Gane, Ștefan. Protest against the demolition of historic monuments in Romania, Paris, 1985. Photo
This photo reflects the way in which the Romanian exile organised itself and acted to present in the West the urban systematisation project of the Ceaușescu regime, which involved the demolition, mutilation, or destruction of the national heritage. The photo captures the moment when the International Association for the Protection of Monuments and Historic Sites in Romania was set up in Paris in 1985. On that occasion, the Association organised a protest on the streets of Paris, during which it displayed a series of placards with texts about Communist Romania, accompanied by photographs of historic monuments destroyed by the Communists or about to be demolished or moved. These details are captured in the photograph in question, which can be found in the Ștefan Gane collection in the original, 10x15 cm, printed on colour paper. The purpose of the Association was to draw the attention of political decision-makers and international public opinion to the project of the communist regime in Romania for the demolition of the architectural and urban heritage. The actions undertaken by the Association focused in particular on drawing media attention to the demolition of the city centre of Bucharest, which was planned by the authorities of the totalitarian regime so that they could reconstruct it according to the communist architectural vision.
The Pavao Tijan Papers are deposited in the Archives of the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts in Zagreb. It demonstrates the cultural-oppositional activities of the Croatian émigré Pavao Tijan, who lived in Madrid after the Second World War. There, Tijan organized anti-communist activities against the Yugoslav regime and also against global communism during the time of the Cold War. This collection is very important to the little known Croatian cultural history of the émigré colony of Spain.
Letter from Virgil Ierunca to Sanda Budiș, in Romanian, 2...
Letter from Virgil Ierunca to Sanda Budiș, in Romanian, 25 February 1985
This letter is an important document for the history of the post-war Romanian exile community because it is proof of the activity of fighting communist propaganda outside the country, as well as of the integration of Romanian culture into Western culture. Such activity was also carried out by Sanda Budiș, an exile community personality, who emigrated to Switzerland in 1973. One of her actions, alongside another representative of the Romanian exile community in Switzerland, the lawyer Dumitru Stambuliu, consisted in supplying the Swiss Library for Eastern Europe in Bern with publications of the Romanian exile community. The starting point of Sanda Budiș’s project was a book donation from Romania, which the Romanian ambassador to Switzerland made to the Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne in 1984. This donation took place during a festivity advertised in the local press. In response, Sanda Budiș took the initiative to donate publications of the Romanian exile community from her personal library to this library, but her donation was denied "for political reasons." Consequently, she addressed the leadership of another institution – the Swiss Library for Eastern Europe in Bern – which served at the time as a documentary fonds for the Swiss Eastern Institute (Institut suisse de recherche sur les pays de l'Est–ISE/Schweizerische Ostinstitut–SOI), an institute that carried out research on communist countries. At the Institute, both the management and the members were Swiss personalities with authority in their field of expertise. The management of this library accepted her donation “with great satisfaction, especially as it is literally flooded by propaganda publications sent free and regularly by the various propaganda officers of the Ceaușescu regime.” In order to counteract the propaganda of the Romanian communist authorities, Sanda Budiș continued her efforts by sending letters to the management of important and representative publications of the Romanian exile community. Among the recipients of such letters was Virgil Ierunca, who accepted her invitation and sent to the library not only newspapers and magazines of the exile community, but also books published by Romanians abroad. Ierunca also responded to Sanda Budiș in a letter in which he congratulated and thanked her for the action she had initiated. The original handwritten letter is to be found today in the Sanda Budiş Collection at IICCMER.
Vjesnik Newspaper Documentation is an archival collection created in the Vjesnik newspaper publishing enterprise from 1964 to 2006. It includes about twelve million press clippings, organized into six thousand topics and sixty thousand dossiers on public persons. Inter alia, it documents various forms of cultural opposition in the former Yugoslavia, but also in other communist countries in Europe and worldwide.
Samizdat Collection at Petőfi Literary Museum (PLM)
Samizdat Collection at Petőfi Literary Museum (PLM)
This collection is one of the most important samizdat collections in Hungary. The Museum's Library and Archive started systematically to collect samizdat materials in the 1980s. The materials were kept in closed stacks not available to the public until 1989. The Museum held one of the first exhibitions on samizdat in Hungary after the change of regimes.
Blatný, Ivan. Old Addresses, in Czech, 1979. Typescript
Blatný, Ivan. Old Addresses, in Czech, 1979. Typescript
In 1977, English nurse Frances Meacham began to collect Ivan Blatný’s manuscripts of poems. She also sent some poems to Josef Škvorecký, a Czech writer living in exile in Toronto, Canada. Škvorecký decided to publish Blatný’s poems and thus, the collection of poems Old Addresses (Stará bydliště) was issued by the Czechoslovak exile publishing house Sixty-Eight Publishers in 1979. The collection was compiled during years 1978 and 1979 by Czech poet Antonín Brousek, who emigrated to West Germany in 1969. In accordance with Josef Škvorecký’s request, Brousek intentionally did not include multilingual and “modern” poems. On the contrary, he chose rather lyrical poems that resembled Ivan Blatný’s texts from the beginning of the 1940s. Josef Škvorecký justified this decision stating that their clients (readers of books issued by the publishing house Sixty-Eight Publishers) are usually “elder emigrants, who already had preconceived notions about poetry”. Although Old Addresses did not reflect Blatný’s modern style, the issue of this collection in 1979 was crucial. It resulted in better knowledge of Blatný and his work in exile, and Blatný was rediscovered by Czechoslovak readers, mainly those in exile and dissent circles. This book circulated in Czechoslovakia, where it was disseminated through illegal typescript copies. As Czech literary historian Jiří Rambousek stated later, it “created a small literary sensation.” Thus, it was not surprising that Old Addresses was also published by the Czechoslovak samizdat edition “Czech Expedition”. Moreover, it encouraged Blatný himself to continue in his literary work. Since 1989, this collection has officially been published in Czechoslovakia, and later in the Czech Republic, four times (1992, 1997, 2002 and 2014).
The Museum of Czech Literature possesses a copy of the typescript of the collection Stará bydliště (Old Addresses) with handwritten notes.
The collection exists thanks to Kolář’s friendships with artists and reflects his personal taste. Kolář bought works directly from the artists and thus he supported them. Along with works from the second half of the twentieth century, Kolář also collected older works, which are part of the collection.
This photograph from the Ștefan Gane Collection is a testimony to the Ceaușescu regime's policy of transforming the urban landscape and destroying everything that was opposed to its vision. An example of this is the almost total destruction in 1985 of the Mihai Vodă Monastery, of which only the church and the bell tower were preserved and moved to another site down an incline.
The church of the former Mihai Vodă Monastery is an emblem of premodern Bucharest and one of the oldest buildings that have been preserved in Bucharest. Built in 1594, over time it had several destinations, including Princely Residence, Military Hospital, Medical School, and headquarters of the State Archives. It was founded by one of the most important rulers in the Romanians' national history: Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave). He was the ruler of Wallachia between 1593 and 1601 and the only leader of one of the premodern states existing in the modern perimeter of modern Romania that unified, for the period 1600–1601, a territory roughly equal to that of today's Romania. Thus Mihai Viteazul was considered from the nineteenth century an important figure in national history. Under the communist regime, historiography of gave Mihai Viteazul a much more important place in national history than he had had before. He was named as the prefigurer of the so-called "Union of 1918". This historical event consisted of the annexation of the historical regions of Austro-Hungary, inhabited mostly by Romanians to the so-called Old Kingdom of Romania and was materialised in the Peace Treaties of Saint-Germain (1919) and Trianon (1920). This image of Mihai Viteazul as anticipator of the “Union of 1918” was strongly promoted under the Ceauşescu regime not only through textbooks and historical works, but also through the historical film Mihai Viteazul, made in 1970.
