant contribution to our national life.””

In retrospect I hope that I discharged myself honourably of Goodman‘s expectations as I gave generously my expertise in discovering oil and gas for Britain and batting for Britain abroad on the cultural and scientific front, especially in my native country – Romania

[Read more →]

Tags:··········

Churchill College, Cambridge, Romanian Poetry with George Steiner

April 14th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Diary, Diaspora, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

NOTE: for those readers who either do not know or do not want to know and especially for those who escaped Romania, this is to say how nearly impossible it was to cross the Iron Curtain during Ceausescu’s hellish dictatorship: many people risked their lives and paid the heavy price of exile – others who had no faith in any change for the better after Ceausescu’s fall, have joined the exodus and millions of uprooted who seek work and settled in other countries – Millions of them!! Romania’s 23 million-population would decrease even faster should it not be for the influx of Chinese workers and the high birthrate of the Roma ethnic minority. Such is the inheritance of five decades of Communism!

extract from:
www.constantinroman.com/continentaldrift
(there is a free Romanian translation downloadable in pdf (ask for link – large memory needed ) , because even 17 years after the fall of communism, in 1989, although these memoirs were published in England and in the USA, its translation cannot be published in Bucharest: it was turned down by Liicianu of “Humanitas”, by Patapievici’s “Romanian Institute” (Formerly the Fundatia Culturala Romana) and by Romanian editors with claims of being “aristocrats of the intellect” (boierii mintii) – read “leaders of opinion”.

[Read more →]

Tags:·······

Petitie a asociaţiilor de proprietari deposedaţi abuziv în perioada 1945-1989

April 13th, 2011 · No Comments · Diaspora, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE

Petitie a asociaţiilor de proprietari deposedaţi abuziv în perioada 1945-1989
Prin decizia pilot Maria Atanasiu c. Romaniei, CEDO a solicitat statului roman să modifice legislaţia de restituire şi procedurile de lucru, în aşa fel încât proprietarii deposedaţi sa-şi reprimească bunurile confiscate sau despăgubirile cuvenite, într-un interval de timp „rezonabil“.

Asociaţiilorde proprietari deposedaţi, solicită ca, la elaborarea legii de restituire şi a procedurilor de lucru, să se respecte următoarele principii:
Respectarea articolelor 16 alin. 1,2; 20 şi 44 din Constituţia Românei., precum şi a articolelor 6 şi 1 din Protocolul 1 al Convenţiei pentru apărarea Drepturilor Omului şi a Libertăţilor fundamentale
Respingem orice formă de discriminare a persoanelor îndreptăţite, precum:

o plafonarea valorii despăgubirilor sau diminuarea acestora faţă de valoarea de piaţă.
respingerea cererilor fostilor cetăţeni români, cetăţeni ai UE şi moştenitori ai unor cetăţeni români, sub pretextul ca nu mai sunt actualmente cetăţeni români.
.Intocmirea unui plan de măsuri clare si univoce, cu rezultate controlabile, cu activităţi, termene şi responsabilităţi bine definite, care să fie raportate periodic autorităţilor europene.
Admiterea rezolvarii revendicarilor în baza Codului Civil Roman, prin complete de judecata specializate.

[Read more →]

Tags:······

20th c Romanian History (I) – Ceausescu & Bokassa

April 4th, 2011 · No Comments · OPINION, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations

There was a glaring complicity between the two dictators, Bokassa and Ceuasescu, who, although were worlds apart, they had a lot in common, in particular the cunning of the small-time village satrap, overblown to parody level. They also shared the same tribal feeling about being surrounded by family in key positions, the same attraction for all that glittered, the delusions of grandeur.

Bokassa Coronation sceptre inspired Nicolae Ceausescu

In retrospect Bokassa outwitted all his contemporaries, including his French masters and returned from his exile (where he was kept prisoner in a gilded cage by his French masters), to be allowed to die a revered village elder in his native country. By contrast Ceausescu was less astute than his African pal: Nick and Elena were outfoxed by their trusted lieutenants, who had them summarily ‘judged’ by a parody Court and hastily dispatched in a carnage redolent of the parodic shoots of Carpathian bear in Romania’s mountains.
Both Nicolae and Elena claimed their innocence during their farcical kangaroo court trial of 1989, but nobody came to the rescue of the once feted Hero hailed in dithyrambic verse by his Court Poet, Adrian Paunescu:

“We love Him because this Country is free under the sun
The People of this country are free and the real leader
We love him because He embodies the conscience of the Working people
And that he makes us proud that as a man He is Romanian”

Reallly, incredible as it is in retrospect, the above ditty might have been more suitable if it was dedicated to Emperor Bokassa instead: sadly, Adrian Paunescu, Ceausescu’s fawning Court jester, had to make do with a ‘second best’!

[Read more →]

Tags:···········

Moartea martirică a Părintelui Arsenie Boca (1910-28. XI.1989) – The Martyrdom of rev. Arsenie Boca

April 1st, 2011 · No Comments · Diary, OPINION, PEOPLE

“ În 1989 părintele Arsenie spunea celor apropiaţi: ‘nu mă mai vedeţi în curând că aştia mă termină’. În ultimii ani celor de la conducere le era foarte teamă de părintele Arsenie. Era ţinut în satul Drăgănescu iar intrările în sat erau păzite zi şi noapte de Securitate (..). Ultimele momente şi le-a petrecut la Sinaia. Trebuie neapărat să scrieţi asta. Am fost la el împreună cu parintele Dometie care a fost ţinut acolo timp de o săptămână şi jumătate. Si nu i-au dat voie să vorbească cu el. Maica de acolo ne spunea că e la Drăgănescu. Părintele Arsenie avea însă un căţel mic, flocos, negru. Unde era părintele, acolo era şi căţelul. Când am văzut căţelul, mi-am dat seama că este acolo. În cele din urmă ni s-a spus că este bolnav şi că nu poate vedea pe nimeni. I se poate trimite doar un pomelnic sau o scrisoare… După trei zile ni s-a spus că a murit părintele. L-au adus şi era aşa cum era: TORTURAT şi CHINUIT. Se vedea la degete şi la faţă faptul că a fost torturat. Eu am fost la înmormântare şi am văzut: unghiile de la două degete îi erau pur şi simplu zmulse…Toate acestea s-au petrecut pentru că a prezis căderea şi moartea lui Ceauşescu. Nu mi-e frică să spun adevărul, chiar dacă unii mai vor să ascundă acest lucru. Puteţi fi şi un om trimis de cei care l-au torturat şi acum vor cu orice preţ să ascundă adevărul. Eu spun adevărul pe faţă, pentru că mulţi îl ştiu, dar nu îl spun”.

[Read more →]

Tags:····