The Budapest; 14 November 1959, page 59.
Letter from Belgrade; 17 October 1959 page 168.
Letter from West Berlin; 19 September 1959 page 161.
Letter from Berlin; 13 December 1958, page 168.
Non Troppo with Topo; 22 November, 1958, page 179.
Metamorphosis; 1 November 1958, page 47.
An Evening with the Horse; 25 October 1958, page 173.
The Art World; 4 October 1958, page 147.
Letter from Vienna; 4 October 1958, page 146.
Letter from Warsaw; 12 July 1958, page 33.
A Dreamer of Wine; 24 May 1958, page 37.
A Dreamer of Wine; 17 May 1958, page 48.
Travels with a Buick; 9 November 1957, page 129.
The Vocal Mission; 2 November 1957, page 47.
The Vocal Mission; 26 October 1957, page 49.
The Chocolate-Scented Air; 19 October 1957, page 91.
Creating an Atmosphere; 17 August 1957, page 35.
The Ways of the Avalanche; 13 April 1957, page 113.
Whistling in the Darkroom; 10 November 1956, page 61.
My Grandfather would be all for it; 18 August 1956, page 66.
Nagelmackers’ Way; 11 August 1956, page 29.
A Walk through the Tunnel; 12 May 1956, page 100.
A Spray Gun for the Varnish; 18 February 1956, page 94.
Letter from Vienna; 26 November 1955, page 10. Click for summary.
Letter from Vienna; 26 November 1955, page 189. Click for summary.
A Question of Reverberation; 5 November 1955, page 100. Click for summary.
The Black Felt Hat; 22 October 1955, page 154. Click for summary.
The Impeccable Glass; 13 August 1955, page 29. Click for summary.
Tempest in a Kitchen; 18 June 1955, page 32. Click for summary.
Opera after Midnight; 21 May 1955, page 43. Click for summary.
Letter from West Berlin; 19 March 1955, page 122. Click for summary.
Huj, Huj, Hajra!; 22 January 1955, page 89. Click for summary.
Toccata and Fugue; 20 November 1954, page 87. Click for summary.
At the Sign of the Third Man; 23 October 1954, page 118. Click for summary.
Letter from Hamburg; 9 October 1954, page 132. Click for summary.
Down There; 2 October 1954, page 36. Click for summary.
Letter from Bonn; 18 September 1954, page 120. Click for summary.
The Day of the Conquerors; 12 June 1954, page 84. Click for summary.
On Moscow Time; 29 May 1954, page 78. Click for summary.
An E in the Seventh Bar; 15 May 1954, page 100. Click for summary.
Flowers for the Old Fool; 10 April 1954, page 114. Click for summary.
Break in a Journey; 6 February 1954, page 80. Click for summary.
The Road to Sinaia; 14 November 1953, page 141. Click for summary.
Trustee in Fiddledale~I; 17 October 1953, page 38.
Trustee in Fiddledale~II; 24 October 1953, page 39. Click for summary.
Letter from Vienna; 10 October 1953, page 130. Click for summary.
Letter from Bucharest; 12 September 1953, page 67. Click for summary.
The Seventeenth of June; 29 August 1953, page 33. Click for summary. Journalism Award: The Sidney Hillman Foundation
The Rocky Mountains of Unter Den Eichen; 6 June 1953, page 99. Click for summary.
The Ambassador in the Sanctuary; 28 March 1953, page 37. Click for summary.
The Company; 22 November 1952, page 109. Click for summary.
Letter from Lebanon; 8 November 1952, page 143. Click for summary.
No Word for “Goldbrick”; 11 October 1952, page 128. Click for summary.
Letter from Ankara; 4 October 1952, page 104. Click for summary.
Letter from Baghdad; 13 September 1952, page 118. Click for summary.
Mailman for the Kremlin; 7 June 1952, page 108. Click for summary.
The Wooden Beam; 10 May 1952, page 88. Click for summary.
Soft Norms in a Spa; 3 May 1952, page 112. Click for summary.
Phoenix in Rubble; 26 April 1952, page 84. Click for summary.
Anything Goes; 12 April 1952, page 70. Click for summary.
Twilight in Souk El Giuma; 5 April 1952, page 109. Click for summary.
The Hot Wind From the Desert; 15 March 1952, page 103. Click for summary.
Letter from Libya; 10 November 1951, page 137. Click for summary.
The Other Side of the Moon; 6 October 1951, page 35. Click for summary.
Remember their Faces, put down their Names; 8 September 1951, page 90. Click for summary.
Letter from Athens; 25 August 1951, page 68. Click for summary.
Not One Lira for Genoa’s Greatest Son; 9 June 1951, page 71. Click for summary.
Gone are the Ladies Nées; May 26 1951, page 86. Click for summary.
The Gray Young Republic; 19 May 1951, page 82. Click for summary.
The Ups and Downs of Buschbeck & Holtzmann; 14 April 1951, page 106. Click for summary.
Letter from Vienna; 28 October 1950, page 104. Click for summary.
Letter from Trieste; 21 October 1950, page 70. Click for summary.
Letter from Belgrade; 14 October 1950, page 81. Click for summary.
The Lord Mayor of West Berlin; 7 October 1950, page 35. Click for summary.
Howling with the Wolves; 23 September 1950, page 35. Click for summary.
Letter from Berlin; 5 August 1950, page 28. Click for summary.
Class Reunion; 15 July 1950, page 27. Click for summary.
Little Fish; 6 May 1950, page 76. Click for summary.
Take the Orient Express; 22 April 1950, page 83. Click for summary.
The Magic Carpet; 7 January 1950, page 23. Click for summary.
Letter from Vienna; PERFORMANCE All over Austria, special performances of Mozart’s music are being planned for the big bicentennial of his birth. The Court Music Choir of Vienna will perform Mozart’s Masses.
Letter from Vienna; Lengthy discussion of the reopening of the State Opera House in Vienna and its significance. The opening turned out to be eight openings, all part of a 4-week festival devoted to the presentation of Beethoven’s Fidelio, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, etc. The top price of $200 was charged for seats at the opening opening & few Austrians could afford a seat & since the Opera House was rebuilt with the Austrian people’s money, this cause some grumbling. In a desperate effort to offend as few people as possible, a pre-opening opening was held on Nov. 4th. The opening performance was considered very good opera, but not the absolute best. The acoustics proved to be better than the most optimistic had dared hope. To the Austrians, their rebuilt opera house is incontestable evidence that Austria has landed on her feet; it has gone a long way to cure a national inferiority complex that started in 1919.
