Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Jurnalul National: Revolution Orphan, USA Scholar

Revolution Orphan, USA Scholar
20 Decembrie 2006 de Ionela Gavriliu

Vinerian Badoi was among the first that shouted “Down with Ceausescu!”. The first that woke up, the first that got killed. People say Vinerian Badoi was the first victim of the Revolution in Bucharest. He got out on the streets just to fulfill his dream of getting to America and live a better life. This year, his daughter has fulfilled her father’s dream. She got on the other side of the Ocean.
After finding out about the horrors in Timisoara, a 30 year old man wondered: “Why did all the people able to do something just stayed and did nothing? They were probably scared. Lord, how can one shoot people, women or children?” These were the last words written by Vinerian Badoi in his diary on the 20th of December. He died the next day.

THE LAST LOOK. I met the wife of the martyr hero at the grave of Vinerian Badoi. She calmly remembers those days in 1989. Each sequence of the 20th of December 1989 has its certain spot in the memory of Maria Badoi. These are the last memories with her husband. We left together to work, like in any other day. We were also taking Olivia to kindergarten. I remember our daughter was wearing the uniform and that it had lost her national flag on that day. Vinerian got back to look for it. This was the last time when Olivia got to see her father alive.”
Olivia remembers very well the Christmas celebration at the kindergarten, which had taken place a few days earlier. Because she had to work that day, Maria sent Olivia together with Valerian to the kindergarten. “She was very happy because few children had come with their fathers. One could see that the little girl had been dressed up by her father”, the woman says while looking at a picture from that time.

SLICES OF LIFE. The family had to listen to several stories in order to find out what happened with Vinerian Badoi during that day. The colleagues from work told Maria that the first thing he had told when he had arrived was: “Who is coming with me?”. Nobody stepped forward. One colleague told he had heard Vinerian shouting on the Onesti street: “Down with communism, down with Ceausescu, we want freedom!”. “His brother had looked for him in the entire city that day, because we weren’t able to find him. After that, we started looking for him in the hospitals”, the wife emotionally continues the story.

NUMBER 2. On the 22nd of December 1989, the Badois have found Vinerian at the Emergency Hospital. He was dead. “There were a lot of dead people in a huge room, and they were all mangled. Bullets were coming from everywhere so we had to walk by the walls. We recognized him after his sweater. The medical papers were saying he had been stepped over by a tank. However, he had strokes al over the body”, the wife says.
They heard people saying he had punched a soldier when the army started watering the people. “I think this is when he got killed. The first one in Bucharest. He had a small hole and a big hole in his temporal, like he had been shot from close range”, Maria Badoi precisely remembers. The body had a sticker on the arm. It read 2. They hardly managed to take him away from there. They buried him on the Christmas day. It was the only funeral on that day.

IN THE NAME OF THE DAUGHTER. Olivia has rather sensorial memories from the day her father died. “I remember the image of my father lying on the hospital table, the road to the cemetery, my mother crying and a powerful smell of musk, which still causes me strong reactions. My mother told that my father used to say that if he were to die he would have done it for his child, for me to live a better life”, the daughter of the hero remembers.
LATE. Maria Badoi doesn’t care about the initiatives for finding the guilty people. “This won’t bring any change. There is nothing in the world to make me feel better. I would like to forget it all. Time will heal me, but he is irreplaceable. I will always miss him.”

ABSENCE. Vinerian didn’t live to see his daughter getting good grades, getting admitted at the Foreign Languages Faculty nor when she fulfilled her father’s dream of getting in the United States on a scholarship. “I used to think Olivia was too young at that time to be touched by the events. However, even if she was 4, she understood it all”, Maria Badoi noticed. Olivia says she is proud to be the daughter of a martyr, but there have been a lot of times in her life when she would have wanted to say “daddy”. He knows that only a special person could do the things her father did. “I would have liked to have my father close to me and protect me from the bad people, to wait for me in front of the high school to find out the grades of my graduation, to be happy for my scholarship in the USA”.
Translated by SORIN BALAN


Monday, December 18, 2006

BBC News: New gold mine draws fire

New gold mine draws fire
By Mike Wooldridge BBC world affairs correspondent, Romania

As Romania prepares to enter the EU, a long-running controversy has sharpened over plans for a new gold mine. A Canadian company is promising "salvation" to a community suffering from soaring unemployment but has met local resistance from environmentalists.

