Luka Bekavac, né en 1976 à Osijek, est écrivain, traducteur et théoricien de la littérature. Il enseigne à la Faculté des sciences humaines et sociales de l’Université de Zagreb (Département de littérature comparée). Il a contribué à la publication d’articles sur la philosophie, la théorie de la littérature, la musique et la littérature dans un certain nombre de magazines, programmes radio et publications soumises à des comités de lecture, notamment les revues Performance Research, Frakcija, Filozofska istraživanja et Književna smotra . Il a traduit des œuvres de Martin Amis, Jonathan Franzen, Alberto Toscano, Naomi Klein, Aleksandar Hemon et d'autres, et il a travaillé en tant que rédacteur pour le magazine littéraire Quorum (2004-2006), se concentrant sur les liens entre la culture populaire, la musique expérimentale et la philosophie. Ses romans Drenje (2011) et Viljevo (2013), acclamés par la critique, ont été sélectionnés pour plusieurs prix régionaux. Viljevo a remporté le Prix Janko Polić Kamov en 2014.
Translated by Tomislav Kuzmanović
The events I’m going to describe took place in Osijek during the summer of 1943.
I remember those months as a time of deafness: on the world front, the war was at full swing, just as it was in inland Croatia, then in alliance with the Axis powers; but in Osijek itself, the capital of the Great Parish of Baranja and Kammerhofer’s headquarters, the noise stopped. Katarina Garaj, Ignac Šlezinger and I, members of the isolated cell in the very heart of the town, were in charge of a radio station that transmitted weekly proclamations and kept daily contact with the liberated territories. From mid June to early September we worked out of a large four-bedroom apartment on the third floor of 9 Ustashe Street. The place, as far as I remember, used to belong to the Korskys or the Kohns. I don’t know what happened to them. The deportations of Jews began back in the spring of 1941, after the synagogue had gone up in flames, and by mid August 1942, around 3,000 people in Osijek, together with dozens of families banished from other towns, were taken to Auschwitz or Jasenovac. After that, I often asked if fighting for this place made any sense at all.
What I’d like to reflect on here began more or less inconspicuously, in late July or early August. I can’t go into details about our business. I can only say that we noticed the first spark of this occurrence precisely at the time of our illegal activities. Unfortunately, I no longer remember what it was exactly: one of our shows, or an encrypted transmission to one of our groups. I remember only that one evening someone heard brief interruptions in the sound, lasting for only a fraction of a second, machine-gunned with short periods of silence, as if coming from a broken speaker, losing contact somewhere in the wiring. We checked all of our equipment; everything seemed all right, but the disturbance came up again the following day, this time in the middle of Ustashe National Radio’s daily program. Someone seemed to be trying to sabotage the signal. It lasted for hours.