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CURRICULUM VITAE

Victor Alexandru Roncea

Experienţa în presă:

2010 – Prezent ZIARISTIONLINE.RO si RONCEA.RO, Editor; Colaborator: Revista Tribuna, Ziarul Bursa;

2009 – 2010 CURENTUL – Redactor Sef Adjunct / Editorialist

1995 – 2009  ZIUA – Senior Editor / Editorialist / Sef Departament Externe/ Coordonator Suplimente Diplomatice/ Redactor Externe/ Reporter Special

1994-1995 Fotojurnalist/ Corespondent Statele Unite Ziarul ZIUA

1993-1994 „Ultimul Cuvant” – Redactor Externe / Editorialist

1992 – 1993 „Miscarea” – Publicatie a Noii Generatii, membru al Biroului de Presa al Miscarii Pentru Romania

1990-1992 „Romania libera” – Cal mai tanar jurnalist din redactie🙂 Reporter / Fotoreporter/ Corespondent Statele Unite

1990 „Glasul” – Publicatia Ligii Studentilor, Universitatea Bucuresti – Redactor/Fotoreporter

Debut – Ziarul Golanul – Piata Universitatii 1990, Foto – Expres, Expres Magazin

Specializari: Politica interna si internationala, geopolitica si geostrategie, jurnalism civic si investigatii.

Corespondent in zone de conflict, cum ar fi: fosta Iugoslavie/Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Moldova/Transnistria, Coreea, Pakistan/Afganistan, Irak, Iran, Israel/Palestina, Libia, Sudan, Siria, etc

Corespondent ocazional pentru BBC World Service si BBC Scotland

Înainte de 1989:  Arta monumentala: restaurare pictura bisericeasca, mozaic, vitralii

Alte chestii: Functii oferite in administratia de stat si refuzate din dorinta de a ramane jurnalist si om liber, adica muritor de foame (conform exprimarii unui fost demnitar de rang inalt al Romaniei): Sef de Oficiu cu rang de secretar de stat al Oficiului pentru gestionarea relaţiilor cu Republica Moldova din cadrul Guvernului Romaniei aflat in subordinea Primului Ministru si insarcinat si cu presedintia Comitetului Interministerial pentru relaţiile cu Republica Moldova ; sef al Departamentului pentru Relatiile cu Romanii de Pretutindeni din cadrul Ministerului Afacerilor Externe al Romaniei, cu rang de secretar de stat; membru al Consiliul Naţional al Audiovizualului (CNA), cu rang de secretar de stat sau, la alegere, membru al Colegiului CNSAS. De asemenea, consilier/sef de cabinet al unui senator roman si al unui membru al Parlamentului European.

Autor: „Davai Ceas, Davai Traian„, 2007; Editura Tesu; „Romania in noua ordine mondiala”, Editura Ziua, 2004;

Co-autor si coordonator:Dictatura Biometrica„, Editori: Fundatia Petru Voda, Asociatia Civic Media, 2009; „NATO’s Eastern Dimension”, NATO Summit Bucharest (www.nato-romania.ro), 2008;  „Eroi Pentru Romania„, 2007, Doua Volume – „Transnistria si amenintarile Rusiei la Marea Neagra” si „Brasov 1987 – 15 Noiembrie – Marturii, studii, documente”, impreuna cu Florian Palas si Vladimir Bukovski, Editura Semne; „AXA – Noua Romanie la Marea Neagra”, Editura Ziua, 2005;

Co-autor:Ostaticii – Drama jurnalistilor. Eliberarea. Operatiunea”, 2005; „Caderea Bagdadului – Irak: Jurnal de razboi”, „100 de ore plus – Irak: Jurnal de razboi”, 2003 – Editura Ziua;

Editor: „Parintele Justin Marturisitorul de Cristina Nichitus Roncea – Album de fotografii si vorbe de duh, Cuvant Inainte – Aspazia Otel Petrescu, Postfata – Victor Roncea, Editura Mica Valahie, Bucuresti, 2013

ARHIVA NEAGRĂ – Dosarele distrugerii elitei româneşti. Procesul Noica – Pillat, Biblioteca Metropolitana Bucuresti, 2012, impreuna cu profesorul Constantin Barbu si cu sprijinul CNSAS si al Civic Media,

Documente din Arhiva Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, impreuna cu Prof Univ Dr Gheorghe Buzatu si cu sprijinul CNSAS si al Civic Media, Editura TipoMoldova, Iasi, 2012;

Republicarea anastatica a volumului „Omagiu lui Mihai Eminescu” de Corneliu Botez, la 100 de ani de la aparitie, Studiu introductiv – Prof Univ. Dr. Nae Georgescu, Postfata – Victor Roncea, Editura Semne, 2009

Capitolul „Serviciile secrete romanesti dupa 1989 sau Dintr-o reforma in alta” – interviuri realizate cu Gral brig (rez) SRI Aurel I Rogojan, in cartea acestuia, „Fereastra serviciilor secrete. Romania in jocul strategiilor globale”, Editura Compania, 2011

Articol editorial in SIE & SRI – Trecutul nu se prescrie, de Mihai Pelin, 2004

Distinctii: Premiul „Virgil Tatomir” al Uniunii Juristilor din Romania (UJR), pentru „activitatea de presa deosebita pentru Basarabia si Bucovina si in vederea eliberarii detinutilor politic romani din Transnistria”, 2004;

Premiul Special al Presei la Gala Societatii Civile pentru Campania „Solidaritate pentru Delta” – Civic Media, 2004;

Nominalizare „Editorialistul anului 2004” – Clubul Roman de Presa, 2005;

Premiul „Editorialistul anului 2005” al Clubului Roman de Presa (CRP), 2006;

Diploma de onoare si Medalia de merit „pentru promovarea deontologiei profesionale” din partea UJR, 2006;

Premiul „Vocea Basarabiei” conferit de trustul media cu acelasi nume din Republica Moldova, 2006;

Medalia de merit din partea Asociatiei 15 Noiembrie 1987 – Brasov, la comemorarea a 20 de ani de la revolta anticomunista a muncitorilor brasoveni, 2007;

„Ordinul Ziaristilor” Clasa I (aur) din partea Uniunii Ziaristilor Profesionisti din Romania, „pentru valoare si competenta in activitatea jurnalistica”, 2007;

Premiul Uniunii Ziaristilor Profesionisti pentru carte de presa – „Eroi pentru Romania”, 2008;

Diploma de Excelenta din partea Comandamentului National pentru Securitatea Summitului NATO, „pentru contributia exceptionala in sprijinul Summitul-ui NATO desfasurat in Bucuresti, Romania”, conferita de directorul SPP, Gral maior dr Lucian Silvian Pahontu, 2008;

Premiul „Pentru Jurnalism Civic” si „Jurnalistul Anului” din partea Fundatiei Mihai Eminescu, 2008/2009;

Diploma de Onoare din partea Ambasadei Georgiei in Romania si Republica Moldova, „pentru profesionalism, onoare si curaj in sustinerea adevarului, pentru responsabilitate civica si pentru compasiune fata de drama poporului georgian in timpul conflictului Rusia-Georgia din august 2008”, 2009;

