29 APRIL 1989, Page 13


Doina Cornea sends a

second letter of protest to Mr Ceausescu

This is the full English translation of Doina Cornea's recent letter of protest addres- sed to President Nicolae Ceausescu of Rumania.

Mr President, The message I am sending you this time IS direct and straight to the point, so desperate is our life today. I ask you to consider this message as if I was out there in the street, in the 'Liberty Square' of Cluj, with a placard in my hand on which is written: 'Stop the persecution of the pat- riots who have openly stated their opin- ions. Their opinions are our opinions. We owe them love and solidarity.' You imposed on us a suffocating regime against our very being, moral and biologic- al. We cannot endure it any longer. You have razed to the ground beloved Old churches. You have dug up the graves of our past rulers.

You have started destroying the villages of the country, some of them hundreds of years old. You are doing it to destroy their very life.

You have crushed the inner souls of the People, humiliating them in their aspira- tions and their legitimate complaints against suffering. You humbled their con- sciences, forcing them, through pressure and terror, to accept lies as truth, and truth as lies. You forced them in this way to acquiesce in their own moral crippling.

Has the time come, now, for poets and philosophers to suffer? Is there any need to explain that the poets and philosophers are the soul of the nation? Yes, they are, not the arid ideology you imposed on us. What would our culture have become had King Carol I silenced Eminescu be- cause his poems and articles often criticised the regime? But King Carol was an enlight- ened king.

Put an end to this repressive policy that is more destructive than the economic disaster you have generated. Ana Blan- diana, Dan Desliu, Mircea Dinescu, Andrei Plesu are our poets. They are the philosophers of our entire nation. They are not your personal property. Like all who recognise truth and express it in their artistic creation, they are the carriers and the defenders of our existence as a nation. To reduce them to silence is a crime against the spirit.

You cannot punish them, humble them, Jr stop their creativity except by treachery against the deep roots and purpose of the nation. Honour be to these poets. Honour be to these philosophers.

Stop punishing the editors who sacrifice their careers and publish out of love for truth and for what is beautiful.

Stop the infamous trumped-up charges and court cases. Nobody believes that a poet could trade and deal, illegally, in foreign currency. Dealing is the privilege of those who sell bread, milk and meat in foreign countries, thus taking food from the mouths of children.

Set free the journalists and the printers whose only guilt is that they no longer can bear to live a lie. Honour be to them.

Stop persecuting the former mighty com- munist rulers who rightly reproach you for ruining the economic and social fabric of the country: for ruining Rumania's interna- tional prestige and for your obstinate implementation of a repressive, out-of- date socialism. It would be wiser to take note of their suggestions so as to pull the country out of the mire.

One thing is certain: the people totally rejected your socialism a long time ago. Thirty-three thousand Jiu Valley miners made this clear to you, way back in 1977. The thousands of workers and ordinary citizens said this to you in Brasov quite clearly. Accepting enormous risks, a large number of honest intellectuals told you this 'He may be petit, but he's not bourgeois.' very same thing, each in his own way by protesting (archaeologists, historians, architects, writers and many others). Their names are known and loved by the citizens of Rumania.

We ask you to respect our human rights as guaranteed by the constitution and by the international accords which the Ruma- nian government has signed. I refer, espe- cially, to the last of them all, signed in Vienna.

As long as you stay alive and as long as we, the people, are suffocated by your Securitatea you have the power to silence our voices and to present to the world a false image of the Rumanian reality. But nobody believes it any longer. And you can be certain that history will not forgive you when you will no longer have any power over it, history will judge you by your deeds. By what you have done to our ethos not by your gigantic, often ugly construc- tion in concrete which you substitute for the construction of the spirit.

Doina Cornea The following have agreed to identify them- selves with this protest: George Vasilescu (lawyer, Cluj), Bogdan Serban (Zarnesti), Monica Serban (Zarnesti), loan Voicu (Zarnesti), Mariu Brancoveanu (Poiana Village, Tur- barea, Gorj County), Mihai Torja (Zarnesti) Doina Cornea is a proud, self-declared member in Rumania of the World Union of Free Rumanians, an organisation that brings together Rumanian Democrats in 24 countries and all five continents.