“The forward movement of Eastern Europe should be evaluated not only for its ability to modernize political and economical structures, but also for its ability to clarify the recent history of these scarred societies, and to direct them toward the full truth. This is not an easy task, and it is first and foremost the task of intellectuals, not politicians. But our future is premised on the quality, on the probity, of our understanding of the past”

This is the final of an article written by Norman Manea and published in 1998 in the New Republic. I found the article today in a faxed paper from Vladimir Tismaneanu to Andrei Codrescu. The paper was enclosed in a 2003 book from the Codrescu collection that I was cataloging. All three of them were living in US at that time but they were(and are) thinking about the well being of Romania.

In 2000 The Romanian Institute for Recent History was created and its mission resemblance the Manea’s call. Their web page however is not updated and there is not much information online about their recent activities. Nevertheless a different organization, the Institute for Investigation  of Communism Crimes is very active: have different projects and publications. There is a clear sign that things started to move in a good direction. What trace they will leave remains to be seen. I like the fact that they “investigate” and that they accept students as volunteers.

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