Oskar Pastior as Securitate Informant?

On a number of occasions NOMADICS has spoken in praise of the poet Oscar Pastior, such as on the occasion of him receiving the Büchner Prize posthumously (click here). Pastior was indeed a splendid poet (check out, for example, the translations of his work published by Burning Deck). But now the following disturbing bit of information has just come in via signandsight, which refers back to the original article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung of 17 September 2010:

As a member of the minority ethnic German community, the poet Oskar Pastior spent 5 years in a Soviet labour camp after WWII. It is his life there that Nobel laureate Herta Müller describes in her last novel “Everything I Own I Carry With Me” (excerpt in English). Now a German historian has just uncovered a declaration of commitment to the Romanian Securitate signed by Oskar Pastior in 1961, as Lother Müller and Christopher Schmidt report. Stefan Sienerth, the director of the Institute for German Culture and History of Southern East Europe at Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilian University, who discovered the document will present his findings at a talk on Sunday. “Admittedly the historian has only found a single report implicating Pastior. But ‘in all these years there is not a single record of an attempt by Pastior to terminate his work for the Romanian secret police or to undertake any steps to free himself from this psychological burden,’ Sienerth writes in the manuscript.” Muller and Schmidt add that Pastior’s homosexuality and labour-camp experience would have made him particularly vulnerable to blackmail.

Of course, he is innocent until proven guilty, and that can only happen if any proof that Pastior did  harm to someone comes to light,  which has not been the case so far. The young Pastior may indeed have found himself caught in a situation of blackmail he couldn’t wriggle out of until later in his life. Today Herta Müller has reacted to the news — if you have German you can read her reaction here.  Here is some of what she said in my quick translation:

My first reaction was surprise, and anger. It was a slap in the face. The more details Stefan Sienerth and now Ernest Wichner dtold me, tye more horrified I became. The dossiers show the Romania of the fifties and sixties like a very dark painting. The jails were full. Pastior, just returned from 5 years in the camps, worked as a box-assembler and construction worker, now could finally study in Bucharest. He wanted back to normality, he tried and take his own life into his own hands with a tired, stubborn obstinacy.  But they confiscated it once again. The documents show him surrounded on all sides. Several university professors also spy on him. The main fink goes all the way to denunciation. His reports are so vile that one shudders. He was homosexual, like Pastior.  One asks oneself if he was taking revenge on personal grounds.  After surviving the work camps, Pastior became an enemy of the State, because the five years of torture made him write some seven poems about it, poems that he was in deep need of.   These poems were twisted into a noose: “anti-soviet” was enough. In order to protect himself against arrest, Pastior signed an Securitate-declaration.  Returned from camp he now totally free, rather than just freed. My second reaction on Pastior as Securitate agent was  sympathy. And the more I contemplate the details of the affair, the more it becomes grief .

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11 Responses

  1. Ven says:

    why prosecutiv practics are so easely realized
    in this web space? like you better for it..
    all men should be killed or ruinerad like som
    psycho in camp or under violation in so called hospitals..

  2. Ven says:

    It is undoubtedly for me in my angle of European space that the Nobel commetee of literary prize in Swedish Academy felt precisely the moment when all practics that socialize the human experience of surviving under destructive pragmatics generate numerous problems and social risks for Westernian culture and historic perspective. Undoubtedly is that every human being needs accurate discerning based at authentic arguments for understanding who used the human beings like means and tools of their career and the others who might under destructive violation to act according moral stimulus. Who needs to know that how moral knowledge gives strenghes to human being and the fear ruins? Or a fear of stigmas acts stronger? Who knows, who needs an authentic knowledge about inner motivation of violated human beings’ acts under totalitarian robots’system?
    Maybe we need more our own excitation or indination or stigmas for the others and we hurry to scandalize Oskar Pastior’s inner world. Who need to know how the ropbots’system “violated” him? Who need to know how hoped he to protect his surviving? Maybe he conceived a manoeuvre for help to somebody and to himself using the robots of system against the same system? I know one human being who had as such intention. If the robots’humiliation of human being had not limits, maybe silent and secret inner resistance became more inventive in alien limits? Who knows his despair before destructive disproportion of his own strenghes and weakness and bestial energy of numerous “iron robots of idea” with “iron souls” (metallic notions was ground of totalitarian ideals). Many individuals simply make their rutinal career with alien papers that they naibely call “documents”.Who knows? Who needs to know all that today? The Nobel literary prize commetee and Herta Müller?

