Georg Ritter von Flondor, and what his unhappy life can teach us

Monday, 10 March, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

The Ritters von Flondor were a noble family in a part of the world called Bukovina, which had been a point of contention between Austro-Hungary, Poland, Romania and Russia for a good five centuriesi.

Once the Austro-Hungarians got more or less secure hold of it, Josef II, Holy Roman Emperor, came up on 14 March 1787 with a letter patent which disposed that for the future, traditional local nobility titles will be extinguished, and the whole upper class will be divided in Herrenstand and Ritterstand (roughly, peers and knights), the first of which to be limited to earldoms and baroniesii. The condition to qualify as a Herren was holding one of a list of local titles and showing at least 3`000 florinsiii income in the realms of the cesaro-emperoriv.

Out of a total of 291 claimant familiesv exactly one obtained the title of Count (Hochadel), a few more become barons and our friendly Ioan Albotă-Fliondor (once included in the 1st book of Russian nobility) became... chevalliervi, and his 2nd child / 2nd son Constantin (1740 - 1815) 's 5th child / 1st son Gheorghe (1828 - 1892) 's first son Tudor (1862-1908) 's 3rd child / 2nd son Gheorge (1892-1976) is the guy we're discussing today. Georg, Ritter von Flondor.

This guy was a "royal resident" in Suceava (which'd roughly work out to "viceroy" or "governor" if the land involved weren't roughly the size of a hammered out Koln Mark), appointed 1939 to replace a complete raving lunaticvii.

In this capacity he did things, which the communists (at the time this simply denotes the Russians) did not care for. Specifically, from the filings by the Military Prosecutor's office at Suceava before the Iasi Military Tribunal,

  • he constantly collaborated with the police and gendarmerie units, which took measures against the working class and the revolutionary movement,
  • he received periodic reports as to the activities of revolutionary elements in the counties Cernăuți, Storojineț, Hotin, Câmpulung, Suceava and Dorohoi, on the basis of which he prepared reports which he forwarded to the Internal Affairs Ministry
  • he gave orders to his underlings to prevent revolutionary activity, as a result of which orders there being sent to trial in 1939 a total of 19 communist activists in Cernăuți
  • as a result of his suggestions, Dumitru Zahiu, the chief of Cernăuți Police, ordered the arrest and internment of 250 suspects of revolutionary activity
  • he supported the measures of exploitation of poor peasants, through limiting their freedom of movement and forcing them to partake in the economic arrangements then prevailing

During the trial, a number of 12 Romanian citizens who also were Jewish living in Siret came before the State Notary to declare that during the racist prosecutions Gheorghe Flondor had a fair, democratic and well meaning attitude towards the Jewish population, coming to its aid at critical junctures due to the prosecution of Jewry by the fascist authorities.

The Tribunal wasn't impressed. Instead, through the order #675/18.06.1956 of the Military Tribunal of the 2nd Military Region as confirmed by the order #311/13.09.1956 issued by the Supreme Tribunal of the Military Collegium, Gheorghe Flondor was sentenced to 10 years' heavy detentionviii and complete confiscation of all assets, for the crime of intense activity against the working class and the revolutionary movement as stipulated in article 193(1) para 1 and corroborated with article 157 of the Penal Code.

To make things perfectly clear : there's nothing easier in this world than a revolution. They happen all the time. There's nothing easier in this world than replacing the words "working class" with "Bitcoin". It happens all the time. We won't even need to change the "revolutionary activity" part, mind you.

Now re-read that foregoing list, applying this mental substitution, and consider what the guy did. He was nice, right ? He even had the moral rectitude to stand against the forces of batshit crazy evil, for the sake of common decency and some semblance of sanity, right ?

That didn't count for nothing.

What counted, for ten years of his life, and for all his wordly goods, was that he collaborated with the people we didn't like, and he pestered us. Nevermind that it was perfectly legal at the time, and his legal duty at the time. Have you received periodic reports ? As much as merely receiving them, or merely forwarding them can easily put you, fifteen years later, into the special barehand miner divisions of a specially made Butugichagix.

Have you given orders to prevent revolutionary activity ? Have you supported measures of exploitation of the poor, and of enforcement of the old economic order and its mechanisms ? Tread lightly, my dear friends, because the shield you think is shielding you is mere dust, is mere smoke, is blowing away. Tread lightly, for better men could not step through the vazduh once what they imagined, what they thought, what they firmly believed to be solid ground ran off into the mists from under their very feet. Better men couldn't, and neither can you.

