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    UNIVERSITATEA “BABEŞ BOLYAI” CLUJ-NAPOCA FACULTATEA DE ISTORIE ŞI FILOSOFIE

    CATEDRA DE ISTORIE MEDIE ŞI ISTORIOGRAFIE INSTITUTUL DE ISTORIE ORALĂ

    A I O

    ANUARUL INSTITUTULUI DE ISTORIE ORALĂ

    I (1998)

    PRESA UNIVERSITARĂ CLUJEANĂ CLUJ NAPOCA

    1999

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    AIO ANUARUL INSTITUTULUI DE ISTORIE ORALĂ

    COLEGIUL DE REDACŢIE

    DORU RADOSAV - coordonator ALMIRA ENUŢĂ

    IULIA POP FLORIN CIOŞAN CORNEL JURJU

    VALENTIN ORGA IONUŢ COSTEA

    Responsabilitatea pentru conţinutul materialelor aparţine autorilor INSTITUTUL DE ISTORIE ORALĂ - CLUJ-NAPOCA Piaţa UNIRII, Nr.11 / tel./fax 0040-64-198391 e-mail: [email protected] COPERTA: arhitect TIBERIU TRENEA ________________________________________________________ © 1999 PRESA UNIVERSITARĂ CLUJEANĂ

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    SUMAR

    Pompiliu TEODOR - Cuvânt înainte / Foreword 7 Doru RADOSAV - Nota redacţiei / Editorial 10 Florin CIOŞAN - Institutul de Istorie Orală din Cluj -Napoca. Actualitate şi perspectivă / Oral History Institute from Cluj Napoca. Present and Future 11 Biografie şi memorie Doru RADOSAV - Biografie şi istorie (sec. XX). Moş Ivănescu din Rusca / Biography and History: Old Man Ivănescu from Rusca 37 Irina NICOLAU, Carmen HULUŢĂ - O arhivă de istorii orale. Addenda la un concurs / An Oral History Archive. Addenda To A Challange 72 Gabriel ANDREESCU - Mărturia unui disident. / The Testimony of A Disident. 84 Viaţă socială - viaţă privată Cornel JURJU - Românii pe frontul de est. Războiul între moarte, viaţă şi captivitate / The Romanians On The Eastern Front. War Between Life,Ddeath and Captivity 95 Valentin ORGA - Sărbătoarea pierdută. Conotaţii ale agresiunii comuniste în satul tradiţional românesc. / A Lost Celebration. Connotations Of The Communist Oppresion Against Traditional Life 118 Remus ANGHEL - Poveste cu ţigani maghiari / Storys About Hungarian Gipsies 135

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    Elena BĂRBULESCU - Femeia şi avortul în perioda 1966-1989 / Women and Abortion During. 1966-1989 177 Constantin BĂRBULESCU - Imaginarul corpului uman. Aspecte metodologice / The Imaginary of The Human body. Methodological aspects 194 Rezistenţa armată anticomunistă Claudiu ŞULAR - Mişcarea de rezistenţă anticomunistă a “grupului Alexandru Podea” din Negrileşti / “Alexandru Podea’s “ A Group of Resistance Against Communism In Negrileşti-Bistriţa 215 Radu HRINIUC - Rezistenţă naţională armată anticomunistă. Profil de partizan – Gheorghe Paşca / Săliştea de Sus – Maramureş The Rezistance Movement Against Communism In Maramureş. The Partizan profile-Gheorghe Paşca 237 Cosmin BUDEANCĂ - O înscenare judiciară regizată de Securitatea hunedoreană. Organizaţia “Garda albă“ / “White Guard” Organization - A Judicial Frame-Up Made by Security in Hunedoara 259 Memorie şi colectivizare

    Ionuţ COSTEA - Procesul colectivizării şi memorie generaţională. Studiu de istorie orală / Collectivization And Generational Memory

    An Oral History Approach 289 Florin CIOŞAN - Colectivizarea agriculturii. Studiu de caz (localităţile Teaca şi Ocniţa, jud. Bistriţa-Năsăud). Cercetare de istorie orală. / The Agriculture Colectivization. A Case Study (Teaca and Ocniţa Vilages, Bistriţa Năsăud District). An Oral History Research 298 Nicolae LUCA - Procesul colectivizării în Şpălnaca între 1949-1962 / The Process Of Collectivization in Şpălnaca (Alba) During 1949-1962 Concerning Oral Resources 337

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    Petre DIN - Colectivizarea la Sânpetru de Câmpie / Collectivization in Sânpetru de Câmpie 353 Represiune şi persecuţie Lucreţia SCURTU - Religie şi prigoană. Măsuri opresive asupra elitei preoţeşti şi a credincioşilor greco-catolici din comuna Feldru (Bistriţa), în timpul persecuţiei comuniste, 1948-1989 / Religion and Persecution. A brief Look On The Hardships The Catholic Preachers and Believers From Feldru (Bistriţa Năsăud) Were Confronted With (1948-1989) 365 Maria AVRAM - Strategii clandestine în practica religioasă greco-catolică din comuna Maieru, judeţul Bistriţa Năsăud, în timpul persecuţiei comuniste (1948-1989) / Secret Strategies for Catholic Religion in Maieru (Bistriţa Năsăud) During The Communist System (1948-1989) 375 Almira ENUŢĂ - Fenomenul Piteşti. Represiune extremă în variantă românească / The Phenomenon of Piteşti. Extreme Oppression from Romanian Point of View 386 Repere metodologice în Istoria Orală Daniel PENNELL - Mission, issues, and approach in oral history. A review essay 431 Ioana BOCA - Arhiva de Istorie Orală a Memorialului Sighet / The Oral History Archive of “Sighet Memorial” 438 Mariana CONOVICI - Consideraţii privind transcrierea, editarea şi indexarea interviurilor / Counsideration About Interviews' Transcript & Editing 445 Recenzii - Note de lectură

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    Die Deportatiion von Siebenbűrger Sachsen in die Sowjetunion: 1945-1949, vol. I-III, Kőln, Weimar, Wien, Bőhlau Verlag, 1995. (R. Ionescu) - 457 Gail Kligman, The Politics of Duplicity. Controlling Reproduction in Ceausescu’s Romania, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, 1998. (E.Bărbulescu) - 459 International Yearbook of Oral History and Life Stories volumul II: Between Generations Family Models, Myths and Memories, Oxford University Press. (C.Jurju) - 460 Doina Magheţi, Spiru Blănaru. Portret din fragmente salvate, Editura Marineasa, Timişoara, 1998. (C.Jurju) - 461 Drumuri în întuneric, Fundaţia Academia Civică, Bucureşti, 1998. (R.Hriniuc) - 463 Amintiri în dialog. Memorii, Matei Călinescu, Ion Vianu; Editura Polirom, Iaşi, 1998, ediţia a II-a (R.Hriniuc) - 464 Smaranda Vultur, Istorie trăită - Istorie povestită. Deportarea în Bărăgan, 1951-1956, Editura Amarcord, Timişoara, 1997, 398 p. (A.Enuţă) - 465 Mihai Rădulescu, Istoria literaturii române de detenţie, vol.II: Mărturisirea colaborării, Editura Ramida, Bucureşti, 1998, 334p. (A.Enuţă) - 467 Ruxandra Cesereanu, Călătorie spre centrul infernului. Gulagul în conştiinţa românească, Editura Fundaţiei Culturale Române, Bucureşti, 1998, 290 p. (A.Enuţă) - 470 E un început în tot sfârşitul..., coordonator Mariana Conovici, Societatea Română de Radiodifuziune, Bucureşti, 1998, 462 p. (I.Costea) - 472 Helmut Berner, Doru Radosav, Und keiner weiss warum. Donbas. Eine deportierte Geschichte, Ravensburg, 1996, 228 p. (I.Costea) - 474 Alessandro Portelli, The Battle of Valle Giulia: Oral History and the Art of Dialogue, The University of Wisconsin Press, 1997, 354 p. (I.Costea) - 476

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    CUVÂNT ÎNAINTE

    Organizarea unui institut de istorie orală la Universitatea Babeş-Bolyai exprimă dinamica unei instituţii care şi-a propus un proces de renovaţie interioară şi de conectare sistematică la cercetarea ştiinţifică actuală. În această ambianţă era firesc ca istoriografia să-şi caute noi căi în cunoaşterea istorică, aflată în proces de regândire a propriilor demersuri. Or, în condiţiile în care ritmul istoric s-a accelerat astfel că astăzi devine mai curând ieri decât altădată, cum remarca Arthur Schlesinger jr., reconstituirea faptelor istorice contemporane sau chiar imediate impun apelul la o diversitate de surse, unele nonclasice sau, pur şi simplu, nonscrise. Mai mult, istoria ultimelor decenii sau a regimurilor totalitare, a celui comunist, solicită, dincolo de orice indoială, adiacent surselor documentare sau narative scrise, apelul la resursele participanţilor care pot aduce informaţii despre o istorie trăita. În acest sens, istoria instaurării regimului comunist, a etapelor parcurse, constituirea noii puteri, colectivizarea, naţionalizarea, deportările, arestările şi închisorile, fenomenul urbanizării, viaţa ecleziastică şi religioasă, problemele de ordin etnic, constituirea burgheziei roşii, a unei noi “elite” reprezintă, alături de probleme de mentalitate, ca frica comunităţilor, subiecte ale investigaţiei

