On the Death of My Dear Friend, Agnes Heller

Andrew Arato at Public Seminar:

We have been friends, Ági and I, since 1969. I was much younger than she, having been born in the last year of the War in 1944. For a moment perhaps, we might have been, my mother and I, and Ági, in one of the same houses of the international ghetto, under Swedish, Swiss or Vatican weak protection. She was 14 or 15 back then, and her dramatic survival — by jumping into the Danube in front of an Arrow Cross Firing squad — has been often recounted. One bronze pair of shoes now on the shore could have been hers for all we know, although in this case they would stand for a survivor not a victim. Ági was an amazing survivor. She survived not only the Nazis, the Stalinists, the retributions after 1956, the Kadar regime and its sanctions, but also the New School’s firing in 1993 of her husband, Ferenc Fehér, a very brilliant man and a great friend of mine. Feri died one year after in Budapest, for no apparent physical cause. Ági, however, lived and stayed at the New School for many more years with the help of Judith Friedlander who became Dean. Undoubtedly, she would have also survived the Orbán era, but for the tragic, entirely non-political accident that took her life.

more here.

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