To the Editors:

As the readers of The New York Review know, Professor Silviu Brucan is one of the six former dignitaries who last March have written a critical letter to President Ceausescu of Romania. Brucan is a former ambassador of Romania to the United States and the United Nations, former head of the Romanian television, a distinguished political scientist and former vice president of the International Studies Association, and author of numerous books and articles on international affairs and the communist world. As a result of the March letter, Professor Brucan has been arrested, harassed, interrogated, and since midsummer relocated and totally isolated in the outskirts of Bucharest in a primitive house which lacks water, electricity, sewage and heat.

All six signers are under house arrest but Brucan and his family have been singled out for a particularly harsh treatment. His daughter has been fired from her job, and his son-in-law moved to a provincial town. Brucan has lost part of his pension and is denied proper medical assistance. He will soon be seventy-four. Last year he had two operations. Any strenuous physical activity or illness can be very harmful to him. His wife, a former president of the Romanian Women’s Association and a retired college professor, is almost eighty and in very frail health after two operations. She can barely walk and has recently developed a serious liver condition. Winters in Bucharest can be very harsh and long. The Brucans’ daily life is hellish. The winter is going to make it even worse. They need our help. We would like to ask you to do one or more of the following:

  1. Write to President Nicolae Ceausescu/Palatul Republicii/Bucharest/Romania, and ask him to either normalize the living conditions of the Brucan family, and allow them to lead a decent and free life in Romania, or else allow them to seek shelter abroad.

  2. Write to President Bush, to the State Department and particularly to your representatives and senators asking them to contact the US Embassy in Bucharest and urge our diplomats there to intensify their efforts to contact the Brucans, ascertain their present situation, and offer assistance.

  3. Write letters of support to Silviu Brucan. Even if the letters do not reach him, they will certainly reach those who should know about your concern and solidarity. The address is: Str. Izbiceni 79/sector I, OP 68/Bucharest/Romania.

Immanuel Wallerstein
The Fernand Braudel Center
SUNY, Binghamton
Binghamton, New York
Radu J. Bogdan
Department of Philosophy
Tulane University
New Orleans, Louisiana

This Issue

December 21, 1989