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    istoriei orale. Cu deosebire este importantă rezistenţa multiformă la comunism, determinaţiile ei nu lipsite de complexitate, sunt astăzi teme devenite predilecte în acest tip de cercetare. Ideea unui atare institut în Clujul universitar se datorează profesorului Doru Radosav, de la Catedra de istorie medie şi istoriografie care cu ani în urmă, a iniţiat reconstituirea deportării şvabilor din zona Satu Mare în fosta URSS. Cartea a fost publicata în limba română şi într-o versiune germană, fiind o reconstituire pe temeiul anchetelor orale. Lucrarea s-a învrednicit de aprecieri, deschizând o preocupare ce s-a fixat într-o direcţie de studiu prin cercetarea istoriei orale în învăţământul istoric. Rezultatele iniţierii metodologice, prin cursuri şi seminarii, adiacent anchetelor pe teren au dus la cele dintâi elaborate materializate în lucrări de licenţă şi la constituirea unui nucleu de viitori cercetători. Astăzi Institutul de Istorie Orală, de pe lângă Catedra de istorie medie şi istoriografie reprezintă o realitate prin activitatea pe care o desfăşoară pe teren, prin campanii sistematice organizate potrivit unui plan de cercetare. Institutul este conectat la planul de cercetare al Catedrei, participă la un grant finanţat de Banca Mondiala şi la efectuarea unor cercetări colective şi individuale. Amintim, în această ordine de idei, dotarea institutului cu aparatura necesară, proces în desfăşurare la nivelul resurselor existente. Ideea publicării unui Anuar al Institutului de istorie orală este urmarea firească a muncii desfăşurate până în momentul de faţă, fapt ce atestă primele rezultate ale echipei de cercetători angajaţi sau ale unor persoane care gravitează în jurul instituţiei. Fără să încercăm o prezentare

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    pe autori şi titluri ne mărginim să semnalăm diversitatea tematică, în care problemelor de metodologie specifice istoriei orale i se asociază o serie de contribuţii care acoperă un evantai cuprinzător în care se regăsesc aspecte ale destinului omului pe frontul de Est, ale trăirilor religioase, tema colectivizării, a înscenărilor juridice etc. Ceea ce ni se pare însă important pentru viitor este orientarea spre problemele metodologice, de organizarea cercetării, de definire a domeniului. Or, credem că lecţia lui Henri Berr, potrivit căruia ştiinţa presupune şi organizare, constituie un îndemn pentru o reflexie necesară. Nu am putea să încheiem fără să semnalăm legăturile intelectuale stabilite cu Indiana University, cu profesorii David Ranssel şi Maria Bucur, cu Albert von Goudoever de la Universitatea din Utrecht, cu alte centre de istorie orală din Polonia etc. Aceste relaţii nu fac decât să mărturisească progresul pe care l-a făcut o tânără instituţie de cercetare într-un domeniu încărcat de promisiuni. Anuarul pe care îl prezentăm este o dovadă despre potenţialul existent şi o promisiune a unei viitoare activităţi chemată să valorifice aspecte importante ale istoriei contemporane.

    prof.univ.dr. POMPILIU TEODOR , Membru corespondent al Academiei Române, Şeful Catedrei de Istorie Medie şi Istoriografie

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    NOTA REDACŢIEI Primul număr al Anuarului Institutului de Istorie Orală din cadrul Universităţii “Babeş-Bolyai” din Cluj-Napoca este o tentativă îndrăzneaţă de a valorifica editorial cercetări într-un domeniu nou al discursului istoriografic din România şi anume istoria orală. Sursele orale, ca istorie trăită, pot fi complementare sau alternative la sursele istorice clasice. Studiile publicate în acest anuar sunt rezultatul unor cercetări colective, individuale şi disertaţii de masterat, toate fiind sub semnul începutului de drum, la care s-au adăugat cercetări elaborate de autori consacraţi în acest domeniu. Titlul anuarului, “AIO”, este un acronim, o transcriere convenţională de iniţiale (Anuar de Istorie Orală), iar pe de altă parte el împrumută un verb latin ce semnifică oralitatea: “aio” = a afirma, a spune. În acest anturaj semantic anuarul nu-şi ascunde intenţia şi de a se afirma.

    Prof.univ.dr. DORU RADOSAV, Directorul Institutului de Istorie Orală

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    ORAL HISTORY INSTITUTE FROM CLUJ NAPOCA. PRESENT AND FUTURE

    The concernings for Oral History at Babeş-Bolyai University (at the Faculty of History) began in 1993-1994 academic year when, having the direct support of professor Doru Radosav, Gabriela Otescu prepared her BA thesis, The Movement of Resistance Against Communism in Banat Mountains, using the interview as a research method. The success of this new method of historical research opened new ways to other students for their BA or MA thesis: Crina Bodea, The Attitude and Behaviour of Catholic Priests During the Communisy System ( Concerning Oral research method), (BA 1995); Dorin Dărăban, The Attitude of Deported “Şvabi” From Satu Mare County in the Ex-Soviet Union Camps (from Oral History perspective), (BA 1995); Ottilia Brezovski, The Hungarian Elite in Romania During the Communist Regime (BA 1997); Florin Cioşan, The Collectivization of Agriculture. A Method of Communist Oppression. An Oral History Point of View (MA 1997). According to these preoccupations, in March 1997, took place in Cluj an International Oral History Debate, The Communist Regime in Romania in The Memory of Witnesses, with the participations of professors and students from History Department of Babeş-Bolyai University and professor Albert Goudoower from Utrecht University. This meeting underlined the importance of the correct using of Oral History methodology. In fact, this was the first debate in Oral History in Romania, so in June 1997, having the great support of the Rector, professor Andrei Marga, The Oral History Institute was founded within the History Department of Babeş-Bolyai University. Immediately after this success began a fruitful cooperation to Bloomingthon University (Indiana). On this occassion professors David Runssel, Barbara Truesdell, Maria Bucur şi Timothy Borden came in Romania. At the seminar were also invited professors Marsha Siefert and Alfred Rieber from Central - European University Budapest. All of them lectured on Oral History methodology, disscusing on the method of interview.

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    This seminar was a very precious one because books on Oral History methodology were very few in Cluj. The same year a researching project was financed by National Training Department, which had to be carried on three years. The aims of this project called The Movement of Resistance Against Communism in Romania (1945-1989). As an Oral History Research were to reveal all the sizes of the communist phenomenon: its spread from temporal and spacial point of view, participants, consequences, oppression etc. The researching team of the Oral History Institute is composed of four researchers; there is a tight cooperation between them and historians from archives, museums, libraries and also students and MAs from the Faculty of History. All of them work together to make good interviews, but the archives and data base are completed by the Oral History researchers. The project we talked about is centered upon two directions: 1) - the first and the most important includes the work of interviews; 2) - the second deals with organizing the audio archive and creating the data base containing information about narrator and the theme of each interview; Now about the interviews; it is important to reveal, in few words, the methodology and strategies of research. The goal of the investigator is to identify the activity of a group of people and the geographical coordinates they acted. Even before this, the researchers have to study press articles and archives, that is written sources. After this preliminaries they pass on to identify the living witnesses, especially those who really had participated to the events. Then the questionnaire is prepared; all the researchers have to agree to the questions. This questionnaire is only a guide -but an important one- so it may also contain some other questions according to the very interview; the narrator can also tell some about his/her personal life, his/her activities which are not so related to the subject of the interview. The questionnaire is formed on the following: 1) - Personal data: name, Christian name, address, birth, religion, nationality, training, job, siblings, political activities, political affinity before 1946; 2) - His/her activity in the mountains: - a) the motivation

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    - b) strategies, forms of activity, geographical coordinates, relationships to other group of resistance - c) relationships to authorities (administration etc.) - d) relationships to the villagers: cooperation, betrayal etc. - e) the everyday activities of the group: the fights, the flee, shelter building, routes, nourishment - f) important moments of the group: death, the comings and goings of the members - g) the religious activity - h) the leaders and how they are selected. 3) - The consequences of the resistance upon individuals and his/her relatives: - a) the detention (arrest, trial, prison) - b) the persecutions of the family - c) life after detention: - jobs - how they felt the communist regime - the relationships to communist authorities - relationships with villagers 4) - After 1989: feelings, relationships to the new authorities, political affinity 5) - Conclusions of a lifetime: fatality, voluntarism, living the life. Each record-keeping sheets for every interview is discussed between the members of the research group for it is very important to be well completed. Here is a model for a record-keeping sheet: 1- name, address 2- date of birth 3- nationality 4- religion 5- training 6- job 7- theme/ abstract 8- key words 9- name index 10- date of interview 11- name of interviewer The interviews are carried out by a team or a single researcher. A team (two persons) is necessary when a fellow-worker is

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    at his/her first interview, to initiate himself/herself with the methodology of the interview. At the end of a day every member of the team relate to the others his/her achievements. Our attention is focused on the living witnesses; they are the ones who can give us proper information about the resistance phenomenon, but also valuable aspects of life like: the social life within the group, relationships between the leader and the others religious aspects of the group, betrayals and forms of punishment etc. In the same time, relatives are a very important source of information because they can tell about the attitude of the villager towards those who had left, how they kept in touch, the attitude of the authorities etc. Another category of subjects could be those who were less implicated in the action of resistance; they can give information about how they reacted (if any could do that) against the resistance group. A classification of eye-witnesses can be made according to different criteria: age (we agreed to interview witnesses of two ages to see how they kept in memory the facts), social level and training (according to this virtual difference we can realise if there is any difference in their testimonies reffering to the same fact), religion and nationality (if it is necessary). The second direction of this project deals with organizing audio archive and creating data base. The audio archive consists of recorded cassettes during the research camp; these are classified depending on theme (resistance against communism, collectivization, the Second World War etc.). In the same time the recorded testimonies are transcribed and computerized; we also have in mind to record them on CDs. Creating data base is a very important step because PROCITE allows us to find any data in a very simple way. Actually, data base gives information about all witnesses, according to nationality, religion, training, key-words, theme etc. In the nearest future data base will be connnected to INTERNET system, offering everybody interested the possibility to get all information. Nevertheless, audio archives and data base could be a starting point for interdisciplinary researches involving history, sociology, folklore, anthropology. Coming back to the project of the Oral History Institute, it is important to state that it goes on yearly, each stage being established on time. In 1997 researches were carried on in Rodnei Mountains,

