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Voices of Europe Milton Mayer American author and lecturer broadcaster and professor in the Institute of Social Research from Frankfurt University has been recording the voices of Europeans who are alive and sensitive to the tragedy in the limo the conditions that surround them in the eastern sector of the Communist sector of the city of Berlin where Hans Newman is employed as a janitor in the building. Newman of course is not his real name or Newman who is 60 years old was trained as a mechanic in Berlin. He went to sea landed in San Diego worked as an automobile and airplane mechanic there came back to Germany and nine hundred twenty nine. Worked there as a mechanic until 1934 when he went to Afghanistan to train mechanics for the Afghanistan Air Force. He came back to Germany and 942 when all Germans were deported from Afghanistan he was conscripted into the labor force of the German Army served during the war in Russia and in Italy. After the war and his release as a prisoner of war he went back to his home in the eastern sector of Berlin and got a job
as a truck driver and is now the janitor of a building there. Milton Mayer interviewed him in western Berlin where Norman. How much of a family do you have. I have a matter of time between when I was a girl and you have Rochebrune or try to read it that I have only two were your instructor but my right to not learn or grow because they didn't like you were doing this for you and the two who live in the East sector with you and your wife their browser girls one of the more I want to order it and grow up. You never do. Now they're annoying.
I'd like you to tell me that your rages are every month as a janitor after you have paid your taxes. I have three hundred and sixty seven marks not to need to know to move three hundred sixty seven. That's East Berlin. That is East Berlin marks a month that would be about about just about exactly twenty two dollars a month. Are you able to exist on it. No sir I am not doing Christmas on it. My wife has to want to wear the six year was when I was more than I am going to quit buying my Sharp would win two pair.
In our own so called A Good Day Emma the public not ever having to belong to the Brady Bill. But the people are getting poorer and poorer exception for those who are into Prady the so-called actually keep higher push for their work or at high cost. Did Ken make a bet on another and I still depend on your Bic pens and coupons which you get only a year or 10 days or 20 days from here. To buy a corded highest speed store in Harlem with Stage Door knobs that means that your ration coupons last your ration coupons last you only for 10 days of the month and some in the in the last 20 days of the month you have to buy in the States in
dollars. Yes and now what is the right of the price of food for instance. How much is meat. It's about six marks a pound. We're not higher toward where I want a pound of meat. Now let me figure meat is 6 marks. That's east marked my meat is six East marks a pound and that would be about 36 cents a pound. Now that sounds cheap to an American but you say that for six marks. You must work for hours. Yes yes. And write about what's the cost of butter bread across the board compound and now let me let me see 10 marks supply that would be 60 cents I think that also sounds cheap to an American but let's translate that that 10 months into labor How long do you have to work for a pound of butter a picture board six or seven.
I walk right in but I've got to put on ya know. Do you have any any political obligations when you work in each sector. Is there any indoctrination are you free just to go to your work and then go home and do as you like or are you under pressure. Yes we have some decorum schooling. But where are you going to between commuting every year between people perfectly here two weeks every week to school every day because every week every vehicle and run up is there. Tell me a little bit about this. This schooling is it voluntary or is it compulsory components when it's compulsory because you don't want to start down every year think if you if you would
if you had. If you know about the whole not Prada sheet or do you just not probably own a couple of times. What if you took part only one times you get might tell one an honest look at people when you slip a babe out was going to hire the publisher for putting a really high polluting organism. On every piece. You're there left start as the PLO and on the right side it's a list of collection. You don't rush starting spoofing or to put some kind of a shift and looking at all what I had that building there already. You mean that you are required to do the work of rebuilding Berlin to give some time to the rebuilding of Berlin or must you make a contribution to it. What you make you make a cunt of doing to it. How many how many hours you
going to war. Now that's interesting because I was hearing in the west sector from one of the officials here about the no top for that is the stamps which the people in West West Germany must buy a little to Phenix stamp to go on each letter for the relief of Western Berlin and every German who writes a letter must put on a little too pending stamp that goes especially for the relief of West Berlin in East Berlin and you are forced to contribute not money but labor. Remember now you told me you told me you told me here in Iran that you're right. Also has to work. Your wife must also work you know in order to get enough money to make a bet on Lebanon and bet on it and you don't want to make it but I do have her