For a man who has played a large part in holding up a multi-million pound mining project, Eugen David lives well off the beaten track.
A turn off a twisting road through a spur of the Carpathian Mountains takes you towards Rosia Montana, Red Mountain.
You pass the sign to a village of new homes, in the local style, planned for those being relocated to make way for the new mine.
You pass rusting wagons at the abandoned railhead of the old state-run gold mine in Rosia Montana.
Featherbedded by subsidies the EU will not tolerate, it closed down recently - adding significantly to unemployment in the area.
Then you turn off the road, bottoming the car along a stony track until you reach a farmhouse on the hillside.


I arrived to find Eugen David leading his young daughter down the track on a horse.
Soon the family are gathered around the sort of tiled stove that heats many a Romanian kitchen in winter.
Gabriel insists that its environmental safeguards will be world-beating
"My life is in Rosia Montana", the former miner says. "I don't want to leave. And they will never start the new mine unless we do."
The David family smallholding is right on the "front line" of what has often seemed to be a battleground.
Eugen took me out into the yard, past the haystacks and the barn and up a muddy path.
He gestured through the woods to where one of the open-pit mines would be, bordering his land.
With more than a twinkle in his eye, he said he had also bought a few acres within the boundary of the proposed mine.
From Eugen David's house there is a panoramic view across the Transylvanian countryside.
At this time of year a morning mist clings to the valley floor and there is frost on the fields and the branches.

Cultural attractions

His central argument is that there is no need to revive mining here, with the new disruption it would cause.
He claims that the combination of natural beauty and historic interest - including the relics of gold mining dating back to Roman times - means that tourism could help to save Rosia Montana. And Eugen has taken steps to add to the cultural attractions.
One of his fields now has several sculptures in it, carved by sculptors from each continent.
Eugen has clearly been astute in cultivating international support in six years of campaigning.
But Gabriel Resources, the Canadian company that plans to build the new mine, has also stepped up its efforts to convince its critics that they are wrong on every count.
Gabriel eventually expects to invest as much as £450m ($900m) in the project.
It would be one of Europe's biggest gold mines.
The opponents have raised concerns about the risk of spillage of the cyanide used in extracting gold.

Activists under fire

Gabriel insists that its environmental safeguards will be world-beating, and a tabletop model on display in the village shows the landscaping the company says would leave the area looking a lot less scarred than it does today.
Its public relations offensive has included partially funding a documentary which took a swipe at anti-mining environmentalists.
It is called "Mine Your Own Business", and its star was a young jobless miner from Rosia Montana.
Gabriel's team in Rosia Montana believe local opposition is declining and the company should be able to produce the first gold in 2009.
They talk about the possibility, as a last resort, of asking the Romanian authorities to take over compulsorily the properties of the most diehard opponents - describing them as a few individuals inspired by foreigners.
Eugen David says he does not think the Romanian government would "have the guts" to force anyone out of Rosia Montana.
And so the battle lines remain drawn. And the stakes grow - Gabriel suggests that if it does not get the final go-ahead, other foreign investors will be discouraged.

Long-term future

As the winter sun set over Rosia Montana I went to see Gheorghe Ivascanu - a widower who is now 76, the 10th child of a miner's family, 39 years in mining himself "day in, day out".
From his yard he can see the old workings of the pit where at the age of 12 he first dug for gold.
From his shelf he takes down a piece of rock with gold in it. His eyes reflect the sparkle, but also a long hard-working life.
Gheorghe did not support the new mine initially.
He had wanted to start a new mining project in the village himself, training the young, but it turned out to be too ambitious.
He still wants the Canadian company to do more to secure the long-term future of Rosia Montana and jobs for local people.
But he is now prepared to move out, so that he can live nearer his daughter.
He makes no bones about it being hard parting from what he calls the place of his forefathers.
It is, he says, "something of the soul".