Despite the overwhelming importance the communist regime granted to Mihai Viteazul, the monastery complex he founded became the most famous victim of the total demolition of Bucharest. The site where it was located, a high position in the urban landscape of the capital, was assigned by the communist authorities to the building that is now home to the Romanian Parliament. In 1985 the monastery was demolished, but not entirely. At the last moment, the church and the bell tower were moved, despite the initial plan that everything should be destroyed. The church was moved to the base of the hill, where it was subsequently hidden by communist buildings. The church was originally located on Mihai Vodă Hill, on the former Archives Street no. 2, and was moved to Sapienţei Street no. 4, where it still stands. This photograph was taken clandestinely by Ștefan Gane a few months before the edifice was moved, and went with him to France in 1985 when he emigrated. The photo in question, which is today in the Ștefan Gane collection, is in the original, 10x15 cm, printed on black and white paper. Today it is an important historical source for understanding and writing a part of Romania's recent history in connection with the project of destruction of the national patrimony practised by the communist regime between 1977 and 1989.
The unique resource value of the collection stems from the historical fact that the continuity of Hungarian scouting established in 1910 was in fact maintained by the émigré Hungarian scouting movement worldwide for more than four decades, from 1948 to 1989, in a period when it was prohibited in communist Hungary. According to Hungarian émigré scout leaders, the movement was intended to serve a two-front struggle of cultural resistance: on one hand against the official forgery of “the real” national heritage in communist Hungary; and on the other against the linguistic and cultural assimilation of Hungarian émigré youth within the multi-ethnic environment of some 20 countries of 4 continents worldwide.
Ivan Medek Collection of the Czechoslovak Documentation C...
Ivan Medek Collection of the Czechoslovak Documentation Centre
Ivan Medek (1925-2010) was a prominent Czech music publicist, a signatory of Charter 77 and a founding member of VONS. In 1978 he went into exile, where he founded the Press Service and worked with Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. This collection contains unique documents from his exile activity.
Ivan Blatný Collection at the Museum of Czech Literature
Ivan Blatný Collection at the Museum of Czech Literature
Ivan Blatný (1919–1990), an important Czech poet, lived and died in exile in the United Kingdom after 1948. Upon arrival in the UK, he applied for political asylum and became a “banned” poet in Czechoslovakia as a result of his emigration and openly talking on BBC radio about political pressure against artists in Czechoslovakia. Despite being banned, his work circulated in Czechoslovakia through both samizdat and official printings.
The Memory of Nations is an extensive online collection of the memories of witnesses, which is being developed throughout Europe by individuals, organizations, schools and institutions. It preserves and makes available the collections of memories of witnesses who have agreed that their testimony should serve to explore modern history and be publicly accessible. The collection includes testimonies of communism resistance, holocaust survival, artists of alternative culture and underground and many others.
The collection includes documents (archival material) stored in the archive of the "Commission for the Disclosure of Documents and Announcing Affiliation of Bulgarian Citizens with the State Security and the Intelligence Services of the Bulgarian People's Army", commonly called "Commission for Dossiers" (Comdos) in Bulgarian.
The collection documents developments among the Bulgarian intelligentsia during the communist regime through the perspective of the secret police and reveals their strategies of observation and persecution of critical intellectuals.
Peroutka, Ferdinand. Inaugural Speech in the RFE, 1951. T...
Peroutka, Ferdinand. Inaugural Speech in the RFE, 1951. Typescript
Ferdinand Peroutka, who represented the democratic past of Czechoslovakia, and mainly the First Czechoslovak Republic, became the director of the Czechoslovak section of Radio Free Europe (RFE) in New York on 6 April 1950. The Czechoslovak service of the RFE began its regular broadcasting from Munich on 1 May 1951 with the famous phrase “This is the voice of Free Czechoslovakia, Radio Free Europe.” One of the first speakers was also Ferdinand Peroutka, who stated, besides other things: “One magazine would mean little in a country where freedom reigns. But one free magazine, one radio station in a dictatorial regime – that is a revolution, because such a system is based on the fact that only the government can speak and nobody can answer back, that anyone can be charged, but nobody can defend themselves. However, once even a fraction of freedom enters that rigid and artificial system, from anywhere, once it is again possible to set argument against argument, once it is no longer possible to act without criticism, once there is a place to call untruths into question, then this whole proud system quavers.”
The Literary Archives of the Museum of Czech Literature possesses a mimeograph copy of the typescript of this speech.
Ferenc Fejtő was an original, democratic leftist thinker. His library is a unique trace of the criticism of Eastern European rightist, authoritarianist, socialist dictatorship, and Western European leftist romanticism. Fejtő, who maintained strong connections with European intellectual elites, left Hungary for France in 1938, yet remained deeply committed to the fate of freedom-lacking Eastern Europe.
Croatian State Security Service Collection on Religious C...
Croatian State Security Service Collection on Religious Communities
The collection belongs to the group of the most relevant archival resources for researching the communist regime’s relationship with and repression against religious communities in Croatia, and their organisations, priests and other religious officials. It contains documents collected or produced by the State Security Service of the Republic Internal Affairs Secretariat of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, the civilian security and intelligence service in Croatia in the period from 1946 to 1990. Different cultural opposition activities of certain religious communities and their members can be studied on the basis of its documents. Criticism (concealed and public) of communist rule and its social and political system, i.e. the official doctrine of atheism, is especially visible.
Ferdinand Peroutka Collection at the Museum of Czech Lite...
Ferdinand Peroutka Collection at the Museum of Czech Literature
The collection of the Czech journalist, dramatist and director of the Czechoslovak section of Radio Free Europe, Ferdinand Peroutka (1895–1978), contains unique sources for the history of the Czechoslovak exile after 1948.
The Sanda Stolojan Collection is an important source of documentation for understanding and writing the history of that particular segment of the Romanian exile community which was actively involved in the West in unmasking the communist regime in Romania. At the same time, this private archive contributes to an understanding of Romanian–French bilateral relations between 1968 and 1998. In particular, the collection illustrates the activity of the collector and other personalities of the exile aimed at promoting respect for human rights in Romania and stopping the demolitions imposed by the communist authorities as part of Bucharest's systematisation programme, and later at supporting the reconstruction of democracy in their country of origin.
Letter from Ion Dumitru to Virgil Veniamin, in Romanian, ...
Letter from Ion Dumitru to Virgil Veniamin, in Romanian, 23 February 1980, Munich
This document is an important source of documentation for the understanding and writing of the history of the Romanian exile community in the 1980s. It concerns the organisation that Romanians of the emigration established to unmask the wrongdoings of the communist regime in their native country to the West in the hope that they would find external support for the removal of communism in Romania. In particular, the document illustrates exile actions for the observance of human rights in Romania, as it testifies to the existence of a political body set up for this purpose, namely Liga Românilor din Exil pentru Drepturile Omului (The League of Romanians in Exile for Human Rights). It had its headquarters in Paris and was coordinated by Virgil Veniamin, who was a personality of the exile. A graduate of the Law Faculty of the University of Paris in 1930, he was a professor of international law and a lawyer, as well as being a distinguished member of a Romanian political party, the National Peasant Party. The establishment of the communist regime found him at home in Romania, which he left clandestinely in February 1948, settling in Paris. In exile, he was particularly noted for his activity as president of the Carol I Royal University Foundation and as a member of the Romanian National Committee, considered by its founders as the Romanian government in exile. In the 1970s he was involved in a major scandal in the Romanian exile community when he was accused of collaborating with the Securitate in Bucharest. Today, based on the documents contained in the file on him created by the former Romanian secret police, it can be ascertained that he was indeed an agent of influence of the communist regime within the exile community. The document kept in the Ion Dumitru Collection is a request sent by the collector to Virgil Veniamin on 23 February 1980, asking him to accept affiliation to the central section in Paris of Liga Românilor din Exil pentru Drepturile Omului (The League of Romanians in Exile for Human Rights) of a newly established West German section based in Munich, in which Ion Dumitru had been elected chairman. In response to this request, Ion Dumitru received a favorable reply from Virgil Veniamin. Both documents, in A4 format, can be found in the private archive of Ion Dumitru at IICCMER.