  3. Ven says:

    I think that Herta Müller’s works propose to us as the readers the way of doing serious mental work for understanding of the human experience autencity problem. In our days some practics of socializing the experience of the victims who had any right of choice but in superhuman and inhuman conditions tried to protect their surviving for price of “moral sacrifices” beside an abnormal bestial amorality, some practics where the victims are scandalizing all that seems rather like pretentions of exaltated or histerically religious women and men with the only attempt to have permanent saints and martyrs for their good who did never feel bodily injuries and fears. I see here some mental parasitism. The adepts of such religion will not to work mentally they selves with their own natural and clear themselves from miserable impulses. They prefered and prefere that somebody might be crucified for their mental salvation and good. Even if the martyrs don’t appear without hypocritical torturers the adepts of totalitarian religion don’t think about the torturers like fundament of robots system with redundant destructive frightening.
    It seems that hysterical mental parasitism of those unshakable adepts is only very specific phenomenon: they are avid for goods but someone other must give it to them. Their own right to create their own good is eliminated by “the faultless saints-torturers-distributors”.
    Really, totalitarian system was polyteistic system of voluntarism with many “saints-torturers” which were the same time distributors of all goods, blessings, simply things, meals, rights and livings. They gave or not. 25 million of small and smallest “saints-torturers-distributors” for 225 of the others. Neither the work, nor salary did nothing mean. Especially for the workers of mental work who did not produce material goods.
    So was religious dogma and religious demagogy. Between the human being and human necessities loomed permanently those omnipotent and omnipresent “sants-torturers-distributors” of goods with faultless dosage. Who did not praise the might be ruined with misery, who did not believe in “saints-torturers-distributors” or did not want to be mental or physical live-stock they might “peg out and kick the bucket” (excuse me).
    When I tried to explain totalitarian religion to my Westernian friends I felt that they perceived it like exagerations for provoke their interest, compassion or indulgence for a profit. How profit? I needed compassion in that time when anyone did not know about my existence. Now we kan have only one our profit of mutual understanding.
    The tendency of judge, stigmatize or scandalize the victims of totalitarian violence instead the scrupulous analytics of the same system is like an absurd in social good intentions.
    Maybe we work there for a nostalgy of the narrowmindedness for totalitarian “saints-torturers-distributors”, wich reduced all the other to mean of their careers.

  4. Ven says:

    All my life I remember a maxim of my mother.
    This maxim genelizes all cruelties of those smallest ”saints-torturers-distriburors of earthly blessings” who permanently ruined all that my mother’s numerous family bulded and created. “Son, if all these nachalniks (officers) or only one smallest with all their cabal become be interested for our life, they are only searching means for make our life more unsupportable”. But with my youth psychology I was unable to endure that even I felt more than I was able to know. And I became idiotically naive about the reality of their true intentions that was concealed under their systematic manipulative declarations. And like a false self-protection I wanted have some illusion that the cruelty, the terror and the violence were the separate extremities of their separate “nachalniks” (officers). I did not receive rational explications, but I felt more than I could know. I was going myself to my understanding of their psychologic terror, of their falsifications and manipulations against every personnality. If “they” suspected some inner resistance “they” became maniacally consistent with their manipulations.
    All that happened around the young German who did spend six years of his life only for enter to higher education. I remember his destiny like a “plot” of stupendous cynicism that ruined my friend and me.