Friday, December 15, 2006

St. Petersburg Times: Transylvania offers this real estate bite

Transylvania offers this real estate bite
Published December 15, 2006

Dracula's castle may change hands again after the U.S.-based owner, a descendant of the Romanian royal family, offered to sell the 800-year-old Transylvanian fortress to the local government. The building was returned by Romanian authorities to Dominic von Habsburg in May after the government nationalized property, including royal residences, 58 years ago. Built in 1212 by Teutonic knights, the castle was briefly used two centuries later by Romanian ruler Vlad the Impaler, who inspired Bram Stoker's Count Dracula legend. Von Habsburg, 68, is the grandson of former Queen Marie of Romania.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Nine O'Clock: Defence Minister inaugurates the new camp of Romanian soldiers in Iraq

Defence Minister inaugurates the new camp of Romanian soldiers in Iraq
published in issue 3830 page 11 at 2006-12-13

Defence Minister Sorin Frunzaverde inaugurated on Tuesday, at Tallil, in Iraq, the military camp Dracula and visited the soldiers from Battalion 811 infantry Transylvanian Dragons, established close to An Nassiryah, Iraq, but who are in the process of transfer to the new camp. Frunzaverde decorated the Fighting Flag of the Transylvanian Dragons with the National Order “For Merit” in the rank of Cavalier, with war insignia, conferred for special results obtained in the process of training, in the stabilization and reconstruction missions fulfilled in the operations theatre from Iraq.
by Nine oClock


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

People's Daily: Romania's "Hawks of Carpathians" leave for new Afghanistan mission

Romania's "Hawks of Carpathians" leave for new Afghanistan mission

Romania's Defense Minister Sorin Frunzaverde on Monday attended in Bistrita, northern Romania, the ceremony that marked the departure of the 812nd Infantry Battalion "Hawks of the Carpathians" on a new international mission in Afghanistan.

In the coming six months, the 480 Romanian troops deployed in Qalat, capital of Zabul province, will participate in the ISAF III mission, providing support to the Afghan army and police.
"Of all theaters of operations so far, the situation in southern Afghanistan is one of the most difficult," Frunzaverde said, adding he is convinced that this elite unit of the Romanian army will brilliantly cope with the new mission.
Source: Xinhua


Monday, December 11, 2006

Nine O'Clock: Berceanu promises 250 km of highways per year

Berceanu promises 250 km of highways per year
published in issue 3828 page 9 at 2006-12-11

On Friday, Minister of Transports, Radu Berceanu, promised, in a press conference in Timisoara, that the construction schedules for the highway will be reanalysed.

“Over the next 10 years, Romania will have to build 2,500 km of European roads”, according to Minister Berceanu, after having returned from Arad, where he took part in the inauguration of a segment from the city surrounding belt, constructed with funds disbursed by Local Council and by the Government.

On the other side, Radu Berceanu affirmed that the next segment between Nadlac and Arad, with a total length of 38 km and an estimated investment value of EUR 150 M, could be completed in 36 months, and Arad – Tmisoara segment, 31.6 km, worth EUR 2.023 M, in 24 months, provided that solutions are found for accelerating the process.

Minister of Transports drew again the attention as regards the pace of work in case of highways, affirming that the deadlines within which work is conducted at the infrastructure of Romania were too long, and the approach strategy of these works need to be changed.

“Currently, there are very long deadlines, Since the time we intend to do a work, a road, a highway, and until it is completed, the current deadlines, according to the lists I have found in the Ministry, provide for four years, five years, eight years. If we continue at this pace, then we shall have perfect highways and roads for our children and grandchildren, not necessarily for us”, the Minister said.

On the other side, the MTCT official asked the consultants and engineers working in construction that after the termination early last week of the contract with the Greek constructor J/V Efklidis Konoike Aegek, the works at the belt surrounding Timisoara and at DN Timisoara – Lugoj to be resumed shortly. He warned the consultant and the engineer that unless they observe a reasonable deadline, they may enter “the black list of contractors”.

Bechtel to employ 1,000 workers for Transylvania highway

Bechtel Company intends to employ almost 1,000 workers for the construction of Transylvania highway, in Alba County, but also from areas neighbouring the route of the European road.According to Alba sub-Prefect, Clament Negrut, county authorities have recently had a meeting with the representatives of Bechtel Company, within which they discussed about a partnership in recruiting labour force specialist in constructions.
by Raluca Tonita


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Deutsche Welle: Romania's Sibiu Becomes Europe's Next Capital of Culture

Romania's Sibiu Becomes Europe's Next Capital of Culture

Athens was Europe's first Culture Capital in 1985. In 2007, there will be two cultural capitals -- Luxembourg and Sibiu in Romania. Sibiu's old town is currently being renovated to bring it back to its former glory.
Sibiu, which is called Hermannstadt in German, was founded by Transylvanian Saxons in the late twelfth century and rapidly became a significant trade center.

