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Raymonde Carlo Moulin

Daniel, que j'ai connu depuis son mariage avec mon amie Jeanne, a été lui-même un ami incomparable.

Son amitié était à la fois légère et vigilante, présente dans les grandes et les petites choses de la vie. Au cours des années soixante, quand je préparais ma thèse de doctorat, la table des Singer m'était quotidiennement ouverte. Daniel était un grand pourvoyeur d'idées et en même temps, par son humour, il savait dissiper les angoisses. Beaucoup d'histoires originaires de Varsovie me reviennent en mémoire quand il m'arrive d'avoir des soucis.

La qualité de l'amitié de Daniel était une de expressions de la qualité de l'homme. Par sa courtoisie naturelle, sa tolérance, sa générosité, Daniel savait être respecteux de la liberté de pensée de ses amis et soucieux de les aider à accomplir leurs projets intellectuels, en particulier leurs livres. Il avait en effet, pour les autres comme pour lui, la passion de l'écriture.

Daniel et Jeanne ont accueilli mon mari avec une chaleur amicale qui nous a, l'un et l'autre, beaucoup touchés. Le couple Singer, assurément parcequ'il fut un couple heureux, avait cette capacité, rénconfortante et rare, de se dévouer sans compter au bonheur d'autrui. Ma vie doit beaucoup de ses joies à leur amitié et je sais que Daniel, qui va désormais nous manquer beaucoup, ne l'ignorait pas.




Marianne Schaub

Daniel Singer était de longue date un ami sensible, proche et perspicace, lié à notre histoire commune depuis plus d'un demi-siècle. Adolescente, comme lui réfugiée en Suisse avec ma famille qui avait eu maille à partir avec les occupants nazis, je l'avais rencontré en automne 1944 à Genève car là s'était déjà nouée une chaleureuse et durable amitié avec mon frère, alors étudiant comme lui. Amitié de famille, qui se maintint vivace perpétuant en quelque sorte notre jeunesse.

Qui n'a connu à cette époque, cernée par la guerre, la Genève authentique « Refuge » accueillant ainsi qu'aux temps des huguenots les persécutés et au premier chef ceux de langue et de culture françaises, ne mesure peut-être pas à quel point elle fut un « bouillon de culture », un foyer à l'effervescence et à la vitalité intellectuelles et artistiques généreuses et cosmopolites, à quel point son rayonnement participera à la créativité et aux engagements de l'après-guerre. Engagements practiques aussi d'autant plus exigeants qu'ils avaient mûri dans l'impatience de l'exil ou de la claustration frontalière.

Pour beaucoup, c'est également dans ce vécu de rescapés en quête d'un futur enfin libéré des horreurs que s'enracine une réflexion partagée sur les tragédies du vingtième siècle, le poids déterminant du politique, les fascismes et leur « résistible » ascension, sur les voies à venir d'un socialisme authentique et aussi sur la culture et les courants d'avant-garde.

Les analyses de Daniel Singer ne cesseront de retravailler ces interrogations au présent pour mettre en évidence une dynamique de forces sociales et de formations politiques dans leur originalité et leurs pouvoirs propres compte tenu des stratifications structurelles.

De là une recherche persévérante, espoir et lucidité mêlés, sur les conjontures propices aux mouvements de libération sociale tant à l'Ouest qu'à l'Est. De là aussi le plaisir vivace et tout l'intérêt des conversations qui faisaient réflechir avec lui : non seulement brillant, si besoin est instructif sur les méandres empruntés par les évènements. Cette intelligence tout à la fois profonde et fine des conjonctures historiques lui donnait une compréhension prévisionnelle des conflits en gestation comme le montre entre autres son essai annonciateur de la contestation ouvrière qui avec « Solidarnosc » allait gagner la Pologne.