  5. Ven says:

    My German friend was from Volga’s Germans family. The Germans of Volga were invited in Russia by the empress Katharina II for help to the Russians receive experience of German model farming. The Germans of Volga gave that experience for the Russia’s agriculture. How that experience was used in Russia and why this experience of model farming became useless all responsibility for all that rests with the same Russia.
    During WWII the civilians Germans from Volga might move to Germany according instructions of German military powers. In Poland they were overtaken by soviet military powers and were condemned to work in Siberia’s concentration camps. Later they were transported to Kazakhstan for upturning of virgin soil. The Germans did build the model farming on new soil once more for the former SU.
    My friend was from these Germans. The German language was his mother tongue and naturally that he knowed German and wanted to study German for have a reserve of time for other intricated topics. But “they” did not need excellent knowledge of German from German. They prefere to cultivate mediocrity which is depending completely from their will of “saint distributors”. The officers appeared with instruction that it was impossible for us to study German and changed all our plans: they proposed us to study French and to begin from “zero”. So was their trap: we had not choice and might begin studies between young girls who began their studies right away efter secondary school, were dothers of privileged “saints” with all their hysteric intolerence of the privileged. Additionally my friend has the same name like a man who did escape from totalitarian space before. The woman who teached was engaged, every lesson she became more hysterically. It became hell of higher education. Finally in the beginning of second semester my friend was expulsed from institution. I tried to tell with “nachalniks”, they became only more suspecting. They were not able to admit that a German could study German or one Swede could study Swedish and have “excelently” i special topic.
    What happened in their brains? I think that an smallest “nachalnik” has made a mistake somewhere and an small used our plans for destroy all like a chance for demonstrate their loyality once more time. And that was an occasion for demonstrate their omnipotence – lesson for all like my friend: look what we kan make with your wishes, studies, plans, life.
    I shall never neglekt that moment when I became guilty for all my life. It was in 1970. I shall never raise from my memory that day when I did lead my friend to the train… He had place in the last carriage.. and I felt loneliness physically, I did grip the iron handle of the carriage door.. It was a moment when I became unable to perceive when I was more near to die, when I looked at wheels of train or when I thought of my future surving.. The train did snatch the iron handle of carriage out my hands..
    Our crash was salutary for me, but the price was cruel. And what my friend felt efter seven years of hard work for “their” studies..? Who knows? Who need this knowledge?
    It was their manner to convert their terror’s practics in their standars of surviving. “They”
    called that “true life”. It became ordinary everydayness negating all rights. They know all about documentary hypnosis and fabricated papers like a factory. Some comments of their dogmas provoked particular consistency against private life. They know that the person feels traumatical humilation when perceive that every word, every gesture of privateness is supervised and inspected. You kan know “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” from December 10, 1948, and “The European Convention of Human Rights” from November 4, 1950 but You were their “live-stock”. Your situation became more aggravated with your knowledge, “they” became more “lucky” that You felt your humilation more sharply at this right back ground.
    “They” affirmated other maxim: “be ignorant, life is easier for an ignorant, all that You do not know all it does not exist”. All falsifications are their tools and means of routinal “ignorancy’ s ideals”.
    Herta Müller’s Works help to overcome laziness and need of illusions in our brains.

  6. Ven says:

    All that happened with my German friend in 1970,
    all that did happen with me in 1995 in other reality but almost with the same motivations: my language was not tolerable and my “colleagues” had the same smiling grin like the woman-communist party secretary of the faculty in that institution in 1970 who proclamed “their collective decision” about German student.
    All this I say here has not an intention to revenge to somebody. Any revengefullness, any. The revengefullness is integral part of “life vocation” and “spiritual convictions” of totalitarian idolatry. It is their version of “iron spiritual life and staunch persuasions”. It is interesting, do they know or not that “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (1948) in article 18 proclames that “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion: this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief…”. Certainly, they know the right but for to change their idolatry for to change their inner human selves.
    We all are with human rights and the problem becomes other: how we are able now to protect human natural and social reality against the influences of totalitarian viruses. And how a separate person can survive beside former totalitarian omniscient “saints” with all their frightening suggestions that they publish: “yes, yes, just he, she, they are terrible”, “terrible!!!”, “somebody said that…”, “somebody knows that…”. They do that only for consentrate attention at the others, for turn the public attention off from they selves and manipulate with public opinions. The former post-totalitarian “saints-torturers-distributors” pretend now to become the only owners of a “true culture and history” like the owners of a “true documentary” that they fabricated at the violence factories. But how kan be a truth all that they fabricated with their violations, their violence and their terror of all kind. They were ready to assure that they are able to all even to read the human brains. If even they can not, an ordinary human being had it in the conscience. If even they did not do all the human being was terrorized by this probability constantly waiting the worst because this fear was inside human being forever.
    I think that the problem is now in precisious differenciation: who from former omniscients “saints” had the power and used the power for violence against the others from all others who had and has the right for the life but might realize this allhuman right to survive under the power of those former torturers and the necrophiles.

