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Report from Russia E-W Ziebart 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 firsthand impressions for this program. Now here is Dean Zeba. Barked reporting from Moscow and with me in an improvised studio here actually in my hotel room at the Leningrad Dr. Robert Holt of the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota and I have been chatting very briefly and finally doctor about what I think might be a really unique experience that short time ago you're in Moscow and I beckoned up to sit down and continue chatting with me about it. Recorder in operation because I felt quite sure that a good many people back in the United States would find it fascinating and I
think revealing kind of experience would be willing. Just sketch in the general outline for you a good many questions if I may be that I was writing with a group of students from Yale University and the members of the court decided to take a trip to the Soviet Union and hear the tour completely free of any kind of delegation of labor traveling from city to city and get a place in one of the larger cities and prompted a completely without enough of course to find a group of Americans singing Russian songs in this obvious city is something which will attract a crowd. I guess nobody stops them for disturbing the peace. Now are the two that I thought there were a few places getting around. But no attempt whatsoever to prevent them from continuing their singing. So how did you become involved in this.
From an American newspaper group one night and some of the students and they told me they were singing their last concert in the Soviet Union back Saturday night. I decided that I would go and see what happened when a group of Americans doing this try to do something like that. I actually arrived to the square after the singing in fact. But the students as was typical. You never studied in the Soviet Union. I would break up into small groups after the thing was over and with members of their audience. The kind of questions which people had to raise about the United States. Goodness and illustration if you will or two or three illustrations if you care to of the kinds of questions which were pretty easy that during the discussion period where I pushed into one of the small groups and it happened one of the few in the court that did not big Russian it was talking in English. The majority of them were Russian
speaking I guess 14 out of 18 could speak Russian English speaking. Welcome my help in getting some of the problems with these people. And after about 15 minutes or so he left to go back to his hotel and met me from Iraq 10:15 in the evening. 1:15 the next morning. I'm sure it was a welcome diversion for this kind of relationship. Yes I was very happy to see him leave a minute ago about the kind of questions we have raised. I think that about 50 percent of the questions had to do with American foreign policy. This I suppose is to be expected. Proportion of them a reasonable expectation about American foreign policy American foreign policy action in action and going back a few years actually
capitalism and they certainly felt it was disturbing the peace of the lack of objectivity and reporting and understanding foreign policy resulting. I think that is probably a result of two factors. One act of information about these events and hear about these events. Official Russian sources in the you know it's a very distorted picture. Secondly I think their background and training indicate to them the natural kind of behavior to expect from a capitalist imperial power and the fact that they read in the newspaper that theories which have been driven into their heads in their school the factory elevation and the
combination of fact and allegation question cation I think the foreign policy question was perhaps roughly the order question but I can't I can't imagine that you could get to a discussion of the Little Rock of the race problem being very prominently discussed but it certainly didn't come easy and I guess people showed a great deal of concern about what was happening in America. I tried to point out to them there was an exception really. There are many many others in the United States we're going to great taking place peacefully and trying to point out to them that they've heard about Little Rock because Little Rock was an exception was a convincing reply. Do you think that completely no. Again I think the Little Rock City in very well with some of the about of the battle in their
school. If it is possible in the Soviet Union on this kind of question rather frequently can we make an effective in terms of the stereotype which as you indicated do exist. I'm not sure there is any effective reply that can make easy or defective reply would be the reply of the American people to do away with the little rocks. I think that the best we can do here is to try to point out is I cried to point out an exception and that the practices of American democracy practices of argument and discussion of practices of rationality would eventually saw this kind of problem I would suppose that in this situation the data say that Iraq. I would assume that you would have had a good many questions about the American economy which is inevitable here a
declining economy as this is the kind of thing at which we hear a great deal here did you hear these people question and you know are there certain isolated in American production. And in the nation and eventually into the point of the production which is very much on the industrial and agricultural production for example you have seen in many places a region over region. This production affected better production as one illustration and an important one in the United States maybe leveling off and may actually eventually decrease as a result of our lowered consumption of fat and the recent findings on cholesterol.
I suspect no here actually is the superior production I don't know that you got into this kind of thing at all with this particular group. Fortunately no policy major minor ones with curiosity about American life came through in these discussions are they really interested in the facts about America French or American or Russian women with a more beautiful I don't know if you speak to diplomatic lady for diplomacy and questions about material things.
Many of the questions deal with material things which kind of question that's very interesting a discussion. Discussions with the university rather distinguished the majority didn't happen here at the beginning about the nature of the opposition. But we didn't examine it very carefully. A little bit. These people
would get the impression from what you said that this was a group to us but actually you indicated that that was not the case that was not the case. I think there were very few if any in this group who had a university education in factories or discussions at the end of the debate and discussion with me 35 years of age in an electrical plant in the Soviet Union. I make very good English and in command of a command of English language meaning little formal training in this area. I think we overuse the term cross-section of Moscow educated
to draw general conclusion from this discussion and of course the many other weeks we've traveled within the Soviet Union. The issue of closing generalization. Perhaps a minute or a minute. Well I think this particular discussion great. Discussion. Willingness of people to resort to force in situations in which the American people would prefer to settle the problem under discussion. Discussion
debate for instance when I mentioned that we were trying to start a little rock problem by traditional methods of democracy if they want to back me and the majority of the people of Iraq and do something about it. Put up with them and this willingness to resort to brutality and violence and force is something which is very foreign to an American and yet part of the accepted daily life of the residents of my favorites are certainly disturbing and distressing. Point here I don't expect that we would like to run into it. I think the major occasion
jacket occasion for the intervention and then most interesting after coming in Dr Robert Wood a political science at the University of Minnesota reporting from Moscow. You heard 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 E.B. Radio Network.
Report from Russia
Dr. Robert Holt
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. Robert Holt 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: Holt, Robert T.
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: KUOM (Radio station : Minneapolis, Minn.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 59-17-10 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:30
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Chicago: “Report from Russia; Dr. Robert Holt,” 1959-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 23, 2024,
MLA: “Report from Russia; Dr. Robert Holt.” 1959-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 23, 2024. <>.
APA: Report from Russia; Dr. Robert Holt. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from