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    where having the great support of the Museum of Bistriţa-Năsăud, the activities of “Garda albă“ and “Şuşman” groups were studied. The same year began the activity of consolidation the archive and data base. In 1998 the researches were carried out in Apuseni Mountains (“Şuşman” group) and carried on for “Capotă-Dejeu” and “Potra-Gheorghiu” groups. The campaigns continued in Banatului Mountains (“Spiru Blănaru” and “Colonel Uţă“ groups) and Zarandului Mountains (“Gligor Cantemir” and “Ion Bogdan” groups).Those two campaigns benefited by the great help of “Banatului Montan” Museum-Reşiţa (for the campaign in Banatului Moutains) and the Museum of Arad (for the campaign in Zarandului Mountains). Researches were also begun in Maramureş (“Paşca” group) and in Făgăraş Mountains (“Ioan Gavrilă Ogoranu” group). In the same time the researchers were working on to complete the oral archive and data base. The year of 1999 began with the publication of the Year Book, the first book published by the Oral History Institute, containing studies of the researchers and fellow-workers. We also take into consideration for this year to publish a monograph about the resistance movement in Apuseni Mountains; for next years we have in mind to publish -once a year- a monograph containing studies about resistance movement in different districts of Romania. This year we shall continue the campaigns to carry out the researches about resistance in Maramureş, Făgăraş Mountains and also Bucovina and Vrancea Mountains. Also oral archive and data base will be completed. As a goal, this project tries to establish the general characteristics of Romanian resistance movement against communism from Oral History point of view, so that this phenomenon to be viewed in its proper dimensions within the history of Romanian communism. Another aim of the researchers is to edit monographs of some districts where the armed resistance was ample. In 2000 a book containing documents revealing the armed resistance against communism in the memory of the eye-witnesses will be edited. This book will contain all the interviews on this theme and a starting point for editing text-books for school and synthesis of Romanian history during the communist system. Beside team researching, members and

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    fellow-workers of the Oral History Institute have their own researches; here are some of them: 1. Zsolt Akosi, The Political Jail In Sighet From Employees And Natives Point Of View (MA project 1999); 2. Maria Avram, The Religious Life In Maieru ( Bistriţa-Năsăud) After 1989 (MA prroject 1999); 3. Elena Bărbulescu,Woman and Abortion During 1966-1989 (MA 1998); 4. Ottilia Brezovski, “The Hungarian Left”In Transilvania. 1944-1989 (MA 1998); 5. Marius Brânduşan, Romanian And Hungarian Cultural Relationships in Satu Mare District After 1989 (MA project 1999); 6. Cosmin Budeancă, A Judicial Frame-Up Directed By Security From Hunedoara - The “White Guard” Organization(MA 1998); 7. Marius Cartiş, The Perception of General Ion Antonescu and The Romanian Legionary Movement (MA project 1999); 8. Veronica Dudnic, The Famine in Basarabia During 1946-1947 (MA project 1999); 9. Almira Enuţă, Piteşti Phenomenon. Extreme Oppression From Romanian Point of View ( MA 1998); 10. Radu Hriniuc, The Armed Resistance Movement Against Communism In Maramureş. The Group From Săliştea de Sus-Dragomireşti (BA 1998); Image of America in Romanian’s Community from USA (MA project 1999); 11. Cornel Jurju, The Romanians On The East Front, 1941-1944 (MA 1998); 12. Zsolt Kapolnasi- The Colectivization In Dăneşti Village (Harghita) (MA project 1999); 13. Nicolae Luca, The Process of Colectivization In Şpălnaca During 1949-1962 (MA 1998); 14. Josef Milotai, Movements Against Communism In Bihor County Under The Impact of Hungarian Revolution From 1956 (MA 1998); 15. Rodel Rujan, Colectivization In Mândruloc And Cicir Villages, Arad District (MA project 1999); 16. Lucreţia Scurtu, The Religious Life In Feldru (Bistriţa-Năsăud) After 1989 (MA project 1999);

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    17. Claudiu Şular, The Resistance Movement Against Communism. Alexandru Podea’s Group From Negrileşti (MA 1998); 18. Levente Szabo, Colectivization In Braşov District ( Racoş, Mateiaş, Dobca Villages) (MA project 1999); 19. Florin Tomoioagă- Prison In The Ex-Soviet Union (MA 1998). The Oral History Institute is connected to the researching project of History Department of “Babeş-Bolyai” University. This project is financed by the “World Bank” and it is entitled: “Majority and Minority in Central and Eastern Europe. Political, Social, Cultural and Spiritual Alteration”. During three years (1998-2000), the project is asking the Oral History Institute at the end and approch concerning the rezistance against communism in Romania, according to the Oral History methodology. The activity of the Oral History Institute has an important contribution to the educational developing of “Babeş-Bolyai” University, for the research team is compozed not only of researchers but also of MAs from the Faculty of History. The research is -in this way- completed by training MAs in the Oral History Department initiated in 1997-1998 academic year. This department is the only one -of this kind- in Romania. The Institute offers to students and MAs the opportunity of practical researches. The initiation of Master in Oral History draws the appearance of new disciplines in the University curriculum and the development of some disciplines proper so far only to sociology or ethnology. The structure of curriculum for Master in Oral History: First semester: 1. Romanian and Universal Contemporary History -course (2h) and seminar (1h); prof.Vasile Vesa 2. Oral History. Concept and Historiography. Methodology -course (2h) and seminar (2h); prof. Doru Radosav 3. Oral Interview. Techniques -course (2h) and seminar (2h); prof. Petru Iluţ 4. The Techniques of Publishing Oral Sources -course (1h) and seminar (1h); prof. Ioan Cuceu -Second semester: 1. Romanian and Universal Contemporary History -course (2h) and seminar (1h); prof. Vasile Vesa

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    2. Oral History. Concept and Historiography. Methodology -course (2h) and seminar (2h); prof. Doru Radosav 3. Oral Archive. Techniques of Organization and Index -course (2h) and seminar (4h); prof. Doru Radosav A great achievement of the Oral History Institute is represented by researchers’ participation on scientific sessions and seminars in order to promote this kind of historical research. In 1997 beside the session that took place in March in Cluj, the researchers and fellow-workers participated on a” (July 14, seminar organized by the Museum of Bistriţa-Năsăud, entitled The Resistance Against Communism In Romania 1997); here are some of the papers presented at the seminar: History and Memory (Prof. Doru Radosav), The Resistance Against Colectivization In Bistriţa-Năsăud District (Florin Cioşan), The Armed Rezistance Against Communism In Maramureş (Radu Hriniuc), The Rezistance Against Communism In Satu-Mare District (Claudiu Porumbăceanu), The Election of 1946 In Bistriţa-Năsăud District (Dorel Vidican), The Hungarian Nobility Elite From Romania During The Communist Regime (Ottilia Brezovski), A Lost Celebration. Connotations Of The Communist Oppresure Against Traditional Life (Valentin Orga). In July 1998, when the research campaign in Banatului Mountains was finished the team participated at a round-table entitled Oral History-A Method For Reconstitution The Resistance Against Communism In Reşiţa (Teregova, Caraş-Severin district, July 12, 1998). This event was organized by the Museum of Reşiţa. We were invited at a round-table to debate this new research method for the study of recent history and also to talk about the results of the campaign researches. The same month, at the end of the campaign research in Zarandului Mountains, researchers from Oral History Institute Cluj, the Transilvanian Museum Of Ethnography, from the Folklore Institute and from the Museum of Arad participated at the symposium Interdisciplinarity In Contemporary Research (Gurahonţ, Arad district, July 22, 1998) under the auspicies of the Museum of Arad. Here are some of the papers presented on this occasion: Oral History In Cluj-Present Researches and Projects (Florin Cioşan), Oral History and Interdisciplinarity (Ionuţ Costea), A Few Words About Oral Research Methods Concerning the Resistance Against Communism In Zarandului Mountains (Cornel Jurju).

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    In October 1998 a researching team of Oral History Institute Cluj participated at the International Symposium Memory. Communication. Identity (Timişoara, October 8-11, 1998), under the care of the Foudation For An Open Society-Timişoara and Oral History and Cultural Anthropology Group “The Third Europe”-Timişoara. Professor Doru Radosav (Oral History-A New View on The Past), Florin Cioşan (The Armed Resistance Against Communism In Romania. A Researching Project Of Oral History Institute Cluj), Almira Enuţă (A Romanian View On Repression. Piteşti Phenomenon. An Oral History Approach), Ionuţ Costea (Colectivization And Generational Memory. Preliminaries to Oral History Researches) lectured on this occasion. Zalău was the town that housed the symposium Family And Society (November 20-21, 1998), under the auspicies of the Culture Department Sălaj and Historians Association From Transilvania And Banat. Cornel Jurju (Family And The Resistance Against Communism) and Almira Enuţă (Subjectivity, Oracy, Genuineness In Oral History. A Witness:Ileana Lazea From Hodiş) lectured on this occasion. Another important aim of the Oral History Institute’s activity is to get in touch with different institutions interested in Oral History. Although the Institute has a relative short activity, as the Institute was found in 1997, we have relationships with Museums of Arad, Bistriţa-Năsăud, Reşiţa. We offered them copies of different interviews realized in researching campaigns, studies and articles on Oral History to publish them in magazines; we also hope to keep on communicating. As for foreign relationships the connection to Bloomington University Indiana initiated in 1997 is still going on. According to this agreement, University of Bloomington sent us handbooks for Oral History methodology and a lot of other books. Also, Elena Bărbulescu (March 1998), Radu Hriniuc (October-December 1998) and Daniell Panell got scholarships. In the summer of 1998 we initiated a relationship to Karta Institute from Poland, so Oral History Institute Cluj contributed to The Dictionary Of Disidence In Central And Eastern Europe with the chapter about Romania. This dictionary will be published this year. This is the actual stage of researching achievements and projects of Oral History Institute Cluj. The perspectives are but

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    encouraging according to achievements: the quantity and quality of the interviews and, nevertheless, the experience. The topics varies from a totalitarian society to a democratic one, from minority’s part to majority’s attitude; from economic and social structures to political attitude. We are waiting for MAs in Oral History colaboration, to whom we offer a theoretical and practical framework for their training. All of these are nothing but a challenge we accept so the future achievements will certify the usefulness of Oral History in researching present history. Here is the organization of The Oral History Institute Cluj: Headmaster: prof. Doru Radosav Researching-assistants: Florin Cioşan Almira Enuţă Cornel Jurju Valentin Orga Documentarist: Iulia Pop

    FLORIN CIOŞAN

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    BIOGRAFIE

    ŞI

    ISTORIE

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    în faţa “marii treceri” pe care o reclamă la 94 de ani, nu înainte de a-şi fi depus mărturia propriei vieţi.