Medalia comemorativa „Dimitrie Cantemir” a Fundatiei Culturale Magazin Istoric, „in semn de pretuire pentru activitatea de cercetare si promovare a istoriei si civilizatiei romanilor din jurul Romaniei”, 1 decembrie 2009;

Diploma de Onoare din partea Institutului National pentru Studiul Totalitarismului (INST) al Academiei Romane, „pentru contributia adusa la scoaterea la lumina a secretelor perioadei comuniste din Romania”, 2009;

Diploma Fundatiei Panteonul Romaniei, aflata sub egida Academiei Romane, 2009

Societatea Culturala ART EMIS – Diploma de Excelenta pentru activitatea jurnalistic a anului 2011 ca editor al portalului Ziaristi Online,  Evenimentul „Basarabia 200”, organizat de Societatea Culturala ART EMIS si Arhiepiscopia Ramnicului, 2012

Uniunea Ziariştilor Profesionişti din România – Premiile anului 2012: PRESĂ SCRISĂ ȘI ON LINE. TEMA: Reportajul, ancheta publicistică şi articolul de atitudine în slujba promovării/apărării identităţii culturale a comunităţilor româneşti, din afara fruntariilor României.

Premiul I – Cristina Nichitus Roncea și Victor Roncea, Basarabia-Bucovina.Info, Bucuresti, pentru foto-reportajele

Incursiune in Transnistria. Azi: Tighina vazuta de Basarabia-Bucovina.Info. EXCLUSIV si

Incursiune in Tiraspol, capitala imperiului invizibil. 50 de stop-cadre din Transnistria. Foto-Reportaj Exclusiv Basarabia-Bucovina.Info

Premiul „Eminescu, ziaristul„, conferit in premiera de UZPR, pe 28 iunie 2013, la Muzeul National al Literaturii Romane

Premiul special “De la Nistru pan’ la Tisa“ conferit de Asociaţia Jurnaliştilor şi Scriitorilor de Turism din România pe 15 ianuarie 2014, Ziua lui Eminescu
Diploma „Personalitate a anului 2013” acordata la Chișinău, pe 24 ianuarie 2014, cu ocazia aniversarii Unirii Principatelor Române, de Asociatia „Rasaritul Romanesc” din Basarabia „pentru aportul deosebit, constant și eficient adus cauzei românești prin scris și atitudine publicistică exemplară”.
Diploma de Merit INST – Academia Romana pentru proiectul Basarabia-Bucovina.Info, 2014

Coordonator, membru fondator si membru: Asociatia Civic Media, Organizatia de Media a Sud Estului Europei (South East Europe Media Organization – SEEMO), Conventia Organizatiilor de Media din Romania (COM), Asociatia Jurnalistilor Europeni, Centrul Rezistentei Anticomuniste, Fundatia Pentru Romania, Fundatia Panteonul Romaniei – Academia Romana, Federatia Internationala a Jurnalistilor (FIJ), Federatia Europeana a Jurnalistilor (FEJ), Sindicatul Jurnalistilor Profesionisti, Uniunea Ziaristilor Profesionisti din Romania, Asociaţia Jurnaliştilor şi Scriitorilor de Turism din România, National Geographic Society (1992)

Membru de onoare: Societatea Culturala „Tinutul Herta”, Asociatia „Altermedia”, Asociatia “15 Noiembrie, Brasov – 1987” – Calitate conferita de Vladimir Bukovski cu ocazia Conferintei internationale privind crimele comunismului, Brasov, 2006, In Memoriam Ion Gavrila Ogoranu

Educatie: Scoala Generala Nr 1, Bucuresti, Liceul de Arta Nicolae N. Tonitza (Examen de bacalaureat intrerupt de arestarea si detinerea ilegala de catre organe ale statului si minerii veniti in Capitala in iunie 1990, absolvit ulterior); Scoala Superioara de Jurnalistica (SSJ); Burse si cursuri de jurnalism in: Statele Unite, Marea Britanie, Germania, Austria, Franta, Belgia, Polonia, Ungaria, Slovacia, Serbia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Albania, la Parlamentul European si NATO, s.a.m.d

Fosti duhovnici si indrumatori: Parintele Teoctist, Parintele Sofian Boghiu, Parintele Adrian Fageteanu, Parintele Gheorghe Calciu, Parintele Constantin Voicescu, Parintele Ioanichie Balan, Parintele Justin Parvu

Parintii: Georgeta Agapia si Alexandru Constantin Gheorghe, nascuti in Bucuresti, respectiv Amarasti, Dolj; Bunicii dinspre mama: Victoria din Sinaia, Prahova; Traian din Odobesti, Vrancea; Bunicii dinspre tata: Elena Constantina si Anghel, Amarasti, Dolj; Strabunicii dinspre tata: Tarani; Strabunici dinspre mama: Proprietar de mori, Ploiesti si Bucuresti; Preot, Habud, Prahova, gasit intreg si frumos mirositor la dezgropare;

Politica: Romania

Alte activitati profesionale:

FOTO/FILM: Expozitia de grup itineranta, cu fotografii documentare, intitulata „Romania Inside/Out” – New School for Social Research, New York, NY; The Herbert Hoover Institution on War, Peace and Revolution – Stanford University, California si Chicago Public Library, SUA (1992 – 1993) apoi– Cottbus Film Festival, Germania, 1999;

Expozitia fotografica “Ziua a Treisprezecea” – Galeriile Teatrului National – ArtExpo, vernisata de Parintele Constantin Galeriu, iunie 1997;

Intoarcerea lui Alexandru– Film documentar despre eliberarea lui Alexandru Lesco, fost detinut politic in Transnistria timp de 12 ani, difuzat la TVR, Antena 1 si Prima TV, 2004;

Cinema in Transition – East and Central European Film Festival, New York – Primul Festival de Film Est European din SUA de dupa caderea cortinei de fier – Asistent al coordonatorului, 1993;

Fotografii de coperta: Piata Universitatii 1990 – de Romulus Cristea, Editura FOC – Filocalia, in parteneriat cu Editura romano-engleza Karta-Graphic, 2007; Iranul la rece – de Corneliu Vlad, Editura Top-Form, 2011, Revista Arhivele Totalitarismului, Institutul National pentru Studiul Totalitarismului – Academia Romana, 2013

Fotografii in: Istoria Romanilor – de acad. Ioan-Aurel Pop, Editura Litera, Bucuresti, 2011; Enciclopedia regimului comunist, INST – Academia Romana, 2012 – 2013; Arhiva The Herbert Hoover Institution on War, Peace and Revolution – Stanford University

Activitati Civice/Educative:

Expulzat din Ucraina, declarat persona non-grata cu interdictie de intrare timp de 5 ani cu prelungire inca 5 ani pentru activitate jurnalistica in apararea comunitatilor romanesti din spatiul istoric romanesc (Protestul World Association of Newspapers aici);

