The collection of Karel Teige’s surrealist collages consists of 312 collages made mostly during the Second World War. Those made after 1948 are a great example of the continuous presence of avant-garde art in post-war Czechoslovakia. The collages were purchased by the Museum of Czech Literature in 1972 from Teige’s relatives.
The role of the telegram written by Kurt Furgler (1924-2008), former president of the Swiss Confederation and sent to his personal friend of Alojzij Šuštar was to report on the activities conducted by Furgler in contacting the president of the Swiss Confederation Flavio Cotti and the president of the European Commission, Jacques Delors. Its aim was to stop the aggression of the Yugoslav People's Army against Slovenia. The letter confirms the high level contacts exercised by Archbishop Šuštar in international politics in order to firmly establish democracy in Slovenia. The document shows that Mr. Furgler was active in coordination with Archbishop Šuštar.
The authorities, namely the still communist Yugoslav People's Army (YPA) could not react to the document, because it arrived to Ljubljana on June 28, 1991 at the opening stages of the Slovenian War of Independence. Had they known about it, they would have treated such a case as high treason on Archbishop Šuštar’s part. It was important both to the Catholic Church in Slovenia and the broader Slovenian public, because it was a sign of hope and encouragement at the moment when the democratic will of the Slovenian citizens was being forcibly supressed by the armed intervention of the YPA.
It is used in publications and exhibitions about the activities of Archbishop Šuštar and the Catholic Church in Slovenia. Historians and members of Catholic Church consider it a symbol of the cultural opposition and influence of Archbishop Šuštar. It is located in box 37 of the Alojzij Šuštar Collection and it is provisionally available.
- Ljubljana Krekov trg 1, Slovenia 1000
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Andrej Aplenc’s testimony of captivity on the island of Goli was held in front of a young audience in Ljubljana on August 27, 2014. Aplenc was detained twice on Goli. The first time, he went to Goli otok in 1949 for a year, and the second time was in 1952 for two years. The reason for his first imprisonment was his criticism of the lack of freedom of speech in Yugoslavia, as he advocated greater freedom of expression for young people. The second time he was imprisoned for refusing to cooperate with the state security service, which tried to recruit him as an informer.
The event was organized by the Study Centre for National Reconciliation and is listed in their Archive of Testimonies as one of the testimonies about the post-war rigidity of the communist system that also impacted young people, resulting in disillusionment with this system and Aplenc's emigration. The testimony is publicly available by prior arrangement but has not yet been used.
- Ljubljana Beethovnova ulica 3, Slovenia 1000
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Vratislav Brabenec is a well-known Czech musician, poet, and a representative of the underground movement. He was born in Prague on April 28, 1943 and he grew up in Horní Počernice. After graduating from the Secondary Technical School of Agriculture in Mělník, he studied theology at the Comenius Protestant Theological Faculty in Prague, but he did not complete his studies and instead began earning his living as a garden designer. From 1972 he was a member of the music band The Plastic People of the Universe and he wrote many lyrics for them, such as “The Passion Play”. In 1976 he was sentenced in the trial against independent artists and culture activists to eight months of imprisonment. He served his sentence as part of his detention pending trial. Shortly after his release from prison he became a signatory to Charter 77 and after that time he lived under constant surveillance by the StB Security Police. In 1982 he was subjected to a number of interrogations which were accompanied by blackmail and physical violence. Based on these incidents, he eventually decided to emigrate together with his wife Marie Benetková, with whom he was raising their daughter Nikola. He returned to his homeland only in 1997. He now lives in Prague and his activities include concert performances, poetry and other literary pursuits.
The testimony includes a 2.15-hour recording, a transcript of the interview, links to interviews about the author and some of his works, as well as contemporary and present-day photographs, all online and accessible to researchers after signing up.