    DORU RADOSAV

    BIOGRAPHY AND HISTORY: OLD MAN IVĂNESCU FROM RUSCA

    Life story is one of the most usual method in Oral History by which individual destinies are emphasized in the context of macrohistory and also the way he/she perceived the history during the life. Ion Ivănescu, a 94 years old villager from Rusca, Banat (in the South-Western part of Romania) is by far not only a witness but "l'homme memoire". He put down his own memories in the context of community he lived in a diary written during 50 years; then he related his life story, at 94, in a biographical interview. The story of his life related about his own destiny and also his family's and the destiny of the community he lives in, a destiny which is specific to the peasants world in the Romanian society of this century. There are three important moments that influenced his life: the First World War, the Second World War and the drama of the communist system in Romania. The most interesting aspects of Ion Ivănescu's life are related to his opinion about the events he had lived. First of all the author tried to reconstitute the impact of the great historic and political events upon Ion Ivănescu's life, the way he participated to them and the activeness and passiveness concerning these events. The story of his life is received as a aspecific villager mentality, characterized by invariable and slow rhythms but revealing the most important moments in everyone's life: childhood, youth,

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    adultness and old age. His life story can be received as a right measure of how the history was lived by the world of children.

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    pe cămătar. Cu abilitate l-a adus la tribunal, şi ipoteca a fost anulată în anul 1924. Notă (la anexa 1): Dacă parcurgeţi cei doi arbori genealogici, pe lângă nume cunoscute - Tudor Vianu, Ionel Vianu, François Pamfil - întâlneşti o sumedenie de nume tăcute care ascund cine ştie ce “poveste”. De pildă, mătuşa Eliza, fata cea mai mare a lui Nicolae Seceleanu, rămâne văduvă încă de tânără. Părinţii, ca s-o consoleze, o trimit într-un voiaj la Paris. Acolo îl întâlneşte pe Brâncuşi. Îi comandă un monument funerar pentru soţul defunct. Pentru “tante Eliza”, mai bine spus pentru soţul ei plecat prea devreme dintre cei vii, Brâncuşi realizează în 1907 ansamblul funerar compus din statuia “Rugăciune” şi bustul lui Petre Stănescu. Monumentul s-a aflat o vreme în cimitirul din Buzău.

    IRINA NICOLAU CARMEN HULUŢĂ

    AN ORAL HISTORY ARCHIVE. ADDENDA TO A

    CHALLANGE In November 1996, “Furnica” Cultural Group, having the support of “Dilema” magazine, initiated a contest of autobiographies. At this challange participated 16 people between 23 and 98, having different preocupations. It was the starting point to promote method of investigation, not sufficiently known, based on individual memory capable of revealing another version of a fact or event. It is considered that such a method could prevent certain drawbacks in a usual investigation: directed interview, mental effort etc. Beside these, autobiography by mail offers to the subject the freedom of thinking, far from inhibition, the life story is at his/her own choice. The story that had been selected was given by the eldest participant to the contest, a fragment from two manuscripts from 1994

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    and also the transcript of a registered interview given by subject’s daughter in 1996. Nicolae D. Marinescu is 98 years old; he was born on March 31, 1899. His ancestors were shepards and he is the fourth child having 8 brothers and sisters. He became a teacher, than inspector. When the communist regime was set up, he is demoted as a teacher at the outskirts of Buzău. He participated at the first and also the Second World War. Now retired, he remembered his own life, as it is.

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    stînga pe vechiul meu drum. L-am lăsat. (Îi recunoşteam aşa de uşor încît îmi păreau nişte ageamii. I-am descoperit imediat cînd au reînceput să mă urmărească după Revoluţie.) Am luat-o pe cealaltă latură a parcului. Am ajuns la bancă, m-am aşezat punîndu-mi geanta alături. În parc apăruse un obiect nou: nu departe, spre colţul unui mic restaurant se afla o dubă. O ferestruică îngustă, în partea de sus a dubei, era acoperită numai pe jumătate de o perdea neagră. În parc nu se mai vedea nimeni. Pe o margine a lui patrula pentru prima oară un miliţian. Era ora două iar mesagerul meu întîrzia. Nu simţeam nici o grabă. În jur pace, pentru cîteva luni era, poate, ultima întîlnire. Pentru că mă obişnuisem ca lucrurile să curgă fără incidente, sau din alte motive necunoscute nici mie, maşina din faţă, cu destinaţie evidentă, nu îmi inspira nici un fel de nelinişte. Două şi jumătate, când figura cunoscută (diplomatul, îmi cereau să declar la anchetă) a apărut la orizont. Mi-am aplecat încet capul spre stînga, am deschis fermoarul de la geanta în care ţineam plicul, m-am ridicat în picioare şi, făcînd primii paşi, mi-am îndreptat privirea înainte. La 3-4 metri în faţa mea ajunseseră, aproape alergînd, patru bărbaţi. "Ei, dumneata vii cu noi!" strigă cel din centru, uriaş, şi în timp ce altul îmi pescuia din aer geanta, purtătorul de cătuşe îmi prinse mîna la spate. Mi-am aplecat ochii pe pietrişul alb al aleii şi mi-am spus în gînd, tulburat: a început.

    GABRIEL ANDREESCU

    THE TESTIMONY OF A DISIDENT

    The author created with this study a panorama of his own disidence in the second part of the ‘80s.The starting point of this contesting attitude was considered to be the Romanian communist regime; the act of refuzing compromize (having deep roots within the family training), “samiszdat” literature (Orwell, Saharov), appointments with an old friend of his, Teodor Vulcan, having the same preocupations, are just few turning points of his disidence.

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    Gabriel Andreescu’s activity has been severely watched by Security because of his goings abroad, materialized by sending critical texts against Romanian communism; next stage was his arrest and investigations. The remake of his own disidence is only a step of the large Romanian movement of disidence. For instance, the author observed the fragility of Romanian disidence, incapable of coordinating in order to surpass a solitary activity. On his opinion, this lack had consequences especially after 1989: “The absence of the oppozition, having its own mentality and strategies is considered to be the main reason why the first stage of the Revolution of December 1989 failed. The whole evolution could have been different if this kind of a symbol against communism had joined us from the very moment of driving away Ceauşescu”.

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    VIAŢĂ SOCIALĂ

    VIAŢĂ PRIVATĂ

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    9. Aurel Olteanu - Născut în 17 noiembrie 1917; a absolvit Facultatea de Drept din Cluj Napoca; profesia: avocat. A plecat pe front în 1942, luând parte la ofensiva germană de la Stalingrad. La data realizării interviului, în 1997, avea domiciliul stabil în Cluj Napoca. 10. Nicolae Oprea - Născut în 1921; profesia: muncitor. A luat parte la operaţiunile militare din Crimeea şi Caucaz. La data realizării interviului, în 1997, avea domiciliul stabil în oraşul Ocna Mureş, jud. Alba. 11. Ioan Pop - Născut în 17 ianuarie 1912; după război a rămas în armată, devenind ofiţer în urma unei şcoli absolvite la Craiova. A plecat pe front în 1942, participând la operaţiunile din Crimeea şi din Caucaz. După 23 august 1944 a rămas ofiţer activ participând la campania din Vest. La data realizării interviului, în 1997, avea domiciliul stabil în Cluj Napoca. 12. Eugen Ungur - Născut în 10 august 1914; profesia: funcţionar în domeniul finanţelor publice. A plecat pe front în 1943, participând la operaţiunile din Crimeea. A fost luat prizonier, revenind în ţară cu Divizia Tudor Vladimirescu. La data realizării interviului, în 1997, avea domiciliul stabil în Cluj Napoca.

    CORNEL JURJU

    THE ROMANIANS ON THE EASTERN FRONT. WAR

    BETWEEN LIFE, DEATH AND CAPTIVITY By its immensity and amplitude the World War II generated nowadays a special interest for those who read historical literature and also for those who write historical literature. Untill 1989 because of the political pressure, historical books limited the presence of Romania during the war to the period between August 23, 1944 - May 9, 1945 when Romania was in the ally forces. Only after 1945 the

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    researchers realised how important was the Romanian contribution against the ex-Soviet Union Army which, as a matter of fact, was a forbidden subject before 1989. Unfortunately, before 1989 and also after this year, the investigation about the presence of Romania during the war were a little bit stereotype. For instance, some researches were based on some ”classic“ facts as: war tactics, struggles, generals, finnancial aspects, diplomacy and so on. Also, the informational sources used were, most of them, written documents. Beyond all these, war ment a lot also for individuals; it changed destinies, was the starting point for life experiences. This study tries to reveal how war really changed lives, to bring to light some unknown aspects. According to these the author stood out feelings and attitudes of those involved in the war. The fact is that war has a huge impact upon mentalities and social psychology. This approach is based upon physical and mental compulsions suffered by the Romanian soldiers during World War II: fear of death, of being in prison etc. and also the manner in which they endured all these punishments. According to the facts, we tried to prove that life in the war managed to win despite of anything. To reconstruct the reality during the war we appealed to oral sources, which -- unfortunately -- are not wellknown both to historians and common people. Oral interviews is the main source our approach is based on and the intervievees are survivors in the World War II. About 11 veterans from Cluj county ( peasants, workers, intellectuals - from villages and towns accepted to reveal to the reader some of the cruel realities they lived during the war so that all of us could make an immage of what really war means.