Procese intentate pentru editoriale din ZIUA de Gabriel Liiceanu si Mihnea Berindei, castigate de Casa de Avocatura Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii, si un al treilea proces pentru „delict de presa” intentat de Horia Roman Patapievici si castigat in numele meu si al lui „Luca Iliescu” de avocatul George Papu;

Pentru un alt editorial – „Limba lui Ungureanu„, un grup de monolog social (GDS) a cerut eliminarea mea din presa;

Campanii de presa mai importante: Adevarul despre Moartea Patriarhului – vezi si Civic Media; Dosarul Eminescu; Afacerea Gojdu; Afacerea Transchem; Scandalul Firul Rosu”; Santaj la Seful ANI; Raportul Tismaneanu contra Romaniei; Canalul Bistroe; Romania din jurul Romaniei; Geopolitica Marii Negre – Istmul Ponto-Baltic; Ultimii Romani – Romanii din Harghita-Covasna; Operatiunea „Voci Curate”; Deconspiratii; “Esti in carti cu Iliescu-KGB“; Personalitati pentru pastrarea Icoanelor in Scoli; Salvarea Catedralei Sf Iosif; Actiuni Civice

Despre 21 decembrie 1989: Ziaristi la revolutie. Victor Roncea: Batranul si steagul

Despre mineriada din iunie 1990: Infernul se numeste Magurele

Despre relatia cu Securitatea: Despre presa si securitate, dintr-o perspectiva personala. Discursul lui Victor Roncea sustinut la Universitatea din Oradea, Aula “Nicolae Iorga”, la lansarea cartii generalului Aurel I Rogojan, “Fereastra Serviciilor Secrete”

L-am dovedit pe Pacepa „agent al politiei politice comuniste” – DOC CNSAS

Co-organizator al unei serii de conferinte la Facultatea de Sociologie a Universitatii Bucuresti, sub egida Masterului de Studii de Securitate si a Centrului de Geopolitica si Antropologie Vizuala al Universitatii, cu urmatoarele teme, printre altele:

Rolul noii Romanii in noua ordine mondiala – cu participarea ambasadorilor Marii Britanii, Germaniei si Frantei; Transnistria si incalcarile drepturilor omului in Republica Moldova – cu participarea lui Alexandru Lesco; Noile directii ale politicii externe romanesti – cu participarea presedintelui Traian Basescu; Axa – Noua Romanie la Marea Neagra, cu participarea reprezentantilor ambasadelor SUA, Mari Britanii si Germaniei si ai Presedintiei Romaniei; „Ai cui sunt romanii din jurul Romaniei? – Solutii, probleme, provocari” – Raportul societatii civile privind relatia Romaniei cu Romania din afara granitelor, cu participarea, printre altii, a prof dr Gheorghe Zbuchea, Universitatea Bucuresti, pr Radu Ilas, profesor Universitatea din Cernauti, col (r) Cristian Scarlat, Oficiul National pentru Cultul Eroilor, Eugen Tomac, consilier al Presedintelui Romaniei pentru relatiile cu romanii de pretutindeni; Basarabia – 90 de ani de la Unire – cu participarea primarului de la Chisinau Dorin Chirtoaca si a fostului sef al SIE, istoricul Ioan Talpes; Patrimoniul national in pericol – cu participarea primarului general de atunci, Adriean Videanu, a academicianului Dinu C Giurescu si a Reprezentantului Comisiei Europene; Adevarul despre decembrie 1989 – cu participarea lui Alex Mihai Stoenescu; 15 noiembrie – 20 de ani de la revolta anticomunista – cu participarea membrilor Asociatiei 15 noiembrie 1987 – Brasov; Lumea vazuta de la Bucuresti – Kosovo si Romania, cu participarea mai multor corespondenti de razboi; Al cui e Raportul Tismaneanu? cu participarea acad prof dr Dinu C Giurescu si a numeroase cadre academice; Legea lui Eminescu – Aniversarea 120, cu participarea eminescologilor Nae Georgescu, Theodor Codreanu, Constantin Barbu, a studentilor si conducerii Facultatii de Sociologie a Universitatii Bucuresti; Pericolele Televiziunii – cu participarea autorului Virgiliu Gheorghe si a profesorului univ dr Ilie Badescu; Pentru Eminescu, impreuna cu Institutul de Sociologie al Academiei Romane si Fundatia Pentru Romania, 2010, cu participarea eminescologilor si a lui Grigore Lese; Comemorare la mormantul lui Eminescu, 2011; Co-organizator, impreuna cu Civic Media si Institutul de Sociologie al Academiei Romane,  al Conferintei istoricului american prof. dr. Larry Watts, “Misapprehending Romania: The Role of Cognitive Bias, Institutional Pathologies, and Disinformation”, desfasurata pe 10 mai 2012 la Casa Academiei Romane, s.a.m.d.

Solicitant catre Presedintele Romaniei pentru reconsiderarea cazurilor Eroilor USLA din Grupul Trosca, 2011

Infiintarea Premiului In Memoriam Mile CarpenisanPremiulMile Carpenisan” pentru Curaj si Excelenta in Jurnalism, in valoare de 1000 Euro, oferit anual de Asociatia Civic Media de Ziua Libertatii Presei, 2010

Co-fondator al „Coalitiei pentru Respectarea Sentimentului Religios„, prin care Asociatia Pro Vita si Asociatia Civic Media au reusit pastrarea icoanelor in scolile din Romania, ca finalitate a Campaniei Salvati Icoanele Copiilor prin sentinta definitiva la Inalta Curte de Casatie si Justitie, data in 22.05.2009, dupa trei ani de procese cu CNCD – vezi Salvati-Icoanele.Info

Co-organizator „90 de ani de la proclamarea Unirii Basarabiei cu Tara – Bucuresti si Chisinau impreuna in Europa„, Comemorari Manastirea Cernica, Conferinta Arcub, Spectacol Piata Universitatii – manifestari desfasurate sub Inaltul Patronaj al Presedintelui Romaniei, Traian Basescu, 27 martie 2008

Decernare de premii pentru presa si societatea civila romaneasca si organizarea Expozitiei de fotografii “Razboiul din Georgia asa cum a fost” – Muzeul de Istorie si Arta al Municipiului Bucuresti – Palatul Sutu si Targul de carte si presa GAUDEAMUS, Fundatia Pentru Romania in colaborare cu Ambasada Georgiei la Bucuresti, noiembrie 2008

Sustinator al manifestatiei din 19 aprilie 2007, din Piata Universitatii, impotriva suspendarii presedintelui Romaniei, Traian Basescu (teapa mea)

Primirea binecuvantarii Prea Fericitului Parinte Teoctist, Patriarh al Bisericii Ortodoxe Romane, pentru proiectul Miscarea de Reintregire a Romaniei, anuntata public la conferinta “BASARABIA ACUM – situatia relatiilor romano-romane la 89 de ani de la Actul Unirii”, incheiata cu Rezulutia Adunarii de la Universitate, 27 martie 2007;