It was the most important ethnic German city among seven cities, which gave Transylvania its German-language name -- Siebenbürgen -- and was home to the region's Assembly of Germans. The German legacy is still very visible in the city's architecture.

When the Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolved, Sibiu became part of Romania, although much of its population consisted of ethnic Germans. Many emigrated to West Germany under the Romanian Communist regime, and even more left for Germany after its collapse in 1989.

Klaus Johannis, the mayor of Sibiu, is one of around 2,000 ethnic Germans who remained. He has become a symbol of the city's rebirth, which helped Sibiu, a town of 160,000 people, to be chosen as Europe's next cultural capital.

German minority plays significant role

"Our history is precious and we should make the most of it," Johannis told Deutsche Welle. "The German minority is clearly a part of this. In the framework of being a cultural capital, we want to highlight that as well."

"We always were 'good Europeans,' even in the darkest Middle Ages," added Paul Jürgen Porr from the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania. "It's hardly known in Germany, for example, that there was a school system here even in the 14th century. At a time when the royal courts in Western Europe were still full of illiterates, every tiny village here had a pastor and a teacher and the children could all read and write," Porr said.

The German-language Brukenthal grammar school in Sibiu's center maintains this tradition. For the pupils there, it goes without saying that they are German and should speak German with each other. They cannot understand when asked why they are not speaking Romanian, and yet they consider Romania their homeland.

This homeland is depicted by the renowned 72-year-old writer Eginald Schlattner. His work focuses on the cultural mix in Sibiu and how different ethnic groups have lived side-by-side for centuries.

In "The Beheaded Rooster" ("Der Geköpfte Hahn"), he describes his experiences of growing up during the Nazi period. He writes that his father would answer greetings in four languages but never said "Heil Hitler" or "At your service, madame." The novel is currently being filmed.

An enviable cultural mix

Sibiu not only has a German minority, however, but also boasts Hungarians, Romas, Jews and Armenians.

"We are a good example that all these ethnic groups can get along in a city like ours," said the mayor, who in contrast to some Central European politicians prefers to promote respect rather than assimilation.

Sibiu's inhabitants hope that Transylvania and Romania as a whole will be given a boost thanks to its role as Europe's cultural capital of 2007.
DW staff (act)


Friday, December 08, 2006

The Budapest Sun: Bridge between nations

Bridge between nations
By Andreea Anca

Romania raises its cultural profile here in Budapest Romania used the occasion of its national day to try to raise its cultural profile in Budapest and begin its final countdown to European Union accession on Jan 1. Last Wednesday (Nov 29) the renowned violinist Sherban Lupu joined a group of three peasant musicians to treat listeners to a repertoire of traditional Romanian folk tunes from all the regions of the country, played with consummate skill in the intimate but lavish surroundings of the Duna Palace.

Lupu, who trained at the Bucharest Conservatory before heading to London for lessons with Yehudi Menuin, is now the artistic director for the United State’s George Enescu Society, which honors the great Romanian composer and violinist of the last century. He also teaches at the University of Illinois, from which he received a prestigious award for recording the complete works for violin and piano by Bela Bartok.

Lupu brought masterly ability and an international reputation to the stage, forming a striking combination with virtuoso folk players from Maramures (northern Transylvania) Ioan Pop and Grigore Chira, and with Gheorghe Stan from southern Romania. Apart from singing and playing the guitar and violin, Pop introduced the audience to the more unusual instruments of trumpet-violin and a homemade “flute without holes.”


Swapping easily between instruments, the trio, dressed in traditional Romanian folk costume, brought charm and spontaneity to proceedings, and provided superb support for Lupu’s soaring violin on drums, bass, cimbalom and vocals.

In an introductory speech, Romania’s Ambassador to Hungary, Ireny Comaroschi, emphasized the value of arts and culture as a means of getting to know other nations, a theme she expanded upon at a larger event at the Palace of Arts last Friday night (Dec 1). There, Comaroschi welcomed fellow diplomats from dozens of countries to a celebration of Romania’s National Day, which centered upon an ambitious fusion of music and images that took the assembled dignitaries on a “virtual tour” of Romania.

