The Secret Police Dossier of Herta Müller


An in-depth investigation of the Romanian secret police’s file on Müller, winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature, re-creating a “file story” of her surveillance.
“Herta Müller should share her Nobel with the Securitate.” This comment by a former officer in the Romanian secret police, or Securitate, was in reaction to hearing that Müller, a German writer originally from Romania, had won the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature. Communist Romania’s infamous secret police was indeed a protagonist in Müller’s work, though an undesired and dreaded one: most of her writings are deeply and explicitly anchored in Ceaușescu’s Romania and her own traumatic experiences with the Securitate. Müller’s file traces her surveillance from 1983 until after she emigrated to West Germany in 1987. She has written extensively in reaction to reading her file, but primarily addresses its gaps, begging the question what information the file does in fact contain.
This book is an in-depth investigation of Müller’s file, and engages with other related files, including that of her then-husband, the writer Richard Wagner. Valentina Glajar treats the files as primary sources in order to re-create the story of Müller’s surveillance by the Securitate. In such an intrusive culture of surveillance, surviving the system often meant a certain degree of entanglement: for victims, collaborators, and implicated subjects alike. Veiled in secrecy for decades, these compelling and complex documents shed light on a boundary between victims and perpetrators as porous as the Iron Curtain itself.

Author: Aisseco

Share This Post On