THE "GHEORGHE URSU" FOUNDATION

    FOUNDATION OBJECTIVES

The mission of the Foundation is to preserve the memory of Gheorghe Ursu, the engineer and poet murdered under torture on November 17th, 1985, by Ceausescu's Security police ("Securitate"). He was killed for his anti-totalitarian thoughts and attitude, thus becoming a symbol for that regime's victims.

The Foundation will press for an investigation aimed at bringing the truth to light, leading to the punishment of the assassins and of those who ordered the murder.

The Foundation will morally and materially support programs and efforts that denounce the policy of force, the extremist ideology of both the left and the right, the official corruption, the nationalist and chauvinist demagogy, the falsification of history, the cover-up of the crimes of Ceausescu's regime, and the perpetuation of the old Securitate influence within the new power structure.

The Foundation will create an endowment for the fields of arts and letters, translating into awards and grants. These awards will serve to sustain the spirit of freedom and tolerance, in the generous, multivalent and free spirit of the poet, as well as to keep alive the awareness of the past decades' totalitarian oppression in Romania.

    The Man and the Poet

 It is difficult to capture the essence of an exceptional human being, of such complex character as Gheorghe Ursu. An encyclopedist through his many talents and passions, he wrote poetry ("Mereu Doi"/"Forever Two" - 1972, and the posthumous "Presentimente, Postsentimente" / "Presentiments, Postsentiments" - 1993), an art and travel book (the posthumous "Europa Mea"/"My Europe" -1991), and socio-political satires. A lover of the arts, he brought forth new perspectives and original commentaries about painting, music, literature, history, architecture, sculpture, and cinema. An accomplished civil engineer, with unrelenting dedication and inexhaustible energy, an authority in anti-seismic calculus and in foundations on silty ground, he designed for 35 years apartment buildings, hotels, hospitals, schools, post-earthquake reinforcements of structures. He was an astute analyst of the causes and manifestations of totalitarian regimes, communist and fascist alike. Unfortunately, innumerable notes, essays, poems, and satiric pieces entrusted to his personal diary of 40 years, and occasionally read among friends, are still buried in the archives of the ex-Securitate.

Gheorghe Ursu loved life, was a generous humanist, an optimist, a man of principle, with an unshakable ethical make-up. It was this very strong moral fiber that Ceausescu's henchmen sought to break when they tried to coerce from him a confession implicating writers and friends in a plot against the regime. But two months of torture in the Securitate's jail did not succeed in destroying his moral integrity. Their final measure was to murder him.

Gheorghe Ursu remained devoted to his country, the Romanian language and the national culture even while the Securitate was tightening the grip against him. Throughout the whole investigation preceding his incarceration, he continued to express his disgust for the pharaonic personality cult of the Ceausescus, as well as with the obsequious  servitude and thirst for power of all who kept them in power. Through his destiny and death, the poet drew his country's attention, and that of the democratic world, to the atrocities of the Ceausescu regime, thus contributing to its eventual overthrow.