Initiator al campaniei „Voci Curate”, de deconspirare a agentilor serviciilor secrete ale Pactului de la Varsovia si ai politiei politice din societatea civila si mass-media din Romania, realizata prin intermediul Civic Media si CNSAS, 2007;

Protocol parafat de Asociatia Civic Media cu Ministerul Culturii pentru un Muzeu al Comunismului in Romania si initiator si co-organizator al Expozitiei „Epoca de Aur – Intre Propaganda si Realitate” – Muzeul National de Istorie a Romaniei, ianuarie 2007;

Solicitant al conferirii de catre Presedintele Romaniei, Traian Basescu, a Ordinului National „Steaua Romaniei” pentru fostii detinuti politic de la Tiraspol Alexandru Lesco, Tudor Popa si Andrei Ivantoc si a titlului de Cetatean de Onoare al Orasului Bucuresti de catre Primarul General al Capitalei, Adriean Videanu, 2007;

Initierea si coordonarea campaniilor pentru eliberarea prizonierilor politici de la Tiraspol, ajutorarea copiilor din Transnistria, protejarea Deltei Dunarii de agresiunea Ucrainei asupra mediului prin construirea canalului Bistroe; Campanii Ziua – Civic Media 2004-2005;

Membru al echipei de cercetari a Ligii Studentilor privind crimele, brutalizarile, disparitiile si arestarile ilegale din iunie 1990;

Co-organizator al manifestatiei-maraton cunoscuta sub numele de „Fenomenul Piata Universitatii”, 1990 (Vezi si Eu sunt nebunul care a blocat Piata Universitatii. ZIUA deschiderii balconului: 24 aprilie 1990)

Participant la revolta anticomunista din decembrie 1989, incepand cu 21 decembrie, in Bucuresti (fara a solicita nici un beneficiu ulterior – Vezi Cum mi-am petrecut sfarsitul comunismului cu nebunii lui 21 Decembrie 1989. Foto-document: Ovidiu Paulescu, Harald Alexandrescu, Titi Calistru, Pascal Ilie Virgil, Victor Roncea si alti (cativa) nebuni. Evocare Ernest Maftei: Batranul si Steagul si Cum l-am intalnit pe Mos Craciun la revolutie impreuna cu Cristian Botez)

In continuare, cateva dintre participarile la cursuri si seminarii internationale, in limba engleza:

Human Rights rapportor for Helsinki Watch, Amnesty International and Freedom House, 1991

Speaker at the Amnesty International Berlin’s yearly branch meeting, 1991

National Prayer Breakfast (Washington DC) representant of Romania’s youth civic movement, 1992

OSCE elections observer in Republic of Moldova (Bessarabia), 1998

Speaker at the “Democratic Youth Camp”’ for SEE, organized in Hungary by the Stability Pact, 1999

Election observer at the Presidentials of Russian Federation, 2000

Stability Pact Media Task Force participant for observing the elections in Albania, 2000

Co-Founder of Civic Media Association eu.ro.21 (http://www.civicmedia.ro), 2000

Co-Founder of South East Europe Media Organization (SEEMO),

affiliated to International Press Institute (IPI), founded in New York and based in Vienna, 2000

· Civic Media Association’ observer for elections in: Bosnia-Hertzegovina, Yugoslavia and Moldova, 2000

· “Election UK 2001” – participant in a British Council’ program for shadowing the elections, 2001

· “The role of journalist organizations in SEE” – Seminar jointly organized by the International Institute for Journalism (IIJ) of teh German Foundation for International Development (DS) and the Media Development Center (MDC), Sofia, 2001

· ACM’ Observer for Parliamentary Elections in Kosovo, 2001

· “Regionalisation of Serbia” – Seminar of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities/Council of Europe – Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 2001

· “Danger: Spin Doctors at Work” – courses of  British Association for Central and Eastern Europe (BACEE), London, 2002

· “Together in a Commune Europe” – international seminar organized by Kondrad Adenauer Foundation and Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe (IDEE), Warsaw, Poland, 2002

· “South Eastern Europe – a European Perspective” – international seminar organized by Robert Schuman Foundation, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2002

· “Europe before Unification” – European journalists seminar organized by European Academy Berlin and the Foreign Affaires Ministeries of Germany, France and Slovakia, Bratislava, 2002

· Final Enlargment Debate – European Parliament, Strasbourg, 2002

· “NATO and East-European Opinion Formers”, NATO Press and Information Office, Bruxelles, 2003

· “Black Sea Area and the New NATO”, seminar organized by US Mission to NATO, Bruxelles, 2003

· “Journalists of the New Europe” – seminar organized in Berlin by European Academy Berlin, 2003

· “The World after Iraq” – International Press Institute and SEEMO conference, Austria, 2003

· “Journalists Rights”, speaker at the seminar organized in Bucharest by Romanian Press Club, Council of Europe and Stability Pact for South East Europe, 2003

· Co-founder of Convention of Media Organization from Romania (COM), 2003

· “Journalists Status in Romania”, seminar organized by COM and founded by European Union, 2004

· Coordinator of a National and International campaign for the released of the Romanian political prisoners from Transdnister separatist republic, Moldova – 140 organizations with 4.000.000 members, 2004

· Co-founder of Romanian Civic Initiative, a fora of around 140 NGO and institutions, 2004

· Coordinator of Stop the Distruction of Danube Delta – National and International campaign, 2004

· Co-founder of Coalition for the Danube Delta, 2004

· Black Sea Security Program – The Norvegian Nord-Atlantic Committee and Casa NATO, 2004

· „News to Know: introducing democratic media to schools in Romania” – US Embassy and Romanian Youth League programme under the auspicies of HE Jack Dyer Crouch II, 2004-2005.

· “Romania in the new world order” – University of Bucharest, ZIUA, ACM international conference, 2005

· Media and the Democratization Process in Moldova and Black Sea Area, ACM, Timisoara, 2005

· European Newspaper Congress, Vienna, 2005

· Assigned to register the new Association of European Journalists, Romania, 2005

· „The New Directions of the Romanian Foreign Policy” – Special Speaker: Traian Basescu, President of Romania – University of Bucharest, Center of Geopolitics, ZIUA, ACM conference, 2005

· Enlargement 2007 – Bulgaria and Romania in the EU/Black Sea Area – Academy of the Konrad – Adenauer Stiftung, German-Bulgarian-Romanian expert discussion in cooperation with the Planning Staff of the German Foreign Ministry

· ACM observer of elections in Republica of Moldova, 2009

· Federal Foreign Office Bloggers & Journalists Tour of Germany, 2011

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Orwell’s List

By Timothy Garton Ash

So there it was at last, the copy of George Orwell’s notorious list of „crypto-communists” that went into the files of a semisecret department of the Foreign Office on May 4, 1949. It lay before me in a buff folder on the office table of a senior Foreign Office archivist. Despite all the controversy around it, no unofficial person had been allowed to see the list for more than fifty-four years, since someone typed up this official copy of the original list that Orwell dispatched from his sickbed on May 2, 1949, to a close friend, Celia Kirwan. She had recently begun work in the Foreign Office’s Information Research Department (IRD), which was concerned, among other things, with producing anticommunist propaganda. The list contains thirty-eight names of journalists and writers who, as he had written to Celia on April 6, „in my opinion are crypto-communists, fellow-travellers or inclined that way and should not be trusted as propagandists.”

