Memorandum is the most important step of the Roma-Gypsy Union in the issue of recognition and the national status for the Roma. It was drafted on 17th April 1970, by the Society of Sciences of the Union. In the memorandum, the commission noted that the prior determination of who the Roma are is insufficient. The Memorandum states that when the SCR was made possible for Roma to sign up for their nationality. The authors did not only consider the Roma issue as a social problem, but they also realised the national definition and its needs. Ethnic identities understood as a stabilisation of the right to exist with their ethnic determination, self-identity. Differences of Roma understood on the basis of culture, language, music, folklore, behavioural norms and others. They accepted the objection of non-existence of their own territory, but they also argued that in the USSR Roma were recognised as nationalities. Roma were the second largest minority in Bohemia, right after the Hungarians. The Roma, according to the Memorandum, did not insist on separate schools or the introduction of Romani as an official language, but they understood the status of nationality as "a right, not a directive".
The Memorandum was not intended as political coercion, yet it was understood like that and was strongly challenged by party bodies. Memorandum initiator Dr. Milena Hübschmannová, a well-known Roma and a member of the Union Socio-Scientific Committee, was named. As a result, "the Department of Education and Science of the Central Committee of the Communist Party exercised influence on the examination of this issue and did not allow partial scientific knowledge to be transmitted to political practice to feed the wrong tendencies." In the autumn of 1970 the Central Committee of the SCR abandoned the promotion of the memorandum.
The Memorandum is located in the collections of the Museum of Romany Culture, where it was put together with the estate of Miroslav Holomek.
During the first decade of the communist regime, the educational system in Romania was fundamentally reformed in accordance with the Education Act of 3 August 1948, which imposed – among other things – the nationalisation of denominational schools. Faced with this difficult situation, the leadership of the Evangelical Church asked pastors to teach confirmation classes in clergy houses, churches, or state schools. Starting from the end of 1948, the local authorities received instructions to obstruct the teaching of any confirmation classes.
In reaction, the leadership of the Evangelical Church sent numerous memorandums to the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Bishop Friedrich Müller did his best to tackle this kind of interdiction, which he had already faced when Episcopal vicar in 1941. At that time, he had opposed the taking-over of denominational schools by the local Nazi organisation, the German Ethnic Group, which controlled the German minority in Romania. The confirmation classes were very important for the Evangelical Church, because without attending these classes, young people could not have been able to pass the confirmation examination and become full members of the religious community. However the state authorities considered the confirmation classes to be a tool for preserving the Church’s influence in society.
Particularly interesting is the memorandum sent by the High Consistory of the Evangelic Church A.C. in Romania to the Ministry of Religious Affairs on 28 February 1949. In this memorandum, Bishop Müller criticises the measures taken by the Securitate and Militia against the practice of confirmation classes in the village of Brădeni/Hendorf (Sibiu county). This document is remarkable for the complex theological argumentation concerning the significance of confirmation classes for Evangelical young people. In the first part of the memorandum, Bishop Müller argues that the instructions sent to local Militia stations by the Securitate Directorate of Sibiu violated the laws of the communist state, including the Constitution of 1948 and section 7 of Decree no. 177 of 1948 regarding the activity of religious denominations in Romania. In the latter text, the Bishop explains, it is plainly stated that “denominations are free to organise themselves and practice their religion if these practices do not contradict the Constitution, the security of the state, or public order.” Bishop Müller also emphasises that the banning of confirmation classes violates the basic rights of citizens, which are guaranteed by article 27 of the communist Constitution of 1948. He goes on to invoke the speeches of the minister of education, who had stated in the official newspaper Scânteia that religious denominations were free to teach the principles of their faith to the young generations of their communities. In addition, the minister had alluded to the fact that insults to “religious feelings” helped only the “enemies” of the new regime. Pursuing this official declaration, Bishop Müller ends his argument by saying that “there is no worse insult to religious feelings than banning the religious education [...] of young people.” He thus asks the Ministry of Religious Affairs to urge the leadership of the Securitate to stop the persecution against confirmation classes. In this way, Bishop Müller tried to take advantage of the inconsistencies in the policies of the communist regime, which intended on the one hand to limit the influence of the churches among young people, but on the other, to co-opt the local protestant churches.
