In memory of Hans Bergl

On February 26, Hans Bergel of Transylvania died at the age of 97, world man An unparalleled figure who has constantly marked, for decades and decades, the cultural and political life of both Romania and Germany, where he emigrated in 1968. I met him later, in Germany, but it was not too late to become my mentor …

A man died unexpectedly, and he is as painful as countless of his friends and sympathizers everywhere. He was still in the fullness of his creativity – on the desk I have his latest volumes of short stories, published in early January and sent by himself.And With an accompanying letter. It may have been among his last written lines… The volume contains writings that have only been partially published and below the address death Stunde der Schlangen, Which would appropriately translate through crawling clock.
Writing was an existential necessity for him: Write The equivalent of to live. For decades, with an iron will, he sat at his desk every day at five in the morning and did not leave it until noon.

For those who love modern and quality literature, of course, his three novels are well known, translated and even republished in the country by notable Germans: dance in chains (Der Tanz in Kittan), an evocation of communist terror in Bucharest in the 1950s, written in the 1970s, and followed at intervals by the longest river novels When the eagles come (Win Da Adler Comin) And Return of the Wolves (Die Wiederkehr der Wölfe). There are frescoes of great epic scope and drama, partly documentary, of society from the first half of the last century in Romania, from the turbulent region of Transylvania, with numerous incursions into Western Europe, especially in Germany, Spain or France. Bergl devoted several volumes of short stories, mostly autobiographical, to the moods and feelings of the second half of the century. His dialogic writings are very expressive and modern, especially the ongoing correspondence with the bilingual poet Manfred Winkler, a Bukovini Jew, who was also his closest friend: We continue our conversation … (Wir setzen das Gespräch Fort …) And Rejection of negativity (Die Verweigerung der Negativität). They were experienced hard and painfully, in various ways, as living beings of the Century of Monsters.

However, Bergil was more than just an epic, lyricist, and essayist on various topics of history and culture, many of them in Transylvania. His works total 50 volumes with several thousand pages. In Germany, he was a very active political journalist until his retirement. He was also a musician and artist just as easily. In his early youth he was a performance athlete, among others on the national skating team. Until his old age, he was a tireless wanderer and explorer on often dangerous paths, in the original Carpathians, then in the Alps, in Canada, in the Namibia desert, in the desert of Israel, etc.

He undoubtedly deserves our respect for his invaluable political commitment, which he exercised with great civic courage, stubbornness and life-threatening. for good reasons. As a teenager, he was expelled from a German high school in Brasov for mocking the chief Nazi propaganda from Reich
To preach among the Saxon youth. Unfortunately for him, but not in his condition. Notabean: At the same age, the “flawless” Gunter Grass voluntarily enlisted in the SS forces so that, much later, the same grass gave him lessons in democracy and political tolerance in Germany. Since the winter of 1944, Bergul joined the armed anti-communist resistance in the Chibin Mountains. In the 1950s, he was twice expelled from the university for his anti-regime stance, imprisoned in 1947, and then again for a brief period in 1954. The trial of several German writers, parallel to the trial of Noika Pilate’s “group”. The main accusation was the interpretation of his historical short story Prince and Bard (Fürst und Lautenspieler) As a major anti-communist writing. Just two years ago, this short story was honored by officials. For five years he survived torture, and then devastating forced labor, among other things, in the lead mines of Baia Spree, in the stone quarries of Dobrogia. Ultimately, he survived the deportations to the Burgan Desert. He managed to emigrate in 1968 to reunite his family, only thanks to high-ranking intervention from Germany. Until 1989, he practiced dangerous journalism there, relentlessly revealing to the public the true face of the Ceausescu dictatorship. In all those years he challenged the consensus, which was sadly dominant in the “politically correct” German press, that downplayed communist totalitarianism. This is better. On December 21, 1989, he left Munich by car and drove non-stop, and managed to live the bloody end-of-year days in Bucharest. All of these sentiments also crystallize in short autobiographical stories
black-headed (Der Schwarz Prinz), “Earth wart” of the Danube
(“Die Erdwarze” in der Donausteppe), mystery encounter (Die Begegnung mit dem Rätselhaften), By car at night (Fahrt durch die Nacht), Return of Odysseus (Die Heimkehr des Odyssus)
and more.

After 1989, he, from the very beginning, with the same tireless enthusiasm, was involved in the democratization process of post-communist Romania, joined the Civic Alliance, often appearing at the Sighet memorial. Until 2020, he gave various conferences and lectures on political and cultural topics in the country, wrote articles, gave interviews and produced documentaries, mainly in Bucharest, Sibiu, Cluj, Iasi, Alba Yulia and even in 2019, in Chernivtsi. The high esteem he held was embodied, among other things, by giving him the nickname honor doctor From the University of Bucharest, where he was banned from studying in the fifties of the last century, and awarded the title of honorary citizen of Brasov, where he was tried and convicted by a military court in 1959. It is also worth noting the many summons and honors he received. Enjoy it in the country, both in the press and in academia, like the last volume in the Gheorghe Muşat format, titled German-Roman Corridor. Author Hans Bergel. Transylvanian articleCluj-Napoca, 2020. Doctoral theses have also been written on his literary creations, such as those of Raluca Radioliscu.

Germany, the country in which he emigrated, remained alien to Hans Bergel. Like many of his countrymen. There, he was the “tramp man” because his homeland remained Romania, where he was born, his language, an ideal bilingual, mastering all branches and in all records, whom he knew, nature, mentality, nature, culture and loved. with all their ethnic diversity, and to be familiar with it from the parental home. He spoke in this regard clearly and frequently.

His disappearance left a huge hole in Roman society and culture.

Alexandru جيجižek He is a classicist, and a physician of medieval Latin philology. Lives in Münster, Germany.

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