Letter from Victor Frunză to Eugen Ionescu in Paris, in R...
Letter from Victor Frunză to Eugen Ionescu in Paris, in Romanian, 8 September 1978
This letter is an important document for the history of the post-war Romanian exile community because it is a proof of the attempt of a Romanian dissident to establish a connection with the emigration. The purpose was to gain the support of Romanians abroad. If their situation was publicised in the West, then there were chances that once returned to their country they would not suffer the reprisals of the communist regime. Also, such actions were meant to trigger the support of international public opinion in criticising Nicolae Ceausescu's dictatorship. One such example was the action of the Romanian writer and journalist Victor Frunză during a tour in France in 1978. In Paris, he wrote a letter to Eugène Ionesco (Eugen Ionescu), a French-language writer originally from Romania, a representative of the theatre of the absurd and a member of the French Academy. In this document, sent on 8 September 1978, Victor Frunză informed Eugène Ionesco that, in France, he criticised openly the situation in communist Romania, especially the personal power and personality cult of Nicolae Ceaușescu. Starting from the idea that he was not the first Romanian and hopefully not the last to do so, Frunză told Ionesco that his approach was deliberately chosen, in full awareness of the possible consequences for him: "When I did this, I knew what I could expect, but I have defeated my fear (...). The sense of the justice of my criticisms gives me the strength to resist. There is no fear of the reprisals that will come anyway, but in the face of the fears of others who can in my mind support me, and in fact will leave me. Immense is the fear of staying alone, as in a desert." In conclusion, Victor Frunză asked Eugène Ionesco to publicly support his action of criticising the dictatorship and personality cult of Nicolae Ceaușescu.
Intelligence Files of the State Security Service for Croatia
Intelligence Files of the State Security Service for Croatia
The collection contains approximately 68,800 intelligence files produced by the State Security Service of the Republic Internal Affairs Secretariat of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, the civilian security and intelligence service in Croatia in the period from 1946 to 1990. The Service monitored all persons whose activities were assessed as a threat to the state's political and security system. A significant number of files pertain to members of religious communities, political émigrés, participants in the Croatian Spring, as well as other political and intellectual dissidents.
The Ion Dumitru Collection is the richest and most diverse of all the private archives of the Romanian exile community, which makes it indispensable for the study of the history of postwar Romanian exile. The collection is also a fundamental source for documenting and understanding Romania's (domestic and foreign) political, cultural, economic, and social evolution during both the communist and post-communist periods. At the same time, this private archive is a historical source both for understanding how the Bucharest authorities acted to divide the Romanians abroad and to counteract their actions aimed at unmasking the wrondoings of the communist regime between 1948 and 1989 in the West and for how Romanians within the country perceived the emigrant community.
Zoran Đinđić Personal Collection at the Archives of Serbia
Zoran Đinđić Personal Collection at the Archives of Serbia
This is the collection of the prominent Yugoslav intellectual and dissident, Zoran Đinđić. During the seventies, Đinđić was active in the Student Union of the Faculty of Philosophy and in informal groups of the radical left. He left Yugoslavia in 1977 and returned at the beginning of the 1990s, becoming one of the most important leaders of the opposition movement after the state’s disintegration. From 2001 to 2003, he served as prime minister of Serbia. The largest part of the collection is focused on the period after 1990, thanks to his active political engagement, while a smaller part covers his dissident activities during the socialist era.
The Hungarian Provincial Archive of the Society of Jesus holds sources on the members of the forbidden and persecuted Hungarian Jesuit Order (1950–1990). The archival documents represent the Jesuit monks’ efforts to preserve their identity in the face of pressures from the Communist dictatorship.
The Mojmir Vanek collection is a unique collection of materials that relate to the life and activities of Mojmir Vanek. The activities of this distinctive, albeit unknown, Czechoslovak exile was very important for the dissemination of Czech music abroad, as well as his activities within the Society for Science and Art, the Swiss branch of which he presided over for many years. The collection is at the Comenius Museum in Přerov.
Invitation from Ion Rațiu to Sanda Budiș for the First Fr...
Invitation from Ion Rațiu to Sanda Budiș for the First Free Romanians' Congress, in Romanian, 10 August 1983
This document is a testimony to the fact that the Romanian exile community, divided by country of immigration, began to be organised in the 1980s on a transnational level. The purpose of such an organisation was to be able to present to Western decision makers and public opinion on behalf of a Romanian exiles’ organisation Romania's situation under the Communist dictatorship. These measures aimed at determining interventions and measures from the West to improve the situation of Romanians inside the country and ultimately to remove the Communist regime. An example of such an organisation was the World Union of Free Romanians, one of the most important exile organisations. It was established in 1984. Before 1983, several meetings were held to consult with Romanians abroad about the need to set up such an organisation. One of these meetings took place on 12–13 November 1983, when Ion Raţiu, the initiator and future president of this organisation, organised a meeting in Paris of the Romanians actively involved in the emigrant community in order to prepare the first Congress of Free Romanians. This meeting was the basis for the establishment of the World Union of Free Romanians. In preparation for the congress, Ion Raţiu addressed invitations to take part in a congress to several Romanians. Such a personalised invitation was sent to Sanda Budiș who, after settling abroad in 1973, was involved in the organisation and activities of Romanian exiles. The original typed invitation can be found today in the Sanda Budiş Collection at IICCMER. In essence, Ion Raţiu informed Sanda Budiș that he was organising a Romanian emigration meeting for the purpose of discussing their situation outside Romania and setting up an organisation to represent them in the countries of residence in which they had settled. On this occasion, and taking into account her involvement in helping Romanians, Ion Raţiu launched an invitation to Sanda Budiş to attend the 12–13 November 1983 meeting in Paris, which the architect accepted.
Letter from Ion Dumitru to Leonid Mămăligă, in Romanian, ...
Letter from Ion Dumitru to Leonid Mămăligă, in Romanian, 8 August 1982, Munich
This document contributes to the understanding of the activity of the postwar Romanian exile community in the 1980s, especially regarding the correspondence and interaction between its most active members. During the communist period in Romania, the Romanians of the emigration were in general located at significant distances from each other, being settled on several continents: Europe, North America, South America, Australia, and Africa. The most active of them founded organisations, associations, institutions, institutes, foundations, publications, and publishing houses in their countries of residence. The purposes of their efforts were to: represent the Romanian nation, its democratic values and principles, and to defend its interests until the collapse of the communist regime; to coordinate the activity of Romanians abroad to carry out activities that would help to restore the democratic system in Romania; to represent the exile community within democratic societies and solve its problems; to establish links with Western governments and international organisations; to collaborate with representatives of the other "captive nations" in Central and Eastern Europe to form a common front to unmask and remove communism. Such an approach was also that of Ion Dumitru, a personality of the exile community, who set up in the mid-1960s one of the most important publishing houses of the Romanian emigration. It was founded in Munich, where he settled in 1961, and was officially registered in 1976 as a printing company. The Ion Dumitru Publishing House published over eighty books by exiled Romanians, many of them extremely valuable for national culture and history. To acquire such volumes, the owner of the publishing house, Ion Dumitru, maintained an ample correspondence with those interested. A proof of these relationships is this letter, which Ion Dumitru addressed to Leonid Mămăligă on 8 August 1982. Leonid Mămăligă, who wrote under the name L.M. Arcade , was a personality of the Romanian exile community, in which he made a name for himself, in particular, through the establishment and coordination for more than thirty years (1958–1989) of the Neuilly-sur-Seine Cenacle. The purpose of this cenacle, unique in France during those years of exile, was respond to the need for a Romanian place to offer Romanian intellectuals outside the country the possibility of thematic meetings and discussions. Also, the cenacle represented a platform of expression for Romanian intellectuals in exile, which helped them to keep alive the Romanian identity abroad and to put Romanian culture in communication with that of France. At the same time, the cenacle stimulated the act of creation both in Romanian and in French, by supporting and promoting Romanian writing, as it had its own publishing house, Caietele Inorogului (The unicorn notebooks). As or the subject of the letter that Ion Dumitru addressed to Leonid Mămăligă, in it he talks about sending a package of books published by his publishing house for another well-known Romanian exile, Aurel Răuţă, a professor at the University of Salamanca, Spain. Aurel Răuţă was a notable personality of the exile community because of his publishing activity and the founding, among others, of the Asociația Hyperion (Hyperion Association) in Paris. This was a distribution platform for books by Romanians in exile. In ten years of activity, he distributed to Romanian emigrants more than 10,000 volumes, published at more than 130 publishing houses. The document in the Ion Dumitru Collection in the IICCMER archive is a copy in A4 format.