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    Din nefericire, aşa cum sublinia M.Niţescu, ruinarea gospodăriei ţărăneşti a însemnat atât desfiinţarea ţărănimii ca o clasă socială, cât şi anularea ei ca tip uman cu identitate morală şi spirituală proprie, transformând-o într-o masă amorfă de lucrători agricoli, cu o fizionomie morală incertă.44

    44 M.Niţescu, Sub zodia proletcultismului. Dialectica puterii, Bucureşti, 1995, p. 370.

    Listă de informatori: Bot Gheorghe, n.1931 în Tihău, învăţător în Tihău, director al şcolii din localitate şi al căminului cultural, instructor cultural, domiciliat în Tihău, pensionar - interviu realizat în februarie 1996; Fonoteca Muzeului de Istorie şi Artă Zalău Burian Vasile, n.1951 în Chendrea, domiciliat în Chechiş, învătător în Gâlgău Almaşului. A fost instructor şi director de Cămin cultural în Gâlgău Almaşului, iar după 1980 a fost director al Căminelor culturale din comuna Bălan Răcăşan Ioan, n.1924, în Chechiş (jud.Sălaj), domiciliat în Chechiş - interviu realizat în ianuarie 1999; Arhiva Institutului de Istorie Orală -UBB Cluj Napoca Surducan Isai, n.1906 în Chechiş, domiciliat în Chechiş - interviu realizat în ianuarie 1999; A.I.I.O - UBB Cluj Napoca Varga Vasile, n.1938, în Chendrea, absolvent al Şcolii Normale din Cluj, în 1957 învăţător în Gâlgău Almaşului, domiciliat în Gâlgău Almaşului - interviu realizat în ianuarie 1999; A.I.I.O. - UBB Cluj Napoca

    VALENTIN ORGA

    A LOST CELEBRATION. CONNOTATIONS OF THE COMMUNIST OPPRESSION

    AGAINST TRADITIONAL LIFE

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    The process of agriculture collectivization ment an attack against the village determing changes in its inner structure and also outside. As a consequence, a lot of customs and beliefs were forbidden, others were almost forgotten for new economic realities gave no more a practical support for those kind of manifestation. This study reveals this kind of fact met in the villages near Bălan, especially in Chechiş and Gâlgăul Almaşului (Sălaj). Here they used to celebrate some customs specific to agriculture: “The King of Sowing” or “King’s Beat”, “The Wreath” and “Claca” or “Haba” (a mutual help between villagers to finish whatever they have to work). When the process of collectivization began those events were forgotten. After the collectivization was finished, in 1962, those celebration were regarded as useless. As the National Festival “Praising Romania” was initiated, some of the customs were recuperated and turned to good account just for the sake of the show. the most interesting event is “The King of Sowing” which was reminded to the audience by a group from Tihău (Sălaj). Being a specific agricultural custom, it was not specific only to that district, where the most important occupation was pottery. Unfortunately it was regarded as being so. This big mistake was due to the fact that the National Festival “Praising Romania” gave less attention to the cultural treasure of Romania.

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    18.Poutignac P.& Streiff-Fenard J. Theories des Ethnicite, Paris, Presses Universitaire de France, 1995.

    19.”Rromathan, Revista de studii despre rromi”, nr. 1,2, Bucureşti, 1997, coord. Puiu Lăţea, Vasile Ionescu

    20.Verdery,Katherine, The unmaking of an ethnic collectivity: Transylvania’s Germans, American Ethnologist, nr. 1/1985, p. 62-83.

    21.Weber, M. Economie et Societe, Paris, Plon, 1971, p. 416 22.Zamfir, C., Vlăsceanu, L. (coord), Dicţionarul de Sociologie,

    Bucureşti, 1993, ed. Babel, p. 223, 23.Zamfir, C, Zamfir Elena (coord), Ţiganii - între ignorare şi îngrijorare, Bucureşti, Editura Alternative, 1993

    REMUS ANGHEL

    STORY ABOUT HUNGARIAN GIPSIES This paper tries to reveal the evolution of the Gipsy community in one of the multicultural villages of Covasna district, Zăbala. This investigation went through especially on the last eight years, when a lot of changes appeared in this community, from social and economic point of view. The research methods are the same as in sociology and ethnography: social biography, motivated or non motivated interviews. Due to the lack of communication with the Gipsy community the author appeals to interviews realized with Romanians and Hungarians. Beside these sources of information the author appeals also to observers. The aim of this paper-work is social, economic and also anthropological analysis. To prevent the act of demytologizing, the interviews will be always an indisputable argument. Concerning social structure there are some marks that were spoted even before 1989: “the institutions” of “Bulibaşa” (the big chief), “team chief” and of family. Because of the changes after

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    December 1989, the first two will be little by little dispatched, while family is consolidated due to economic reasons. That is why family is considered to be rather an economic entity than a cultural and social one. There is also a sort of “disunion” concerning the Gipsy community: rich Hungarian Gipsies, living down-town and poor Hungarian Gipsies, living on the hills. We have to state that a Hungarian Gipsy must not be confounded with a Gipsy pure and simple, that is having a “Rrom” origin. Hungarian Gipsies will adopt the language, habits, way of living and so on from Hungarians; briefly, “Rrom” and Hungarian Gipsy are two different living persons. The distinct evolution of those distinct groups of Hungarian Gipsies had as a back-ground the existance of two different family structures from demographic point of view: one fighting for surviving, the other fighting for getting rich. As a consequence to different strategies of adapting, the first reaction of exclusion is changing, attitudes and habits vary defending rich Hungarian Gipsies. As a conclusion the appearance of those two Gipsy communities after 1989 was due to economic reasons implying two reasons for living and also the act of living between Romanians and Hungarians.

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    “Erau familii aşa în care soţu’ nu-l interesează, să se simtă el bine, să ştiţi că sunt aşa, deci asta, totul... depinde de caracter.” (V.F.)

    * Multe din aceste femei cred că alte femei au fost lăsate să moară. În răspunsurile lor se menţionează cuvântul avort în legătură cu moarte, precum şi în conjuncţie cu cele de doctor, spital, Miliţie, Procuratură. Spre sfârşitul unuia dintre interviuri, femeia căreia îi luam interviul mi-a spus cu un oftat: “Şi atunci, vedeţi, erau oameni buni şi comunişti, comunişti care nu vedeau altceva.” (E.D.) Repetiţia este pentru această femeie un superlativ. Un superlativ pentru ce a însemnat pentru ea şi nu numai, această perioadă ceauşistă.

    ELENA BĂRBULESCU

    WOMEN AND ABORTION DURING 1966-1989 The author of this paper wants to present some powerful experiences that occurred during Ceauşescu’s era. The paper is based on Oral History interviews, taken by author during the Spring of 1997 in two neighbourhoods from Cluj-Napoca, one of the five big cities of Romania. The interviews were taken from women of the same age, coming from the same walk-of-life, and all were born in rural areas. First, an emphasis is put upon the political climate that led to the Decrees, the way they were sustained by sociologists, doctors, psychologists, even writers, as the general ideas was that a woman without - at least one - a baby is mentally and physically an infirm.

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    Secondly, the author points out the contraceptive methods by dividing them into medical and natural ones, showing at the same time what the informants think about them. Further on, the abortive methods are divided in the same way, and continued by the experiences those women were forced to pass through and the symbols that come out of them. The author analyzes the interviews, the way people talk and the clichees and stereotypes, as also the facts, thoughts and circumstances that led to the bitter conclusion: “And then, you know, there were good people and communists, communists!”.

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    5. Despre ce se spune că miroase ca un vânt? (murăturile stricate) 6. Este considerat ruşinos să tragi vânturi? 7. Se spune că bărbaţii au la fel de des vânturi ca şi femeile? 8. Când mănânci mult, îţi vine din stomac un aer; cum i se zice pe aici acestuia? 9. Ce este râgâitul? 10. Este ruşinos să râgâi?

    CONSTANTIN BĂRBULESCU

    THE IMAGINARY OF THE HUMAN BODY. METHODOLOGICAL ASPECTS

    The author tries to study the anatomical and physiological representations associated to the human body, in the traditional culture but these do not have relevance as compared to the scientific point of view. In achieving this goal, the author uses mainly two types of sources: oral and written. The most important are, of course, - as it is about traditional culture - the oral ones, based on interviews. A third step is to give historical dimension to these representations. Among the written sources the author mentions: the ethnografical ones (the spelling, the legend, the riddles, proverbs and sayings, lyrical poetry); the lingvistic; medical sources. The researches were made in two villages: from Transylvania (Râşca) and respectively, Oltenia (Corlăţel). The author elaborated the questionnaire during the research but having before an ideative plan. It was elaborated on sequences, according to the problematic in question and paying great attention to the terms used by the community that had been interviewed so the interview became a flexible tool in doing fieldresearches.

