The falling of dusk: Hegel and Hopper


Great ideas come after twilight or, in Hegel’s words: “The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.” Edward Hopper (1882–1967), Conference at Night, 1949 (on the wall calendar in my office, Washington, DC, February 2016)

Diabolical pedagogy; Noel Field and the show trials in Eastern Europe


I’m reading this biography, truly transnational, of an American anti-Fascist caught in the political whirlwind of Stalinist terror in East-Central Europe. The Stalinist Left was a global movement and this explains why such biographies bear upon more than one country. Think of Arthur Koestler, Manes Sperber, Willi Munzenberg, Otto Katz (Andre Simone), Ilya Ehrenburg, Malraux, Margarete Buber Neumann. The main character is Noel Field, a former State Department official, who provided assistance, through the Unitarian relief service, to political refugees in France and Switzerland during WWII. In 1949, Noel and his wife were kidnapped in Prague, transported to Budapest, tortured, jailed, never tried. The interrogations by Matyas Rakosi’s AVO, supervised and instructed by Soviet advisors, lasted until 1954. Field testified in the Rajk trial in 1949. His banal contacts wilth Allend Dulles in Bern during the war became “proofs” for the existence of a conspiracy involving major figures of world communism, from Tito to Paul Merker and Slansky. One of the most powerful persons within the Romanian Workers Party Control Commission, Ronea Gheorghiu, attended the Slansky trial in order to get inspiration for a similar spectacle in Bucharest. The candidates for the main role would have been Ana Pauker as well as former Spanish Civil War and French resistance veterans. It was only Stalin’s demise, in March 1953, that arrested this murderous course…

Field was not Jewish, neither was Rajk, but the trial had an umnistakeable anti-Semitic component. Many of the defendants were Jewish communists who had spent years in Western exile. This anti-Semitic delusion would be exacerbated in the Slansky trial, in the fall of 1952. There are several memoirs of that trial, including “Confession” (L’Aveu) by Artur London. Based on London’s book, Costa Gavras made his film with Yves Montand and Simone Signoret. During the war, London (nom de guerre Gerard), was one of the leaders of the FTP-MOI resistance movement. My aunt, Cristina Luca, was the chief of the intelligence unit of this network. London’s son-in-law was Pierre Daix, the influential communist writer who, after decades of moral blindness, broke with PCF and became a major supporter of Soviet and East European dissidents.

Field’s adopted daughter, Erica Glaser (married Wallach), was arrested in East Berlin in 1950. She ended up in the Gulag. Erica’s parents were German Jewish: her father was a doctor in the International Brigades hospital in Vic, close to Barcelona. My mother, Hermina Marcusohn, was a nurse in that hospital. Erica and Hermina became freinds. Field was released from jail and spent the rest of his life in Budapest. In the 1960s, he worked for a publishing house, editing books in English. I talked about him one evening in Warsaw, at the bar of the Bristol Hotel, with my friend Laszlo Rajk, Jr, an architect, former dissident, and human rights activist. This was in May 2000. Now, the story will be part of the book that I am writing together with Marius Stan, “Two Sisters in Dark Times”. The term “la pedagogie infernale,” referring to the show trials in the “people’s democracies,” was coined by the great French historian Annie Kriegel. Born in London in1904, son of a famous American zoologist, Noel Field died in Budapest, in 1970.…/…/1849043442

Genius, indeed!


At the end of the day, he was right!


Outrageous, Barbaric, Despicable: Iranian Poet and Activist Hashem Shaabani Executed


Toute l’eau de la mer ne suffirait pas à laver une tache de sang intellectuelle.– Isidore Ducasse dit Comte de Lautréamont, “Les Chants de Maldoror”…

We were saddened and horrified today to learn of the death of Hashem Shaabani, who was executed on January 27th by the order of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. From Radio Free Europe:

An Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal reportedly had sentenced the poet to death, along with 14 others, last July on charges that included “waging war on God.”

Press reports said Shaabani was hanged after his sentence was approved by President Hassan Rohani.

In a statement on February 5, Freedom House said Shaabani was subjected to severe torture and interrogation during his three years in prison.



Human Rights Voices also reports on the execution, writing:

To those who knew him, Hashem Shaabani was a man of peace and understanding struggling to extend spaces of individual freedom within the despotic Khomeinist system…In one of his letters from prison, made available to use through his family, Shaabani says he could not have remained silent against ‘hideous crimes against Ahvazis perpetrated by the Iranian authorities, particularly arbitrary and unjust executions.’ He adds “I have tried to defend the legitimate right that every people in this world should have which is the right to live freely with full civil rights. With all these miseries and tragedies, I have never used a weapon to fight these atrocious crimes except the pen.’”