The Zina Genyk-Berezovska Collection at the T.H. Shevchenko Institute of Literature in Kyiv is crucial for understanding the transnational networks underpinning cultural opposition in Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora community in Prague. The latter was largely composed of anti-Bolshevik émigrés that had fled to Czechoslovakia in the 1920s, after their failed attempt to establish the Ukrainian National Republic amid the chaos of the First World War. Genyk-Berezovska was born and raised in this community, studied Slavic languages and literatures at Charles University in Prague, later teaching and translating Ukrainian literature into Czech. Through personal connections, Genyk-Berezovska was also deeply involved in the cultural renaissance in Soviet Ukraine known as the sixtiers movement.
In addition to the more than 800 letters Genyk-Berezovska received from her many correspondents in Ukraine, her archive contains her own works as a scholar of Ukrainian and Czech literature, translator, and prominent community figure, as well as those of her husband Kost’ Genyk-Berezovsky, a philologist who taught Ukrainian at Charles University in Prague. Their family archive served as a repository for materials about prominent members of the Ukrainian émigré community in Czechoslovakia, including the Ukrainian sculptor Mykhailo Brynsky, the Czech writer František Hlaváček, the Ukrainian chemist and statesman Ivan Horbachevskyi, and Petro Krytskyi, a former colonel in the Ukrainian National Republican army, among others. This unique collection highlights both the transnational and the intergenerational dimensions of Ukrainian cultural opposition to communism.
The lay Catholic Association Opus Bonum was founded in 1972 as a community of people caring for the preservation of the values of Czech and Slovak Christian culture. Since 1978, it has been holding symposiums in Bavarian Franken, which grew into unique discussions of various streams of Czechoslovak exile. Opus bonum also engaged in charity activities, organized concerts, exhibitions, literary evenings and published publications that spread through Czechoslovakia. Through its activities, it has always tried to help the anti-communist opposition in Czechoslovakia. After 1989, the documentation centre focused on supporting research on the history of domestic spiritual resistance, opposition movements and civic initiatives, as well as on the history of Czech and Slovak democratic exile.
The Michael Shafir Collection represents a significant part of the personal library of its founder, who selected and accumulated items while in exile, in accordance with his academic and professional interest in what was known during the Cold War as East European politics. As he held various positions in Radio Free Europe (RFE), the collection also includes many documents relating to the activity of this institution, most of them from the late 1980s, but also some from the 1990s.
Dedicated book by Géza Vermes to Ferenc Fejtő, 2000.
Dedicated book by Géza Vermes to Ferenc Fejtő, 2000.
Ferenc Fejtő wrote several books about the history of Jews and Judaism. He contacted many religious historians, including Géza Vermes, who was born in Hungary and worked in Great Britain. In 2000, Vermes dedicated his autobiography, Gondviselésszerű Véletlenek (Providential Coincidences), to Fejtő in Oxford. This is one of the many dedicated books in the Ferenc Fejtő Library at Fehérvárcsurgó.
In France at the end of August 1963, around 300 to 500 copies of a fake issue (28 September) of Bosnian Views were distributed in A5 format including 9 pages of text. The forgery of issue number 28 was identical to the original September issue in the number of pages and its headlines. The fake issue however is characterized by poor print quality and therefore is relatively difficult to read. The first text that was signed as Z. bearing the title “On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the conquest of Bosnia (1463-1963)”, in which the belief in the dogmas of Christianity is relativized and the reasons for the so-called “Good Bosniaks” converting to Islam presented in a rough way. The following text "What Muslims Must Know about Christianity" was signed with “Dr. Smail Balić”. In this text, the author undertakes a "scientific" discussion of the dogmas of the church, referring to the Gospels, the Qur'an, and the Hadith. It should be emphasized that at the end of the text, and in order to provide an illusion of the continuity of the editorial board, it is indicated that the content is going “to be continued”. The text also included the fake signature of “Dr. Selim Teskedzić (Tanja Nikšić)” under the heading “What Does Every Bosniak Need to Know?”, which attacks certain (real or fictitious) diaspora groups supporting the Croatian Peasant Party. In general, the fake issue took on an aggressive tone, full of propaganda, in which the texts supposedly signed by the editorial board were used try stir up Yugoslav diaspora and emigrant society.
The János Baksa Soós Special Collection administers the acoustic, written and visual documents of János Baksa Soós’ oeuvre. Throughout his career (which began in Budapest and consummated in Berlin), Baksa Soós turned attitude into an artistic medium and acted in the spirit of conviviality. The goal of the collection, which is held in the Tamás Cseh Archive, is to present the works of the artist, who was active in several genres, in the context of the era and the effects of his attitude on his milieu.
The collection documents the work of Croatian historian and political émigré Nikola Čolak (1914-1996). In 1966, he belonged to a group of academics and thinkers from Zadar, who officially sought to break the Communist Party's monopoly on truth by establishing the first journal not controlled by the Party. After the suppression of this initiative, Čolak was forced into exile in Italy. The so-called Movement of Independent Intellectuals represented the first attempt to create a formal cultural opposition circle not only in Croatia, but in Yugoslavia as a whole, which is recorded through this collection.
The Mircea Carp Collection includes original documents and copies gathered by its creator during his activity as a journalist for the radio stations Voice of America and RFE in the period 1955–1995. This collection is one of the largest collections related to the activity of the Romanian emigration. It illustrates the instrumental role that these two radio agencies played in the case of communist Romania as alternative sources of information and transmission belts between critical intellectuals and society.
The Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland, OH contains a hidden world-class archival collection amassed over the last century. Founded in 1952 by Ukrainian WWII refugees, the materials document the lives and struggles of multiple generations against communism. The museum-archive took on the mission of preserving Ukrainian culture at a time when it was being destroyed in the Soviet Union, assembling a vast collection of books, periodicals, photographs, ephemera, diplomatic papers and other materials that document a century of struggle. This is a unique institution that spans international borders, but is simultaneously integrated into an urban American neighborhood. The collection is based in Cleveland’s historic Tremont neighborhood and attracts partners like the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National Academy of Sciences in Ukraine, and other institutions interested in digitizing its hidden gems.
The Scriptum.cz web archive provides access to various non-commercial and online Czech exile and samizdat periodicals. This is a unique collection of works that are often not accessible anywhere and are constantly being refilled.
The Foreign Croatica Collection is the largest collection of books and periodicals published by Croatian authors in foreign countries. The Collection includes publications in many languages covering numerous issues on Croatia and the Croatian people, including those related to the socialist period. It is the most important collection in Croatia containing books by Croatian émigrés banned during the time of socialist Yugoslavia.
Jiří Lederer Collection of the Czechoslovak Documentation...
Jiří Lederer Collection of the Czechoslovak Documentation Centre
Jiří Lederer (1922-1983) was a Czech journalist and publicist, one of the most prominent journalists during the "Prague Spring" in 1968. In the 1970s he participated in the work of the Czechoslovak opposition and was one of the first signatories of Charter 77. During the 1970s he was imprisoned several times. In 1980 he went into exile. The collection mainly contains materials and notes from the period around the Prague Spring.
