Ideology, Politics, and Religion in the Work of the Historian Silviu Dragomir

By Sipos, Sorin | Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, Winter 2008 | Go to article overview

Ideology, Politics, and Religion in the Work of the Historian Silviu Dragomir


Sipos, Sorin, Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies


In 1962, after insisting upon the Vienna moment and comparing the points in the second Leopold Diploma, the author believed that the union was fulfilled in Vienna where the imperial authorities played an essential role. The Jesuits, who were considered the artisans of the union up to that moment, were reduced to the role of negotiators and forgers of the documents of 1697, 1698 and 1700. Because of the resentments against the "traitors" of the nation, S. Dragomir could not or did not want to understand the great change brought about in the history of Transylvanian Romanians by the political programme initiated by Inochentie. When we take into account the fact that Dragomir was one of the nationalists at the beginning of the 20th century in Transylvania, it is hard to understand his refusal to identify the birth of nationalism in Transylvania with the political action caused by the Greek-Catholic bishop. His historical writings were also influenced by the new political realities in Romania after 1944. The author hesitated to establish the causes of the religious movements led by Visarion Sarai and Sofronie of Cioara because he was influenced by the Marxist philosophy. In his interwar studies he thought the movements led by Visarion Sarai and Sofronie of Cioara had religious determinations and aimed at reestablishing the Orthodox faith. After 1955 the historian changed his conclusions, considering them social and national movements against the Hapsburgs.

Key Words:

ideology, politics, religious phenomenon, Historian Silviu Dragomir, Communist Regime

Historian and politician Silviu Dragomir (1888-1962) enjoyed researchers' special attention after his death. As proof of this, see the many essays and articles about his work and life. In the current article, we attempt to study the level to which the communist ideology influenced Dragomir's research of the religious union problem.

When released from imprisonment, Dragomir found that his wife had been evicted from their house at 40 Miko Street on the 1st of April, 1951, shortly after he had been arrested and moved to 16 Goethe Street in the outskirts of Cluj, in a room with an earthen floor and without indoor plumbing.1 The house that was under construction, as well as a small garden, was bought by the Dragomir family from Professor Iosif Popovici's heirs in 1928.2

In 1955 Dragomir was making a somewhat timid comeback as a researcher when he was employed as a fellow researcher and then as a permanent researcher at the History and Archeology Institute in Cluj.3 At the same time he resumed his correspondence with his former fellow researchers from the inter-war period, trying to publish various studies some of which were written before his imprisonment and others written immediately after release. The historian, as many other intellectuals who survived communist prisons, was to discover that his suffering did not come to an end. Having no financial support (the Romanian government annulled his pension) and evicted from his house on Miko Street, Dragomir was not forgotten by some of his former students and younger fellow researchers from the inter-war period. Constantin Daicoviciu and Andrei Otetea interceded for him to be employed by the Institute of History and Archeology in Cluj4 and helped him resolve some of his problems.5 Finally, with the help of Daicoviciu, the professor received a proper house with one room, a bathroom, and a kitchen inside the Institute of History.6

In turn, the historian Andrei Otetea, who came into favor with the authorities, also helped Dragomir.7 From their correspondence one can notice the great care and special support offered to Dragomir by his younger fellow historian who was in a privileged position in the structure of the new regime. The letters point out the unconditional respect shown by academician Andrei Otetea for what Dragomir did for Romanian historiography. Generally speaking, the colleagues from the Institute of History in Cluj gave much sympathy and affection to the historian after his return from imprisonment.

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