Ne exprimăm regretul pentru dispariția din rândul nostru a unui om care a avut o contribuție fundamentală la integrarea și emanciparea a mii de romi.
Nicolae Gheorghe rămâne un idealist de la care mulți dintre noi încă avem de învățat.
Pe această cale, redăm parțial și integral, în memoria sa, două opinii ale unor oameni care l-au cunoscut pe Nicolae Gheorghe, la rândul lor.
„Puţin cunoscut în România, dar cu o carieră prodigioasă în străinătate, sociologul Nicolae Gheorghe lasă rromilor o moştenire spirituală care va dăinui, dar mai ales un model de viaţă.
În 1982, sub pseudonimul Alexandru Danciu, critica în revista ”L’ Alternative” şi la Europa liberă ipocrizia Programului PCR “Integrarea ţiganilor” 1977-1983, fiind urmărit ca disident de către Securitate, până în 1989. În 1990, urmare a Pogromului asupra cartierelor de rromi din Bucureşti din 14-15 iunie, convinge Organizaţia pentru Securitate şi Cooperare în Europa să includă în Declaraţia sa problematica rroma în termeni de securitate, fapt care îl repune pe “lista neagră” a statului român. În străinătate primeşte premiul pentru drepturile omului al statului francez (1992), al Uniunii Europene (1997), iar din 1999 urmează o carieră diplomatică pe lângă Înaltul Comisar pentru Minorităţi Naţionale al OSCE.” (Vasile Ionescu)
Citiți pe site-ul Adevărul continuarea articolului lui Vasile Ionescu despre Nicolae Gheorghe.
“In 1974, as part of a group of American anthropologists working in Romania, Nicolae Gheorghe introduced himself to us. Nicu was working as a researcher at the sociology institute, and he had just completed his first ethnographic fieldwork among a group of Caldarasi. As ethnographers, Nicu fascinated us as he explained the family relations among the group and the importance of the silver cups which passed down as inheritance through the family. It was during this time that he realized that he was a Gypsy.
At the time relations between Romanian citizens and foreigners were under the strictest of regimes. We Americans were considered spies, or potential spies. Nicu did not care. He talked to us, helped us, and he even invited us to his home in Berceni for dinner with his parents. A year later, I attended his wedding. For the next 35 years, Nicu and I remained friends and colleagues. And for dozens of Western social scientists doing research in Romania, Nicu was our guide and mentor. Of course, like every other Romanian working in an institution, Nicu was also required to report to the Securitatea about what we were doing. When Nicu reported about me, we even discussed what he would write. When he wrote about our conversations, he tried to convince his Securitatea officer that there was a difference between me being an anthropologist and a spy. For years, as a Roma sociologist with informal relations to foreign scholars, Nicu took major risks to help his foreign colleagues. Pressure on him was intense, but he refused to break relations with us. Through the years, he paid a price, and so did his family.
After 1989, Nicu spent several years as an expert on Roma affairs in Romania and abroad. He was articulate and well spoken in Romany, English, French and Russian. His views of the Roma situation were sociologically realistic. More than other activists, he did not preach about what society had to do for the Roma. He also told the Roma what they had to do for themselves if their situation was to improve. A lot of Roma did not like hearing this, and Nicu had his share of conflicts within the Rromi ’community’. Yet for nearly 20 years, Nicu carried out this international work as activist and human rights worker at the OSCE-ODIHR office in Warsaw.
Working so long abroad, Nicu became a cosmopolitan. Like true cosmopolitans, he felt at home everywhere, but he also knew his roots. Nevertheless, long-term international work away from family has its costs. Personal and family life comes under enormous pressure. There are costs that you don’t understand until decades later, when you finally return home. Nicu began to realize this when he returned home, in 2009. In 2010, following his first treatment for cancer, Nicu would again invite me home, for a quiet dinner with his family. We spent the evening in his modest apartment in Berceni. We talked about sociology, about Roma, and about what we could do to help our own children in an uncertain world. The Gypsy activist was back home in Berceni.
There are two definitions of intellectuals: one is that they are well-educated and articulate professionals. Another is that they take risks… to face authorities with their ideas and to make even their allies nervous. Nicolae Gheorghe was both. Without him, there would have been no Roma movement or organization in Romania.” (Steven Sampson, Anthropologist, Professor, Lund University, Sweden)
Citiți și articolul The Economist in memoriam Nicolae Gheorghe, aici.