The Victor Frunză Collection is an important historical source for understanding and writing the history of that part of the Romanian exile community which was actively involved in supporting dissidents in the country and in publicising in the West the repressive or aberrant policies of the Ceaușescu regime. In particular, the collection illustrates the activity of the collector and other personalities of the exile community for respecting human rights in Romania. Also, the documents of this collection reflect the involvement of Romanians from abroad in the reconstruction of democracy in their country of origin.
FAZ Article about Letter from Victor Frunză to Nicolae Ce...
FAZ Article about Letter from Victor Frunză to Nicolae Ceaușescu, in German, August 1978
This letter is an important document for the history of dissidence in Romania, being a proof of the open opposition of a Romanian living in the country to the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu. In this case the writer was Victor Frunză, a Romanian writer and journalist, who in 1978 went as tourist to Paris. On this occasion, he contacted a representative of the Reuters Agency, to whom he handed a letter addressed to Nicolae Ceaușescu. He wrote the text of the letter in Romania and memorised its content in order not to carry it and be discovered at customs control. So he rewrote it from memory after he arrived in France. The material in question was published by Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung and broadcast by Radio Free Europe. Also, a copy of the letter was sent by Victor Frunză, by post, to Nicolae Ceaușescu. Essentially, his letter was a criticism of Ceausescu's dictatorship: "I want to manifest deep disagreement with the revival of the cult of personality, today is an improved version, decorated with the national flag." Frunză's conclusion was that "the type of socialist democracy in Romania is nothing more than a parody of discussions through speeches, even if these are not written by those who speak them." The document is in the IICCMER archive and is an original copy of the German letter published in 1978 in Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung. The letter was subsequently published by Victor Frunză in Romanian, at the publishing house he founded after the emigration, in the pages of the book For Human Rights in Romania (1982). The second edition of this volume appeared in 1990, in Bucharest, under the aegis of Victor Frunză Publishing House.
In 1963 the painter and graphic artist Roger Loewig was arrested following his first privately organised exhibition in East-Berlin. Throughout the regime, Loewig denied socialist realism artistic forms of production, while his artworks were considered subversive. After almost one year of imprisonment, Loewig was released in the GDR with the support from the Protestant Church from West Germany. Loewig’s release on three years probation could not be prevented. It was only 1972 that the artist could leave the GDR and settled in West-Berlin. Following his death in 1997, Loewig’s private fine-arts collection was bestowed by the Roger Loewig Association. This was founded in 1998 in Frankfurt Oder. Since 2000 the fine-arts legacy of the artist is preserved by the Federal Foundation for Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship. This aims at facilitating the scientific documentation and preservation of Loewig' artistic legacy. The literary and biographical works are currently on hold at the Academy of Arts in Berlin.
Original Broadside of Third Universal, November 7, 1917. ...
Original Broadside of Third Universal, November 7, 1917. Typescript.
The events that transpired alongside the fall of the Romanov monarchy in February 1917, the takeover of the Winter Palace by the Bolsheviks in October 1917, and the dissolution of the Constitutional Assembly in January 1918 are immensely significant for understanding Ukrainian history and cultural opposition to communism. During that year of upheaval, many divergent visions for the future were articulated throughout the Russian Empire. In the Imperial Southwest, the Bolsheviks battled monarchists, nationalists, socialists, greens and anarchists over how to move forward during and after the collapse of empire.
The Ukrainian Museum-Archives has in its possession an original broadside of the Third Universal, issued by the Central Rada on November 20, 1917, in the four major languages used in the Imperial Southwest—Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and Yiddish. This document is reflective of efforts by the Central Rada to appeal to various communities living on the territory, while negotiating with the Provisional Government for greater autonomy. As historian George Liber notes, the first two proclamations of Rada did not define the borders of Ukraine, but the Third Universal asserted that the nine provinces in the Imperial Southwest with Ukrainian majorities belonged to the Ukrainian National (or People’s) Republic. The document also claimed parts of Kursk, Kholm/Chelm and Voronezh provinces, where Ukrainians also constituted the majority. The Central Rada also pledged to defend the interests of all national groups living in these territories and articulated a law protecting personal and national autonomy for Russians, Poles, Jews and others.
Shortly after this, the UNR established diplomatic ties with a number of European countries and even the United States. Britain and France tried to persuade the UNR leadership to side with them against the Central Powers, which they refused as they were determined to stay neutral. The Soviet Russian Republic initially recognized the UNR, but this was short-lived as the Red Army soon moved in from the north and east. This prompted the Rada to issue the Fourth Universal on January 25, 1918, which declared independence of the UNR as defined by the Third Universal. This made the push for greater autonomy within the context of empire a war of nationalist secession. (Liber, 62-63)
These early conflicts helped shape Soviet Ukraine’s relationship to Moscow for decades to come. In fact, Ukraine’s cultural, political and economic leadership struggled to define the parameters of engagement. Figures who were at the forefront of creating Soviet culture in the political and creative domains had to contest with the complex legacies of the Civil War of 1917-1922, which were never really fully resolved. Republican officials in particular (first in Kharkiv and later Kyiv) found it difficult to strike the right balance between autonomy and central control, regularly finding themselves on the wrong side of cultural policy after major shift in the priorities of Moscow.
Karl Laantee collection at the Estonian Cultural History ...
Karl Laantee collection at the Estonian Cultural History Archives
The Karl Laantee collection at the Estonian Cultural History Archive is part of the large archival legacy of Karl Laantee, an émigré Estonian religious activist, and announcer with the Voice of America radio station.
Kozhukh, Sheepskin outerwear from the Hnatiuk collection,...
Kozhukh, Sheepskin outerwear from the Hnatiuk collection, 19th-early 20th Century. Textile.
This sheepskin coat is one of the featured items of the Hnatiuk Collection at the Ukrainian Museum-Archives (UMA) in Cleveland, OH. The collection consists of more than 450 examples of Ukrainian textiles, which were produced for ritual ceremonies, for home use and as garments worn in the 19th and 20th centuries. Myroslav and Anna Hnatiuk compiled this vast collection of textiles over a number of decades. The first items were brought with them as they fled to the West along with hundreds of thousands of their compatriots toward the end of WWII. Though not classically representative of cultural opposition or resistance to communism, the motivations of the Hnatiuks make clear that their intention was to preserve pieces of Ukrainian culture until they were able to return home. As with other collections described in the COURAGE registry, folk art anchored Ukrainian resistance to communism within certain communities, more traditional forms of expression and clothing pushing back against the internationalism and uniformity that underpinned Soviet socialism.
Myroslav and Anna grew up in Galicia, part of the Western Ukrainian territories clandestinely annexed by the Soviets in 1939 as part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The war disrupted his medical studies, which he resumed in Austria, eventually becoming a physician. He worked for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation in Germany before moving with his wife Anna and their sons to the US in 1949. They kept in touch with family and friends living in Soviet Ukraine, sending packages of food and clothing and receiving in return textiles and costumes. In the 1980s, they began traveling regularly to Ukraine, continuing to augment their collection with authentic leather, textiles, ceramics, and other folk items from Galicia and the Hutsul mountain regions.
The UMA published a volume about the Hnatiuk Collection (financed with a generous grant from the Ohio Humanities Council), which not only demonstrates the value of the Hnatiuk Collection as a whole, but also reveals a lot about the priorities of the museum’s leadership. When it came time for the Hnatiuks to find a new home for their collection, they invited (with help from Congresswoman Marci Kaptur) interested parties from Ukrainian museums and archives throughout North America. Many of those institutions tried to pick and choose the very best pieces for their own collections, while Andrew Fedynsky and Aniza Kraus of the UMA argued “the collection is an artifact in itself, a monument to a family’s dedication to Ukrainian culture.” As with many émigré communities, cultural preservation was an important part of life in the new world, nearly impossible to disentangle from the larger mission of diaspora institutions, which for a long time was to inculcate future generations with a sense of mission that contributes to the eventual liberation of Ukraine. The preservation of cultural heritage was part of a larger sphere of activism that included attending benefit concerts, church services, parades and demonstrations that both marked important turning points in history and supported Ukrainian independence.