steward tune in about 90 foot turned off to morrow and next time and what kind of work does your wife do. My my dad is working to get us in a reform school or touring drones with you on bad tracks and discomposed remember Patito good call us what you could speak to her on the steps more. He is compelled to make a chorus and when you do grow six months or Huge could put Florida and this political chorus did he go to this course for time. You know every day I would. He's growing every day. I was schooling you come for more hybrid pluck nods when you phrased it on target it's not on books short of starting with health care we know it at a time when you're sick. And since most of the border from school were a
few seconds he couldn't do it anymore and you mean. Is she against. I take it that he is taking this political course he must be taking it he must take this political course in order to hold her job and I said yes. And what does she like it. Yeah you don't lie because what I don't suppose he wouldn't stick to wouldn't. I figure it's to be I fear not really. If you can't make it an imported one of my what do you mean by that or not I'm on the tell me said more about that address too hot because we can't clearly do you. And it doesn't come from our He's inside he's not. Let's go inside he said. You mean she doesn't really believe that so I said Dutch if you didn't really believe it. But does she talk to you as if he
believes in it. At first the first if you had a custom orders that she was trying to avoid Now I suppose she can't stick to wood fires. My in my opinion and you yourself I mean how do you how do you feel about communism is as I've been there do you and your wife agree about all of this I do not agree I voted against it only get it in there and if you are somebody some Bunch Of course we don't we're not going to verify the quarter of the kids he wants me to bet I'm good but I don't care that I can do with this time from there. It's been part of. I understand what you mean but you're right because she runs to make a better living for the kids. Instead she tries to believe this. If you try it and I would I suppose that makes it a little tough at home doesn't it. I don't need to write a top and I'd make sure I'm figuring about
doing it. I should learn to do more with it. Yeah I figure if you're going to throw If you're not I want to ask you a personal question if you don't mind her Nyman. When you say this I see how strongly you feel and how difficult this situation has made it in your home. Did you have difficulties like this you and your wife before why this or is it just this political thing which does it just a particular party that you're supporting her but must move her reality. And but you think you really are wife in our heart does not delete it. No I don't I don't I don't buy it in things and it's hard for you to to tolerate I know but I don't you think you've got to go on doing it. I had turned I don't know what I'd wanted to wear to the winner tonight in the right. I can't I think I can begin to move. I can stand it and she has
its own. I am going I am only new and to describe when I feel my tomorrow if it's time to time just you are going to feel it. Harish decolletage bonobo might call it of my have not quite a group which do well but don't want to come to terms with it right it's really too much and you mean that without believing in all of this herself that she he might even betray you. Yes if the teller is really not that that's that's that's why that's that's what I believe in me with her regular But dare you talk to her. David Brooks do you quit after a job that I took the hit that I'm going to do you know who she is and is not here trying to trying to get when you know I mean ríos is the would be the West Berlin radio and it's we're going to turned it off who totally if you turned it up wanted her to do it again
something that you know to put on your wife said You're not supposed to listen to and then just one last question here now and then. Some of what you say sounds a little bit as if life over there in East Berlin is a little bit like the way it was under the Nazis. No I believe that it should work together and it's doing well. It's Monday instead of going out in front of my body where I want them to get nothing for you not to tell you the decor that we have but it's not going to think of it if you don't do what you do to. Get what you don't want to come to training camp and you have a good Nazis did the same thing didn't think now but it will get here to ride if you don't get too worried about it but I have tried I believe it it's worth it. Yeah and some
extent yeah. All right thank you very much Aaron Iman and I hope things things go better. And now also in West Berlin Milton Mayer interviews a woman in West Broadway and in this half of a city I am interviewing a member of a very order and eminent German family of scholars scientists and Democrat. This family let us call the fun book Family and the daughter of this family. Frau Wagner. Is here with me.