Orwell’s list, which is divided into three columns headed „Name,” „Job,” and „Remarks,” is eclectic. It includes Charlie Chaplin, J.B. Priestley, and the actor Michael Redgrave, all marked with „?” or „??,” implying doubt whether they really were crypto-communists or fellow travelers. E.H. Carr, the historian of international relations and Soviet Russia, is dismissed as „Appeaser only.” The editor of the New Statesman, Kingsley Martin, an old bête noire of Orwell’s, gets the gloriously back-handed comment „?? Too dishonest to be outright ‘crypto’ or fellow-traveller, but reliably pro-Russian on all major issues.” Beside the New York Times Moscow correspondent Walter Duranty and the former Trotskyist writer Isaac Deutscher („Sympathiser only”), there are many lesser-known writers and journalists, starting with an industrial correspondent of the Manchester Guardian, described as „Probably sympathiser only. Good reporter. Stupid.”

Over the last decade, „Orwell’s List” has been the subject of many articles with lurid headlines such as „Big Brother of the Foreign Office,” „Socialist Icon Who Became an Informer,” and „How Orwell’s Blacklist Aided Secret Service.” All this speculative denunciation of the author of 1984 has been based on three incomplete sources: the publication of many (but not all) entries from the strictly private notebook in which Orwell attempted to identify „cryptos” and „F.T.” (his abbreviation for fellow travelers), his published correspondence with Celia Kirwan, and the partial release seven years ago of the relevant files from the Information Research Department of the Foreign Office. But in file FO 1110/189 a card was inserted, next to a copy of Orwell’s letter to Celia of April 6, 1949, saying a document had been withheld.

There the matter rested, with Her Majesty’s Government solicitously guarding one of Orwell’s last secrets, until shortly after Celia Kirwan’s death last autumn, when her daughter, Ariane Bankes, found a copy of the list among her mother’s papers, and subsequently invited me to write about it. After we published the list in the Guardian, I asked the British foreign secretary, Jack Straw, to release the original.[1] He agreed, „since all the information contained in it is now in the public domain,” and anyone interested can now read it in its proper place, file FO 1110/189 at the British National Archives.
1.
So there is the text. What is the context? In February 1949, George Orwell was lying in a sanatorium in the Cotswolds, very ill with the TB that would kill him within a year. That winter, he had worn himself out in a last effort to retype the whole manuscript of 1984, his bleak warning of what might happen if Britain succumbed to totalitarianism. He was lonely, despairing of his own wasted health, at the age of just forty-five, and deeply pessimistic about the advance of Russian communism, whose cruelty and treacherousness he had personally experienced, nearly at the cost of his own life in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. The communists had just taken over Czechoslovakia, in the Prague coup of February 1948, and they were now blockading West Berlin, trying to strangle the city into submission.

He thought there was a war on, a „cold war,” and he feared that the Western nations were losing it. One reason we were losing, he thought, was that public opinion had been blinded to the true nature of Soviet communism. In part, this blinding was the product of understandable gratitude for the Soviet Union’s immense role in defeating Nazism. However, it was also the work of a poisonous array of naive and sentimental admirers of the Soviet system, declared Communist Party (CP) members, covert („crypto-„) communists, and paid Soviet spies. It was these people, he suspected, who had made it so difficult for him to get his anti-Soviet fable Animal Farm published in the last year of the last war.

However, he also knew this was a time in which genuine, idealistic believers in communism were becoming disgusted by what they saw. Some turned into the most acute critics of The God That Failed, to quote the title of the famous book about communism co-edited by Arthur Koestler and the Labour MP Richard Crossman which appeared in the month of Orwell’s death, January 1950, with an introduction by Crossman and essays by, among others, Koestler, Stephen Spender, and Ignazio Silone. These writers were especially important to anticommunist leftists like Orwell who were convinced, as he himself wrote, „that the destruction of the Soviet myth [is] essential if we want to revive the Socialist movement.” At some point in the mid- to late 1940s he had started keeping a private notebook in which he tried to work out who was what: outright member of the CP, agent, „F.T.,” sentimental sympathizer….

The notebook, which I have been able to consult without restriction at the Orwell Archive at University College, London, shows that he worried away at the list. It contains entries in pen and pencil, with asterisks in red and blue against some names. There are 135 names in all, of which ten have been crossed out, either because the person had died-like Fiorello La Guardia, the former mayor of New York-or because Orwell had decided they were not crypto-communists or fellow travelers. Thus, for example, the name of the historian A.J.P. Taylor is crossed out, with Orwell’s heavily underlined remark „Took anti-CP line at Wroclaw Conference,” as is that of the American novelist Upton Sinclair, on whom, rejecting his own earlier assessment, Orwell comments: „No. Denounced Czech coup & Wroclaw conference.” Stephen Spender („Sentimental sympathiser… Tendency towards homosexuality”) and Richard Crossman („Too dishonest to be outright F.T.”) are not yet crossed out; but this was before the appearance of The God That Failed. The way Orwell agonized over his individual assessments is shown by the entry on J.B. Priestley. This has against it a red asterisk, which is crossed out with black cross-hatching and then encircled in blue with an added question mark.

To this depressed and mortally ill political writer of genius there came, in February 1949, a delightful piece of personal news. Celia Kirwan (née Paget) had returned to London from Paris. Celia was a strikingly beautiful, vivacious, and warmhearted young woman who moved in left-wing literary circles, as did her twin sister Mamaine, then married to Orwell’s friend Arthur Koestler. Orwell had met Celia when they spent Christmas together in Wales with Arthur and Mamaine in 1945. He was lonely and in some emotional turmoil after the death of his first wife earlier that year. Celia and he got on very well, and met again several times in London. One evening just five weeks after their first meeting, he sent her a passionate letter, full of tender feeling and rather clumsily proposing either marriage or an affair. It ended, „good night my dearest love, George.” Celia gently refused him in what she later described as a „rather ambiguous letter,” but they remained close friends. A year later, she went to work for an intellectual review in Paris.

„Dearest Celia,” he now wrote from the Cotswold Sanatorium on February 13, „how delight-ful to get your letter and know that you are in England again.” „I will send you a copy of my new book [i.e., 1984] when it comes out (about June I think), but I don’t think you’ll like it; it’s an awful book really.” Saying he hoped to see her „some time, perhaps in the summer” he signed off „with much love, George.”