A Question of Reverberation; OUR FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS piece about the acoustics of the reconstructed Staatsoper, the Vienna opera house which was bombed & burned in 1945. Its reconstruction was recently completed after 10 years work. Everyone has been worrying whether the acoustics would be any good. Author talked with Wolfgang Teubner, a member of the engineering staff at work on the building. Teubner explained some of the acoustical problems & said they wouldn’t know how good the acoustics were until opening night. Author went to watch the rehearsal for the reopening performance on Nov. 5th. Describes the changes in the building & the reactions of various people to the acoustics. Author spoke to Ernst August Schneider, one of the opera's artistic directors, and to Dr. Karl Bohm, the opera’s director & leading conductor for the past year. Author watched technicians test the acoustics. Everyone seemed pleased with the acoustics.
The Black Felt Hat; OUR FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS piece about Giuseppe Verdi. Visit to the Casa Verdi, in Milan; to Verdi’s house in Sant’Agata; and to his birthplace in Parma. The Casa Verdi is a House of Rest established by Verdi around 1839 for professional musicians over 65 who find themselves in a state of poverty. Describes the crypt there where Verdi is buried. Tells something about how the Casa Verdi is run. Author talked with the manager, Dottore Pierino Fracchia. Author then accompanied the great Verdi biographer, Maestro Carlo Gatti, to Verdi’s house in Sant’Agata where he lived for 50 years. Describes this house and also the house when Verdi was born in Le Roncole in Parma. Maestro Gatti described the sort of person Verdi was & how he worked; describes Verdi’s funeral.
The Impeccable Glass; PROFILE of Fritz Frey, 39-year-old Swiss industralist & owner of the largest private-hotel business in the country. The main part of it consists of three hotels & a 500-acre-&-3000-foot high Burgenstock plateau on which they stand; the funicular, the last six miles o the road leading to the plateau, a private bathing beach, a heated swimming pool, & a mountain named the Hammerschwand. The first man to see the possibilities of the place as a resort was a man named Franz Josef Bucher-Durrer who built the hotels. In 1925, Fritz’s father bought the domain. He was a manufacturer of electrical equipment & Switzerland’s biggest producer of electricity, and both the industries are now run by his son. Tells about a stay at the Grand Hotel; interview with Mr. Frey who tells about his impression of hotels in this country he has visited, and about the hotel business in general.
Tempest in a Kitchen; PROFILE of Alexandre Dumaine, one of the most decorated French chefs, proprietor of Hotel Côte-d’Or. One of the most passionately dedicated and severely uncompromising organizations in France is the Club des Cent, a group of a hundred men who regard themselves, & are generally regarded, as the supreme arbiters of their country’s gastronomy. Club des Cent has never allowed itself to be associated with any commercial interests, and chefs, wine merchant, & restaurant owners are automatically blackballed. The members of the Club des Cent meet every Thursday for lunch at one or another of the great Paris restaurants, and two or three times a year they charter a railroad car and make a pilgrimage to some provincial shrine of the culinary art During the past several years the Club has on a number of occasions chosen the Hotel de la Côte-d’Or, in Saulieu, 150 miles southeast of Paris, as the object of its ceremonial sortie, drawn by the fact that its owner, and chef is Alexandre Dumaine, who, since the death last March of his friend Fernand Point, stands second to none as a practitioner of la grande cuisine.
Opera after Midnight; REPORTER AT LARGE about a performance of “The Marriage of Figaro” at the Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona. From Nov. to Apr. the city goes opera-crazy. The cast were from the Vienna State Opera as was artistic director, Ernst August Schneider. Barcelona has a permanent framework for opera productions – an orchestra, a chorus, a corps de ballet and a roster of supporting singers. Each season personnel, including directors and conductors are imported. Except for La Scala, it’s the biggest opera house in Europe, and has wonderful acoustics. It first opened in 1847, burned down in 1861, and was rebuilt in a single year. The curtain usually goes up around 10 PM and an opera is never finished before 1 AM; this one finished at 2:05. Francisco Maso is the theatre’s general manager. He told how the musical season is planned in Barcelona, which they hope to make the Bayreuth of the South. One Spanish opera a year must be performed in accordance with the theatre’s charter. The principal parts are sung in the language in which the opera was originally written in, but the chorus always sings in Italian. Writer describes the chaotic performance.
Letter from West Berlin; Speaks of cooperation between E. & W. Berlin on the cultural level. In the past year more than 100 W. German scientists, teachers, physicians, philosophers & writers have attended conferences & delivered lectures in E. Germany under a program the E. Germans call “All-German Cooperation in Cultural Affairs.” These W. Germans go over because they feel they are contributing to the unification of Germany & don’t want the East to fall below the scientific & intellectual level of the West. Tell about entertainment in E. Berlin; its radio station, the Deutschlandsender, now broadcasting good music. Mentions writers, musicians, & painters of E. Berlin who live in Pankow, an elegant suburb. Among them are Johannes R. Becher, Alex. Abush, Anna Seghers, Hanns Eisler & Arnold Zweig. The only good books these authors produce deal with the past. The musicians are somewhat better off, provided they steer clear of works by Hindemith, Stravinsky, & 12-toners. Jazz is permitted. Tells about events to come in the classical field: the reopening of the State Opera House; the reopening of the Vienna State Opera, & works that will be performed. The manager will be Max Burghardt; conductors will be Erich Kleiber, Otto Klemperer, & Herman Abendroth. This season the Stadtische Oper, in the Western sector, created considerable excitement by reviving Verdi’s “Nabucco,” which tells of the oppression of the Jews under the Babylonians. It was produced by Carl Ebert & enthusiastically received. History of the Ullstein publishing house now reactivated.
