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Voices of Europe Milton mair American author and broadcaster lecturer and professor in the Institute of Social Research from Frankfurt University has been recording the voices of people who are alive and sensitive to the conditions that surround them. Here recorded in Paris is Milton Mayer. A few years ago the famous hangouts of the Parisian existentialists where the cafes of the DU Magaw and the flora bloom of are saying their man on the left bank. Meanwhile my agents inform me the real existentialist who are hanging out at a much fancier bar. Of the hotel par or why or how. But. Within recent months. There has been a trend in the
direction. Of the bar Montanna. In the reuse am been whacked also in the. Same as your man Day Parade district of Paris. The bar Montanna is more crowded smaller than the others and the drinks are a good deal cheaper. The little queen of the bar Mon. Not according to my agents in Paris is a girl named 80. I was told that. If I wanted to find out about existentialism. If I wanted to see it now live I should have to
meet memes out 80. And so to the bar Montana where I found a plump little girl who looked about 15 years old with curly wild yellow hair wearing blue jeans and a turtleneck blue sweater and a flaming red jacket. Mademoiselle 80. MEMS Our Lady. What do you tell us where you come from. St. Louis St. Louis Missouri Missouri and you are the mademoiselle of the bar Montana.
Before I find out from you. Mamzelle it be how you got from St. Louis Missouri to the bar Montana and the Left Bank of Paris. I wonder if you will tell me what Existentialism is I have never been able to find out either. What is it good for and what does it mean. It's good for about 17 year old children who like it have nothing better to do. Are you an existentialist. I had no idea. People have always told me I was and by virtue of being told You are an existentialist What do you guess that existentialism might be exactly what I am namely me maybe you live the kind of life you like and that's all. Have you lived the kind of life you like. By the
way you're not 15. No. How old are you. MEMS I'd be 23. And what was your background in St. Louis. Oh sort of the usual kind of education. Well I've had school and public schools the whole business. What did your family do. Frog and switch company for ogg and switch company in St. Louis. Yes. Was this your father's business. No it was my grandfather's business. And did you live with your grandparents. Yes. What happened to your parents. They want to you were there when you were how old. I was about three or four and then what. They left you with your grandparents. Yes. Then what happened to your parents. My father
my mother she remarried they were divorced you know. And you were brought up in St. Louis What schools did you go to. I went to Mary Institute Mary Institute Yes in St. Louis NC and then where. But then I went to a school called brown most of New Mexico and then Notting Hill Bamford in New York and then and then I didn't go to school anymore. How did you happen to change schools as often as you did. I was thrown out. What for. Bad influence on the other girls. Did the other girls influence you badly. I don't particularly remember the other girls. Did you influence them badly as far as you know. No. And what was the basis of this evil charge against you from school to school.
I never particularly worked very much. And how did you get to Paris and why. My father brought me here because there was nothing I could do in the States and I wouldn't work. Why not. Because I don't like work. Were you anxious to leave the States. I'd always dreamed of coming to Paris. Your father brought you to Paris and left you here. Yes exactly. With or without means visible or invisible means of support without without. Did he do this for the sake of teaching you a good lesson or to yes to teach you a good lesson. And did you learn the good lesson. Well I never went back to the states. That was last. Did you ever work. Oh yes now on doing what decoration. What do you
mean by decoration. Actually since you done any painting or any poetry you know I write a little bit now when I feel like it. Do you publish it or try to. No. Let's go one. Madame is out eighty two. The life you've lived. Tell me a little bit about it. Well I'd just live throughout but who hasn't. If you lived like everyone else I had to have it. How if you left. I don't know. Well you say you haven't worked much. I haven't done anything. How have you supported yourself. I have no idea. Oh yeah I don't. How do you people always invite me to dinner. Have you acquired the clothing you are wearing.
I have no idea. I just ask people for things and they give it to me. And now wait a minute have you been married. Yes to a French woman to a French woman. Did he have an occupation. Oh yes he's in the theater. He's very serious. This he didn't have any money. No but he's going to make a lot someday I suppose. And does he support you when he can. CHILDREN Yes. How many. 2 How old are they. Three and a half and four and a half years old. And do you support them. No. Does he where do they live they live in the south of France. There is supported by the French government. And you and your husband do you live together. No.