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    REZITENŢA ARMATĂ

    ANTICOMUNISTĂ

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    - studii: 7 clase - profesia: tinichigiu, agricultor - ocupaţia: pensionar agricultor - domiciliul actual: Ciceu Giurgeşti - data interviului: 28 mai 1998 Dr. Dobre Mircea: - profesia: medic - ocupaţia: pensionar - domiciliul: Cluj-Napoca - data interviului: 29 mai 1998 Borlan Alexandru: - data naşterii: 14 mai 1922 - naţionalitatea: română - religia: ortodoxă - studii: - - ocupaţia: agricultor, pensionar - profesia: agricultor - domiciliul actual: Ciceu-Giurgeşti - data interviului: 28 mai 1998

    CLAUDIU ŞULAR

    “ALEXANDRU PODEA’S “

    A GROUP OF RESISTANCE AGAINST COMMUNISM IN NEGRILEŞTI-BISTRIŢA

    Imposed by the ex-Soviet Union, the Groza government was in minority, against the majority of Romanians who were against Russians and communists. To make up for the lack of support in the country, the new government adopted some laws in order to

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    consolidate its position and also against the opposition. After the election, in November 19, 1946, terror was very organized and ample. They said that thousands of people “disappeared” some in prisons, other in the mountains, where they consolidated groups of resistance against communism. In Negrileşti, a village of interference of Bistriţa-Năsăud, Maramureş and Cluj counties existed - at that time - a movement against communism; one of the most active group in this movement was the so-called “Alexandru Podea” ’s group. Resistance has begun even before the election; the inhabitants of this part of the country were separated in two: some of them were against communism, others agreed to it. The embezzlement of the election in 1946 released the crisis between the two groups. This moment was viewed first as a conflict of interests then a political one. Having the support of Security and Miliţia the communist group seemed to succeed in destroying the other group, especially Alexandru Podea’s family (Ioan Podea, the ex-mayor and his son, Alexandru Podea, born in 1922) by using terror and physical and moral intimidation. A second stage of this movement of resistance began in May, 1949, when Alexandru Podea escaped from Security prison in Dej. At that moment began a movement of resistance against communism; the peopleacting were fugitives having in mind to “drive away the time untill something is changing” (Alexandru Podea). Beside Podea’s group (for instance Drăgşan brothers in Negrileşti), in the forrests of the border of Negrileşti, Spermezeu and Dobric (in Bistriţa-Năsăud county) and also in Dămăcuşeni, Suciu Dumbrăveni, Rohia (Maramureş county) there were other fugitives (about twelve people). Even if they knew each other, unfortunately, the movement was not a unitary one. All of them were against communism and they waited for something to change but avoiding terrorism and aggresion against the civilians and military forces. They tried hard to avoid meeting other people - first of all - in order to be alive, because they were permanently followed. The feature of resistance of this movement was underlined also by the way in which Alexandru Podea’s group was destroyed in

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    October-November 1950, the inquiry they were submitted to and, nevertheless, the prison.

  • 285

    8. Ioan Petica - născut la 27 septembrie 1916, absolvent al Şcolii Medii Tehnice. Este arestat la 24 iunie 1958 şi condamnat la muncă silnică pe viaţă. La 24 iunie 1964 este eliberat de la colonia Luciu-Jarzeni din Delta Dunării. La data interviului (1 februarie 1998) locuia în Orăştie.

    COSMIN BUDEANCĂ

    WHITE GUARD ORGANIZATION-A JUDICIAL FRAME-UP MADE BY SECURITY

    IN HUNEDOARA This approach tries to reveal to the readers a judicial frame-up directed in 1958 by Security in Hunedoara together with communist authorities in order to eliminate any virtual opponent of the regime. The sources author had in mind were-most of them-oral interviews; beside them, archive documents-some of them unique-were also very helpful. In 1958 took place in Deva (Hunedoara) a trial against 73 people accused of armed insurrection. The “hero” of this frame-up was Ioan Nistor, a technician at Iron Works Hunedoara who at the time he was arrested had serious psychic problems, being in hospital several times. Together with him 72 people were arrested; those hardly knew him. Several months Security investigated them and after moral and physical pressures those poor had to admit they were guilty of some unreal blames. The trial took place about three days in Christmas Eve 1958 and all the 73 arrested were separated in three groups. they were condemned to death (some of them), or to prison (five or more years). All the fortune they had gathered in their lives had been confiscated. The study follows the events from the beginning (first people arrested) to the liberation of the survivors, underlining investigations, trials, prison, sufferings (arrested and their families) and the results of the imprisonment.

  • MEMORIE ŞI

    COLECTIVIZARE

  • 297

    Comparând, după aceste sumare remarci, cele două perspective, pe lângă o populare a mărturiilor cu detalii diferite se poate remarca şi o schimbare de accent la nivelul orizontului simbolic. Detaşarea de geografia rurală conduce spre definirea unei noi identităţi chiar dacă încă în rândul primei generaţii urbanizate amprentele citadine se acomodează cu atitudini şi mentalităţi specifice arealului rural.

    IONUŢ COSTEA

    COLLECTIVIZATION AND GENERATIONAL MEMORY AN ORAL HISTORY APPROACH

    The research we are going to carry on is limited to a case study, from geographical point of view it has to be underlined the events during the agricultural collectivization in Şpălnaca (Alba), 1900-1920. From methodologic point of view the interviews were directed to obtain testimonies from two generation of the same family (husband\wife, son\daughter) first generation born between 1900-1920, the second between 1940-1950. Comparing the two perspectives, beside different details of the testimonies one could realize changes at the symbolic level. the separation from rural geography leads to the defining of a new identity although from the very first generation the urban traces are noticed in the attitudes and mentalities of the rural world.

  • 11. Gheorghilaş, Alexandru. Domiciliat în Teaca; născut în anul 1923; naţionalitatea română; religia ortodoxă; studii: 3 clase; muncitor. Data realizării interviului: aprlie 1997. 12. Guther, Alexandru. Domiciliat în Teaca; născut în anul 1913; naţionalitatea maghiară; religia reformată; studii: 7 clase; agricultor. Data interviului: aprilie 1997. 13. Hajdu, Adalbert. Domiciliat în Teaca; născut în anul 1929; naţionalitatea maghiară; religia romano-catolică; studii: 7 clase; morar. Data realizării interviului: februarie 1997. 14. Reu, Maria. Domiciliată în Teaca; născută în anul 1917; naţionalitatea română; religia ortodoxă; studii: 7 clase; telefonistă. Data realizării interviului: februarie 1997. 15. Rusu, Ana. Domiciliată în Teaca; născută în anul 1921; naţionalitatea română; religia ortodoxă; studii: 7 clase; asistentă medicală. Data realizării interviului: februarie 1997. 16. Sava, Ioan. Domiciliat în Ocniţa; născut în anul 1930; naţionalitatea română; religia adventistă; studii: 6 clase; agricultor. Data realizării interviului: mai 1997. 17. Wratsch, Ioan. Domiciliat în Teaca; născut în anul 1942; naţionalitatea germană; religia evanghelică; studii: 7 clase; agricultor. Data realizării interviului: mai 1997.

    FLORIN CIOŞAN

    THE AGRICULTURE COLECTIVIZATION. A CASE STUDY (TEACA AND OCNIŢA VILLAGES, BISTRIŢA

    NĂSĂUD DISTRICT). AN ORAL HISTORY RESEARCH

  • The paper reveals the collectivization in two villages, Teaca and Ocniţa (Bistriţa). Our aim was not necessarily to remake the real process, but to reveal the villagers’ attitude towards the communist regime according to which agriculture had to be “collectivized”; for this reason we used as a reaserching method the interview. We also used traditional sources as press articles, archives, studies. The paper follows the evolution of collectivization in those two villages, taking into account the social and economic realities and also religious and ethnic points of view; it is also important their influence upon the methods used by authorities for the requirement of new structures; we had in mind the consequences upon the villagers. The study covers the years between 1949 and 1962, according a special view on the period between 1957-1962, when the villagers had a rough time. There are also signals for the first years after the Second World War in order to reveal the individual’s or collective attitude towards the communist regime. Our attempt used as a work-instrument the method of individual interview having a certain theme and some questions previously established; other questions are established according to each interview. We appealed to sixteen informers, taking into consideration religion, studies, gender, fortune and so on. After a short introduction regarding the settlement of the communist system in rural world, the study is taking into consideration the problem of collectivization from legislative point of view and also all consequences: shares, taxes, oppressive laws and so on. The paper continues with the stages of collectivization: associations, collective housekeeping etc. exactly how they were remined of by the villagers. According to the leaders’ strategies the methods used for villagers involvement in collectivization had the following steps: explaining, threat and beat or arrest in order to force somebody to join collectivization. Although the methods and strategies were the same in the two villages, the evolution of the colectivization was absolutely different. So, the signs of collectivization appeared first in Ocniţa then in Teaca due to ethnical, religious, social and economic points of view. Unlike Teaca, Ocniţa is a homogeneous village from the points of view mentioned formerly. That is why the villagers from Teaca are more vulnerable to collectivization that managed to convince some of

  • the families from Teaca of its “utility”. Those from Ocniţa resisted to threat because of their solidarity; unfortunately they were forced by Miliţia and Security. The study comes to an end with a short analysis of the Oral sources used, taking into consideration the witnesses attitude toward the techniques (the interview), the quality of the memories according to studies, job, function in administrative structure and so on.