Sedliar, Vasyl. “Famine Edition” of T.H. Shevchenko’s Kob...
Sedliar, Vasyl. “Famine Edition” of T.H. Shevchenko’s Kobzar, 1933. Illustrations.
This second edition of Taras Shevchenko’s Kobzar was published in Kharkiv in 1933, as famine raged in the Ukrainian countryside following rapid collectivization of agriculture. Vasyl Sedliar provided images for the volume (first published in 1931). His paintings appear to be autonomous representations of the enduring leit motif of Shevchenko’s poetry—the subjugation and suffering of universal man and the plight of Ukrainians, specifically, in the Russian Empire—paired with powerful lines from Shevchenko’s poetry.
Art historian Myroslava Mudrak notes that the works are executed in the embattled Boichukist style, which borrow directly from Byzantine religious imagery—both icons and, most particularly, mural painting—and also incorporate contemporary secular subject matter that drills deeply into the psyche of a subjugated nation. Sedliar’s individual approach infuses these works with an ethereal quality. Figures are not grounded solidly, but tend to be suspended, like spirits. Moreover, there is a preponderant anonymity, which appeals to the larger existential issues of the human condition under oppression. Sedliar was keenly aware of what was going on around him, but as an artist he expressed it transcendently. Both he and the editor of this volume were arrested and executed during the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, along with many of their colleagues who had helped create what became known as Soviet culture.
The Libri Prohibiti’s collection of Czech exile monographs and periodicals contains over 8100 publications including the complete works of many publishers. More than 940 titles of Czechoslovak exile periodicals, some of them complete editions, are part of this collection as well.
The Ante Ciliga Collection is deposited at the Collection of the Old Books and Manuscripts at the National and University Library in Zagreb. It testifies to cultural opposition activities of the Croatian political émigré Ante Ciliga, who made the transition from high-ranking member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia to an anticommunist and critic of the one party system and the totalitarian form of socialism.
The Collection of Croatian-American historian Jere Jareb (PhD) contains over 4,500 books, magazines and various brochures in Croatian, English, German, Italian and Slovenian. Dr Jareb, who began compiling the collection in the 1950s, donated it to the Croatian Institute of History in 1997. A particularly intriguing part of the collection are the numerous editions of books, magazines and brochures published by Croatian emigrants in the USA who were critical of the communist regime in Croatia and Yugoslavia. Some of these editions are not available anywhere else in Croatia.
The collection consists of documents pertaining to Hristo Damyanov Ognyanov, a leading figure of the Bulgarian democratic opposition in exile. The collection is located at the Central State Archive in Sofia. Hristo Ognyanov (born 1911, died 1997) was a writer and journalist. He was part of different Bulgarian exile communities, in Austria, the USA, and West Germany. He worked for Bulgarian émigré publications and contributed to The Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. In Germany, Ognyanov (often published under Christo Ognjanoff) became a member of EXIL-PEN. He was co-founder of the Petar Beron Bulgarian Academic Society (BAS “Petar Beron”), which sought to unite Bulgarian exile intellectuals. This collection is an important source of information about the Bulgarian cultural opposition in exile, their international connections and network, and their contacts with opposition groups in Bulgaria.
Report by Constantin Cesianu for the General Assembly of ...
Report by Constantin Cesianu for the General Assembly of Carol I Royal University Foundation, in Romanian, Paris, 1971
This document reflects the manner of organisation and activity of the Romanian postwar exile community, as well as a series of major problems that it encountered: the lack of material means and of the unity of Romanians. The Romanian exile community, although a form of opposition of Romanians from several historical periods, reached a significant dimension during the communist regime. The postwar Romanian exile community manifested itself over an expanded geographical area, spread across several continents: Europe, North America, South America, Australia, and Africa. There were, however, a number of states where the Romanian exile community was particularly active: France, the USA, the UK, West Germany, Spain, and Canada. Determined by the domestic political context and influenced by shifts on the international political scene, the Romanian exile after the Second World War must be understood as a reaction to the establishment and domination of the communist regime in Romania and as a form of opposition to it. Romanians abroad tried to organise themselves by setting up foundations, associations, institutions, institutes, and publications with the purpose of: representing the Romanian nation and defending its interests until its liberation; carrying out actions that would lead to the restoration of the democratic system in Romania; coordinating the activity of Romanians outside the country for the fulfilment of this common cause; establishing links with Western governments and international organisations; representing the exile community and solving its problems; and collaborating in joint activities with representatives of the other "captive nations" in Central and Eastern Europe.
The report in question, which amounts to five pages, presents the situation of one of the most important cultural organisations of the exile community, the Carol I Royal University Foundation. A university level institution, the Carol I Royal University Foundation (1950–1974) was initially founded in Paris on 3 May 1881 by King Carol I, but was abolished by the communist regime in Bucharest. Later, on December 8, 1950, out of a desire to continue the old royal family tradition, it was re-established by King Michael I in exile, with the support of the Romanian National Committee, which was in the view of the founders the government of Romanians in exile. The Foundation began to function effectively on 1 January 1951. The purpose of the Foundation was: to present the values of Romanian culture to the West; to affirm and develop the traditional ties between French and Romanian cultures; to establish and maintain relations with cultural and educational institutions and with the French administrative authorities; to ensure a Romanian presence in international cultural forums and events; to safeguard the national cultural heritage; to study the cultural and technical problems that Romania would face after liberation from the communist regime; to support and guide Romanian students in exile; to encourage scholarly research; to build up a library at the headquarters of the Foundation, transforming it into the House of Romanian Culture abroad. Every year, the Foundation's leaders drew up an activity report. Such a document can be found in the collection of Sanda Stolojan, who was involved in the Foundation's activities and published poetry and prose in its two literary publications: Ființa Românească (Romanian being) and Revue des Etudes Roumaines. A copy of this document is in Sanda Stolojan's private archive due to the fact that she was a close friend of the person who wrote the material, Constantin Cesianu, and was directly involved in the Foundation's actions. Regarding the personality of Constantin Cesianu (1886–1983), he was a political detainee in communist Romania between 1956 and 1963. A few years after his release, he emigrated to France, where he published the book Salvat din infern (Saved from the inferno), in which he reported his experience as a political prisoner in communist Romania. The volume originally appeared in French. It was translated into Romanian and published in Romania in 1992, and is an indispensable part of any specialised bibliography on the subject. In Paris, he actively participated in the activities of Romanians in exile for the promotion of Western media coverage of the repressive and aberrant policies of the communist regime in Romania.
The report that Constantin Cesianu wrote in 1971 draws attention to the situation of the Foundation in that year, when its annual activity balance was not a positive one. The explanation was the lack of the material means to achieve its goals. In fact, all organisations of the exile community were confronted with this problem. On a different line of thought, beyond the Foundation's poor financial situation, the report presented some of the activities the Foundation carried out in 1971: cultural conferences and the celebration of Romania's historic days (1 December – Great Union Day, 24 January – Little Union Day, 10 May – Independence Day). Furthermore, the paper presented the situation of the Foundation’s library and the profile of the researchers who had come there for documentation. Finally, the unity of Romanians abroad was called for – the supreme desideratum of all the organisations of the exile community, though it never materialised between 1948 and 1989.
Collection of Historical Interviews at the National Széch...