Sooner than expected, on March 29, Celia came to visit him in Glouces-tershire; but she also came with a mission. She was working for this new department of the Foreign Office, trying to counter the assault waves of communist propaganda emanating from Stalin’s recently founded Comin- form. Could he help? As she recorded in her official memorandum of their meeting, Orwell „expressed his whole-hearted and enthusiastic approval of our aims.” He couldn’t write anything for IRD himself, he said, because he was too ill and didn’t like to write „on commission,” but he suggested several people who might. On April 6 he followed up with a letter in his neat, rather delicate handwriting, suggesting a few more names and offering his list of those „who should not be trusted as propagandists. But for that I shall have to send for a notebook which I have at home, and if I do give you such a list it is strictly confidential, as I imagine it is libellous to describe somebody as a fellow-traveller.”

Celia circulated the letter to her superior, Adam Watson, who made some comments, then added,
P.S. Mrs. Kirwan should certainly ask Mr. Orwell for the list of crypto-communists. She would „treat it with every confidence” and send it back after a day or two. I hope the list gives reasons in each case.
Mrs. Kirwan did as she was asked, writing from „Foreign Office, 17 Carlton House Terrace” on April 30:
Dear George, Thank you so much for your helpful suggestions. My department were very interested to see them…. They have asked me to say that they would be very grateful if you could let us look at your list of fellow-travelling and crypto journalists: we would treat it with the utmost discretion.
Her letter, at least in the typewritten version contained in file FO 1110/189, has a cooler ending than his: „Yours ever, Celia.”
Meanwhile, Orwell asked his old friend Richard Rees to send him the notebook from the remote house on the Scottish island of Jura where he had written 1984. Thanking him for it on April 17, he writes:
Cole [i.e., the historian G.D.H. Cole] I think should probably not be on the list but I would be less certain of him than of Laski in case of a war…. The whole business is very tricky, and one can never do more than use one’s judgement and treat each case individually.

So we must imagine Orwell lying in his sanatorium bed, gaunt and wretched, going through the notebook, perhaps adding a blue question mark to the red asterisk and black cross-hatching on Priestley, wondering how Cole or Laski, Crossman or Spender would behave in the event of a real, shooting war with the Soviet Union-and which of the 135 names to pass on to Celia.
On receiving her note, he wrote back at once, enclosing his list of thirty-eight: „It isn’t very sensational and I don’t suppose it will tell your friends anything they don’t know.” (Note the reference to „your friends”; Orwell had no illusion that this was just going to her.)
At the same time it isn’t a bad idea to have the people who are probably unreliable listed. If it had been done earlier it would have stopped people like Peter Smollett worming their way into important propaganda jobs where they were probably able to do us a lot of harm. Even as it stands I imagine that this list is very libellous, or slanderous, or whatever the term is, so will you please see that it is returned to me without fail.
The letter was signed „with love, George.”

On the same day, he wrote again to Richard Rees:
Suppose for example that Laski had possession of an important military secret. Would he betray it to the Russian military intelligence? I don’t imagine so, because he has not actually made up his mind to be a traitor, & the nature of what he was doing would in that case be quite clear. But a real Communist would, of course, hand the secret over without any sense of guilt, & so would a real crypto, such as Pritt [the MP, D.N. Pritt]. The whole difficulty is to decide where each person stands, & one has to treat each case individually.
2.
At this point, maddeningly, the paper trail goes cold. We know that Celia Kirwan was supposed to come to see Orwell on the next Sunday and that he thanked her on May 13 for sending a bottle of brandy. Did she return the list if she went to visit him again, having had the copy now in file FO 1110/189 typed up in the department? What did they say at that meeting, if it took place? What happened next? Were these names handed on to any other department?
The file itself shows no further action taken with respect to the names listed. In his letter to me, announcing the release of the original, the foreign secretary writes, „A check of our records confirms that the list is the only document about Orwell’s contacts with IRD that has been withheld.” But a good many other IRD files have been withheld, and parts of released documents blanked out, on the grounds that they contain intelligence-related matter and are therefore covered by what Foreign Office archivists call „the blanket.” Anyway, only part of the truth is ever contained in files.
A serious answer to these questions requires a judgment on the nature of this mysterious department, the IRD. I have therefore immersed myself in the published literature about it and read some of the files that have been released to the Public Record Office.[2] I have also talked to several former members of the department at that time. They include Adam Watson, the official who instructed Celia Kirwan to ask Orwell for his list; Robert Conquest, the veteran chronicler of Soviet terror, who subsequently shared an office with Celia Kirwan and himself fell „madly in love” with her; and the aptly named John Cloake.

The picture that emerges is of an ill-defined outfit, with a very diverse group of people fumbling their way from the recently finished war against fascist totalitarianism, in which most of them had fought, into the new „cold” war against the communist totalitarianism of Britain’s recent wartime ally. IRD was a semisecret department. Unlike the secret intelligence service, popularly known as MI6, whose very existence was denied by the government, IRD appeared in the lists of Foreign Office departments, but not all its officers were identified there. Much of its funding came from the „Secret Vote,” a governmental appropriation used to fund the secret services and not subject to the usual forms of parliamentary scrutiny. An internal Foreign Office description from 1951 says flatly, „It should be noted that the name of this department is intended as a disguise for the true nature of its work, which must remain strictly confidential.”[3]
In the beginning, that „true nature” was mainly to collect and summarize reliable information about Soviet and communist misdoings, to disseminate it to friendly journalists, politicians, and trade unionists, and to support, financially and otherwise, anticommunist publications. The department was established by the Labour foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, and it was particularly interested in authors with good credentials on the left. Bertrand Russell, for example, wrote three short books whose publication was subsidized by the IRD: Why Communism Must Fail, What Is Freedom?, and What Is Democracy? According to IRD veterans, some authors, like Russell, knew perfectly well that the publisher (Background Books) who approached them to write a book was backed by this semisecret department of the Foreign Office; others, such as the philosopher Bryan Magee, who contributed The Democratic Revolution, were outraged when they subsequently learned the source of the publisher’s funds. The pattern is familiar from other well-known episodes of the cultural cold war, such as the CIA funding for Encounter.

The better-known of these authors would obviously have been published anyway, but IRD helped to give their work a wider circulation, especially in foreign countries that were already under communism or seen as threatened by it. In Orwell’s case, it supported Burmese, Chinese, and Arabic editions of his Animal Farm, commissioned a rather crude strip-cartoon version of the same book (giving the pig Major a Lenin beard, and the pig Napoleon a Stalin moustache, in case simple-minded readers didn’t get the point), and organized showings in „backward” areas of the British Commonwealth of a CIA-financed-and politically distorted -animated film of Animal Farm.

The department also established a close working relationship with the overseas services of the BBC. In one file that I have read, IRD officials tried to press Sir Ian Jacob, then head of the BBC’s European Service, to adopt its recommendations for the choice of words to describe the Soviet state.[4] (One choice example: „POLICE STATE. Another useful phrase which underlines this sometimes overlooked but essential aspect of the system.”) In this case, the BBC resisted the pressure, and the Foreign Office official overseeing IRD told his subordinates to back off.

