Oskar Pastior Fortsetzung

Here are this week’s signandsight noticings on the ongoing Oskar Pastior affair:

Oskar Pastior’s Securitate past

After it emerged that the Romanian-German poet Oskar Pastior (more here) had been working for the Romanian Securitate under the name “Informant Stein Otto“, all his friends hoped that these revelations would not be followed by a slew of incriminating evidence regarding his spying activities. A former friend of Pastior’s, the Romanian-German author Dieter Schlesak now buries that hope, in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 16.11.2010, after reading the files himself. Pastior, he discovered, was also spying on him and even denounced him as a follower of decadent Western literature. But, Schlesak claims, it did not end there: In a recent conversation with another author, Hans Bergel, he learned that Pastior was jointly responsible for the suicide of the poet Georg Hoprich in 1969. “‘Stein Otto’ made regular trips to Hermannstadt after Hoprich was released from prison, to meet Hoprich and write reports. He was only one of many agents and officers who were watching Hoprich around the clock. The experience utterly traumatised Hoprich and he was so terrified of being thrown back in prison that, in 1969, he took his own life.”

In the FAZ of 18.11.2010, Banat-Swabian author and vice chairman of the Oskar Pastior Foundation, Ernest Wichner is fiercely critical what he describes as Dieter Schlesak’s unfounded accusations that Pastior was jointly responsible for the suicide of Georg Hoprich: “If this story were true, in other words, if it could be proved in the “Informant Stein Otto” files, then there would be nothing left to say about the case of Oskar Pastior… But if you want to push something like this into realm of the imaginable you must have evidence, not only rumours, which can be tested for its truth content.”

Nobel prize laureate Herta Müller, whose book “Everything I Own I Carry With Me” (excerpt) was based on Oscar Pastior’s experience in a labour camp, was deeply shocked by the news that he had written substantial reports as a Securitate informant. In the FAZ of 19.11.2010, Felicitas von Lovenberg cites her reaction: “There are two Oscar Pastiors. I am only now getting to know the second one. And that makes me bitter.”

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