  7. Ven says:

    Herta Müller’s readings from “Atemschaukel”. Literary evening in Vilnius. April 14, 2011. 18.00 PM of local time. Finally, finally! The literary event!
    It was vivifying literature without routinal pomposity, anguish rhetorics or literary speeches that are maybe clear for the only same speechings. Finally we hear the person with the personal manner to talk and to communicate. The ascetic scene with the little table, two arm-chairs, two microphones, two glasses with the water. Only the authoress’voice and the synchronic subtitles of translation in Lithuanian language.
    A just symptomatic talk about the roman’s essence follows after the readings. The talk like a true ordeal of two thinking’s manners of two females. The “Atemschaukel” authoress is assured in priority of human rights and her moderateress would the right but, it seems, is unable to absorb a help of “Atemschaukel” about the priority of personality.
    And that’s why “Atemschaukel”s readings in Vilnius becomes the event that closes the “era” of conventional terminologic jokes and tricks, abstract notions’streams of “professional elite” making only more stupid an ordinary reader. Finally it happens in Vilnius like in Stockholm, Berlin, London… Routinal literary criticism about influences, genres and with many etc becomes far-fetched device. Any “etc”, we are fed up with anguish and mystifying “ETC”. Only the work and the way to work’s content. The authoress is the best mediator between a problem and a reader’s attempt to perceive actual problem without routinal prejudices. It seems like a maximalism, but it is the only way of our European present.
    Herta Müller does not mystify her work’s “prototype” and coauthor Oskar Pastior. Any idealizing pathos. She talked about his male homosexuality like about an integral feature of his human natural, of his personality. She talked about the most vulnerable man without all routinal grimaces and distantiating suggestions. In her manner to talk about the male homosexuality was revealed Herta Müller’s female generosity. Like a symptomatic stress a wisper was heard in overcrowed room: “He did die or he is still living?” Efter the readings and talk like for just be assured that with “Atemschaukel”s readings in Vilnius an “era” of abstract speculations about the human being and lot is closed a testing question rings… something about the authoress’interest to the European “nouveau” roman. The answer was assuring: the author like every person perceives the reality through personal experience where readings of other authors’works are only one integral part. Every author perceives the actual reality and writes once more about analogic themes for actualize them before the present days’society. If the society becomes apathetic the actual problem becomes irreversible or even insolvable.
    Only one colour stress after the readings, the talk and two questions from the audience … enormous bunch of red flowers for Herta Mäller at the last moments of the literary event.
    Efter the readings from “Atemschaukel” in overcrowed State theatre where the readers-audience were perched on every foot-step of the gang-ways a hope appears that the readers’conscience will be equally overfilled with the thoughts of the rights’priority in the human relations. “Atemschaukel” is about routinal repressional destruction of all human connections in labour concentration camp in soviet Ukraine’s steppes. It was in 1945. Too far, too long ago. But a nostalgy of repressional practics is present and superactual and destroies society. A nostalgy of morbific prosecutional lowlessness becomes actual once more. And “Atemschaukel” where Oskar Pastior (1927-2006) seventeen-years most vulnerable youth was interned under compulsion in destructive conditions of a total alienation and extreme unrightness had only to become a statistic unity of live-stock during the civilisation crash in totalitarian Russia. His inner surviving’s impulses build his world that is just his own but without human environment. His inner world is build from ephemeral substances of the things like reminiscences of the humanity. Paradoxically but the inhuman labour camp become actual once more when we think today about a surving of homosexual men in the societies where their parents has nostalgy of repressional lowlessness.
    So, “Atemschaukel” becomes a substantial comment to all repressives intentions, to all pro-totalitarian symptomes in our post-totalitarian reality. That “era” must be closed, and it is the very one imperative meaning of Herta Müller’s “Atemschaukel” – roman-warning.