Folk music again featured strongly, this time set against a sonic backdrop of breakbeats provided by two young Romanian DJs, while pictures of major Romanian sites, cities and cultural figures were projected onto moving fabrics and screens.

Before the show began, Comaroschi thanked current EU member states for their support of Romania’s bid for accession, and highlighted the “traditional and profound relationships between Hungary and Romania.” She also hailed the Hungarian minority in Romania – and Romanians living in Hungary – for forming an important “bridge” between the nations, though Hungarian towns and culture in Transylvania were conspicuous by their absence in the otherwise impressive sound-and-light show, entitled Define Romania.

The show was produced by former actor Dan Chisu, a well-known presence on the Romanian capital’s arts scene, with a reputation for producing large-scale cultural events such as the DaKINO International Film Festival in Bucharest.


STUFF: Romania to buy back 2000-year-old bracelets

Romania to buy back 2000-year-old bracelets
07 December 2006

BUCHAREST: Romania is set to pay an American art collector 800,000 lei ($NZ454,600) for four 2000-year-old gold bracelets stolen from an archaeological site six years ago, authorities said.
The 24-carat bracelets, each weighing around one kilogram, are part of a collection of 15 believed to have been dug up by thieves from the site in Transylvania.
"We managed to find them and bring them back to Europe ... We are taking them at the same value as paid by the American," said Culture Minister Adrian Iorgulescu, adding that the current owner had bought the bracelets legally.
In September French police seized one of the bracelets, which had been put up for sale in Paris for 90,000 euros ($NZ177,00).


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Nine O'Clock: When does the day begin?

When does the day begin?
published in issue 3824 page 4 at 2006-12-05

Analyzing the approaches to remove the Orthodox icons from the Romanian schools and making a comparison with the recent Western legislation which bans the religious insignia from public spaces, some people have reached the conclusion that the Western-European “original” would be justified, while the Romanian ”copy” would be useless. Why? Because the European West is invaded by the exponents of non-European (or non-Western) cultures, noxious for the cultural and identity coherence of Europe, while the Romanians are not confronted with such a phenomenon. Prohibiting the exhibition of the religious symbols, the West defends itself against the cultural aggressions coming from the non-Christian East. Since the Orthodox Christianity is related to the identity of the Romanian nation, the refusal to exhibit it publicly would however represent another move weakening the resistance in terms of identity and would render the Romanians vulnerable in front of the attack of the foreign cultures.

Such a theory - that many “good Romanians” and “good Christians” will greet - is anti-Romanian and anti-European, non-Christian and non-modern. Today, the Romanian nation is civic and multicultural (multi-religious). Without denying the contribution of the Orthodox Church in the assertion of the Romanian character, let us recall that not only the Orthodox Christians, but also the adepts of other religions (non-Christian included) have thought and died for the construction of the Romanian nation-state. Romania is the country of all its citizens, of those who feel to be Romanian regardless of their religion or ethnic group. To exclude some of them saying that their religion is “non-Romanian” means to fracture the Romanian society, to diminish and impoverish it.

The theory of the “Orthodox identity” comes to confirm Huntington’s thesis of the clash of civilizations. In the mythological context of the irreducible conflict between West and East, circumscribed by the myth of the Western exceptional nature characterized by “reason” and “the freedom of the individual,” this thesis places Romania (maybe with the exception of the Greek-Catholic Transilvania) among the inferior Levantine cultures starting exactly from its Orthodoxy, exposed as irremediably irrational, destructive and tribal. The exclusion of the non-Orthodox population from the sphere of the elements of identification of the Romanian character pushes the Romanians into a controversy that it needs even less, as it is false and the priority of the Romanians today is the unification of Europe based on trans-religious and cosmopolite values, among which secularism.

But, to deny in the name of secularism the right of the persons to state publicly their belief, as some Western countries try, is a democratic skidding generator of social tension.

The refuge within the situation (linguistic, ethnic) communities and the lack of confidence in the adhesion (national-civic, cosmopolite) communities is the characteristic of the people affected by existential insecurity and axiological confusion. At the time when they want to recover modernity and join the Europe of the pluralist democracy, the Romanians have no reasons to feel insecure, they cannot abandon the critical thinking and cannot afford the confusions of values.