However, it seems that some IRD operatives did not stop with these relatively mild means of what Ernest Bevin called „anti-communist publicity.” Using methods they had learned in the previous war, working for the Political Warfare Executive or for MI6, they apparently tried to combat what they saw as communist infiltration of the trade unions, the BBC, or organizations like the National Council for Civil Liberties by identifying members who were or were alleged to be communists, by spreading dark rumors about their activities-and perhaps worse.

So we must imagine Robert Conquest sitting in one room at Carlton House Terrace, scrupulously gathering and sifting information about East European politics. In another office, a former member of the World War II Political Warfare Executive or of MI6 might be preparing some slightly less scrupulous operation. Next door you could meet the charming professional diplomat Guy Burgess, who worked in IRD for three months-and, being a Soviet agent, told his controllers in Moscow all about it. Down the corridor, though only beginning in 1952, sat a young woman called Fay. The novelist Fay Weldon later recalled that when a visitor came from MI6 she and her colleagues would be told „turn your backs!” so this James Bond figure could walk down the corridor unseen. („Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by.”) But they peeked.

As the cold war intensified, the white propaganda of the early years seems to have been increasingly supplemented with gray and black. By the late 1950s, according to someone who worked for British intelligence agencies at that time, IRD had a reputation as „the dirty tricks department” of the Foreign Office, indulging in character assassination, false telegrams, putting itching powder on lavatory seats, and other such cold war pranks…little of which will be found in the files, even if the intelligence-related ones are finally released.

All the survivors insist that it is most unlikely that any names supplied by Orwell in 1949 would have been passed on to anyone else, and especially not to MI5, Britain’s domestic security service, or MI6, in charge of foreign intelligence. „In all honesty,” Adam Watson told me, „I cannot remember any case in which we said [to MI5 or MI6], „Did you realize that X says So-and-so is a crypto-communist?” However, as Mr. Watson himself cautioned me, „old men forget.” Clearly no one can ever know exactly what, say, the head of the department, Ralph Murray, might have muttered to a friend from MI6 over a brandy at the Travellers’ Club, just around the corner from Carlton House Terrace.

Celia Kirwan always strongly defended Orwell’s contribution to the work of IRD. In the 1990s there was fevered speculation about his list. The Marxist historian Christopher Hill said, „I always knew he was two-faced.” The Labour MP Gerald Kaufman wrote in the Evening Standard that „Orwell was a Big Brother too.” Celia Kirwan insisted:
I think George was quite right to do it…. And, of course, everybody thinks that these people were going to be shot at dawn. The only thing that was going to happen to them was that they wouldn’t be asked to write for the Information Research Department.
Some writers today suggest the IRD’s anticommunist activities were Britain’s equivalent of the McCarthyite witch-hunt. If so, then one is struck by how mild it was by comparison with the American McCarthyism which prompted Arthur Miller to write The Crucible and Charlie Chaplin to flee back to Orwell’s Britain.

Consider who some of the people on the list were, and what happened to them. Peter Smollett was singled out by Orwell for special mention in his covering letter to Celia. Under „Remarks” on his list, Orwell noted: „…gives strong impression of being some kind of Russian agent. Very slimy person.” Born in Vienna as Peter Smolka, during World War II Smollett was the head of the Soviet section in the British Ministry of Information-one of Orwell’s inspirations for the Ministry of Truth. We now know two more things about him. First, according to the Mitrokhin Archive of KGB documents, Smollett-Smolka actually was a Soviet agent, recruited by Kim Philby, with the codename „ABO.” Second, he was almost certainly the official on whose advice the publisher Jonathan Cape turned down Animal Farm as an unhealthily anti-Soviet text. How, then, did the British state prosecute or persecute this Soviet agent? By making him an Officer of the British Empire (OBE). Subsequently, he was the London Times correspondent in Central Europe. The worst thing that seems to have happened to him is that some of his short stories about postwar Vienna were heavily drawn upon by Graham Greene for The Third Man. In the film, he makes an insider-joke phantom appearance as what the viewer must assume is the name of a bar or nightclub called „Smolka.”

The Labour MP Tom Driberg- „Usually named as ‘crypto,’ but in my opinion NOT reliably pro-CP”-was, according to the Mitrokhin KGB papers, recruited in 1956 as a doubtless deeply unreliable Soviet agent (codename LEPAGE), after a compromising homosexual encounter with an agent of the KGB’s Second Chief Directorate in a lavatory under the Metropole hotel in Moscow. Nonetheless, he ended his life as a celebrated writer and Lord Bradwell of Bradwell juxta mare. E.H. Carr, Isaac Deutscher, the novelist Naomi Mitchison (a „silly sympathiser”), and J.B. Priestley all pursued very successful careers without, so far as we know, any hindrance from the British government. Michael Redgrave went on, ironically enough, to play a leading role in the 1956 film of Orwell’s 1984.

In other words, nothing bad happened to them even when, as in the case of Smollett, it arguably should have. To be sure, we cannot conclusively say that this was true of all the lesser-known writers and journalists on the list of thirty-eight: that requires further investigation. The only case of anything like a possible „blacklisting” that I have found so far is that of Alaric Jacob, a minor writer who had attended the same private school as Orwell and followed his subsequent progress with resentment. According to one study of British political vetting, Alaric Jacob joined the BBC monitoring service at Caversham in August 1948, but in February 1951 was „suddenly refused establishment rights, which meant he would receive no pension.”[5] He complained to his cousin, the same Sir Ian Jacob who had dealings with IRD and later became director general of the BBC. Alaric Jacob’s establishment and pension rights were restored shortly after his wife-Iris Morley, who also appears on Orwell’s list-died in 1953.

The way in which the BBC collaborated with semisecret departments like the IRD, and with the intelligence services for secret vetting of its employees, is one of the murkier passages of Britain’s cold war. But a two-year loss of BBC „establishment rights” is hardly Darkness at Noon or a session in Room 101. Anyway, there is no evidence that Orwell’s list had anything to do with the temporary blacklisting of Alaric Jacob nearly two years later.
3.
„Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent,” Orwell wrote of Gandhi just a few months before he sent Celia the list. Orwell’s rule must now apply to Orwell himself, the Saint George of English political writing. Yet even when all possible files are released and a scrupulous historian has weighed all the available evidence on IRD, the BBC, and the rest, his „innocence” can never finally be proven. Perhaps Orwell would anyway not want to plead innocent but rather growl „guilty as charged.” It all depends on the charge.

If the charge is that Orwell was a cold warrior, the answer is plainly yes. Orwell was a cold warrior even before the cold war began, warning against the danger of Soviet totalitarianism in Animal Farm when most people were still celebrating our heroic Soviet ally. He appears in the Oxford English Dictionary as the first writer ever to use the term „cold war” in English. He had fought with a gun in his hand against fascism in Spain, and was wounded by a bullet through his throat. He fought communism with his typewriter, and hastened his death by the exertion.

