Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 December 2021
This chapter traces the origins of Romanian German entanglements with communism in Romania. It then explores the memory of their complex relationship to communism by focusing on the memory convulsions around two significant Romanian German books of the post-communist period, namely Eginald Schlattner’s Rote Handschuhe (2001) and Carl Gibson’s Symphonie der Freiheit (2008). Schlattner’s novel dealt with his own involvement in the famous ‘Authors’ Trial’ in 1959, and reactions to his work uncovered deeply repressed memories of Romanian German entanglements with communism. The broad reception, far beyond the Romanian Germans community, of both novels at the heart of this chapter revealed radical shifts in Romanian German memories of communism away from the orthodox narratives of communism during the Cold War. The once dominant Romanian German exceptionalism peddled by the Landsmannschaften fell apart not with the end of communism but, quite rapidly, in the twenty-first century.