The Bible narrates the dispute over the setting of the moment when night finishes and the day begins: one says that the day begins when there is enough light in order to distinguish an olive-tree from a fig-tree; another, when you can distinguish a donkey from an ass. The conclusion is that the night comes to an end when two travellers can see that one is from Samaria and the other from Judea, and greet one another calling one another “brother.” I add: only when people with a certain belief meeting others with any other belief greet themselves as brothers, the long night of mankind has finished and the expected day has begun.
by Adrian Severin


Monday, December 04, 2006

Arizona Daily Star: Transylvania's Targu Mures a gem

Transylvania's Targu Mures a gem
Tucson, Arizona Published: 12.03.2006
By Robert Reid

Most travelers heading to Transylvania envisioning wing-flapping vampires first think of Brasov, the cobbled Saxon town near the so-called Dracula Castle at Bran. Or Sighisoara, where the real Dracula (Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler) cut his teeth in the 15th century.
But lesser-known Targu Mures is Transylvania's new big gateway and up-and-coming highlight. Budget airline Wizz Air started direct Budapest-Targu Mures service in July (currently $22 each way), making the cool hub of Transylvania more accessible to all of Europe.

Targu Mures' location couldn't be better. Set midway between Sighisoara, the student town of Cluj-Napoca, and Bistrita (where Bram Stoker set his novel "Dracula"), Targu Mures is in the middle of Transylvania's mountainous expanse, where, at times, horse carts outnumber cars. When I visited Targu Mures recently, I found it hard to leave.

With its population of 150,000 nearly split between Romanians and ethnic Hungarians, Targu Mures evokes an open energy. Locals sometimes say "hello" just because they're happy to see visitors.

Part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until after World War I (when all of Transylvania switched to Romania's hands), the city center brims with century-old Habsburg-era buildings with steepled roofs and a medieval stone fortress. Less visible is the sad Soviet soldier cemetery, lost under weeds atop the hill overlooking town; on some headstones, the "red star" over the names in Cyrillic has been chipped off.

The city's undeniable landmark is the flamboyant Culture Palace, with its glittering tiled roofs overlooking central Trandafirilor Square's open-air cafes and statues. Inside is a five-floor cultural complex, with brass reliefs in long hallways, gold-and-green floral arched ceilings and deep Venetian mirrors. Built by Budapest architects from 1911 to 1913, the palace hosts interesting art and archaeological museums, but best is its stained-glass hallway, with 12 windows that retell traditional area folk tales (a cassette explains them in clipped, very Transylvanian, English). In the lovely hall, with its 4,463-pipe organ and velvet seats, I managed to catch a talent contest with kids belting out pop songs to thunderous cheers from classmates.

East of the square is the unlikely twofer Teleki Museum/ Bolyai Library. The library includes numerous rare books, including one by Benjamin Franklin.

Targu Mures makes a great Transylvanian base camp. One interesting day trip, about 35 miles east, visits the leafy historic spa town of Sovata, where you can dip in warm saltwater lakes. Five miles south, in the village of Praid, you can visit the underground world of the Praid salt mine, giant caverns filled with swing sets, sculptures, a cafe selling beer and even an Internet cafe.

Information: Targu Mures' energetic tourist-information center (www.cjmures.ro/turism) provides free city maps and car-rental information. Sovata's small tourist-information center (www.sovatatravel.ro) helps find accommodation and rents bikes. For information on the Praid salt mine, check www.salinapraid.ro.


The Independent: Andras Suto, Writer banned under Ceausescu

Andras Suto
Writer banned under Ceausescu
Published: 04 December 2006

András Süto was already known to most Hungarians in Romania in 1970 when his new book, Anyám könnyu álmot igér ("Mother Promises a Light Dream"), became an instant success. The book dealt with the recent past of the author's birthplace, the Transylvanian village of Pusztakamarás, discussing the anomalies of the collectivisation of the countryside in the Romania of the 1950s.

This village was inhabited mostly by poor peasants, Hungarians as well as Romanians, some of whom were declared nevertheless "kulaks", class enemies, by the regime. Süto's book, part sociography, part subjective reminiscence, hit on a raw nerve: much human suffering could have been avoided had the Communist rulers applied less rigid, doctrinaire policies.