Collection of Historical Interviews at the National Széchényi Library
The Collection of Historical Interviews is one of the most significant oral history collections in Hungary. It is a mixed collection of life story interviews that were done with the intention of creating materials for oral history narratives, and a lot of the archived interviews were conducted during the production of historical documentaries beginning in the 1960s. The latter usually cover one aspect or chapter in a person’s life. The materials constitute a particularly useful source for the study of the history of Hungarian television. However, the scope of the collection is such that it contains a lot of references to figures of the cultural opposition. The history of the collection itself represents a narrative of nonconformist cultural practices.
Raţiu–Tilea Personal Library Collection at BCU Cluj–Napoca
Raţiu–Tilea Personal Library Collection at BCU Cluj–Napoca
The Raţiu–Tilea Personal Library Collection reflects the academic interests of two Romanian intellectuals living in exile, both involved in the political organisations of the Romanian Diaspora in the West and authoring relevant works on twentieth century Romania. The collection brings together a large number of publications dealing with postwar Eastern Europe, including the most appreciated academic contributions on the history of Romanian communism published in the West.
The Bogdan Radica Collection is a personal archival fund which Radica founded in the late 1940s. His daughter Bosiljka Raditsa and Professor Ivo Banac delivered the entire collection to the Croatian State Archives (CSA) on three occasions in 1996, 2001 and 2006. It contains vital records related to the history of Croatian political emigration and constitutes an integral part of the cultural opposition to the Yugoslav communist regime.
The Ștefan Gane Collection documents in photographs and slides the extent of the demolitions imposed by the so-called systematisation programme in Bucharest following the devastating earthquake of 4 March 1977, which the communist regime used as a pretext for destroying or mutilating numerous historic monuments. The Ștefan Gane Collection is also an important source for understanding and writing the history of that particular segment of the Romanian exile community which was extremely active in disseminating in Western countries information about the aberrant policies of the Ceaușescu regime. In particular, this personal archive illustrates the efforts of the collector and of other personalities from the exile community to stop the systematisation of Bucharest.
The collection contains material about Sergei Soldatov, one of Estonia's most notable dissidents, who was culturally most active when living in exile after 1981. There are different types of documents and photographs in the collection, which describe not only Soldatov's life, but also the activities of dissident movements in the Soviet Union. Soldatov also used this material in his numerous books, which he published himself.
Raţiu–Tilea Archives of the Romanian Exile Collection at ...
Raţiu–Tilea Archives of the Romanian Exile Collection at BCU Cluj–Napoca
The collection comprising the documents collected by Ion Raţiu and Viorel V. Tilea gives detailed insights into the activities of its two creators, who were key political and cultural personalities of the Romanian diaspora. It represents one of the most valuable sources of documentation for the history of the Romanian exile community in the West during the Cold War period.
The digital collection of the Oral History Center contains more than 2000 interviews with twentieth-century witnesses, which are divided into different themes and topics, thus presenting a unique collection of professionally created interviews and memories, many of which are related to the theme of cultural opposition.
Located at the Józef Piłsudski Institute in London, the Prometheus Collection contains records related to the Promethean movement, the Polish-led alliance of nationalist movements of non-Russian nations and ethnic groups that inhabited the Soviet Union. The origins of the movement go back to Prometheism, Józef Piłsudski's project of weakening imperial and later Bolshevik Russia by supporting the struggle for independence of the peoples of the Baltic, Black and Caspian Sea regions. The Promethean movement encompassed mostly representatives of Ukrainians, Kuban Cossacks, Georgians, Azeris, and north Caucasus nations and relied on the support of the Polish military. After World War II, the movement continued in exile under the leadership of Polish émigrés, mostly Piłsudski's followers. The collection consists of twelve files and contains memoranda, correspondence, newsletters, and photographs of various Promethean activists.
The Sanda Budiș Collection is an important source of documentation for understanding and writing the history of that particular segment of the Romanian exile community which was extremely active in supporting dissidents in the country and in disseminating information about the repressive or aberrant policies of the Ceauşescu regime. In particular, the collection illustrates the actions of the collector and other personalities aimed at putting pressure on the communist authorities in order to give up the project of systematisation of Romanian villages. Also, the documents in this collection reflect the involvement of Romanians abroad in rebuilding democracy in their home country.
Commission for the Examination of Nationalist Phenomena i...
Commission for the Examination of Nationalist Phenomena in the Emigrant Foundation of Croatia (1964-1967)
This thematic collection documents the work of the Commission for the Examination of Nationalist Phenomena in the Emigrant Foundation of Croatia (EFC) of Executive Council of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Croatia (EC CC LCC), in the period from 1964 to 1967. The commission was established solely to monitor the activities of the EFC's president, Većeslav Holjevac, and some of his associates, who were considered as opposition figures and nationalists. The collection contains documents that explicitly cite examples of oppositional activities in the EFC which testify to the role of the EFC leadership in opposition in the field of culture pertaining to Croatian emigrant communities, as well as the role of CC LCC in their condemnation.
The collection contains the personal papers of the émigré writer Vinko Nikolić and the archives of the literary quarterly Croatian Review, which the communist authorities banned in Croatia in 1945. Nikolić re-established the review in Argentina in 1951 and was its editor-in-chief until 1990. Additionally, the collection contains the archives of the Library of the Croatian Review, a publishing house founded by Nikolić in 1957. This rich collection is essential for researching the transnational network of post-war Croatian political émigrés, whose literary works were strictly prohibited and labelled as "hostile propaganda" in socialist Yugoslavia.
The Tóth Private Collection in Göteborg comprises the most comprehensive materials related to Ellenpontok (Counterpoints), the Hungarian-language samizdat publication which gained international reputation in the early 1980s due to its resolute fight for human and minority rights in communist Romania. At the same time, the items resulting from the different stages of the Tóth family’s emigrant life (Hungary, Canada, Sweden), such as official documents, manuscripts, sound recordings, photos, private correspondence, and books on minorities, shed light on the cultural efforts undertaken by the collectors in order to improve the situation of those left behind.
Letter from Nicolae Lupan to Sanda Budiș, in Romanian, 13...
Letter from Nicolae Lupan to Sanda Budiș, in Romanian, 13 October 1984
This letter from the Sanda Budiș Collection reflects the way the Romanian exile community acted to preserve, at least among those who emigrated from Romania, the memory of the territories occupied by the USSR, Bessarabia and Bukovina. An example in this respect is represented by the work carried out by Asociaţia Mondială prin Corespondenţă Pro Basarabia şi Bucovina (The World Association by Correspondence Pro Bessarabia and Bukovina). The Association was founded on 1 December 1950 in Paris by the Romanian diplomat Nicolae Dianu. The initial name was the Pro Bessarabia Association, modified on 27 November 1955 to the Pro Bessarabia and Bukovina Association, and from 1975 it became the World Association by Correspondence Pro Bessarabia and Bukovina. In 1955, the headquarters of the Association was moved to Brussels, where the leaflet Pro Basarabia and Bucovina together with a series of volumes about the two Romanian provinces were published by the Nistru Publishing House. Between 1975 and 1989, the Association was coordinated by Nicolae Lupan. Its purpose was, on the one hand, to preserve the memory of Bessarabia and Bukovina among emigrant Romanians. On the other hand, it was designed to attract the attention of politicians and international public opinion to the history of these former Romanian provinces. Many exiled personalities were actively involved in the activity of this Association, including Sanda Budiș, who joined it in 1984. On 13 October 1984, Nicolae Lupan, the president of the Association, sent her a letter, the typed original of which now is preserved in the Sanda Budiș Collection at IICCMER. In this letter, Nicolae Lupan congratulated and thanked her for her desire to join and contribute to the Association. On the same occasion, he sent her a membership card and some advice on how she should act as a member of the Association. She was informed that members’ activity was varied, consisting in: organising the commemoration of the anniversaries of the unions of Bessarabia and Bukovina with Romania (27 March and 28 November, respectively); publishing reports of these commemorations in the local press in their countries of residence; preparation of documented communications on the issue of these two territories annexed by the USSR and their submission for publication by the Association at the Nistru Publishing House in Brussels; supporting the publishing activity of the Association by means of money contributions and distributing its books among Romanians in their countries of residence; the collection of papers, articles, studies, maps, photographs, and newspaper cuttings relating to the Romanian identity of the provinces of Bessarabia and Bukovina with the purpose of centralising them at the Association's headquarters for publishing; explaining, in private and public discussion, the importance of Romanians' solidarity for the integrity of Romania, irrespective of political and religious beliefs; drafting suggestions and proposals on the functioning of the Association; and attracting new members by spreading membership forms.