So he I take it does not support you know sometimes and you support him. You know sometimes too. Now let's go into this situation a little deeper because making a living is a traditional occupation of the human race and one which I and my other Americans I am concerned with and my seriously do understand MEMS our aid that you have been in Paris how many years five and without working without work and without actually being supported from any single regular source of support I have every three months $200 I give a hundred to my husband and I keep 100 myself. You get two hundred dollars from the state dividends from
the money I'm supposed to have when I'm thirty five from your father my grandparents from your grandparents. Two hundred dollars every three months. And this you split with your husband. Yes. From whom you are separated. Yes. And you manage to live on it. I spent two days doing what paying my dad. How do you spend your time. Doing nothing mostly and quiet if I may ask you are you to be found at the bar Montana because I meet all my friends there. Now let's go back a little bit to this existentialist business do you. Are you conveying to me the notion that existentialism is a fraud or what. I'm sure there are a lot of people that are very serious about it but I don't happen to know them.
Do you regard it as a fad something that's massing. Yes it's already past it's already past. Is it a product of post-war parece. I don't think so no I think it's something that's already been done very often. You know kind of typical of terrorists before they call people Bohemian. Now they call them shitless. What are you going to do with your life. I have no idea. Are you worried about it. No. Are you worried about your children. No. Is it because they're in good hands. No it's because I think they're very bright and perfectly capable of living normally. And do you have any ambition this writing you mentioned. Are are you sort of secretly ambitious about writing. I'm very ambitious about writing but I don't have the nerve to do
anything about it. Now wait a minute. Is it nerves or is it just that you don't like to work and work. Well and it's not a matter of lack of nerves. It is too because I would never walk up to somebody in an office and say this is what I have written. They wouldn't like it perhaps and then I'd hate what. Would you like to be doing ten years from now. Probably drinking a beer at the mountain. Just what you're doing now. Exactly is this existentialism. I have no idea. You find more approval of what you do here in Paris on the left bank than you do in America. Your approval approval of the way you live. I couldn't live that way in the States. Do you think that the states
are right or wrong. I mean that is do you understand what I mean. Yes but this added to it in the States is the right one or the wrong one. I don't think about other people's attitudes. I just find it more convenient more charming and more beautiful because Paris is beautiful. Then it's not. Let me see it's not that a question of. Moral standards are what's good are bad or right or wrong. My moral standards are that I don't believe in good and bad. I think everything's good if you do it. If you want to do it. You mean if you do it charmingly or if you want to do it. If you want to do it now wait a minute. Does this include cutting people's throats. I've never cried anyone's throat I wouldn't know. Do you disapprove even mildly of other people's cutting people's throats. I think it's always bad to kill someone. Why if there's nothing good or bad thank God trapped you
know because I think that everyone's life is wonderful. I don't disapprove of the person that kills them. I just disapprove of dying. Anything else you disapprove of. No. How about hate. Do you like hate. Do you approve of that of people enjoy hating. I don't know it never encountered it. No not even in the United States. Not even the United States. I wouldn't have anything to do it. I don't know what it is vaguely from saying people hate each other. Where did this dream of yours of coming to Paris come from. Was this just the little girl who didn't like it where she was. I've always dreamt of it because I read. I used to read books about Paris I used to be very When I was very young I used to imagine and I was going to go to somewhere like that. And then I came over here and found out that I wasn't tall but it was wonderful
to hear you play and to stay. I don't plan I'm just saying I am. But as you imagine yourself 10 years you know 20 30. Good gracious you've got a long time ahead of you. It will be drinking a beer in the bar Montana. I don't imagine I just don't imagine anything i live from day to day. I'll see what happens. Thanks Mademoiselle 80. Myra Hallinan is a Finnish girl from a small country town in east Finland where her father who died in 1932 owned a small sawmill that Helen and farm and saw mill are dated back to about 15 50 as far as the church records go. The earlier church records according to Myra were destroyed in one of the many wars between the Finns and the Russians. Here is Milton Mayor Meyera Where were you during the war.
I've lost that and yes I've seen the shit out of me. The last big battle it was up at I think 10 behind the line sometimes that of us only a couple of the moment. That's. The problem. The last but that of us up at I think Ben because that I've lost any houses. And your father was dead and where were your mother and your brothers and sisters my mother had of us. And yes and she was rocking in the gun my last gun my skin pouch fought in the leads and my brother was a boss in the ME and my sister. That's one of them vas Yash Banderas and yes an aide and so on. Last month being a second about it in the
middle of that ice bath. So there was nobody home. That's just empty walls and your whole family your mother your three brothers and all four of you girls were in the war. Yeah and were any of you wounded or killed. My own list I that of us in the in the ring that a bar. My second brother had a go at doing both. Now when you speak of the Winter War this was the war of 1939 between Russia and Finland. Oh yeah and then again Russia and Finland went to R A year later. Oh yeah and fought until 1944.