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Posted in Poetry News on Thursday, February 6th, 2014 by Harriet Staff.

Cateva precizari despre IICCMER si condamnarea comunismului ca regim politic criminal si ilegitim


Cateva precizari despre IICCMER si condamnarea comunismului ca regim politic criminal si ilegitim: In 2008 presedintele IICCMER era Marius Oprea, iar director general Stejarel Olaru. In martie 2010, s-a format noul Consiliu Stiintific si s-a stabilit noua organigrama. Am devenit presedintele CS din care faceau parte, intre altii, Anna Kaminsky, Maria Bucur,  Lavinia Stan , Bogdan Murgescu, Jacques Rupnik, Dorin Dobrincu, Mark Kramer, Janos Rainer. Secretar al CS a fost istoricul Bogdan C. Iacob. Profesorul Ioan Stanomir a fost presedinte executiv, iar Mihail Neamtu a fost director stiintific pana in septembrie 2011 cand a demisionat si a fost inlocuit de istoricul Cristian Vasile. Precizez acest lucru intrucat am citit pe pagina FB a lui Dumitru Lacatusu o interventie a d-lui Calin Goina care m-a denumerit. Cat priveste legitimarea: in aprilie 2006, la presiunea crescanda a societatii civile, Traian Basescu a infiintat Comisia prezidentiala pentru analiza dictaturii comuniste din Romania (CPADCR). In decembrie 2006, TB a prezentat parlamentului concluziile Raportului Final. Intre membrii comisiei, sa o numesc si pe profesoara Gail Kligman de la UCLA. Marius Oprea, presedintele din epoca al IICCMER, a fost membru al CPADCR. Intre experti: Catalin Stoica, , Ioana Boca, Anca Sincan,  Ioan Stanomir, Eugen Negrici, Novak Csaba Zoltan, , Stefano Bottoni,  Adrian Cioflanca, Germina Nagat, Hannelore Baier, Maria Muresan, Constantin Iordachi.. Toti membrii comisiei si-au asumat raportul. Condamnarea lui Alexandru Visinescu nu ar fi fost posibila fara modificarile de legi propuse de IICCMER in perioada Stanomir-Iacob-Tismaneanu si recomadate de comisia prezidentiala. In acest sens, Teodor Baconschi are deplina dreptate: fara Raportul Final nu s-ar fi ajuns la sentinta de ieri. RF nu a fost suficient, fireste, dar a fost necesar!

Imprescriptibilitatea a devenit parte a legii in urma actiunii parlamentare initiata de Sever Voinescu. Propunerile au venit din partea IICCMER, au lucrat la ele cercetatorii din institut. Monica Macovei a fost constant consultata pentru sugestii. Toate aceste lucruri tin de domeniul public. Ele trebuie insa reamintite pentru a evita confuziile si, vai, mistificarile. Sau, vorba lui Louis Althusser, pentru a face distinctiile necesare intre personaje reale si fantome smile emoticon As mai avea o intrebare: a rasfoit oare Calin Goina anuarele IICCMER publicate in acei ani? Este la curent cu continutul celor trei numere aparute atunci din excelenta revista “History of Communism in Europe”? Kudos to Corina Dobos si Marius Stan! Acesta din urma a devenit editorul si sufletul revistei, lucru ce nu trebuie uitat. Kudos pentru sefii de deparmanente: Damiana Otoiu, Raluca Grosescu, Angelo Mitchievici,  Adrian Cioflanca, Marius Stan. Sa amintesc ca printre cartile sustinute pentru publicare s-au numarat volume de Timothy Snyder, Robert C. Tucker, Anne Applebaum, Eric Voegelin, Stephen Kotkin, Mircea Stanescu, Ken Jowitt…

Text publicat pe pagina mea FB

E noapte, e tarziu si e frig…


 Un dialog spontan cu Stefan Agopian despre tortionari, intelectualii marxisti si insomniile dialectice (derulat pagina mea FB)

Stefan Agopian: Cazul Visinescu” va creea multe insomnii printre fosti! Se vor gindi, daca pe asta l-au luat la virsta lui, nici eu nu mai am mult. Macar atit, dar n-as vrea sa fiu in somnul lor!

