Sergiu Mandinescu, a poet of lively intelligence, kind and gentle, with a warm soul

In the same vein, I would like to mention Mandinescu, whom I would meet a few years later in Gherla. Thin, of ordinary stature. Once very, very thin. He suffered badly from lung disease. Broken and careless as can be. Always absent and obsessed with the same re-education. When he heard himself talking, he’d get upset. Maybe he’d played a role in Pitești or Gherla and felt discovered. If he was accused in any way, he’d throw a fit. He had a right-wing mentality.

He once said: “If I hadn’t had the good fortune to know this view of life and the idea of sacrifice, I might be dead by now! Despite his irascible and indolent nature, Mandinescu was very intelligent, with a lively, sharp wit and a great talent for poetry. He had written quite a lot of poetry, and quite successfully. Arrested at a very young age, he had the opportunity to meet some important people in prison and had been educated somewhat by ear. Finally, he was kind and gentle, with a warm heart. When the subject of re-education came up, he felt that his contribution to history was being alluded to, and he would have a crisis. He didn’t say much, but there was an infinite fear in his face. I repeat, I met him in Gherla, in the infirmary, and I had a rather violent exchange of words with him, starting with political issues. I believe he was a legionnaire. My behaviour was quite harsh, and it echoed among the prisoners. We parted in a bit of a huff.

(Nicolae Marinică – Diary of a “Bandit”, Ramida Publishing House, Bucharest, 1996, p. 126)

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