When editing the samizdat the editors realised that they were unable to produce a radical change in their minority situation on their own, since this required a democratic turn within the country. This led to the idea of the community of fate: the discrimination they were subjected to would only cease if the ethnic majority also got rid of the suffocating dictatorship. So there was an overlap between the minorities and those democratic, non-politicising Romanian individuals, who, although they did not feel the minority oppression for themselves, were nonetheless suffering from the lack of democracy. The editors were guided by the conception of finding sympathisers to resonate with their dissatisfaction. Therefore the magazine was partly bilingual. Whenever they felt the need, they not only translated into Hungarian certain important writings of their Romanian fellow ideologists, but also published the Romanian versions of these texts. In the person of Doina Cornea – who counted as an example for her attitude, spirit of sacrifice, and criticism of the system – they found a colleague who at the beginning had not even suspected that she was cooperating with them as they had borrowed several of her declarations without her knowledge, primarily from Radio Free Europe, and corresponded with her in the samizdat.
The first step of the Hungarian–Romanian union of efforts was the publication of the leaflet entitled Fraților – Testvérek in the spring of 1988, in which linguist Éva Cs. Gyimesi together with puppeteer, artist, and prose writer Ivan Chelu protested against the potential demolitions of the Transylvanian villages. As a debut of the relationship established with Doina Cornea they first published a real conversation between her and another (unidentified) Romanian intellectual entitled “Találkozás Doina Corneával” (Meeting with Doina Cornea), and then published Cornea’s text entitled “Doina Cornea levele a Szentatyához” (Doina Cornea’s letter to the Holy Father). The views of the editors and those of Cornea had much in common, though the former had certain reservations regarding the way the latter interpreted the contemporary situation. In spite of all this what really mattered was that finally there was a Romanian intellectual with whom they agreed on a number of issues and in certain cases they could confront each other “in a way that was usual among members of the same team when it came to clarifying ideas.” They accepted Cornea’s call for solidarity and unity irrespective of nationality and agreed without reservations upon her encouragement to avoid any form of violence. They were convinced, along with Cornea, that there was an institutional crisis in Romania and that behind this the Securitate was operating everywhere. They were also in agreement that the laws of the country must be abided by and that the same applied to international treaties. However, the editors went further: they believed that this was not enough for the Hungarian minority and that there was a need for basic legal arrangements, which ensured not “socialist” but real democracy, and not only for Hungarians, but also for every Romanian citizen. They agreed with Cornea’s idea of stimulation to action, though they held different views as regards the driving force behind this and what this would mean in practice. They acknowledged that Cornea did not want to be a politician: she was primarily interested in the moral aspect and according to her there was mainly a need for moral renewal, since without that political change was impossible. Nonetheless, the editors wanted to take political action, at least through the medium of the printed word. They doubted that the elimination of the moral recession would lead to the solution of the political crisis. At the same time they accepted the fact that under the given circumstances they all had to serve as witnesses and that this should be followed by action.
Afterwards a dialogue began with Doina Cornea, who by then was a dissident personality known across Europe. The first tone of this dialogue was set by Éva Cs. Gyimesi by means of an open letter, entitled “Nyílt Levél Doina Corneának” (Open letter to Doina Cornea), which was published in both Hungarian and Romanian. The addressee could identify the sender “without a signature” on the basis of the letter’s contents and their shared experiences. In reality this was a one-sided dialogue, in fact the collaborators of the samizdat reflected on several of Doina Cornea’s affirmations, but they did not receive a reply.In her letter, Gyimesi includes her carefully formulated reservations. The “anonymous” correspondent considers it strange that her addressee does not want to build a closer relationship with the Hungarians on the grounds that her fellow Romanians would accuse her of “having sold herself to strangers.” The question arises: does she refuse to act in an organised way in general or is it them, the “strangers” she avoids joining forces with? Cornea felt deeply hurt because once she had indeed been the victim of a rude offence committed by one person due to her nationality, but Gyimesi warns her: crimes committed by individuals should not constitute a reason for collectively blaming an entire community. For the editors, this was a guiding principle. There were numerous offences committed by Romanians that they were fully aware of and protested against, but they never intended to turn these reprehensions into anti-Romanian acts. This is how they expected to be treated by the other side as well (Doina Cornea included). This was followed by the most essential message conveyed by Gyimesi’s letter which focused on the reconciliation between Hungarians and Romanians in the spirit of the ideology of Transylvanism. Afterwards, the correspondence between the editorial team of Kiáltó Szó and Doina Cornea followed a broader course. In the following editions which failed to be published, a further three epistles sought to further clarify Doina Cornea’s views broadcast by Western radio stations and argued that these views actually complied with the conception of the editorial team.