  • 352

    THE PROCESS OF COLLECTIVIZATION IN ŞPĂLNACA (ALBA) DURING 1949-1962 CONCERNING

    ORAL RESOURCES

    The paper was carried out in 1997, as an individual study. This subject (collectivization and its preliminaries in this Transylvanian village) was based on personal and scientific reasons. This attempt to reconstitute the development of this process took also care of the local traditions. We tried to give an objective view upon any changes in peasants’ mentality, their remembrances and feelings, as a result of tradition’ s impact upon cruel realities suggested by the communist system. By using oral sources we tried to protect them also; collectivization in Şpălnaca is presented “step-by-step“ in order to bring to light its consequences upon witnesses, how they felt this process. Nevertheless, a comparative view between oral sources and traditional ones (archives, old newspapers etc.) is absolutely necessary to have in mind. The paper took into account the influences of this process upon local authorities (Church, Townhall, school) and of course, how the inhabitants felt those influences. The interview as an oral method is based on eight witnesses, having different occupations (farmers, workers, teachers etc.). Because this paper was carried out not only to show the historical movements between 1949-1962, but to emphasize their impact upon mankind. That is why we appeal most to survivors as the most suitable judges of the history of that time. To come to an end, this approach (collectivization in small villages, which were, as a matter of fact, ruined and almost vanished) is not only a common historical one, but also fascinating, according to

  • 353

    consequences. Narrators said the next generations has the honour and duty to develop comparative studies in order to give an accurate point of view, concerning connections between oral and traditional sources, so that the truth should be revealed.

  • zonă. Frontiera dintre ceea ce sunt ei şi imaginea lor la “ceilalţi” este fluctuantă, nu poate fi trasată cu precizie, putând fi oricând consideraţi fie purtători ai binelui fie ai răului. Apelul la întrebarea justificativă, cine am fost noi, nu cumva am fost instrumentele “răului”, cel puţin nu a reieşit din discuţie. Sunt nişte oameni cu conştiinţa împăcată. Există la fiecare om un spaţiu sacru inseparabil de suflet, inexprimabil şi inviolabil. Se pare că ne-am izbit de el, fără a încerca să-l răscolim, să-l lămurim. Un lucru e sigur. Ţara nu mai are ţărani, la rândul lor nici ţăranii nu mai au ţară, ci doar un domiciliu în mediul rural.15

    The second part of it deals with the very process of collectivization in the village of SânPetru de Câmpie. For a better image of this phenomenon, which is a part of an immediate history and a local one, we took into consideration two interviews, inserted in this study; the interviewees are Ioan Banu, born in 1927, a party secretary in the village during the collectivization and his wife, Mărioara Banu, born in 1930, a teacher. Although our interviewees were implicated in a communist administration and educational system they tried to “purify” collectivization and relate about a history they survived; on the one hand they tried to rebuild the image of a bearable collectivization, on the other they noted the existance of some abuses. They related about them in a very abstract terms: “Collectivization involved a lot of things, it was like a swan song for

    PETRE DIN

    COLLECTIVIZATION IN SÂNPETRU DE CÂMPIE

    The introduction of this study deals with a general framework of collectivization in Romania, containing a chronology, methods and strategies used by the communists for the abolishment of the private properties in the country.

    15 Victor Frunză, op. cit., p. 419.

  • more of us. Nobody did want to join it but the poor, to whom they gave a lot from the land confiscated from landlords.” The study also mentions some of the most interesting methods and strategies the Party militants used for the “future success” of collectivization. This interviews came to reveal some cliches of oficial historiography. The handbook for twelfth form, edited in 1994, related about collectivization in these terms: ”The zeal of the forces led to a compelled movement of the villages from Banat to Bărăgan in 1948 and also to trials for 80 000 villagers, (according to Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej)”. This is about a biassed look on the process of collectivization because those villages were not moved just like that, but in the name of “the communist fight” and having a perfect plan to destroy all the opponents.

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    REPRESIUNE ŞI

    PERSECUŢIE

  • 373

    LUCREŢIA SCURTU

    RELIGION AND PERSECUTION. A BRIEF LOOK ON THE HARDSHIPS

    THE CATHOLIC PREACHERS AND BELIEVERS FROM FELDRU ( BN ) WERE CONFRONTED

    WITH ( 1948-1989 ) Before 1948 the Catholic community from Feldru ( BN ) was very appreciated. Since then a lot of changes came so that this Catholic parish had to be abolished by all means. Using all the strategies, the priest had to be transfered to Orthodoxism, not only theoretically (the fact was a “piece-of-cake” for communist authorities) but also practical (which was not very easy). The priest and believers tried hard to maintain their confession. But the problem was how? The first risk - and a permanent one - was that you could have been arrested every moment. Father Traian Buzilă refuzed to transfere to Orthodoxism and he was arrested. The State Security destroyed a lot of religious objects and confiscated also lots of religious books. They tried to intimidate Father’s family; his wife, after a lot of threats, was dismissed from school where she was teaching. They were afraid the children could be trained in Catholic tradition. The priest’s children became a real danger because, they said, they could continue to spread the Catholic religion. So, they were forced to leave school and continue their training elsewhere. From time to time, family members were called to Security to be verified. Home searches did not cease; they tried to find out if books and cult objects for Catholic religion still existed. Step by step

  • 374

    icons and cult objects for Catholic religion were replaced and the walls were painted in Orthodox style. Unfortunately, the Catholic religion lost its proper characteristics. Some of the books and objects were rescued by the Catholic believers. Now these can be admired in the new Catholic Church from Feldru. The Catholic priests continued to celebrate Holy Liturgies, but secretely. Father Eugen Sârbu is cought by “Miliţia” during the religious service because he was told on. Unfortunately, some people really gave infomation about Catholic Liturgy. Though, the Catholic priest and believers did not give up; those who transferred to Orthodoxism were members of the Communist Party or civil servants. The conclusion of our paper is that three major factors contributed to the demolishment of the Catholic Church: the Communist Party, Security system and Romanian Orthodox Church. After 1989 the Communist Party and Security were removed; the third factor, Romanian Orthodox Church has to repair the great mistake, now or in the near future.

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    greco-catolci, pe care i-a iubit atât de mult”; iar soţia sa afirmă că: “Decedatul meu soţ a murit în anul 1981 ca un adevărat creştin catolic ce-a suferit multe persecuţii din partea regimului comunist, putând cu greu a ocupa un loc de muncă“.44

    44 Declaraţiile Lucreţiei Borş şi a Aristinei Bazga, domiciliul în com. Maieru.

    Studiul de faţă prin datele culese şi prezentate în paginile sale, vine să arate o dată în plus faptul că activitatea B.R.U. nu s-a întrerupt, chiar dacă biserica oficial a fost desfiinţată, ea a continuat să activeze în clandestinitate. Este evident faptul că în perioada 1948-1989 în com. Maieru a existat o comunitate greco-catolică care a desfăşurat o bogată activitate religioasă şi a refuzat încadrarea în Biserica Ortodoxă, participând la Sf.Liturghie în Biserica Romano-Catolică din Rodna şi Năsăud, unde au primit Sacramentul Pocăinţei şi al Sf. Euharistii. Aceste persoane erau acuzate că “sunt unguri şi că vând ţara la unguri, iar aceasta din cauză că mergeau şi se rugau în Biserica Romano-Catolică. Această comunitate a existat şi s-a dezvoltat mulţumită activităţii celor doi preoţi Sabin D., Iustin I. (călugăr O.S.B.M.) şi a celor trei intelectuali din com. Maieru care au îmbrăţişat preoţia în perioada de persecuţie a B.R.U. Aceşti preoţi au riscat şi au muncit mult pentru credincioşii greco-catolici din com. Maieru iar rezultatele au fost evidente în anul 1989, când se aflau peste 10 surori baziliene şi zeci de credincioşi care au rămas fideli religiei greco-catolice. Biserica Greco-Catolică din com. Maieru, asemeni B.R.U. din întreaga ţară a reuşit să supravieţuiască regimului comunist, fiind o fortăreaţă greco-catolică importantă în Dieceza de Cluj-Gherla.

    MARIA AVRAM

    SECRET STRATEGIES FOR CATHOLIC RELIGION IN MAIERU (BISTRIŢA NĂSĂUD) DURING THE COMMUNIST

    SYSTEM (1948-1989)

  • 385

    This paper tries to reconstitute the secret strategies for Catholic religion in Maieru (BN) during the communist regime. According to the declaration of the living witnesses, one can draw the conclusion that the Catholic Church still functioned, even illegally. Oficially this institution was abolished by the 358/1948 Decree. Fortunately the Catholic priest Iuliu Pop was set free from prison, but only after his brother signed a paper by which he was transfered to Orthodoxism. Devoted to Catholic cult, Iuliu Pop continued to celebrate the Holy Liturgy. The news is spread quickly and the priest had been observed by authorities. He never gave up and when there were strangers in the church, the specific Catholic parts of the Holy Liturgy were only thought of, not pronounced. After a period of time when his activity was watched, in 1960 due to the fact that Iuliu Pop did not gave up Catholicism, he was dismissed and forced to leave Maieru. After 1960 the Catholic Liturgy continued to be celebrated not inside the church but in villagers houses, who had risked, in fact, everything for the priest, catholic monks and believers. The house of nun Lucia Coruţiu became in a short time a place for praying; priests and monks came here in secret to preach. However, all of them - priests and believers - risked everything to keep the secret of Catholic Liturgy and the sacred value of Euharistia. From the confessions of Ilişca Adronesi, Father Augustin and others one could realize the way in which Catholic believers had continued their religious life in their own way, outside the Holy Church: “when we gathered to pray we covered the windows with a lot of blankets, so none could see any light, we locked up the doors and the gate and the Liturgy took place with a very slow voice. The believers came one by one, dressed as if they went to work, so nobody could suspect anything.” By all risks, the missionary monks Iustin Sabău and Sabin Dâncuş tried to gather a lot of young people to train and pray together. In 1979, at Dej, His Holiness Dragomir of Maramureş set free from prison and in a very secret way ordained Emil Bazga, Augustin Partene, Ioan Vranău; they continued to preach clandestinely in

  • 386

    Maieru and its neighbourhood. During this time, about ten girls joined the Bazilian Order. Despise all hardships, during the communist system, the Catholic church of Maieru managed to survive especially due to the strong belief in God.