The Fištrović Collection of the Fran Galović Library and Reading Room in Koprivnica contains about 1,300 historical, political, economic and cultural books in English, many of which are the only copies in Croatia. The books were used by a group of Croatian intellectuals in Chicago in the 1990s to address the American public and advocate for a democratic and independent Croatia, which can be considered a final act of resistance to the Yugoslav socialist regime. The authors of some of the books are also intellectuals from the former Yugoslav republics, and their work, published in English, is evidence of their dissent against the Yugoslav system of government.
Krunoslav Draganović Collection on World War II and Post-...
Krunoslav Draganović Collection on World War II and Post-war Victims
The Krunoslav Draganović Collection on World War II and Post-war Victims is an archive collection whose original collector was the priest Krunoslav Draganović, who, relying primarily on the testimonies of survivors and other witnesses, planned to publish a book on the crimes of the Yugoslav communists.
Serke, Jürgen. Escape to the Madhouse, in German, 1981. C...
Serke, Jürgen. Escape to the Madhouse, in German, 1981. Copy of article
The German journalist and writer Jürgen Serke (b. 1938) dealt with persecuted and silenced artists. At the beginning of the 1980s, he was researching a book about life and work of Polish, Russian, East German, and Czechoslovak poets and writers living in exile. Thus, Jürgen Serke, accompanied by photographer Wilfried Bauer and Czech poet in exile, Jiří Gruša, visited Blatný in Ipswich in October 1981. Then, Serke wrote a report about Blatný and his life in exile entitled “Escape to the Madhouse” (Flucht ins Irrenhaus), which was published in the West German magazine Stern in December 1981. The following year, Serke’s book “Expelled Poets” (Die verbannten Dichter), which also included the report about Ivan Blatný, was issued. Serke’s article about Ivan Blatný in Stern found an echo. After its publication, Ivan Blatný received many letters and gifts, mainly from Czechoslovak emigrants. Some people also came to Ipswich to visit Blatný personally. Then, in 1982, British and Norwegian televisions made a documentary film about Ivan Blatný. Hence, Jürgen Serke, or specifically his article, “Escape to the Madhouse”, significantly contributed to the rediscovery of this almost forgotten exiled poet.
The Ivan Blatný Collection at the Museum of Czech Literature contains Blatný’s copy of Serke’s article.
Protest message of the International Association for the ...
Protest message of the International Association for the Protection of Monuments and Historic Sites in Romania, in French and English, Paris, 1985
This document reflects the way in which the Romanian exile community organised itself and acted to promote media coverage in the West of the urban systematisation project of Ceaușescu's regime, which tacitly involved the demolition, mutilation, or destruction of the national heritage. The protest message was shared when the International Association for the Protection of Monuments and Historic Sites in Romania was founded in 1985, in Paris. The purpose of the association was to draw the attention of political decision-makers and international public opinion to the communist regime's plan for the demolition of the architectural and urban heritage of Romania. The actions undertaken within the Association focused particularly on the promotion of media coverage of the demolition of the city centre of Bucharest, which the communist authorities planned to reorganise according to their architectural vision. On the occasion of its foundation, the association organised a protest on the streets of Paris, during which it distributed a protest message to participants and passers-by with texts about communist Romania accompanied by photographs of historic monuments destroyed by the communists or scheduled to be demolished or moved. A copy of this protest message was sent by post to several Romanian exiles in order to convince them to join the Association and get involved in unmasking the communist regime in Romania and, in particular, the urban systematisation project of the Ceaușescu regime. This document was sent by the president of the Association, the architect Ștefan Gane, to Sanda Stolojan, a personality of the Romanian exile, who kept it in her private archive. The document, which can be consulted in the IICCMER collection, was written in English and French, in A4 format. The material, titled "Protest: Romania's historical and spiritual heritage is in danger," briefly outlines the consequences of the Bucharest systematisation project undertaken by the Communist authorities since 1977 and some examples of monuments from the historical and spiritual heritage of the Romanians that had been destroyed, demolished, or mutilated by the Ceaușescu regime. Against this background, the association protested, asking for: a stop to the demolition of historic monuments and sites in the country; the re-establishment of the Romanian Historic Monuments Commission, abolished in 1977; and the rebuilding, under the aegis of this Commission and with the help of the International Council for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites and other international organisations, of the demolished historic monuments and sites.
Bosanski pogledi (Bosnian Views Journal Collection)
Bosanski pogledi (Bosnian Views Journal Collection)
Bosnian Views, acultural and social journal, was launched in 1955 after a Vienna meeting of Bosnian and Herzegovinian emigrants. It was founded by Adil Zulfikarpašić, Smail Balić, and Muhamed Pilav, who also formed its editorial board. The magazine was officially launched as a non-political and non-party publication. Bosnian Views was not anti-communist, but it was critical of the regime, and condemned communist and authoritarian political practices. The editorial board’s aim was to gather the knowledge of Bosniak emigrés. A collection of the magazine can be found in the library of the Bosniak Institute – Adil Zulfikarpašić Foundation in Sarajevo.
Letter of invitation from the French Foreign Ministry to ...
Letter of invitation from the French Foreign Ministry to Sanda Stolojan, in French, Paris, 9 May 1968
This document is important for the understanding and writing the history of Romanian–French bilateral relations in 1968. It also contributes to outlining a profile of the Romanian exiles and to understanding their activity. At the same time, the material bears witness to the way in which the exile community gathered information about the situation in communist Romania, which was used by Romanians abroad to unmask in the West the Communist regime in their country of origin. An information tool used by Romanian exiles to find out what was happening politically, culturally, socially, and economically in Romania was their involvement in some of the official foreign delegations that came on missions to the country. One such moment was the official visit to Romania of President Charles de Gaulle of France in 1968. Among the members of the delegation was Sanda Stolojan, a Romanian personality in exile, who was an official interpreter of Romanian. Following the decision of the French authorities to include Sanda Stolojan in the delegation, she and the cabinet of the French foreign minister engaged in correspondence in order to hold some meetings and for her to be issued with her travel documents. An invitation was sent to Sanda Stolojan by the foreign minister’s cabinet on the Quai d'Orsay on 9 May 1968. On that occasion, she was informed that the French authorities had decided to issue a temporary passport valid only during the official visit, for the release of which she was requested to attend the minister’s cabinet for a photograph to be taken. The original of this invitation, in French, together with the envelope sent to her address in Paris, was kept by Sanda Stolojan in her archive, and can be consulted in her collection at IICCMER. As an official Romanian interpreter to a French delegation, Sanda Stolojan had the opportunity to see Romania before the collapse of the communist regime. This status helped her to outline a profile of the Ceaușescu couple and other Romanian politicians and to elaborate a series of important analyses and comments on the situation in the country, which she published in the exile press or in foreign publications, and which she talked about on Radio Free Europe and during meetings and correspondence with Romanians from abroad and with Western political decision-makers.
Aurel and Emil Cioran Collection at ASTRA Library Sibiu
Aurel and Emil Cioran Collection at ASTRA Library Sibiu
The collection portrays the life and work of two Romanian intellectuals separated by the Iron Curtain, the brothers Aurel and Emil Cioran. While Aurel Cioran experienced imprisonment and then lived in Sibiu, Romania, his brother lived in Paris from 1941, where he became an internationally known French essayist. The collection comprises original manuscripts, correspondence, books, photos, and personal documents from the period 1911–1996.