  8. Ven says:

    The human being between that total fear and those necrophiles… It seems now like some emotional hyperbole or fictional image. But and today, at present time all that is psychologic reality of million people in post-totalitarian space. I have my own experience of that fear. In 2010 Anton, one of my European friends said to me: How can I be helping? And I heard an answer: I don’t need Your help. I did not realize who said it but it was my voice, a voice of my fear that answered instinctively. And the name was the same like one nachalnik had and my fear blocked my ability of accurately differenciation of the name and the person, and the person became guilty for the name and provoked my fear. Anton, vännen, var så god, ursäkt mig! It was not me, it was my fear that answered to a former totalitarian nachalnik-officer with the same name. That nachalnik was absolutely indiferent to my declarations to totalitarian militsia that my old mother was violated and was operated after “bestial execution”. We did receive their official ”document” like a “declaration of their lowlessness’technology”. The sense was like this: if that man destroys the old woman’s health, breaks open the door of her house, steals her surviving minimal pension’s money, that man is not guilty because he had his wife and his children, and his family demands money from him for their life’s needs… I stop citation because the reason is unable to think and to believe that. The serviles of those “nachalniks” did steal later that their “document” from my room. Understand You, dear Anton, that words were from tha past, from my fear of totalitarian vegetation beside consistent voluntarism without any garantees of real rights. And I said against myself, at the moment when I
    needed Your help more than You could assume. Give me hope and chance to hear Your words once more time. Now Your words: “How can I help You?” just help me against totalitarian destruction of all human feelings and relations. Tack! Jag har dig att tacka för dina vänliga ord!

  9. Ven says:

    I write here about my surviving’s experience for the first time. I think now how many volumes are necessary for my warning experience, for “min Fred vid deras våld”. But in these my comments, there are not attempts to make from myself a centre of these comments. It only authentic experience of only one human being is a centre here. The inner experience authenticity against the falsifications. The authentic experience like my protest against those totalitarian “documentary’s factories”, against my fear that the social psychology of Europeans could be infected with totalitarian virus, against sinister analogy between totalitarian terror’s tools and the best intentions of an European institute. If it’s only a competition of ideas for every individual the responsibility must be individual. But this European measuring of the individual strengthes and chances of surviving of separate human being under that totalitarian violence must be individual too. In that totalitarian past no one European if even man would, no one could help to any surviving and surviver neither morally nor physically in those terror’s factories. And if we judge today without a concrete help to a concrete individual in the past we dissolve the notion of individual rights and produce a ground to judge our actual activity in the future. I think that for make the Europeans free from totalitarian fears that act INTUITIVELY or MECHANICALLY, we must filtrate the activity of European institutions from all suggestive analogies with those totalitarian terror factories of “documents” and abstract human rights.