Huj, Huj, Hajra!; OUR FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS about attending a soccer game in Budapest, which has been behind the Iron Curtain for 5 years and practically inaccessible to all Westerners except soccer players. Early last fall word got around Vienna that the Hungarian government was going to change its policy and grant visas to Austrians for overnight or 2-day stays to accompany their national soccer team on a trip to Budapest. Although the game was a couple of months off four thousand Austrians applied for visas, most of them to see the game but some to track down relatives & others curious to see life behind the Iron Curtain. Very few visas came thru until the afternoon before the game. In the end, two thousand of the four thousand applicants received visas; no one knows on what basis. Writer went to Budapest on a bus as there was no train that day. (The Arlberg-Orient Express now runs there only 4 times a week.) The Communists did not hold then up at the border and they arrived in good time. Writer tells about the appearance of Budapest which was badly damaged during the war. The people offer to buy clothing and other items from foreigners. Writer sat next to a retired history professor at the game, who told him there were 7 generals in the Civil War who were Hungarians. The Hungarians won the game.
Toccata and Fugue; OUR FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS piece about Albert Schweitzer doctor, organist, interpreter of Bach & Goethe, philosopher, theologian, etc. He was born Jan. 14, 1875, at Kayersberg, in Upper Alsace. In 1913, he started his hospital in Lambarene, in French Equatorial Africa, giving up his professorship at the University of Strasbourg, his literary work & his organ playing. He spends most of his time at the hospital, but occasionally returns to Europe to study, play the organ & raise funds or simply to rest. Tells about his routine at the hospital. The writer visited him recently at his house in Gunsbach, France. Describes the house and tells about Schweitzer's routine there. Schweitzer played the organ for the writer & a group of townspeople. The writer also talked with Mme. Emmy Mart in, Schweitzer’s private secretary, and Miss Ali Silver, who works with Schweitzer in the hospital in Lambarene.
At the Sign of the Third Man; FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS about “The Winehouse at the Sign of the Third Man,” opened last Oct. by Anton Karas, a once impecunious zither-player who rose to fame by composing and performing the Harry Lime theme for the British motion picture “The Third Man.” His establishment is in Sievering, on the outskirts of Vienna. Karas played the zither for 28 years in Heuriger, places where people gather to drink this year’s wine, before he was discovered by Carol Reed, director of the film. A Heuriger is a simple establishment where the proprietor sells wine from his own vineyard A more elaborate establishment is the Nobel-Heuriger which sells wine other than new wine, is open all year, and sells food as well, also has tables and chairs. Karas’ place is of the latter type.
Letter from Hamburg; On May 9, 1189, Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor, grateful for Hamburg’s help during one of the Crusades, signed a charter granting the burghers the right “to pass to and fro with their ships and goods from the sea to the said city, free of any duty or charge” & stipulating that “no man may build a castle within 8 miles of their city; that the burghers shall be free of all military service or from the defense of the country.” This amounted to a guarantee of independence, and from that time on, except during the Nazi regime, Hamburg has been an independent city, ruled by its own council. In 1266 when some Hamburg merchants were living in London, Henry III of England recognized them as members of a hanse or trade league. Thus Hamburg joined the loosely knit Hanseatic League, along with a number of other North German commercial, centers. Originally a trade monopoly, th League later became an armed alliance and successfully waged war against Denmark. Hamburgers are proud of their traditional independence. Of course since 1871 when it joined the German Empire, it has always been subject to federal laws. Hamburg has the same rights under the German constitution as the other Lander or states. It elects its own parliament, which in turn elects a 12 man senate the senate then elects a mayor. Hamburg has three member in Bonn’s “Bundesrat”, which is made up of representatives from the nine Lander in West Germany.
Down There; PROFILE of Leopold Ludwig, now director & conductor of the Hamburg State Opera. A few days after V. E. Day, the Russians ordered Ludwig to round up an orchestra & give a symphony concert. Berlin was a heap of rubble. Ludwig managed to get an orchestra together, and the concert was held on May 18th at the Rundfunkhause. All night long before the performance, people were queued up in front of the hall. Some came on foot from as far away as Potsdam. The orchestra played the Beethoven Seventh & the Tsaikovsky Fifth. At the end everybody wept, the orchestra, the Germans, the Russians, generals and all. Tells about the banquet Ludwig attended later that night, during which he got into an argument with the commanding general, and ended up by playing the piano for the Russians until he was exhausted.
Letter from Bonn; Article on the city of Bonn, capital of the German Federal Republic. Before the First World War, Bonn was a pleasant university town & a haven for retired Army officers & wealthy aristocrats. After the collapse of the Hohenzollerns in 1918, it lost a lot of its dash. Tells how Bonn was unfriendly toward Hitler in the 1930s. In 1949, Bonn was made the capital. The impact on the city of the vast governmental machine suddenly thrust upon it, has been tremendous. In 4 years, the population has increased from 90,000 to 140,000. Old Bonners will have nothing to do with the new Bonn, which is being established at the eastern edge of the town, on the left bank of the Rhine. Tells about the new government buildings & about the bad housing situation. Chancellor Adenauer, who is 78, has not encouraged the emergence of a political heir. Among the Germans, his authority seems to he unchallenged. An American in Bonn remarked that “Bonn is Adenauer.” Describes the house in which he lives. Tells about a visit to the house where Beethoven was born.
The Day of the Conquerors; On May 10, 1945 the author decides to revisit Prague which he had not seen since 1938. Although the shooting is supposedly over in the European phase of the 2nd World War, the people of Prague are still fighting the German Occupation troops. With a major the author sets off in a jeep. They decide to have lunch at a large Bavarian inn but find that it has been taken over by the Rumanian Legation as temporary headquarters. The Minister greets them and says that his staff is celebrating a Rumanian National holiday, that he could not ask them to be his guests since formal peace had not been concluded between his country and the U.S. The author and his friend take their leave, and reluctantly get out their K rations for lunch.
On Moscow Time; OUR FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS about two meetings the writer had with a Russian sergeant in Vienna. Social contacts between rank-and-file Russian soldiers and American civilians are generally regarded as out of the question. Social contacts even among ranking officials are rare. He calls the soldier Mischa. He met him thru a Viennese friend of his, Franz, who works in the supply room of one of the local Red Army stores. Mischa was a supply sergeant of a Red Amy outfit in a small town and came to Vienna once a week to replenish his stocks at Franz’s store. At the first meeting Mischa was shy in front of the American & spoke in typical Communist manner of how he loved Russia, would not travel anywhere else, and was anxious to get home. At the second meeting he was more communicative. He was about to be sent home and he hated to go back to what would probably be an uncertain and difficult life. The Army life was agreeable but he did not know what to expect at home.
