VHS Cassette No. 77 from the Original Videojournal collection contains a fifty-minute recording of the Czechoslovak student demonstration at Jan Opletal's memorial, which took place on 17 November 1989, and is considered to be the beginning of the Velvet Revolution. The recording shows the rally and speeches at Albertov square, a procession through the streets of Prague and then the procession‘s meeting with members of Pohotovostní pluk [police regiment for a state of emergency] at Národní třída [National Boulevard]. Subsequent violence against the marchers caused a strong negative public response and further protests. The VHS cassette also contains recordings of Wenceslas Square demonstrations on 23 and 24 November of the same year.
The poem Die moritat von den 10 wortarten der traditionellen grammatik (sic!) [The street ballad of the ten parts of speech of the traditional grammar] was written by Gerhard Ortinau and published in 1974 in the literary magazine Neue Literatur in a collage of texts created by the young Romanian-German writers from Aktionsgruppe Banat. The poem is made up of three parts entitled: schaltung (lining up), umschaltung (dealigning), gleichschaltung (bringing into line), which depict through metaphors how the political system worked in Ceaușescu’s Romania. Ortinau used in this poem seemingly absurd statements such as: “a pronoun was arrested” and “the adverb was cut off from the newspaper” to suggest practices such as political repression and censorship. The poem ended with a paraphrase, which represents an irony concerning the Ceaușescu’s dictatorship: “Die sprache c’est moi!” (sic!) [The language c’est moi!]. The non-conformist character of the poem can be seen also from the spelling, which avoided the usual capital letters for nouns, specific to the German language.
The publication of this collage of texts, Neue Literatur, was possible due to the relative liberalisation that took place in Romania during the late 1960s and early 1970s. For a short period of time, cultural institutions enjoyed more autonomy in their relation with the political decision-makers and censorship was less strict. In this context, Gerhardt Csejka, one of the editors of Neue Literatur, had a key role in promoting the texts of Aktionsgruppe Banat and helping them to pass the filter of censorship (Iorgulescu 2006, 419–421). The Securitate noticed the hidden message in this text due to the notes provided by informers from the German speaking literary milieu of the Banat, who gave to the secret police a detailed interpretation of its metaphors and word plays. For example, one informer explained to the Securitate officer in a note of September 1974 that the title of the third part of the poem was an allusion to the so-called Gleichschaltung, the process by which the Nazi regime imposed its control on all areas of German society (ACNSAS, I 210 845, vol. 2, 15 verso).
Alenka Puhar is the author of the first translation of George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 into Slovenian, and at the same time into the language of any communist country. Puhar translated the novel in 1967 when she was still a student and it had a great influence on her. This was primarily reflected in the fact that the book gives its reader a device for critical thinking, which helped Puhar compare the society in the novel 1984 to Yugoslav society and come to comprehension that they are similar totalitarian systems. This knowledge determined Alenka Puhar’s future professional path.
The collection contains the first printed version of the novel 1984 which was translated in 1967, but does not include Puhar’s manuscript, which she handed in to the publisher. She did not keep the manuscript.
- Ljubljana , Slovenia
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The document has 95 pages, it was dated on 14 February 1952 and originally entitled “Overview of priests and other officials from all religious communities, convicted in Croatia in the period 1944-1951.” It is an alphabetical list of 271 priests, seminarians and religious officials convicted in Croatia in that period. For each person, the religious affiliation, type of offence, and the type and place of enforcement of the sentence (execution, strict imprisonment, forced labour, loss of civil rights) are listed.
The opposition activities for which they were convicted were primarily: speeches against the authorities, printing/reproduction of illegal flyers and brochures in private homes, monasteries and other sacral buildings, distribution of such flyers and brochures, and threatening letters to the state authorities. They were also accused of cooperation with the Ustasha regime and the foreign occupiers, espionage, sabotage and assistance to illegal organisations during and in the initial post-war years.
According to data at the end of the document, among the convicted were: 206 Roman Catholic priests, 15 Roman Catholic seminarians, 15 Roman Catholic nuns, 3 Greek Catholic priests, 13 Orthodox priests, 2 Orthodox nuns, 1 Evangelical leader, 2 leaders of the Islamic Religious Community, 7 leaders of Seventh-day Adventist Church and 7 leaders of the Jehovah's Witnesses. As set out below, at the time of writing that report, there were another 70 persons in the penitentiaries in Stara Gradiška, Lepoglava and Slavonska Požega: 57 Roman Catholic priests, 9 Roman Catholic seminarians, 3 Roman Catholic nuns and 1 Orthodox priest.
The document is available for research and copying. It was quoted in the works of several authors (Akmadža 2003, p. 183; Matijević 2007, p. 121).
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