The tightening control implemented by the communist authorities on the circulation of cultural goods in Romania in the 1980s was strongly felt by Adrian Marino, the author of works in the field of literary history and comparative literature whose documentation could not have been carried out without consulting many books published in the West. After the customs service in communist Romania confiscated certain books sent by his collaborators in the West at the end of the 1980s, Marino wrote to the local and central authorities a series of memoirs containing an elaborate argumentation. Through these memoirs, Marino protested against the abusive confiscation of certain books in foreign languages sent from the West.
One of these typewritten documents, which is today in the Adrian Marino collection, is the memorandum sent to the Central Committee of the PCR on 12 March 1989, in which the author informed the communist authorities about a series of “abuses and illegalities committed during certain postal and customs operations” concerning a parcel sent from Munich on 21 June 1988 (Memoir 1989, 5). The parcel contained four books, one by Nietzsche, two published in the USA about Mircea Eliade, as well as a book by Adrian Marino himself published in France about the French linguist and literary critic René Étiemble. At the same time, upon his entering the country, the customs service had confiscated all the publications he carried with him, among which he mentions books and magazines in French, as well as “a history of Romanian political ideas up to 1876,” In the argumentation of the memoir, Marino questions the “competence” of the customs employees to judge “the content” of the confiscated works (Memorandum 1989, 5). Marino ironically highlights the paradox of the situation: “Can the documentation of a Romanian writer, whose competence has been recognised both in the country and abroad, be stopped by any customs worker, who judging by his handwriting has recently finished learning the alphabet?” (Memorandum 1989, 5). The document concludes with the request that the confiscated volumes be returned to him, and that the abuses be investigated. Aware of the preoccupation of Ceauşescu’s regime for the external image of the country, Marino invokes the fact that these abuses “cast a most unfavorable light on the Romanian customs authorities (including from the foreign tourists who were present at that moment), especially since their working attitude – military, rude and brutal – was and remains unforgivable” (Memorandum 1989, 6). On the one hand, this document illustrates the limitation by the communist authorities of the documentation material obtained from various sources in the West, and, on the other hand, it constitutes an example of opposition to the daily practices of censorship in Romania in the 1980s.
Jaroslav Mezník's critical commentary on the Charter 77 document No. 11/1984, The Right for History is written on a tape machine, has 9 pages, and is dated to the 17th November, 1984. Jaroslav Mezník criticises the black and white negative claims made by the authors of the document. A relatively long critical commentary is compiled by quoting a problematic passage of the document, followed by an evaluation ("inaccurate", "false", "very problematic"), and a detailed analysis with the submission of Mezník´s arguments. Mezník found most of the problems simple, and taking what the document claimed, he demonstrated a more varied spectrum of professional thinkers and scholars within contemporary Czechoslovak historiography. The most problematic part of the Document for Mezník is the sentence, "History without a human being and without God naturally cannot have any meaning…“, which caused a great upheaval among other philosophers too. At the end of the commentary Mezník expressed his sadness over the document that had been drafted. The interlocking critical response to the document led to debates that continued into the following year and led to the publication of the text History and Historiography, which partly revised the original radical denouncement of official Czechoslovak historical science.
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The bird itself was a central figure in the work of Baász. In the preface to The Bird and the World of Peace [A madár és a béke világa] exhibition catalog from 1986, he explains the usage of the bird’s eternal motive. According to this text, the bird serves as a symbol of the artist’s creative power, of his privilege to rethink, rebuild, but also to rediscover. The wings, present in Baász’s oeuvre even without the body of the bird, are a call for options, open possibilities, freedom.In the silkscreen print from 1984, we are confronted with two types of bird depictions. First, we can see a flock of real birds with wings heading right, organized, together, in front of a blue background. Second, on the upper left side of the artwork, we can see a more particularized bird, a swallow, with closed wings. If we look closely, we see that it’s not a real animal. It’s only a wind-up toy, which is paralyzed when not activated. Despite all its disadvantages, it’s much bigger than the real birds, and it’s heading in a different direction. This again conjures emigration by drawing a parallel between the migrating birds who make long flights in order to survive the winter and the artist’s acquaintances who left the country in hope of a better future. According to another interpretation, the seven migrating birds symbolize the seven Székely counties clinging to traditional values, while the swallow, who could be interpreted as a representation of the artist, chooses to focus on the future instead of the past.