Tread lightly, because nothing is easier than

    s/communist/Bitcoin/ flondor.txt | gpg --clearsign

Nothing in the world.

  1. It's currently split between Romania and the Ukraine - and guess what ? If the Ukraine were to be split, a good chunk of its West (ie, eastern Bukovina) as well as a good chunk of its South (ie, around Odessa) could just as well end up added to Romania, making it actually gain more than Russia out of the entire exercise. Funny how history works, huh (and it wouldn't be the first time, either). []
  2. Ie, not including any dukes, viscounts or princes, as a display of just how convinced the cesaro-emperor were that these people suck. Well, either that or how poor, puny and pathetic they were. Or... whatever, if you prefer, how vain and loud the western nobility was, tying up the hands of the emperor - the good emperor! - with their empty boasts. Obviously this latter narrative has been muchly favoured by the interested parties themselves, and by their peons in the area, in some cases even to date. []
  3. Aka gulden or forint, introduced relatively recently (1754) as a twentieth of a Koln silver Mark (roughly 12 grams). About 36 kgs of silver income a year would be, in today's prices about 37.5 Bitcoin. That's right : if you make that much a year you too can aspire to a nobility rank, which of course means many things not least among which the right to be judged by a jury of your peers, like in #bitcoin-assets, rather than by some imperial functionary like the anonymous peons of the land. []
  4. I know, it sounds funny, but it's what the guy chose to be called, cesaro-craiesc in Romanian. If you want to see laughable nomenclature for three lifetimes, you definitely must try a master's degree in Austro-Hungarian anything. Or, for the lower rent crowd, try Svejk. []
  5. Which is to say, 18 vel-boieri (id est, larger), 119 plain boieri (id est, boyars, what they called people around there - yes with those ridiculous hats) and 154 mazuli (Id est, ex-boyars that had received a letter of cancellation. In the complicated and mostly medieval nobility system of the Ottoman-dominated Romanian principalities at the time there lacked clear distinction between status and function, and consequently one had the status of a noble for as long as he maintained the function that bestowed that status. Unless specifically revoked it passed on to successors, sometimes automatically, sometimes as an unwritten obligation or expectation on the part of the Sultan, circumscribing somewhat his authority. The mess of this situation is ultimately the reason the Turkish Empire, by far the most successful state of the mideastern people, became "the sick man of Europe" and eventually failed.) []

  6. Antiqua et nobilissima familia Albote procedere (Flondori) et etiam cum principibus Moldaviæ affinitatem habuisse

    in original. []

  7. Gheorghe Alexianu, famous mostly for having interpreted the antisemitic legislation of the era in such a creative and expansive manner as would please Torquemada, and having been chiefly the force driving Romanian efforts in the field to the point that, according to Raul Hilberg, German bureaucracy had to intervene via Antonescu to simmer them down. He was tried and shot in 1946. []
  8. This meant basically breaking down very large rocks, by hand. []
  9. You don't know what that is ? Well how about you look it up! This thing :

    It is me remembering the mine of Butugichag, and the grief in the eyes of my comrades.
    The scant joy, the generous distress and the bluish hue of its ringing ore.
    I remember those who had forever withered in that valley with the pit of Butugichag.
    And then I found out today from out of newspapers, that there are no camps, nor towers any longer.

    That on the ridge and to its tophill there grow big incredible white flowers...
    Oh, the nuggets of unforgotten days... in empty tailings of my memory you remain!
    I'm seeking all of you. Again I hurry back, to that bluish dusty ore.
    To you, my greetings. Abandoned pit, that leaned against the sopka in total silence set!

    I still remember your dense uneven rumble. You, life of mine back then, set upside down.
    Hello again, the lever of my fate, the pit of uranium mining, Butugychag!

    (Anatoliy Zhygulin, 1964, dedicated to one V. Filin)


Category: Bitcoin
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41 Responses

  1. 'cesaro-craiesc' ~= 'царь-государь.'

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Monday, 10 March 2014

    Pretty much. After the fall many peoples from the periphery tried to claim some sort of Roman Imperial continuation. Including, amusingly enough, the Bulgarians.

  3. Like being Lucrețiu Pătrășcanu would be a lot better.

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  4. [...] this years' Georg Ritter von Flondor, and what his unhappy life can teach us : Now re-read that foregoing list, applying this mental substitution, and consider what the guy [...]

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