An E in the Seventh Bar; OUR FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS about Haydn Society, organized five years ago by H.C. Robbins Landon, 27 year old musicologist from Boston, now living in Vienna. The Society’s purpose is to make records of Haydn’s unfamiliar compositions, sell them, and use the profits to publish a complete edition of his works. Joseph Haydn is among the world’s greatest composers but no complete edition of his works exists; only a tenth of his manuscripts have been printed of his 104 symphonies, fewer than a dozen are regularly performed. Haydn, except for a short stretch of poverty in early youth, had security and good health; he lived 77 years, composed almost every day and turned out an amazing amount of work. The search for genuine Haydn compositions was started in the middle of the last century by C.F. Pohl, librarian of Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Society of the Friends of Music) in Vienna. Writer visited Landon in Vienna and took a trip with him to Eisenstadt where, at the Haydn Museum, he checked a certain fact in a Haydn manuscript.
Flowers for the Old Fool; OUR FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS piece about Ludwig Bender (a fictitious name), a factory owner in the Soviet Zone of Germany who recently fled to West Germany making off with the company payroll. Bender started his factory, which produces mining machinery, after the First World War. He had an excellent personal reputation & a good relationship with his employees. After the Second World War, the government started interfering until he wasn’t master of his own firm. Tells about fighting off attempts to imprison him. Final blow was his workers turning against him--the work of agitators sent into his plant by the Communist Kreisrat. Informed one day he was sure to be arrested, Bender, his wife & daughter fled to West Berlin. Before long, Kreisrat officials found him & urged him to return, making promises that all would be fine. Bender was advised by a West Berlin refugee committee director that he was doubtlessly needed badly in the Soviet Zone because there was a shortage of technical experts. Bender did go back & was greeted in a big ceremony. Thus far he has been left alone by the government and he and his family have been treated liberally.
Break in a Journey; A FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS piece about the writer’s stopover in Budapest, Hungary, on his way to Paris on the Arlberg-Orient Express. A girl from the Communist Youth Organization welcomed him to Budapest, but officials forbade him to leave the station. Writer & a friend went into the station restaurant. They saw the front entrance unguarded and walked into the city. Describes the drab buildings, uncared for lawns, poorly dressed people, the shoddy goods in the shops. When he returned to the station, the Youth Organization girl gave him some food & expressed sorrow at being unable to see any Western cities again. Writer also spoke with a Rumanian train conductor who was not trusted to go beyond the Rumanian border.
The Road to Sinaia; REPORTER AT LARGE about a trip to Sinaia, a resort town in Rumania. It is in the Transylvania Alps, 3,000 ft. above sea level and 70 miles north-northwest of Bucharest. It used to be the summer residence of the kings of Rumania. Since the Russians took over the buildings are run down and the gardens have gone to seed. A golf course has been turned into an Army training ground, a former mansion is a girls’ rest home. An oasis is an Alpine-style lodge rented by the American Legation as a weekend retreat for its staff. The writer took the trip with David Everett Mark, a member of the U.S. Legation staff. Three other correspondents were invited along too. There were no permits for the correspondents and they had some difficulty getting past Russian guards. They went through Ploesti, one of the largest oil-producing areas in Europe which the Russians have taken over from the Rumanians. They were trailed throughout the trip. One place they passed was the House of Creation of the Union of Writers, a place where aspiring writers got to turn out books to conform with government policies.
Trustee in Fiddledale~I; Trustee in Fiddledale~II; PROFILE of Emil Herrmann, a rare-violin dealer, now doing business on his estate called Fiddledale, in Easton, Conn. He owns what is considered the world’s finest collection of miniature violins, & pochettes, the small fiddles once used by dancing masters, who carried them in a pocket of their jackets, as well as a number of other instruments of venerable age & ancestry. Mr. H., the son of a German violin maker, has been in this country since 1923. Since ’25, he has sold over 5 million dollars-worth of rare musical instruments, 80 per cent of them violins. His prospective customers are invited to spend a few days at Fiddledale & try out violins. Assembling a matched quartet of rare instruments has always been one of Mr. Hermann’s special delights. He has assembled a Paganini quarter, a Nicolo Amati, a Matteo Gofiriller, a G. B. Guadagnini quarter, and hopes to put together a Guarnieri quarter. Tells about people bringing fiddles to Herrmann for appraisal, most of them old factory-made ones found in attics and usually not worth more than a few dollars. Tells about a stay at Fiddledale and the trying out of famous old instruments.
Letter from Vienna; The Russians have made certain minor concessions in Austria and now one hears the old familiar remark that “the Russians aren’t so bad after all.” In their delight over the new Russian attitude the Austrians have forgotten that the Western Allies made similar concessions back in 1946. Among the things not yet done by the Russians: the Austria peace treaty has not yet been signed; 50,000 Russians troops on Austrian soil not withdrawn; in their zone the Russians still enroach upon Austrian jurisdiction and interfere with domestic affairs; they still hold many political prisoners at Stein (they have promised to release 600 Austrian nationals now confined to Soviet prison camps on political charges); they still run several large Austrian properties, among them the Zisterdorf oil fields, which have become Europe’s largest source of petroleum west of Russia. The change in Russian attitude made it possible for the writer to meet the Russian composer, Shostakovich at a Soviet Embassy reception.
Letter from Bucharest; 12 September 1953, page 67. Rumania began to seal herself off from the West in 1947. This summer bars were let down for the Fourth World Festival of Youth and Student of Peace and Friendship, the Communists answer to the Olympic Games, held in Bucharest Aug. 2 to Aug. 16. Over 30,000 guests and participants, from over 100 countries were invited. It turned out to be a propaganda festival. Writer describes difficulties of getting a visa. Train was seven hours late due to several examinations of credentials. Bucharest looked pretty but it had been drab until the festival. Efforts were made to make it seem that people were better off than in the old regime but the disadvantages of police state are apparent. Everything is completely regimented. Foreigners are under constant survey and their conversations are recorded. The Russians are making an agricultural country into a modern industrialized one, but it is a costly undertaking. To obtain machinery from Russia, Rumania must ship them a large part of her agricultural output. Last year, because of a drought, Rumania had to buy wheat from other countries to fulfill her commitments to Russia.