If the charge is that he was a secret police informer, the answer is plainly no. IRD was an odd cold war outfit, but it was nothing like a Thought Police. Unlike that dreadful genius Bertolt Brecht, Orwell never believed that the end justified the means. Again and again, we find him insisting to Richard Rees that you have to treat each case individually. He opposed the banning of the Communist Party in Britain. The Freedom Defence Committee, of which he was vice-chairman, thought political vetting of civil servants a necessary evil, but insisted that the person concerned should be represented by a trade union, that corroborative evidence must be produced, and that the accused should be allowed to cross-examine those giving evidence against him. Hardly the methods of the KGB -or, indeed, of MI5 or the FBI during the cold war. He told Celia that he approved of the aims of IRD; this does not mean that he would have approved of their subsequent methods.

The list invites us to reflect again on the asymmetry of our attitudes toward Nazism and communism. Orwell liked making lists. In a London Letter to Partisan Review in 1942 he wrote, „I think I could make out at least a preliminary list of the people who would go over” to the Nazi side if the Germans occupied England. Suppose he had. Suppose his list of crypto-Nazis had gone to the Political Warfare Executive. Would anyone be objecting?

The long-overdue publication of the IRD list also highlights the vital distinction, so often blurred, between Orwell’s private notebook and the list he sent to Celia at the Foreign Office. Readers may, according to taste, be more shocked or amused by the entries in his notebook. There is about them a touch of the old imperial policeman, a hint of the spy, as well as a generous dose of his characteristic, gruff black humor. (He includes someone from the „Income Tax Dep’t” in his notebook list: bloody communists, those tax inspectors.) But all writers are spies. They peek, like Fay Weldon in Carlton House Terrace. They secretly write things down in notebooks.

One aspect of the notebook that shocks our contemporary sensibility is his ethnic labeling of people, especially the eight variations of „Jewish?” (Charlie Chaplin), „Polish Jew,” „English Jew,” or „Jewess.” Orwell’s entire life was a struggle to overcome the prejudices of his class and generation; here was one he never fully overcame.

What remains most unsettling about the list he actually sent is the way in which a writer whose name is now a synonym for political independence and journalistic honesty is drawn into collaboration with a bureaucratic department of propaganda, however marginal the collaboration, „white” the propaganda, and good the cause. In the files of the IRD, you find the kind of bureaucratic language that we now habitually describe as Orwellian or Kafkaesque. Next to the very personal handwritten letter from Orwell („Dear Celia…with love, George”) in FO 1110/189 is a typewritten communication from the British embassy in Moscow: „Dear Department,” it begins, and is signed, surreally, „yours ever, Chancery.”

Yet perhaps we should not be surprised, for Orwell knew this kind of world from inside, and drew on it for his „awful book.” While 1984 was a warning against totalitarianism of both the Nazi (that is, National Socialist) and communist (that is, Soviet Socialist) kind-hence „Ingsoc”-much of the physical detail was derived from his experience of wartime London, working in the BBC, itself a considerable British bureaucracy in close touch with the Ministry of Information and home to the original Room 101.
The most delicate and speculative part of any interpretation concerns Orwell’s relationship with Celia Kirwan. There is, in his letters to Celia, an almost painful eagerness. You sense in them his continued strong feelings for a particularly attractive, warmhearted, and cultured woman. But in all we know about him at this time, you also sense something broader: the more generalized, rather desperate craving of a mortally sick man for affectionate female support. One recalls the emotional turmoil of three years before, when he precipitately proposed not just to Celia but also to two or three other younger women. Lonely, stuck in that Cotswold sanatorium, loathing the thought that he was physically done for at the age of forty-five, did he yearn to combat approaching death with the love of a beautiful woman?

Celia, while remaining a staunch friend, did not encourage any renewal of George’s gruff advances. However, soon after their exchange about the list another beautiful young Englishwoman, to whom he had also proposed in that earlier bout of emotional turmoil, returned from Paris, like Celia, and came to see him at the sanatorium. In Sonia Brownell’s case, she was on the rebound from a passionate romance with the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Perhaps sensing some encouragement, Orwell proposed to her again. Egged on by his forceful publisher, Frederic Warburg, Sonia accepted.

In 1984, Winston Smith’s protest against totalitarian bureaucracy is to have sex with Julia-a character at least partly modeled on Sonia. In real life, was it, at least in part, his desire for Celia’s affectionate attention that brought „Mr. Orwell” into the secret files of the British bureaucracy?

This biographical speculation is not to trivialize his conscious political choice to supply those names to a department of the Foreign Office. Nonetheless, you have to ask yourself this question: Had it been a bowler-hatted and pin-striped Mr. Cloake who came to visit him on March 29, 1949, would he have offered to send him the list? But it wasn’t Mr. Cloake. It was his „dearest Celia.”

Orwell sought desperately to fight his last enemy, death; yet it was his early death that secured his immortality. Tempting as it is to speculate, in the light of the list, about which way he would have gone if he had lived-an iconoclastic left-wing voice on the New Statesman? a curmudgeonly old cold warrior on Encounter?-this is strictly illegitimate. We will never know. One thing, however, is clear: he would have taken definite, strong political stands, and therefore alienated people on the left or the right, and probably both. Only his early death allowed everyone to beatify him in their own way. And he would have written more books-possibly, as his previous novels and last draft story might suggest, less good ones than Animal Farm and 1984. Untimely death made him the James Dean of the cold war, the John F. Kennedy of English letters.

How we would all have loved to read his views on the building of the Berlin Wall, on the Vietnam War, and on the 1968 student protests. How I would have enjoyed meeting him in Central Europe in 1989, aged eighty-six, as the Soviet communist Big Brother finally collapsed. How wonderful it would be to hear his voice today-a voice that we imagine all the more vividly because no recording of it survives-commenting on the propaganda language of the Iraq war, or the continuing miseries of Burma, or the dilemmas of Tony Blair. But the hundred-year-old Orwell growls through the asterisks and crossouts of his notebook, „Don’t be silly. Work it out for yourself.”

Volume 50, Number 14 · September 25, 2003
Feature

Notes
[1] Guardian Review, June 21, 2003, reprints the whole list.
[2] A detailed but tendentious account is Paul Lashmar and James Oliver, Britain’s Secret Propaganda War, 1948-1977 (Sutton, 1998). A shorter but much more nuanced treatment is in Hugh Wilford, The CIA, the British Left and the Cold War: Calling the Tune? (Frank Cass, 2003). See also W. Scott Lucas and C.J. Morris, „A Very British Crusade: The Information Research Department and the Beginning of the Cold War,” in British Intelligence, Strategy and the Cold War, edited by Richard J. Aldrich (Routledge, 1992); Phillip Deery, „Confronting the Cominform: George Orwell and the Cold War Offensive of the Information Research Department, 1948-50,” in Labour History, No. 73 (November 1977); IRD: Origins and Establishment of the Foreign Office Information Research Department, 1946-48 (FCO Historians’ History Notes, No. 9, August 1995); and the brief, accusatory treatment in Frances Stonor Saunders, Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War (Granta, 1999).
[3] Minute of April 21, 1951, in FO 1110/383.
[4] See FO 1110/191.
[5] Mark Hollingsworth and Richard Norton-Taylor, Blacklist: The Inside Story of Political Vetting (Hogarth Press, 1988).

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