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Report from Russia E-W Zeebox dean of the summer session at the University of Minnesota and 10 other university faculty members recently completed a 30 day 9000 mile trip to the Soviet Union. The trip was financed by a grant from the Hill family foundation of St. Paul. While in Russia Dean Ziebart interviewed his colleagues and obtained their first hand impressions for this program. Now here is Dean Zieba if you're a devotee of the barque reporting from Moscow in the hill he was here. With me today Dr. Thomas Magner chairman of the department of aquatic an Oriental language at the University of Minnesota and it goes without saying very fluent in Russian he ever had a majority of the record of a lot of very. So here you know I have not had a command of the language and therefore it could hardly I think we may in a moment or two indicators are not entirely accurate to make very very good at it coming and I'd like to begin if I may by asking you quite
directly. Your trip to the Soviet Union specially linguistics languages particularly the Russian language at the University of Minnesota and any opportunity to come to the languages of course. Are you. Generalization I'm not sure that it's at all a ballad when I have a feeling that I've travelled later with the Soviet Union. We were early in the morning usually very late at night. I have a tremendous amount of information. I have a feeling that we have to get to many of the people at least more so in order to begin to understand this complicated
nation social structure. These people are part. Member of this group that a person in a sense a real specialist in this area had a feeling that you were able to get very much closer to the people. Some of the language I would say that this is perhaps the greatest frustration experienced. In any other country knowledge of the language would penetrate the fabric of society and get some appreciation of the aspirations of people. But here one is very limited as you know very well. In tourist governmental tourist agency. More that it takes complete charge of the ordinary short order a tourist. Tour furnished by the.
Government category. Without too much interest as far as learning about a Russian. We do have the opportunity to make appointments with various official various specialists are extremely articulate about their particular areas but I didn't. Category of Russian. I would say the possibility of contact with any other critically nonexistent. And I feel particularly frustrated in this regard. I have never been in Russia for instance. And I have met very few tourists headed. For the average tourist. There's a large body of Russian.
Generally classified or characterized as workers of peasants. This is simply not. Part of the communication and this is a frustration. I suppose. Tragedy. It's a very real frustration for all of us but it might be especially clinically speaking communicate with readily defined nation. PARTICIPANT I wonder whether you share one of the feelings which I have and that is communicating with what we call loosely is opposite number particularly in the academic areas considerably and it seems to be a fairly frank and free interchange. Incidentally not on the academic level that there have been
international communication very frequently in discussing anyone and if you had a similar feeling to be with that situation. Communication flows quite readily. Russian hospitality comes to the fore. I would like to add one. Category that of course Russia approached the tourist. I can practice three sometimes four. Purposes. Record one can make contact with them and talk with them either in Russian or in English.
But the difficulty here is that. Young people because they're young people. I think because it is very difficult very late I found it very difficult to determine the motivation of many of these people actually. Same experience. Many of them. Curious precisely why given something I think. More than anyone else in the group would be in a position to answer a question which I know many Americans would like and that is orthodox religion. Question.
There are churches are open people are allowed to gather for their services. In actual practice there are a number of obstacles. For example one comes from a student told us quite frankly a crucifix or some really not very well and good organization. And of course how does it testified that regular participation in religious services would not be. In the pursuit of a particular career. Ended there are the direct services in Leningrad.
It was beautiful. And of course. Great Russian services. I also had the opportunity to attend your service in the capital and Catholic services. There are a number. Do not appear to observer. The. Fact is I've tried very much
of the Bible and I've been unable to locate it in any of the bookstores. I would be able of course to read it and a very important illustration legality of actual functioning of the body of such action. The mobility of population for example relatively well controlled by the availability or the lack of availability of housing. And the fact that housing. Look a little more carefully at the question which shift rapidly and even a quarter have a much better opportunity to
change change the superficial change to the fundamental. Would you take a second give an impression of the change the appearance of the people rather striking. I've noticed for example that women in much better dress. Clothing for. Articles of clothing. Hifi to.
Figure it out but it seems quite clear to me that things are better two years judging. By the. Rapid progress of construction here. Perhaps the solution to a great problem the housing. I would say that. I have the impression that this is a functioning society with single minded. Progress. That impression is one way she certainly thought about her much less area than you are shared by our reporting from Moscow and the
Soviet Union our guest today Dr. Thomas Magner chairman of the department of Slavic an Oriental language at the University of Minnesota Tom thanks much for coming in. You heard the E-W Zeebox dean of the summer session at the University of Minnesota in another recorded report from Russia. Another report will be heard next week at this time. This series is edited by station KUNM University of Minnesota. The programs are distributed to the station through the facilities of the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the end AB Radio Network.
Report from Russia
Thomas Magner
Producing Organization
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
KUOM (Radio station : Minneapolis, Minn.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
E.W. Ziebarth speaks to Thomas Magner, chairman of the Department of Slavic and Oriental Languages at the University of Minnesota, about the time he has spent in the Soviet Union.
Series Description
E.W. Ziebarth, Dean of the summer session at University of Minnesota, and ten other faculty members embarked upon a month-long trip through the Soviet Union. Ziebarth interviewed his peers about their thoughts on the trip.
Broadcast Date
Global Affairs
Public Affairs
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Host: Ziebarth, E. W. (Elmer William), 1910-
Interviewee: Magner, Thomas F.
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: KUOM (Radio station : Minneapolis, Minn.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 59-17-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:30
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Chicago: “Report from Russia; Thomas Magner,” 1959-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 22, 2024,
MLA: “Report from Russia; Thomas Magner.” 1959-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 22, 2024. <>.
APA: Report from Russia; Thomas Magner. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from