The Seventeenth of June; 29 August 1953, page 33. A REPORTER IN GERMANY about an interview with the man who led a large part of the uprising in East Germany on June 17th, Friedrich Schorn, an accountant of the Luanawerke Walter Ulbricht, near Merseburg. Schorn gives an account of what led to the uprising and of the event itself. He is the son of a minor official in E. Prussia was a member of the Nazi Party from 1933 to ’35. During the war he was a flier in the Waffen S.S., the elite troops, and after the fall of Germany was sent to a British prisoner-of-war camp, where he found that his wife had excellent connections with the Communist regime. After an argument with his father-in-law, an old-time Communist, he was arrested and sent to Buchenwald. The uprising was quelled by Soviet militia, and Schorn fled to West Berlin, still fighting for a free Germany His wife and two children are still in Merseburg. He expects his wife to divorce him because of her Party Connections.
The Rocky Mountains of Unter Den Eichen; 6 June 1953, page 99. REPORTER AT LARGE about Warner Asendorf, a German citizen, who has been married to an American since 1939. He was once a regional leader in the Hitler Jugend (Nazi youth organization) and an employee of Dr. Goebbels’ Propaganda Ministry. Account of his childhood and how he came to join the Nazi youth group. He later got disgusted with the corruption and brutal tactics of the Nazis although he remained devoted to his country. In 1938 he spent a year as a journalism student at the University of Oregon. There he met and fell in love with Signe Rasmussen, an American girl of Danish descent. They were married the next year. When a job he expected did not turn up he decided to go back to Germany and Signe went with him – he was too weak to make a clean break and stay in America. He worked as a newspaper writer in Berlin and remained there throughout the war. The couple had two little girls, Charlotte and Irene. Signe and the children went back to Portland in 1945 (They had first gone to Denmark when Berlin fell in May of that year.) Asendorf tried to get to the U.S. but was not successful. His family returned to Berlin in 1950 but his wife and children were not freely accepted by either the Germans or the Americans. They longed to go back to the U.S. Finally they did go back after two years. Now Asendorf is waiting in Berlin for a visa – his wife is back in Portland trying to arrange it.
The Ambassador in the Sanctuary; 28 March 1953, page 37. PROFILE of Henri Soule, proprietor of le Pavillon, a French restaurant, E. 55th St. Mr. Soule was born in a tiny hamlet halfway between Dax & Bayonne. He began his career as a busboy in a hotel at Biarritz. Two years later he got a job as a waiter in Hotel Mirabeau, then as a captain at Ciro’s, and in ’39 came over here to manage the French Pavilion at the World’s Fair. He returned in 1940, to open the restaurant, but the season was not a success. When the place closed in October 1940, France was occupied by the Germans, and Soule and and nine of his men remained in this country. In June ’41, he took them to Niagara Falls, Canada, in order to bring them into the country again on the French quota. Le Pavillon opened its doors on Oct. 15, 1941. In the past 11 years, the restaurant has served over 1,100,000 guests, paid out $2,017,22 in wages, and taken in a total of $6,582,854.
The Company; 22 November 1952, page 109. REPORTER AT LARGE about a visit to Bahrein, in the archipelago of the Persion Gulf. Awali, a completely air-conditioned town, was built and is owned by Bapco, which is the official abbreviation of the Bahrein Petroleum Co., Ltd. Author stopped off at Bahrein to visit an old friend, Denis Monahan Berdine, an American who has been there since ’48. Bapco, now owned half by Standard Oil and half by Texas, employs about 35 Americans, over a thousand Britons, Australians, Canadians Saouth Africans, Scandinavians, Indians, Pakistani, Goanese & 6,000 Bahreinis. The present ruler of Bahreinis–His Highnes Sheik Sir Sulman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, enjoys a “special treaty relationship’ with the British, and Bahrein is under British protection. Tells about the oil yield; the way the company employees live; racial relationship; salaries, vacations; benefits; what they do for amusement, etc.
Letter from Lebanon; 8 November 1952, page 143. Lebanon is a beautiful, mountainous country on the east coast of the Mediterranean, but not enough land is under cultivation to feed its population so about 15,000 people leave every year. Lebanese in foreign countries mail home money which accounts for a large share of the country’s income. A number of American cars are imported which are sometimes used as taxis; drivers are exceedingly reckless. There are not many natural resources but people are enthusiastic hotelkeepers and money-changers. Country has highest standard of living, lowest rate of illiteracy, is most civilized and advanced of all Middle East states. Was under French mandate from 1920 to 1941. French still control banking, industry, public utilities and have strong cultural and culinary influence. Population about half Christian half Moslem. Two finest colleges in Middle East are in Beirut: the University de St. Joseph, operated by the French Jesuits and the American University of Beirut.
No Word for “Goldbrick”; 11 October 1952, page 128. OUR FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS about the Turkish Army; especially the Fifth Armored Brigade. The writer spoke to officers at the Ankara headquarters of the Joint American Military Mission for Aid to Turkey, or JAMMAT. An American Field Training Team of six men, headed by Maj. Robert B. Spencer, was assigned by JAMMAT to the Fifth Armored. This team came out just over a year ago. Maj. Spencer set about getting the confidence of the Turks and instructing them by persuasion which method he thinks is paying off. He had to break down the strong caste system which was deeply rooted among the Turkish officers. One of the important things accomplished was putting the motor pool in good condition. He thinks the Turks have done a remarkable job and they are glad we have helped them.
Letter from Ankara; 4 October 1952, page 104. The Turks have hated and fought the Russians for centuries. Moslem immigrants from neighboring Communist Bulgaria arrive on Turkey’s tiny segment of European soil at the rate of five hundred a day. At this writing 250,000 refugees have made their way there and some 50,000 more are expected. The Turkish authorities put them up in camps and since Bulgarians are skillful at truck farming, try to resettle them in the Anatolian countryside, but the immigrants are quite a strain on Turkish economy. The Turkish authorities are confident that in time most of the Bulgarian Moslems will make good citizens although they are aware that quite a few of them may turn out to be Communist agents.