Yeah and my what are the experiences the most memorable experiences you had as a Finn with the Russians when you were a nurse in the war. I do remember a wound from the early days 1940 and they were there in North Finland in satellite in photo and it was very hot because we had to begin when the fact that we had meant for about 50 patients in our house but that but that we had to pay about game and sometimes that it was four handed handed a hundred bands change coming in
one day. That that I was doing. It was fast that I packed days and I had to be invoking from some of it down from 6 after 11 in the night and then the boys to the finish Soledad who were going there and I came in and said that he has been sleeping now but now he is a vocal. I see too and see the doctors had gone to bed so I said all right I'll see if the doctor has really big call diversion so badly blinded but he had been shot in his right eye at him so he bows out of being in any case they brought him in on this thread and I took some things on a Thursday and I had to
set it in my hand I went to him and got the dish. So then he booked his family a big test in front of my face. While I show it aside so he took some of it across and Big put it on my face. So whether in actual dancing that is no need to photograph say so I I was a little surprised and I bought that on top of it and then I looked at it look at that Heene and he washed fast. He was so afraid of us. Most. Groused on his face. I watched that chalk because I couldn't imagine that anyone could be offended for me. I couldn't speak and it Ashton
so I thought but the gross of it and then I changed the deicing and both a bit of it. I sing and then I said the boys that he would get. D you know that I asked and laughed. D. And then he got this copy of the end. They did it he said. I try get a little thigh Mayra what this jive mean this is D and I ha and and then. Michael had in his pocket a mood and spoon harass and use it as had wooden spoons. They have had a nicely painted and when he had finished his days so I show him that I would like to see it and
then he gave it to me so he kissed my hand. I've also asked and added the thought of that must also because it isn't that I have it in Finland to behave like that. We didn't test what to do he didn't vote but that's back and I still have it. My right you don't know what became of this soldier. I never had. And did you have any other experiences with Russians I suppose you had many wounded Russians. Oh yes like that on land when it was pretty full on but God makes a baton. That's bad. I was going. Just got in. And that I've got a big bad this and go behind our ally
the. Childish watch that I bellowed at our house but that was between the batteries and grope and the lions and they gave us that I think it's abit behind our back. One day that a game said that it said that out of patience and one glass and she had been shooting like anything and said that I would boy she was underage because they didn't want to hurt her. They knew that she was a girl. And I didn't want to hurt her. But at last they had shot her in the bottom. She was rather badly founded because the narrative voice brow again. And then they brought her to our hospital.
She was afraid that she couldn't understand a thing and then we had to put a bandage splashed around her so she thought that it must be some kind of dark tart your daughter turned. Yeah. And she was art. Why go to the fair. On her face quite clearly a laggard thing about it. Then things and I took her to bed. I'm sure she hadn't been in a bed in three four. We had clean sheets and I made jam toilet for her last and so on then then then everything was finished and she of us that are going to bed so she said to me
it means thank you in who read this. And this was the only word she could say that was the only good thing. And in in Finnish the word for thank you I think is keepers but the Finns understand the word talkin sweet oh so add and she too could say this one Swedish word. Oh yeah see the comic bad that is that. O o o o o o d s. They're both so fussy about her. Give us a nice SAM 7 things she had divined a full skin and Vanda full of ice and she was a good girl I think she had to have some way. See the boys saw that she was
afraid and there was passing like a muppet about her that sister wouldn't get shouldn't be offended and even those boys who was written did live I was telling that to do what they could get out of that that fast. You mean even the boys whom she had wounded. Oh yeah my route will you will you tell me how you as a fan felt about the Russians before these wars began in 1939 between the Finns and the Russians. It is little difficult to say because you see I am so young that I have any memories of the last times when the rations for us here. And of course in our home that of us talking about the glasses.
But that in any case. I have also a little bit afraid what will happen with the fashions and I didn't want that kind of government in Finland. I thought our boss. Good for us. Then the event that of our past has taught every live us they do to fake it till I die for our independence. But then after this bout us. I can't say any more I mean I feel strongly that Finland can be independent but that hate has not exist like that. No hate anymore about that stuff. I'm a little bit today.
Voices of Europe
Mademoiselle Hedy and Maire Halonen
Producing Organization
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Interviews with a Mademoiselle Hedy and Maire Halonen about, respectively, existentialist living in Paris and life in Finland during World War II.
Other Description
Interviews with noted Europeans on a variety of subjects, conducted by Milton Mayer, American author and broadcaster, lecturer and professor in the Institute of Social Research at Frankfurt University.
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Global Affairs
Battle casualties
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Interviewee: Halonen, Maire
Interviewer: Mayer, Milton, 1908-1986
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 52-37-41 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:25
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Chicago: “Voices of Europe; Mademoiselle Hedy and Maire Halonen,” 1953-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 20, 2022,
MLA: “Voices of Europe; Mademoiselle Hedy and Maire Halonen.” 1953-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 20, 2022. <>.
APA: Voices of Europe; Mademoiselle Hedy and Maire Halonen. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from