Sa fidélité inentamée mais clairvoyant, sans faille mais sans naïveté, aux ideaux de transformation réelle de la société, son humour face aux « modernités » successivement en vogue, en un mot sa fermeté d'âme pour parler comme les classiques lui avaient valu une reconnaissance d'une qualité rare à l'échelle internationale et de la part de ses amis une estime admirative et un attachement affectueux qui par delà cette disparition continueront à garder vie à son souvenir, avec l'aide de Jeanne, sa femme.




Valentino Parlato

Carissima Jeanne,

Alle tre di oggi avrei dovuto prendere l'aereo per essere presente a Parigi, ai funerali di Daniel. Confesso che non ho avuto la forza di partire: talvota la depressione paralizza. Ti prego di scusarmi, anche di questa confessione personale.

Anche per me la perdita di Daniel è stata grave e segna come una riduzione della propria personalità: ognuno di noi è anche i suoi amici, quelli con i quali si è in comunicazione anche quando non ci si vede o non ci si parla. E con Daniel se ne sono andate tante cose. L'amicizia personale, le conversazionio serie e quelle leggere, la vostra casa e la vostra ospitalità: Delfina e Valentina ne hanno un ricordo forte. Ma se ne è andato anche un testimone, un osservatore attento e un combattente. I nostri amici più giovani, anche qui al giornale, sanno, ma non hanno sentito, che cosa sono stati per noi la seconda guerra mondiale e le tragedie e le grandi speranze che in essa sono maturate. Resta sempre una differenza forte tra quel che si legge e quel che si vive e Daniel aveva la virtù importante di connettere vita e lettura e di vivificare queste ultime con la propria memoria. E' questo, credo, che gli ha consentito di essere insieme lucido e appassionato e di sapere spiegare le questioni del presente e del prossimo futuro meglio di tanti altri. Il suo utlimo libro, Whose Millennium?, ne è la testimonianza. L'ho ripreso in mano in questi giorni e non sai quante suggestioni e illuminazioni ci ho trovato.

Ora non c'è affatto da consolarsi: il dominio della solitudine si è ancora allargato e, alla mia età, questa è la prospettiva. Sforziamoci di stare più insieme noi sopravvissuti e così tener viva e vivificante la memoria di chi ha dovuto lasciari. Un grande e forte abbraccio. Cerca di essere forte e di venire tu a Roma. Scusa questa mia diserzione.

Ancora un abbraccio anche da parte di Delfina e Valentina.



Fausto Bertinotti

[TELEGRAMME:] LE SONO VICINO NEL RICORDO DI DANIEL DI CUI HO AVUTO LA GIOIA DI APPREZZARE LA GRANDE FINEZZA INTELLETTUALE, LA PROFONDA UMANITA' E IL CONTRIBUTO IMPORTANTE CHE HA DATO ALLA COSTRUZIONE DI UN PENSIERO ALTERNATIVO A QUELLO DOMINANTE NEL MONDO CONTEMPORANEO PUNTO IL SUO CONTRIBUTO CI AIUTA A PROSEGUIRE NELLA RICERCA E A FAR CONOSCERE L'ATTUALIA' DEL PENSIERO MARXISTA ANCHE ALLE GIOVANI GENERAZIONI PUNTO LO RICORDEREMO SEMPRE CON COMMOZIONE E CON PROFONDO AFFETTO



Tariq Ali

Till the very end Daniel Singer -- despite the ravages of the 'New Philosophers' and the havoc created by the 'Humanitarian War-Makers' -- remained a clear-eyed champion of socialism and internationalism. His was a penetrating and inspired understanding of humanity. His intellectual labours were devoted to promoting the cause of the voiceless and the oppressed, both in the pages of the New York liberal weekly The Nation and in his essays for the leftwing Monthly Review. He was a fine journalist and his special gift was the art of the lucid statement -- never repeating himself -- which may explain the fact that despite living in Paris, he had no regular column in the French press.

Daniel was the kind of intellectual whose output was viewed in official circles with a jaundiced eye. It was profane writing which, without ever becoming nihilistic, refused to respect the pieties of the day.