Letter from Baghdad; 13 September 1952, page 118. Iraq’s National Development Board’s chairman is Prime Minister Nuri el-Said, Iraq’s leading citizen; serving with him are three elder-statesmen senators and two foreigners – Sir Eddington Miller, a British engineer, and Wesley R. Nelson, former Assistant Commissioner of the U. S. Government’s Bureau of Reclamation.
Mailman for the Kremlin; 7 June 1952, page 108. REPORTER AT LARGE about a former Polish diplomat (the writer calls him Krakowski), attached to the Polish embassy in a Western European country until quite recently when he decided to resign and ask for asylum. There was no Communist Putsch in Pland—the Communist drive for power developed gradually and was climaxed late in 1948 by the merger of the Socialist and Communist parties into the Polish United Workers Party, or P.Z.P.R. K’s embassy swarmed with agents of the U.B. or Polish secret police. No Polish embassy dared to send accurate reports to Poland because facts that ran contrary to the Communist line couldn’t be told. When K. was called home after being away 2 years, he was amazed at conditions. There were few Russians in evidence but Russian influence was everywhere. The prevailing mood was one of fear. Even the highest-ranking officials were reluctant to make decision for fear of displeasing the Communists. Tells about the latter’s subtle technique for bre ing a man. K. escaped by saying constantly how happy he was to be back in Poland and how he hoped to stay. This resulted in his receiving another foreign assignment.
The Wooden Beam; 10 May 1952, page 88. REPORTER AT LARGE about goings on along the Czech-Bavarian border, near the small towns of Waidhaus and Eslarn. Conversation with border guards Jajet, at Waidhaus, & Georg Sommer, at Eslarn. Both told of border incidents provoked by the trigger-happy Czech guards who shoot at any moving thing inside their border, and even fire at the West German guards at night. Tells about the town of Eisendorf, whic had been razed to give the guards unobstructed view of the boundary; over a thousand people evacuated to the interior of Bohemia and the houses left standing were turned into fortresses. Description of obstructions built to prevent escapes; tells about escapes and near escapes by desperate people who tried to cross the border.
Soft Norms in a Spa; 3 May 1952, page 112. REPORTER AT LARGE about the Russian operated uranium mines at Jachymov (formerly Joachimsthal), Czechoslovakia The writer learned about conditions in the mines from an escaped worker, whom he calls Zeman. The workers were divided into civilians and prisoners. The latter included political offenders and real criminals. All work done was measured by norms – the theoretical daily minimum of production expected of each worker. The norms were variable & and increased periodically. A worker’s pay, food, physical treatment depended on how his output stood in relation to his norm. There were no proper safety precautions in the mines & therefore frequent accidents. Health care was neglected. Mining uranium was the chief concern of the Russians – Czechoslovakia’s courts and political committees could provide more labor. Zeman escaped by going across the border to East Germany in a Russian SNB (National Security Corps) uniform, and then went on to the safety of West Berlin.
Phoenix in Rubble; 26 April 1952, page 84. REPORTER AT LARGE about rubble removal in Berlin. Of the 98 million cubic yards of rubble, only 29 million, or not quite a third, have been removed so far. The experts estimate that it will be 25 years before the last of the rubble is disposed of. The writer spoke to Karl Thomasius, engineer, a and city commissioner in charge of removing West Berlin’s rubble. He told of the problems: finding a place to dump it, transporting it, demolishing partly damaged buildings. Some of it was transported by means of a narrow-guage railway built to run all over the city. One of the ruins which is still distinctive is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church which will be reconstructed. Thomasius took the writer to a rubble-conversion plant near the Zoo, built in 1949. A scenic slope is being created out of rubble in an area where the Zoo air raid shelter was located.
Anything Goes; 12 April 1952, page 70. FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS about Tangier, one of the few places on earth where anything goes; no currency contrils, no trade barriers, red tape, immigration quotas, and no taxes to speak of. Tangier has the richest deposits of gold bullion on earth, and more flowing in. It is a sanctuary to the undesirables of the world; political refugees, military deservers, and shady operators of all kinds. To the indigenous population it is a hellhole. The 35,000 Europeans and 200 Americans living in Tangier, have done nothing to improve the conditions of the natives. Tangier produces next to nothing, practically everything including food has to be i imported. The city lives off a 12 1/2 ad-valorem duty on all imported consumer goods. Though Tangier is referred to as a “den of thieves”, there are still some old, respectable firms, and reputable businessmen.
Twilight in Souk El Giuma; 5 April 1952, page 109. OUR FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS about a visit to Libya. The reporter went to Souk el Giuma and a number of other towns. Wheelus Field is in the area; this is the only active U.S. Air Force installation in Africa. Interview with William M. Macdonald, the local District Commissioner, who represented the British administration in Libya. Under the terms of a United Nations General Assembly resolution adopted in 1949, Libya is on the verge of being transformed into an independent state. Once this is done, the British administration will move out, but some British officials will probably stay on as contract employees until enough Libyan officials are trained to take over. No one can tell how long that will be. At present, there are not nearly enough Arabs sufficiently well educated to take care of the country’s administration.
The Hot Wind From the Desert; 15 March 1952, page 103. OUR FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS about a visit to Morocco. The writer spent several days in the Moroccan cities of Casablanca and Rabat. The country is agitating for its independence. Rabat is the capital of French Morocco. In the old, walled, Arab section of the town life goes on almost as it did a thousand years ago. In the modern or French sections there must be a lot of uneasiness but the stroller would never suspect it. The tree-lined avenues, the sleepy parks and antiques shops, the white villas and their gardens, reminded the writer of Nice or Menton, but the people didn’t. Most of them are colonial fonctionnaire who have little money spend less, and who show no interest in intellectual discussions at sidewalk cafes and care nothing about new books or night life.