Süto was born in 1927 in Pusztakamarás (in Romanian, Camarasu), into a Hungarian peasant family. After the Second World War he studied for a while at the Hungarian-language Theatre Academy of Cluj, but was more interested in journalism. He left the academy for an editorial post with the weekly Falvak Népe ("Village Folk"). Dissatisfied with his job, he managed in 1954 to return to Marosvásárhely (Tirgu-Mures) in Transylvania, where he became editor of the new literary magazine Igaz Szó ("True Word"), a post he held until 1957. From 1957 to 1989 he edited a local illustrated magazine (Uj Élet), while writing both fiction and numerous plays.
Süto began his writing career with short stories, of which the collection Félrejáró Salamon ("By-Stepping Salomon", 1955) had some critical acclaim. The comedy Pompás Gedeon ("Gedeon the Pompous", 1967) showed Süto's penchant for satire, a difficult genre in the circumstances of one-party rule.

At the same time Süto was a trusted member of the Communist Party of Romania, though he found it increasingly hard to reconcile his political beliefs with the actual situation in the countryside. Still, from 1965 he became a member of parliament in Bucharest and a substitute member of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, holding the latter post until 1977.

While Anyám könnyu álmot igér brought him fame not only in Romania, with its substantial Hungarian ethnic minority, but also in Hungary, it revealed him as a potential opponent of arbitrary centralisation and monopolisation of power. When the Ceausescu regime began to move in this direction in the early 1970s, Süto disguised his discontent as historical drama.

His play Egy lócsiszár virágvasárnapja (The Palm Sunday of a Horse Dealer, 1973) shows how revolution can turn into its opposite and devour its protagonists. Csillag a máglyán (Star at the Stake, 1974), a powerful and eventually tragic confrontation between John Calvin and the Socinian Michael Servet, reveals the clash between two Protestant reformers, one of whom is already enmeshed in the realities of power. Káin és Abel (Cain and Abel, 1977) focuses on two models of behaviour of which only one is guaranteed survival.

Travelling to Iran and seeing the ruins of Persepolis inspired both the essay "Perzsák" ("Persians") and its stage version Szuzai menyegzo ("Wedding at Susa", 1981), which was based on Alexander the Great's notorious order to 10,000 of his Greek and Macdeonian soldiers to marry Persian maidens. This play already showed Süto's resistance to the enforcement of "homogenisation".

Although between 1974 and 1981 he was Vice-President of the Romanian Writers Association, by the early 1980s András Süto began to lose the relative freedom of having his work published in his native country. The fact that he still considered himself a Marxist socialist did not help. The essay collection Engedjétek hozzám jönni a szavakat ("Let the Words Come to Me", 1977) showed his growing concern with the restriction against the use of Hungarian in Romania and the systematic infringement of the "internationalist" principles of Communist doctrine, so it was no surprise when his next two plays, Advent a Hargitán ("Advent in the Hargita Mountain", 1985) and Alomkommandó ("Dream Commando", 1987) could be performed only in Hungary.
By the time of the Romanian revolution of 1989 Süto was a widely known public figure, representing the large Hungarian community in Romania. In March 1990 at the time of the riots in Tirgu-Mures he was beaten so badly by a Romanian chauvinist mob that he lost the sight in one eye. He wrote up this experience in the part-diary reminiscences of Szemet szóért ("Eye for a Word", 1993).

Süto travelled much in Western Europe and in Iran and visited the United States in the 1970s. Several of his plays were translated into English, two of them (Star at the Stake, Cain and Abel) being staged by the Threshold Theater Company of New York. In 1999 DramaContemporary: Hungary included five plays by different authors, one of which was Süto's The Palm Sunday of a Horse Dealer.
George Gömöri


Sunday, December 03, 2006

P2PNET: US computers hacked

US computers hacked

p2pnet.net News:- Victor Faur, 26, of Arad, Romania, has been charged with hacking into US government computers, says Associated Press.
Faur, said to have led the "WhiteHat Team" whose main goal was to, "break into U.S. government computers because they are some of the most secure in the world, faces up to 54 years in prison if convicted on nine counts of computer intrusion and one of conspiracy, says the story.

The indictment alleges Faur and his team used the compromised computers to host chat rooms, and also searched the computers for passwords that could be used to gain access to other systems, says GCN.com, going on:
"The U.S. Attorney's Office stated that NASA lost approximately $1.3 million in data and costs incurred rebuilding the affected computers, while Energy and the Navy together lost about $100,000."

Faur was being prosecuted in Romania on separate computer-hacking charges and will be brought to Los Angeles upon resolution of that case, says AP.