I first met Daniel at the house of his mother, Esther Singer. As a young girl she had heard Rosa Luxemburg speak and had introduced a young Isaac Deutscher to the volumes of Marx on her bookshelves. Daniel's father was one of the most prominent journalists in Warsaw during the inter-war years, contributing brilliant essays to the feuilleton section of Warsaw's largest daily paper. The most important political influence on him was Isaac Deutscher. It was Esther who introduced me to Daniel in the late Sixties and we became instant comrades, despite the odd disagreement.

We will all miss his optimism, his refusal to compromise and a steadfastness completely unmarked by dogma. I think he would have liked these words from Lessing:

"Wise Providence, move onward, at thine unnoted pace. But let me never, because I mark not, despair of thee, even when they step seems to tend backwards. It is not true that the shortest line is always the straight one."



David Finkel

Daniel Singer represented a beacon for us on the American left who believe that the struggles for human freedom, whether on the large or small scale, are indivisible. From the events of May-June 1968 in France, to the magnificent Polish uprising of 1980 that produced Solidarnosc, the greatest trade union in history, to the past turbulent decade, Daniel was a chronicler of the best kind -- passionate, engaged, partisan yet open-spirited, always critical yet optimistic, and never under any circumstances sectarian.

Daniel understood that socialism, on one level, "hadn't failed because it had never been tried," as he liked to put it; yet he also recognized the many ways in which socialism as a movement had failed to reach its potential. He understood both the instinctive striving for socialism that is inherent in every genuine working-class movement -- especially in his beloved analogy of the Polish working class with Molière's figure "who spoke prose without knowing it" -- but also that this striving cannot succeed until it becomes conscious and self-articulated.

The wonderful books and articles Daniel left behind will make their contributions to the renewal of the socialist movement. But for those of us who were lucky enough to know him, these works are only part of his legacy. We will miss Daniel greatly as a friend and a comrade.




George Steiner

To have known Daniel is to have been profoundly enriched. Our friendship, and more than friendship, went back half a century. It began in laughter and there was a ghost of a smile in Daniel's voice the last time we spoke. His radiance was unfailing; it was a rare generosity towards life itself.

That generosity is inseparable from Daniel's commitment to social justice, to the cause of human decency and progress. As in few human beings, there was in Daniel a 'concrete utopia', a wonderfully self-evident trust in the capacity of men and women to be better than themselves. His own relations to his intimates, to his readers, to those who disagreed with him, fully exemplified a robust optimism of heart and spirit. He found decency in others because he had so much of it to spare in himself!

The times through which he lived tested Daniel to the full. He passed these tests with flying colours. Both in his private circumstances -- which his marriage to Jeanne transformed into a wonder of shared being -- and in his public thought and writings. He never concealed from himself or from those who looked to him the darkness of the age. But hope was to Daniel common sense and the indispensable instrument of intellectual and moral clarity. If hope is the affliction of the teacher, Daniel Singer was, and will be remembered as, a great teacher.

So intense and essential a presence leaves us only partially. Today we are left numb and diminished. But Daniel would not want that of us. There is too much left to do; there are too many mornings ahead. And at each of these, Daniel will be with us.




Suzi Weissman

Daniel was a role model to so many of us. Like Trotsky, Luxemburg and Deutscher, Daniel continued a line of Eastern and Central European Jews whose exceptional intellectual dynamism -- married to a conception of socialist democracy -- has provided us a proud legacy. And like Victor Serge, Daniel's eloquent voice and memorable writings remain to inspire a new generation. He represented the best that the revolutionary tradition has produced: clear-sighted, committed, optimistic, and at all times elegant. His integrity and grand spirit, his honesty and his generosity endeared him to his friends and to his audience. I already miss him, and mourn the loss of his lucid voice. Daniel left us a prodigious written record, but his unique contribution, a product of his knowledge, understanding and the particular set of historical and personal experiences that formed his thinking, is gone, and we are left with huge shoes to fill. In his name and memory, we set that task before us.

To you, Jeanne, I salute the love you shared and hope that the many memories sustain you in the days and weeks to come.

Daniel Singer--always present!

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