Letter from Libya; 10 November 1951, page 137. Libya, former Italian colony, will become an independent federal state according to a declaration of the United Nations, not later than Jan., 1952. There are skeptics who say this will not work out successfully. The Arab population is one million eight-five thousand. All minority groups combined represent only an additional sixty thousand. Most of the Arabs have no education and know little about political independence. Arabs in French North Africa claim they are more advanced and closer to being ready for independence. In Tripoli, a good many Arabs have been killed or maimed by picking up live shells and blowing them up and selling the casings for scrap-iron. They do this in spite of being warned not to. They take little interest in economic progress. Typical shop stays open just long enough for the shopkeeper to make enough to get by.
The Other Side of the Moon; 6 October 1951, page 35. Life in Communist Czechoslovakia. Benda had been a typist and the secretary to Dr. Jelinek, general manager of a big steel company. His boss was eliminated and he became the general manager. He and his wife were sent to live in Dr. Jelinek’s house. Benda’s wife felt they were usurpers and was not happy there. His friend, Kratky, had risen to a high position in the textile industry and suddenly had been relieved of his job – and disappeared. Now Benda read an editorial criticizing the management of the steel industry and he knew his end was in sight too. He hoped it would come quickly.
Remember their Faces, put down their Names; 8 September 1951, page 90. REPORTER AT LARGE about an interview with Dr. Theo Friedenau, Chairman of the Investigation Comm. of Freedom-Minded Jurists in the Soviet Zone, an underground organization that operates out of W. Berlin. The Comm. collects detailed information on crimes & criminals in the E. Zone, issues indictments, which are printed by the thousands and distributed to court official, government officials, and the police. No court in E. Germany has yet tried a man on the basis of an indictment issued by the Comm., but the psychological effect on the guilty is of great importance. Under indictment is Lange, Lord Mayor of Brandenburg-an der Havel and chief of the Central Control Commission, which is sort of an economic Gestapo. Lange confiscated personal property, including furniture and jewelry for himself. When owners objected he had them arrested by the MVD. Lange did not deny the charges of indictment, but he objected that it had not been properly delivered to him in accordance with German court procedure. Some of his subordinates hurriedly sent back some of the things they had appropriated.
Letter from Athens; 25 August 1951, page 68. The Greek Army, including reserves, is up to 150,000 men now, and American & British military advisers are enthusiastic about the high quality & excellent morale of the Greek officers and men. Every young Greek wants to join the Army, where he gets a uniform, better food, and a chance to fight which means a lot to a Greek. The war the Greeks would most like to fight is one against the Bulgarians, who have attacked Greece three times within living memory. Until the end of May, the army was under the command of Field Marshal Alexander Papagos, a 68-year-old former inmate of a German prison camp. Papagos t took over in ’49 and achieved a major miracle in getting politics out of the Army. He was a tough diciplinarian who court marshalled his best friend. Papagos resigned after King Paul appointed to his staff some officers that Papagos found unacceptable.
Not One Lira for Genoa’s Greatest Son; 9 June 1951, page 71. OUR FOOTLOOSE CORRESPON-DENTS about a visit to Genoa. This year the city is celebrating the fifth centennial of Columbus birth. Genoa is also the hometown of violinist, Nicolo Paganini. The writer looked at his violin which is kept at the Town Hall under a huge glass bell. It is propped up on a disc that can be rotated from the outside by a crank. Visitors can thus inspect the violin without touching it. The instrument was made in 1742 by Giuseppe Guarnerius Gesu, one of Cremonas three foremost violin makers. Paganini considered it his greatest treasure. Beside the glass bell is a list of artists who have been permitted to play Paganini’s violin.
Gone are the Ladies Nées; May 26 1951, page 86. OUR FOOTLOOSE CORRESPONDENTS about a visit to the Bristol Hotel in Vienna and account of its former splendor. It opened in 1894 and has weathered four different eras: the golden age of monarchal splendor; the First World War; the gaudy twenties and ominous thirties and the Second World War and its aftermath when it was occupied first by high-ranking Nazis, later by high-ranking Russians, and finally, pursuant to an interallied agreement on Sept. 15, 1945, by high-ranking Americans. The hotel was always the city’s showcase of chic and high life with an excellent cuisine. The writer spoke to Felix Primus, the house manager for 45 years; Wilhelm, the hotel barber and Fritz Gunhold, the chef. Today only high-ranking Americans are permitted at the hotel and it has become simply an Army mess.
The Gray Young Republic; 19 May 1951, page 82. FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS about a visit to Leipzig Trade Fair which is in East Germany. When a fair is held, one week in the fall and one in spring, visitors are welcomed. The city seems gray, the buildings are unpainted, clothes are drab. The Volkspolizie is foreverwatchful. Propaganda boss, Gerhart Eisler work very hard – people are subjected to intense propaganda at all times. Children are told Soviet versions of fairy tales; at eleven they must learn Russian. Courses in political education are mandatory for everyone. Sports, too, are affected by propaganda. Food & clothing are rationed; extra supplies can be purchased at black-market prices at state owned Handels-Organizations. Of East Germany’s total economy, roughtly one third is organized into Russian-controlled corporations known as Soviet A. G.s, which produce primarily for “export” to Russia. No more than three or four per cent of the available labor force in unemployed. Luxury trade is gone. The Fair was just a political road show.
The Ups and Downs of Buschbeck & Holtzmann; 14 April 1951, page 106. OUR FOOTLOOSE CORRESPONDENTS about a medium-size zinc casting firm in West Berlin which the writer calls Buschbeck & Holtzmann. They were about to go bankrupt for the sixth time in thirtyr-five years. West Berlin is going through an acute economic struggle. For every two employed workers there is one in the streets. Bonn, Frankfurt and other industrial centers of Western Germany have taken over much of the industry that was formerly Berlin’s. That is because Berlin is a besieged city a hundred miles behind the Iron Curtain. They must get their raw materials from and make their deliveries to the West by way of a corridor through the Soviet Zone which can be closed at the whim of the Russians. The niece of one firm partner works as a laboratory worker at a factory in East Berlin that is Russian-controlled–she tells about it.
