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History of Communism in Europe

Volume 2, 2011

Avatars of Intellectuals under Communism

Iulia Vladimirov
Pages 309-321
DOI: 10.7761/HCE.2.309

Monica Lovinescu: The Voice of Unbound Freedom

Starting with 1962, Monica Lovinescu became, for hundreds of thousands of Romanians, the voice of unbound freedom as editor with Radio Free Europe. Her well-known broadcasts, Theses and Antitheses in Paris and The Romanian Cultural Bulletin, revealed the true face of communist Romania while openly discussing the fate of literature, art, music or politics under dictatorship. Monica Lovinescu’s well-grounded opinions and her determination never to compromise made her a living example of moral integrity, which exiled and non-exiled Romanians constantly referred to. The impact of Monica Lovinescu’s live transmissions forced the Romanian Securitate to initiate and develop deftly devised plans to marginalize, belittle or even “neutralise” the rebellious “element”. Lovinescu’s refusal to collaborate with the communist authorities was followed by hostile press campaigns, close surveillance by the Securitate officers and informants and, last but not least, an act of violent physical aggression against her in November 1977. Monica Lovinescu’s opposition to the communist regime continued, irrespective of the Securitate’s opening or closing her file. The Romanian Revolution of 1989 marked the beginning of a new stage in Lovinescu’s career. She spoke as openly about the need for lustration and in favour of democratic values. Her unparalleled contribution to the cause of freedom needs to be properly assessed.