  10. Ven says:

    The fears of those necrophiles… zone of totalitarian reality…
    There were fears of women between cruel women, of men between cruel men, of women between cruel men and of men between cruel women. Cruel women and men which were avid of total power for their own privileges.
    I remember the fear when I heard all thir statistics of the killed during WWII. 10, 20, maybe 30 million… Their statistics produced cruel psychologic effect: You felt that your life is conventional unity and your great value consists in your duty to die. To the number of the soldiers who were killed directly during the WWII man must add all others which were killed by exterminative social system, by work, by medicine, by unrightness and unlowlessness, by all silent permanent extermination that is integral to every despotism. Even the social defence in totalitarian system was repressively exterminative.
    I have before me at this moment the pension book of my mother. She lived in 1909-1996. All her life she only worked. In 1969 for all her life of hard and hardest work in the inhuman conditions she received a “pension” that was calculated from 3 soviet rubles (something more than 3 dollars). I said to her that it was lie and they did steal her pension. She said only one word: be silent, silent. My grand-father and her father was in Karelia’s labour camp voluntary: the life under the lumpen regim efter 1945 in the Western Byelorussian province was unsupportable. And my mother could be suspected and repressed like the daughter of a farmer, who worked all his life with his family for buy his own soil, like a person who had relatives in the USA, like a person who has relatives-foreigners between Swedes and Germans. After my studies I began to search a truth about my mother’s pension. I thougt that the defense system might return all stealed amount of my mother’s pension. I did know that the true amount of pension was diminished 10 times.
    Her hours of work were stealed for the small nachalniks which were proclamed like working efter pension’s age and their pension was increased on the stealed my mother’s work’s hours account. They manipulated with their “social defense’s calculations” like they wanted. Nothing was returned even the lie and stealing were irrefutables. I began my studies and with misery of my mother I became more depending from their will in our misery. I worked by nights all years of studies. Efter 4 years I was exausted and I might take academic “vacation”. But I was distributed in an secondary school of Siberia like a teacher of French and I had not right for “academic vacation”, -so was conclusion of the woman which was communist secretary at the faculty. They did perfectly know what they did. The only way to receive the academic “vacation” for me was through their “specialized psychologic health center” where their special professionals constatated my exhaustion. I shall never forget that face of their “specialist” which interrogated me. And after studies my mother lived lonely and they might violate all the rights demonstratively: I was only one son who was able to help my mother. Their dream of Siberia for me was ruined. But they constructed exaustive misery around us, and in that their activity they were successful. With high education like me or without the education like my mother we were condemned to the misery. The misery was the most effective totalitarian weapon against all who produced their suspicions. I worked more silently but all my life I worked with European and American literature’s content. And it was against their professional distribution: European and American literature was a privileged prerogative of totalitarian scholars nomenclature’s wives. And I had not signature of their communist secretary on my final graduation’s “documents”, and I was never communist. So I was the last for an entry to work and the first to be expulsed. And they revenged me in 1995 cruelly. Before dying my mother received her pension from Byelorussia where she had her house with the little garden. She received 3 000 000 (three million) of Byelorussian rubles. Shortly, when we converted those millions it was three dollars for month. Now I hear that the Europeans are deeply touched by misery of people in Africa. We, Europeans, are not able to imagine the life with one dollar for a day. I have experience when my mother had I (one) dollar for 10 days. And it was the revenge of the pro-totalitarian cabal for all my life’s work. Their scrupules how it was made are not important here.
    This is the most sobering ressemblence of the totalitarian social defence system and the totalitarian extermination by misery against all leftist illusions of our present days.

  11. Ven says:

    I read “Spionskandal skakar Herta Müller” of Johan Hellekant… It’s about emotions and thoughts of “Atemschaukel”s authoress at the moments when she did know about publication in “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” : “en örfil”, “ilska”, “förfäran”, “chocken” and finally “begrundan”. So was the conduct of the person who has the experience of surviving under totalitarian violence. And I feel how vulnerable is the person in our days’history and culture. A feeling appears like we do not understand or we would not understand something.
    We know and repeate every day the words: terror, violence, repression, goulag, totalitarianism, zone of surviving… But we do not connect all these “notions” with a concrete human beings’surviving and we exploit generalisations more than realize killing concretness of all those notions. And here we become depending from fabricated and falsificated “documents”. But if that violence system has not any moral rights without human rights, why we recognize a moral strength of so called “documents” if all those “documents” are fabricated under that violence. We become like some executors of the true willings of “documents”‘ fabricators. We are again at a serpentine’s way. I think that for to go from this historic and cultural labyrinth out we must recognize that all violence system’s “documents” are violence tools and forfeit all moral significance. Otherwise we will exhaust our mental and emotional potencies and we will continue to do just that which the manipulators would. And we shall redouble the most actual problems of the culture and the history.
    It sounds like a way of relativity of Westernian cultural grounds. But I think nothing about “it seems” and “it sounds”. I think that the Westernian culture of our days is able to find a more secure way of self-protection in the history against the former totalitarian violence’s influences. I am sure it could be the high days for the culture and the history.
    April 23, 2011.

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