Letter from Vienna; 28 October 1950, page 104. Austria’s Federal Chancellor Leopold Figl, a member of the Catholic People’s Party, and Minister of the Interior Oskar Helmer, a Socialist who has managed to keep the Austrian police out of the hands of the Russians, have shown consistent courage in the face of Soviet threats. Both men are undoubtedly high on the Russians blacklist. Figl, a slight, mustachioed fellow who looks like a Viennese trolle conductor, is endowed wit the remarkable Austrian quality of Sturitat, a mixture of feigned simple-mindedness and real obstanicy that flabbergsts, frustrates, and infuriates the Soviets, Actually, Figl is a shrewd, vote-conscious politician who likes to play the little man, drinking Heuriger wine, going to church, and wearing a Styrian costume, because this is what most Austrian little men like to to do.
Letter from Trieste; 21 October 1950, page 70. History of Gorizia, an attractive Italian border-town some 20 miles from Trieste, for which Tito has repeatedly demaned that it be ceded to Yugoslavia. The city once belonged to Austria, but was taken over by Italy after World War I. Until the early 20’s, the population of Gorizia included a substantial number of Slovenes, but after Mussolini rose to power, the Fascist made life so miserable for them that they crossed the border & settled in Yugoslavia. When the situation reversed itself; Gorizia got rid of the Fa cist government & a Communist dictatorship prevailed in Yugosla via. Many of the inhabitants would have liked to return, but found that they were forbidden to leave Yugoslavia. Tells about border meetings of friends & relatives which have been permitted recently; and about a woman who wanted to cross into Yugoslavia to visit the grave of her mother.
Letter from Belgrade; 14 October 1950, page 81. Visit to Belgrade, the Yugoslav capital, during the month of August. Remarks on the tranquility of the city, of the leaders being on vacation as though no trouble with Soviet were expected. Speaks of Tito’s careful avoidance of giving Russia cause to claim provocation, though the country is slowly swinging toward the Western world. Military history of the country; of the unification of its people; of what backing Tito can expect in case of war, though an overwhelming majority of the population is against Communism. Tells what the split with Stalin did to the Party’s five-year Plan; of shortages of machinery, material of all kinds; food, clothing, etc., and the building of a New Belgrade, which is to be the Washington of Yugoslavia.
The Lord Mayor of West Berlin; 7 October 1950, page 35. REPORTER AT LARGE about observing the Lord Mayor of West Berlin, Ernst Reuter at work. Background of the city’s administration; and what has been accomplished in the 5 years since it took over a city 90% damaged or destroyed. When the Red Army took over Berlin in the spring of ’45, they blocked all bank accounts and carried all the money away; they also took 80% of all machinery and tools. The city had no hospitals, no medical supplies, no transportation and was on the verge of starvation. Though West Berlin still has to depend on Bonn for half of its monthly expenses of 25 million dollars-much of it for social welfare and for the unemployed-the Mayor believes that the Berliners will one day work themselves back to some sort of prosperity again. They have learned that there are more important things than worldly belongings. Personal background of the Mayor as given by Hans Hirschfeld, head of the Mayor’s press department.
Howling with the Wolves; 23 September 1950, page 35. REPORTER AT LARGE about Karel Janda family, of Prague, mother, father, an 18-year-old son, and a 12-year-old daughter. The family was in comfortable circumstances before the “revolution” but is slowly being brought to a proletariat workingman’s level. The Jandas’ are a house divided; the father a violent non-Communist who has joined the Party for what advantages & protection it may bring them; the mother has taken the attitude: “you’ve got to howl with the wolves or they’ll devour you”; the son an anti-Communist student, forced to study Marx, Engel & Lanin. The 12-year-old daughter, is a fanatical pro-Soviet member of the Communist Organization who may at any moment inform on her family. Tells of the fear-neurosis that beset individuals as well as the nation as a whole.
Letter from Berlin; 5 August 1950, page 28. The East Berliners cross the boundary and read the American sector’s nonpartisan Tagesspiegel or the British sector’s Socialist Telegraf. Everybody in E. Berlin listens to the excellent programs of RIAS, West Berlin’s American radio Station. The American-sponsored monthly literary magazine, Der Monat, ably edited by Melvin J. Lasky, of N.Y. has within two years come near realizing its ambitious program – “to be a forum of open-minded discussion, based on free exchange of opinions from the most divergent groups of thought in Germany and all parts of the world.”
Class Reunion; 15 July 1950, page 27. REPORTER AT LARGE about the attempt to gather members of the 1924 class of the Moravski Ostrava Gymnasium to a reunion in Prague, in 1950. Of the 39 members of the class, 5 were living in Czechoslovakia, 3 in England, 2 in America, 2 in Germany, and 1 each in Palestine, China, Australia & Russia. Of the six men who gathered were Honza & Manek, Party officials; Pavel, a shopkeeper and Lee, a surgeon, both anti-Communists, and Otto, a tax collector who was politically neutral. Tells about the varied careers of the 6 men who gathered to reminisce about their schooldays, & of those unable to attend the reunion, and of clashes between the Party-members and the non-Communists, who, during the evening were warned that they would be “picked-up” for their reactionary attitude.
Little Fish; 6 May 1950, page 76. WHERE ARE THEY NOW? about the Nazi Party in Austria. There were probably one million Nazis in Austria then; one person out of every seven, mostly “small fish.” Gives a typical case of Hitler admirers in the Hasslinger family, with whom author boarded whily studying in Vienna.
Take the Orient Express; 22 April 1950, page 83. REPORTER AT LARGE about a trip from Paris to Warsaw on the Orient Express. Tells about a meal in a diner under Czechoslovak management; and about customs inspectiion on the German side of the German-Czech border. At the frontier station at Cheb, inside the Iron Curtain, Czech soldiers with bayonets fixed on their rifles had run out the station to guard the doors of every car. They didn’t let anyone get off. There had been some excitement a short time before, when $2,500 in 100-dollar bills had been found, the passengers were searched and questioned for 16 hours. Tells about the thorough inspection given passengers luggage. Fourteen minutes after the train started, it stopped again, at the Czech border-control station of Petrovice, and there was another inspection of luggage and papers, and another long wait.
The Magic Carpet; 7 January 1950, page 23. A waiter in an airport restaurant in Prague thinks about how simple it might be to dash into one of the departing planes and leave the country. Alas, however, the Communists closely guard every move and he knows he would never make it. He converses with his friend, Kratochvil, a bank cashier. A short time later the bank cashier is arrested by the Communists who claim he was hoarding American dollars and planning to leave Czechoslovakia.