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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 through 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 Zeba. Reporting on the Black Sea and the Soviet Union and what made a day at the octagon. Barker Canada bit by bit of geography at the University of Minnesota but man Mark writing about the geography of the Soviet Union and let me write out a victory during Hamlet questioned about a natural right of the land mass to Eric. Like much marked areas where the geography that you look for when you travel to a
foreign nation you are now traveling to the Soviet Union. Well I wonder I was in a hurry like this easy. There's so much to look for and so little time in which to do it that it becomes pretty difficult. In general over about the last character of your bet I had the book many hundreds or perhaps several hours studying detail map and generalized maps of the dark and maps of many different characteristics and features of the Soviet Union photograph. To fix the law came good when I traveled to the country. As were travelling my. I guess compelling areas to see how people use the land and how the patterns of you fit the patterns that one is pretty can see from Ron the study of the
map. I mean you didn't saying weather changes in agricultural land use far or expect that they should travel across the country or weather. The four step transition zone which is probably one of the most exhilarating regional boundaries in the world and one of the most important in the Soviet Union whether it's for the world a map say it shouldn't whether it works the way it should. These are the kinds of things that one looks for I think it could be summarized by saying that where you can think how are people using the land and what sort of pattern of your graphic pattern emerges from this major Africa kind of general question which I'm sure most professors would abhor but are you willing now after several thousand miles of travel in the Soviet Union your exploration the Caucasus areas I know you been doing.
Have you been finding about what you expect. Yes I think I must say you are the first. Few days in which we travel by rail from Grattan or to Leningrad and the Warsaw Leningrad line incidentally. We were I believe the five of us who came in that way and we nor we were the first English speaking people to ride the train in over a year and are proud already in somewhat greater that time but. Good as it is things are getting pretty well are really patterns which are arbitrary sage indicate they should fit but I must say that. That for several days I would store variety in the diversity and the extent of the thing that we were doing with it. It took me to see the picture of a
Soviet Union have I think you mentioned a couple of days ago in casual conversation the largest landmass of any modern nation factor have any special significance for geographers doing the kind of study you're doing here. Well we did during the crisis that I guess we are no more to some degree but I must admit that I impressed far more vividly than I ever have been before. We're not only the 5 but going on without a court quite naturally with the diversity. And really where are the land of the Soviet Union. We have seen the southern part of the. Time our northern Florida region which covers. Roughly half of the country. And we are seeing in the just one more portion of the perfectly enormous timber resources of the country. I
mean predicting to them over the fact that there are apparently overrides part of that is used for firewood their resources capable of use for power and lumber. We've seen the mining region of the Dornier basin and it was very impressive the way for the other day are right between roughed up and Carcar. Took a tour over the. Two major cities they don't yet to reach the record one of the major core regions of Europe and metropolitan areas don't know Marcie have go which we flew over. An area that quarter million people are very impressive. We went over it not only the city that the area of core mind will or we've. Watched the long string the tank cart moving north from the caucuses in the industrial region to the north through the pearly gate where every
star and for an hour really. Really amazing. Field pattern a vast field with a collective farm area the rocker's region. And I think one can't help but be impressed with the fact that here they fired at a diversity of resources that maps in the United States and a great many ways given at diversity Dr. Birch are right about the accomplishments what about the utilization of the resources quite apart from the well again. As one travels through the country I think you can't help but be impressed with the weather the great changes which have obviously taken place. In the pattern of land use in the city than in the countryside and in the transportation routes in this country. Over the past 13 years. And in of course much of that in the process of the postwar
recovery reconstruction recovery and advances. Made changes in land use pattern and no doubt clergy graphic expression economic growth and social change that has been taking place in the country. They say one can't help but be impressed if I can thank you example that. We've seen for example in the collective farm region not only the large field which are very obvious. Frightened of. Not going to live the collectivization process enormous political implications but. Obvious signs of the fact that there is now a great deal of mechanization in the major agricultural regions of the country had so many impressions along these lines. Nor in what direction did precede afraid but drug free Tarrar or the fact that that there isn't.
A moment to the capital investment in machinery and electrification of the countryside here in the more fertile areas in the rocker is a region the contrast between the Northern firing areas and the main Riker's region jet in its respective can drafted to a new year is to me what your contract with you. Better anticipated or did it got to be something of a surprise. No analysis reason or believe depicting Sylvia farm machinery production will indicate this. So I must say that again it was still vivid as we've sat through it that it was a serial I was very much interested and I wondered whether you could confirm one of my expert observations. A fight between gruff and I noticed some evidence of industrial development perhaps a result of that essential or zation program out in relatively open area or substantial urban development around it was my observation was the conclusion which I do here at all
accurate. Yes this was particularly noticeable as we came close to the core region and as we approached it from the northwest the main mineral resort in Ukraine are not only the call of the ferry but also think limestone. And they extend in a belt from spilling on rocky of kid to the metropolitan areas that don't have bacon northwestward toward Kharkov. And it looked very industrial belt that one might say is comparable in some ways to the urban industrial western Pennsylvania but in a cynical landscape like that of western North Dakota and the individual development stand out very prominently on this open step country and then wouldn't have rather extensive new industrial development.
Obviously pulled to war and much of it still under construction apparently began the past few years. I don't know the entrance. What do you say that you're very much in evidence is the utilization of resources of which you speak. The evidence is a problem. There are areas in which the development not been quite impressive. You're standing I think in the landscape if it shows up in general in the normal traffic that one can see in almost any. Usually without even having to look at the contract between the new calendar and between the primitive in the way you want today and. For example numerous housing projects that we've visited in the city made a particular point of this because I've been
working as a consultant and doing some research in connection with planning in our own Twin Cities metropolitan area and I hope to see more of this in mind. But. We've been at it for example with TAF Taki Ziebart a very extensive and impressive new housing project. It's designed to harvest 40 families within the next five years and pride reside in the already very impressive you had when you. Got to work this out. You realize that when this planet is completed it will account for perhaps 10 percent of our population which is the present standard quite an adequately Howard. And. It will take. For another seven or eight times the amount of housing to take care of the
population and it's going to take many many years. The hardening problem is obviously a major one they have a very large amount of work ahead in that respect. There certainly are striking. We haven't very much time left and I wonder if you'd like to take it to make any kind of generalization in terms of the things about which we've been speaking. I think so I think one can say that it is very easy to be impressed with a large amount of practice that has been made and it is quite easy to see the large distances are referred to before the government has achieved its goal in terms of consumer goods and general material level of living. I think also I am impressed with the fact that the Soviet government and Soviet economic growth and restart development is placing in the hands of these people a great variety of material goods
making a small segment of the population. People are certainly going to develop. Can any problem the management. Of shipping or ship which are going to write more and more and more start to the country become more complex. And think to mean that they are going to have many of the problems that we have in turn the administration of their country. Just simply making like technology work and I can't help but feel that the real path to the revolutionary variation of communism is going to occur at any country in any abstract way but in the factory
Report from Russia
Dr. John Borchert
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 Dr. John Borchert about the time he has spent in the Soviet Union.
Other 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: Borchert, John R.
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: KUOM (Radio station : Minneapolis, Minn.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 59-17-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:15:00?
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Chicago: “Report from Russia; Dr. John Borchert,” 1959-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 23, 2021,
MLA: “Report from Russia; Dr. John Borchert.” 1959-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 23, 2021. <>.
APA: Report from Russia; Dr. John Borchert. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from