  • 426

    Milosz, Czeslaw, La pensée captive, Gallimard, Paris, 1988. Miturile comunismului românesc, sub direcţia lui Lucian Boia,

    Nemira, Bucureşti, 1998. Nyberg, Lars, The enectement effect. Studies of A Memory Phenomenon, University of UMEA, 1993. Ornea, Zigu; Anii treizeci. Extrema dreaptă românească, Editura Fundaţiei Culturale Române, Bucureşti, 1996. Radosav, Doru; Donbas. O istorie deportată, Ravensburg, 1994. Raleigh Yow, Valerie; Recording Oral History. A Practical Guide for Social Scientist, Sage Publications, 1994. Revel, J-F; Revirimentul democraþiei, Bucureşti, Humanitas, 1995. Rousset, David; L'Univers concentrationnaire, Edition du Pavois,

    1946. Seldon, Anthony & Pappworth, Joanna; By Word of Mouth.Elite Oral History, Press Cambridge, 1993. Thompson, Paul; The Voice of the Past. Oral History, Oxford

    University Press, 1988. Todorov, Tzvetan; Confruntarea cu extrema. Victime şi torţionari în

    sec. XX, Humanitas, 1996. Vega, Francisco; Istoria Gărzii de Fier,1919-1941. Mistica ultranaţionalismului, Humanitas, Bucureşti, 1995. Volovici, Leon; Ideologia naţionalistă şi problema legionară în România anilor '30, Humanitas, Bucureşti, 1995. Vultur, Smaranda; Istorie trăită-istorie povestită. Deportarea în Bărăgan, 1951-1956, Editura Amarcord, Timişoara, 1997.

    ALMIRA ENUŢĂ

    THE PHENOMENON OF PITEŞTI. EXTREME OPPRESSION FROM ROMANIAN POINT OF VIEW

    In a totalitarian state, having an illegal judicial system and also against democracy, the institution of jail received political conotations. The political prisoners will be treated different from other categories of prisoners. They were bad treated to extermination. The study deals with this kind of punishment the communist

  • 427

    system appealed to, by the help of specific Oral History methods. In order to restrict the area we took into account only one prison for the specific methods of extermination. The prison of Piteşti is regarded as a “students jail” since 1948, when the prisoners had been separated according to their training. The students were treated using new methods to defeat their physical and moral resisttance; those methods were extremely harsh and known as the “phenomenon of new training”. These methods will be “exported” to other jails as Gherla, Târgşor, Târgu-Ocna, Canal and so on, where also oher categories of prisoners will “benefit” of them: pupils, workers, intellectuals. To give up details, that is torments and exploiters because there are lots of studies concerning them, we were interested in this phenomenon as a individual memory depicted from a collective one. From methodological point of view we appeal to a half directed questionnaire, offering the possibility to receive ample answer. Due to this kind of interview and according to the relationship interviewer-interviewee, the directed dialogue became a biographical monologue. The existance of some symbolic images or common feelings helped us to structure the information as follows: the temptation to confess, subjective perceptions of an unusual phenomenon, the religious dimension, stages of initiation, individual vs. community, characteristics of memories. In addition to the novelty of documents received, the mechanism of sellection the memories, the interviewee’s subjectivity and the temptation to morality even to mythicism are considered to be more genuine.

  • 437

    REPERE METODOLOGICE

    ÎN ISTORIA ORALĂ

  • 431

    MISSION, ISSUES, AND APPROACH IN ORAL HISTORY A REVIEW ESSAY

    The historiography of the communist period in Eastern Europe is both rich in its consideration and analysis of the power-political dynamics of the epoch and at the same time comparatively shallow in its treatment of the communist experience as lived by the peoples of the region. Part of this paradox is related to the nature of the historical discipline, rooted as it is in the interpretation of documented fact. Another factor concerns the relative absence of a documentary record of personal experience under communism. This lacunae is a function of both the inability and the reluctance to actively record that experience under conditions in which the state defined and monopolized the public discourse. Since 1989, the historiography has profited greatly from the emergence of a post-communist discourse in which the elucidation of the Altagsgeschichte under state socialism has both enriched our understanding of the communist experien and has empowered post-socialist societies to break with their pasts. Oral history is one of the approaches that has enabled historians to consider the heretofore inaccessible histories of the powerless in Eastern Europe. Moreover, oral history provides a means by whicÐch personal experience can be used to help establish the broader historical context of which that experience is a product. This paper considers the what and why of oral history by critically examining three collections of essays in the field: Oral History: An Interdisciplinary Anthology1 by David K. Dunaway and Willa K. Baum, Michael Frisch’s A Shared Authority: Essays on the Craft and Meaning of Oral and Public History2 and Memory and History: Essays on Recalling and Interpreting Experienc3

    1 David K. Dunaway and Willa K. Baum, eds., Oral History: An Interdisciplinary Anthology, London: Alta Mira Press, 1996. 2 Michael Frisch, A Shared Authority: Essays on the Craft and Meaning of Oral and Public History. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1990. 3 Jaclyn Jeffrey and Glenace Edwall, Memory and History: Essays on Recalling and Interpreting Experience. Lanham,Maryland: University Press of America, 1994

    by Jaclyn

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    Jeffrey and Glenace Edwall. More precisely, it seeks to provide a working definition of what constitutes oral history as a source along with its purposes. In addition, it considers the issues of reliability, verifiability and objectivity. Willa K. Baum defines oral history as a tape recorded interview or interviews in question-and-answer format conducted by an interviewer who has some knowledge of the subject to be discussed. The interviewee is knowledgeable, someone who knows that about which he or she speaks from personal participation or observation, although sometimes a second hand account is permissible. The interview concerns a subject or subjects of historical interest. Finally, the interview or interviews are eventually made accessible in tape and/or transcript form to a broad spectrum of researchers.4

    One of the fundamental debates within the oral history field concerns who is best able to render a voice to the voiceless and place that testimony in a broader historical context. This contention revolves around the key difference between an oral historian and a historian who does oral history. Exponents of the former argue, as does Baum, that genuine oral history is conducted by researchers with the intention that their work will be archived and made available for future researchers. While that effort is certainly not without value, Louis

    Baum’s working definition has value as an orienting paradigm for what oral history is. However, this definition is also very problematic. Baum observes that “more is better” regarding the interviewer’s knowledge of the subject being discussed. However, oral history’s validity as a source lies precisely in its ability to shed light on those areas of a historical topic about which other primary and secondary sources are silent. In this sense, an interviewer’s thorough knowledge of at least the secondary sources concerning the topic under consideration is absolutely essential. This familiarity is indispensable if the interviewer is to be able to distinguish between what constitutes genuine personal experience on the one hand, and vicarious knowledge gleaned by the interviewee from his or her own exposure to the secondary, and perhaps primary, sources on the other.

    4Willa K. Baum, The Expanding Role of the Librarian in Oral History, in Dunaway and Baum, p.324.

  • 433

    Starr argues that oral history should not serve as an enterprise unto itself, but rather as one more means of cross reference for the historian. Starr raises a counterclaim to Baum that the only reason for doing oral history interviewing is as part of one’s own research and that the oral historian’s simple quest for information gathering should not be the purpose of an interview. Rather, the interview’s utility lies precisely in the formulation of a highly focused set of questions designed to elicit facts which the historian can use in his or her work,5 facts otherwise inaccessible from other sources. A high degree of familiarity with the subject is an absolute prerequisite for knowing what kinds of questions to ask. Indeed, Friedlander maintains that it is important before the interview to establish a thorough familiarity with the documentary materials relevant to an interviewee’s experience. Moreover, the interviewer must be prepared with several strategies of questioning along with a battery of questions derived from a thorough understanding of the subject.6

    Barbara Tuchman suggests that oral history as “verbal interviews” conducted by her or other historians have constituted some of her best sources. However, she also berates the oral history profession for its lack of selectivity, a situation in which, she contends, a few veins of gold are being preserved alongside a vast mass of trash.

    In this respect, oral history constitutes a final medium of research after a historian’s thorough exposure to the secondary and other primary sources.

    7

    The critical response with which historians often greet oral history is related to the extent to which oral history marks a departure

    Part of this reality may be related to what other observers have suggested is the oral history profession’s tendency to mistake the tape recorder for a vacuum cleaner. Indeed, much of this criticism is based on the assumption that oral history serves an essentially supplementary function, providing historians with an additional source, not available elsewhere in another form, to access in the process of crafting the historical discourse.

    5Louis Starr, Orral History, in Dunaway and Baum, p.73. 6Peter Friedlander, Theory, Method, and Oral History, in Dunaway and Baum, p.158. 7 Barbara Tuchman, Distinguisching the Signifiant from the Insignifiant, in Dunaway and Baum, pp.94-98.

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    from the traditional, document-rooted source base which distinguishes history from other disciplines. Voltaire maintained that all history was at first oral. However, disciplines gradually separated as each chose a particular method as its foundation. For historians, that methodology came to revolve around the document, for sociologists around the interview, for anthropologists around the field journey.8 Louis Starr argues that the difficulty in persuading historians of the validity of oral history as a source lies in the medium’s inherent subjective and partisan qualities,9

    Alessandro Portelli observes that Italian historiography has long been dominated by an assumption that archival, institutional, written sources are endowed with a degree of objectivity which makes them more reliable than oral sources. The latter, it was argued, were subject to the vagaries of memory, subjectivity and assumption and that all precautions had to be taken to innoculate documentary evidence against the subjectivity of oral sources. However, Portelli argues that oral sources reveal not only what happened, but also the history of what the event meant

    removed as it is from the formal documentary record on which the historical discourse is constructed. However, this accusation is not one to which more historiographically traditional documentary sources are necessarily immune. Unlike folklore, which uses field research to reify the character o


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