The report is dated March 15, 1958, signed by a major general who was head of the Third Department of State Security. The original is 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 report of 15 typographic pages is a report on the work of a special section "Clergy and Sects" at the State Security on the "development" and the observation of the "enemy elements in the Catholic and Orthodox clergy, the Protestants, and in Religious Sects" in the period 1956–1958. The "enemy contingent” is described by place of residence, and statistics are also provided.
After the description of specific "enemy manifestations" and the measures against them, the report on the Danovist sect writes: "In 1957 more than 50 tons of reactionary literature, written by author P. Danov throughout the country was seized, and a financial audit was made, the leadership of the Danovist sect will be obliged to pay to the state over 570,000 BGN of misused funds. The gold estate of the sect at the value of about BGN 30,000 discovered and seized." (p. 4) (The annual average salary in 1957 was 8,151 BGN.) In the operational report is noted that "the institution available is insufficient". The main task is the need to "recruit a force capable of undertaking the destruction [of the sects]" (p. 14). The result of the financial audit of the Danovist sect is suggested to be used as an argument for the sect to be closed down as a 'faith community'." (p. 15)
The totem wall was in a strict sense one of the most iconic objects of Bánk. Originally, it served as a clipboard, then gradually it became the totem wall, bearing various kinds of items (used during games) related to important or memorable events. The totem wall also functioned as a reminder by making the past visible to the participants. Initially, the display changed year to year (some of the items were lost), but after a while, it became an untouchable and stable object.
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In the period from 1975 to 1976, William Totok spent more than eight months in arrest at the Securitate for his involvement in the Aktionsgruppe Banat literary group, considered subversive by the authorities,and for his criticism of Ceaușescu’s political regime. Totok was released in June 1976 after the publication in the newspapers Frankfurter Rundschau and Le Monde of articles presenting the abuses of the communist authorities in his case. After his release, Totok drew up a manuscript of memoirs entitled Projekt für eine intellektuelle Extermination (A project for an intellectual extermination), in which he recounted his experience as political prisoner. In May 1982, the Securitate carried out a search at his domicile and at that of one of his friends, the Romanian-German writer Horst Samson. On this occasion several documents were confiscated, including one copy of the manuscript of these memoirs (ACNSAS, I 210 845, vol. 2, 265–66; Totok 2001, 107–108).
In this manuscript, Totok recounts in detail the conditions in the political prison in Timișoara, the interrogations carried out by the Securitate, and the story of a letter drawn up between the two periods of arrest (Totok was released for a short period in October 1975, only to be arrested again in November 1975). In this letter, sent by his mother to the Federal Republic of Germany after his second arrest, Totok related the dramatic events of the abusive arrest of his colleagues and himself in October 1975 and all the harassments of the secret police. Fortunately, the copy of the manuscript of this memoirs that was confiscated by the Securitate was not the only one. Totok managed to hide a copy and to smuggle it out of the country to the Federal Republic of Germany after his emigration in March 1987. In 1988, Totok published a revised and extended version of this manuscript under the title: Die Zwänge der Erinnerung: Aufzeichnungen aus Rumänien (The constraint of memory: Recollections from Romania).
“Wieland durch die Lorgnette gelesen” (Wieland seen through the lorgnette) is a draft of a poem confiscated by the Securitate in June 1975 during their search of the Totok family house in Comloșu Mare. The search officially concerned his brother Gunter Totok, arrested for openly expressing his criticism against the Ceaușescu’s regime. However, the Securitate took advantage of the moment and picked up some literary manuscripts of William Totok’s, including this poem, without mentioning them in their minute of the home search as the criminal legislation stipulated. In October 1975, during a trip to Comloșu Mare, William Totok was arrested along with other members of Aktionsgruppe Banat (Wichner 2013, 7). After a short period of release, he was again arrested in November 1975 and interrogated about the content of his literature in order to prove an alleged guilt of “anti-state propaganda.” Among the texts of Totok on which the Securitate focused its investigation was the poem Wieland durch die Lorgnette gelesen, which contained some ironic critical remarks regarding Ceaușescu’s dictatorship (ANSAS, P 054927, f. 62–66).The lines of the poem tell the story of a “recently proclaimed leader of the republic,” an obvious allusion to Ceaușescu. Concerning his character and relations with the “people,” the poem stated that “When he started to work on the minds of people/ He was the most luminated head/That had ever staggered in the lead/ Thus nobody has anything/Against this amiable tyrant/Or against his patriotic sighs” (ACNSAS, P 054927, 64-66).
The poem was commented on by the informers of the Securitate, who were active in the Romanian-German literary milieu. They provided to the secret police the meanings that the latter were looking for in order to prove his “anti-state propaganda.”The Securitate attached the draft of this poem to the so-called “criminal file” on William Totok.
- Bratislava, Slovakia
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