Introduction : Exile-and-Emigration
Sanda Golopenţia

Those who break off may be young, adult or old, women or men, rich or poor, trained or uneducated, healthy or ill, part of the majoritarian or minoritarian, dominating or dominated population in the country of origin. All of these factors will have consequences over their exile or emigrant destiny. Each wave of departures is in fact defined by their specific combination in a general typology still to be established. At the beginning of the 20th century, before WWI, Romanian emigrants from Transylvania and Banat (then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire) were mostly peasants, young, men, part of the dominated majority, poor and uneducated. Sometimes, rather seldom, they would ?bring? their spouse abroad or go back to the old country in order to get married and then return to the United States, as shown in their research by both Christina Galitzi and Anca Hartular. The Romanians exiled after WWII belong instead to all generations and to both sexes. They either ?remained? abroad, refusing to return when called back from their assignments at the end of the fourties, or ran away during the short period between 1944 and 1947 when this was still possible, most often together with their whole family. And they represent the middle and upper middle classes of the majoritarian population, in general highly educated, materially well provided and with a supple network of acquaintances in the countries in which they settle during the second part of their lives. Compared to them, those who leave Romania exiling themselves during the eighties belong, most of the time, to proletarian intellectual families, are past their prime and have no means of subsistence or contacts, relying solely on their high education and professionalism. If breaking off before WWI was usually done in Romania by single persons and for a limited period of time, in the fourties, seventies or eighties families as a whole were typically leaving for good.

For those who lived there as minorities, breaking off with their native country may offer the opportunity to reach a space where people from their ethnic group represent the dominating majority. This is the case of the Romanian Jews who left for Israel starting with the sixties, and of the Germans who went to West Germany at roughly the same time. For them, the breaking off is only apparent; their departure reverses in fact a previous breaking off operated by their forerunners and represents the final chapter of parenthetic exile and emigration processes, that change their course and bring people back, after several generations, to their ancestors? point of departure. Even if a minority person does not leave for a country where people from her or his group represent the majority, s/he will be able to aptly use for survival the pluricultural experience accumulated in the country of origin and, from this point of view, will prove better prepared for what lies ahead than those who have known a single culture from the position of a majoritarian.

The period of searching for a new place to live may begin, for those who are both cautious and able to do so, before their departure. The forms such pre-search is taking are yet to be studied. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Romanians who temporarily emigrated to the U.S. simply prompted their acquaintances and friends to look for possible jobs and dwellings. The political refugees of the fourties, seventies and eighties addressed themselves to national or international exile institutions to obtain admission and work places for them. An important role was played, beginning with the seventies, by special Free Europe broadcasts that publicized the difficulties encountered in the process of breaking off by the exiles (emigrants) to be. In all these cases, by preparing well beforehand, the families (or the individuals) are spared the anxieties of wandering from one place to another and the effort of looking for initial living resources.

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