Vladimir Tismaneanu: Da, Stefan Agopian, vor avea insomnii dialectice :)

Stefan Agopian: Hegeliana sau marxista?:)))

Vladimir Tismaneanu Lukacsiana, adica hegeliano-marxista :)

Stefan Agopian: Sa nu exageram! Pe Lukacs l-au citit ungurii si apoi occidentalii, ai nostri ascultau, cel mult, Maria Tanase.:)))

Vladimir Tismaneanu: Ion Ianosi, cel venerat de neo-stangisti, il citea pe Lukacs, chiar si cand era instructor la sectia cultura a CC al PMR. Nu-i placea, dar il citea. Trebuia sa stie ce e de combatut smile emoticon

Stefan Agopian: Vladimir Tismaneanu La el ma gindeam chiar in momentul acesta. Si la Cornea, si la Paul Georgescu…si chiar si la mine…nu mi-e rusine s-o spun.

Vladimir Tismaneanu: Cornea e un apostat, Paul G. n-a mai apucat “timpurile noi”, Ianosi e intepenit in ale sale obsesii. Iar noi doi, Stefan, mereu in cautare…

Stefan Agopian: Eu ma gindeam la tortionari, nu la intelectualii marxisti, care dorm linistiti,fiecare in cerul lui.

Vladimir Tismaneanu: Pai tortionarii fara intelectualii marxisti ar fi fost doar niste banditi de drumul mare. Ideologia i-a otelit, le-a oferit justificari sociale ptr ale lor sadisme personale…

Stefan Agopian: Asa-i,dar fara un Paul Georgescu o multime de scriitori, de la Preda la Nichita,n-ar fi existat. Si nici macar eu…Paul G. credea in ceva si i-ar fi omorit pe toti aia care erau contra.Da’ cind venea vorba de scriitori uita doctrina!

Vladimir Tismaneanu: Asa era, in fond, si Brecht…

Stefan Agopian: Cind a citit Sara in manuscris m-a sunat si mi-a spus:”Ca marxist te-as baga in puscarie, ca om de cultura, te felicit. Da-i drumu’!”

Stefan Agopian: Alt ticalos!:))) Cica ii scriau muierile piesele, Opera de trei parale, de ex.

Stefan Agopian: Cred totusi ca porcaria aia numita <Cercul de creta caucazian> a scris-o el.

Stefan Agopian La noi e 1-40 spre dimineata! Ma culc. Zi buna!

Vladimir Tismaneanu: A scris, in anii 30, ori poate ceva mai devreme, o piesa impreuna cu Hanns Eisner (cel care avea sa compuna muzica ptr imnul de stat al DDR), intitulata “Die Massnahme”. Koestler spune, in memoriile sale, ca nu stie o mai abjecta apologie ptr epurarile staliniste si ptr cultul delirant al Partidului. Si totusi, Hannah Arendt are un eseu superb despre poetul Brecht…

Stefan Agopian N-am adormit inca:))) Mai sint inca o multime de prosti care stau in curul lui. Chiar si pe la voi,in State. Ce sa le faci? Asta-i viata! ar zice un rabin batrin si un popa armenesc, la fel de batrin.:)))

Nobletea impotrivirii: Despre Alice Voinescu


Alice Voinescu s-a nascut pe 10 februarie 1885 si a incetat din viata pe 4 iunie 1961. Intre multele si impardonabilele crime ale regimului comunist s-a numarat arestarea si intermnitarea acestei admirabile ganditoare, o eseista de prim rang, al carei jurnal ramane una din marile creatii spirituale ale acelor ani intunecati. Alice Voinescu a simbolizat, cum observa Monica Lovinescu, nobletea impotrivirii. Despre temnita comunista: „Nu vreau să mă gândesc la cele 19 luni petrecute în închisoare. E ceva atât de străin de gândul meu, de soarta mea adevărată, îndreptată spre libertate, încât nu-mi recunosc nicio rudenie, nicio afinitate, nicio coincidenţă între mine şi cele prin care am trecut. Zadarnic am încercat să integrez acest timp în sensul vieţii mele. Am vrut să-i găsesc un rost, o explicaţie. Mă amăgeam că pretindeam că e o mare experienţă ce-mi poate folosi. Nu mi-a folosit toată urâţenia şi murdăria şi comicăria decât să mă delimitez mai bine, să mă smulg din ea.” Apelul ei la “deslichelizare” ramane mai actual ca oricand.…/alice-voinescu–destin-exem…/index.html…/24/jurnal-de-existenta-alice-voine…/…/24/jurnal-de-existenta-alice-voine…/


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