Wagner. Would you tell a lot of the modern history of the fine folk family I am on here. Billy Graham you know I can hum a rocky rom when my brother went to Africa. Eva can me my program. Did he go to Russia as a chemist there are they come you know he went to after coming up a bit right hurr hurr up. Actually every time I think they're going to live how to put you know the Perth private you know. And that was in 1931. Yeah right and the Great who what you're about to get Prada and I ran the baby
in about it and that was in one thing. Thirty three that wanted one thing the preppy great father. We're going to count them. I am prepared for the little bugger about in nineteen hundred. Improper do you think he wrote her I'm going to need thinking about icky. Why because of the wrong not to remember but not the poppy. He robbed not member of any party but he sympathized with the family. You Rob Barry Deathbird because you propound the map to Pete. That's number one big group because everyone wrong and right. And what did he do then. Maybe Tom you haven't brought
him with him back to impact we brought him there. Iraq and MacLeod. And did the family or your father have any face to face trouble with the Nazi. Oh you little time like a purple kangaroo to my problem house and drama you have an implication you were going to our into what quarter are like of purple here in Berlin. You mean building. My ma my daughter and I we write could be father bought up against pop Will you going to Iraq and we fear he would not come back. He did.
Now during this time for our Wagner did you or your mother or father see your brother or hear from him. Yeah you were the prime problem 131 to 900 and he wrote I'd have to add about an eight I'm really didn't know anything that is until the end of the Second World War. Yeah until the end. Did your mother and father or you will ever see your brother after he went to Russia in 1931. Yes my mother and father saw him twice. Run him right through the party of the Tea Party in Italy and in nineteen hundred and six in Prague. Did he discuss politics with them or as far as you know. Why did he discuss politics in the letters that he wrote a
memo to cover how to take you to get coffee and I you know write her back. He barely caught her. We didn't know at that time. If you bother coming back. I think not. And then the last time you saw your brother you yourself saw your only brother until after the Second World War was 1941. I didn't see him because only my Param reality in Italy and probably now my back and I have had by him I can hunt in the American way burning my bra after having returned from Russia he found him where he is the director of a big chemical factory he had a combative communist and barely a problem.
I can't see him because this would be a bad job for him. Am now providing or what happened to you and what was left of your family after the Second World War our after 1945 after American Pie. Only my mama my pot and my did my middle daughter and I lived in Belgium. My brought up you turned nineteen hundred and eighty nine returned from where you had gone from Russia to where to believe he is leaving them. He returned that is to East Berlin and now to Berlin. That is you have said your mother and father and daughter and you were living in Berlin and you are rather returning to Berlin. Does this mean that he would that the family was together again. No because of my mother my father and I and leave
leave in life without him. My brother returned to east about him and you. What did you do after 1945. Up to a 900 I'm 45 I'm government Prime I'm big and they go to Burger King library in Berkeley. Now Wagner I'm not sure I understand you lived in West Berlin. That part of your family your mother and she and you and your your mother and you and your father and daughter your brother lived in East Berlin but you got a job in the library of the university and East Berlin did you choose to work in East Berlin. No I didn't prove it. I couldn't get to and about dumping the prime and there probably was never too late for me to work and you don't. And how long did you work there. I worked about during a three year
nineteen hundred and fifty. I me my and brought him home because I couldn't believe that the rat who put it in the car and I couldn't read them you can't hear between Dominique Russia and Iran. These I said to my director and baffle I'd walk by the home he who knew my employment and then what. And then began in a very difficult time for us because it's very difficult for me to find and he would drop her because I worked for a radio that you bet him and bear her off the rest. Robin I am a wreck on occupation. Me did not trust me and Frank and because of that I read
about him 300 per film. Goofy can you drop. Therefore I met my need to adopt a guru to have haha. Problem I am hyper I paid because you have the money and not to pay pal. And so you lost your brother in East Berlin and your daughter is gone also and you are your mother. My mother need to get out the commu. What is her life like now. What does she think of her live is very easy. Because if you marry Fred she is leaving to get out of her firm in the frame city map. If you come see him
oh he can theme Danny for them. Perhaps wrong thought twice. And yeah. And every time a few terms after having to pay it and leave it to him if you marry them because of the awful calm beneath not in public. And does he come to visit her. Are does she go to visit him she may not come to leave town for it is forbidden for you to get in a waist about him. She must go to see him. She must go to feed him and feed him. Perhaps but two hours and this she is allowed to visit him in the other side of the city the eastern side of the city. Only once or twice a year. Yes now you left your job in East Berlin. You couldn't find a job in West Berlin and do
you have any way of earning a living now. No I have a job but only for 20 a week. By the help of my footprint. Maybe Mom I must feed him you would drop back. I hope to find that he would up and I hope to see you want again my doctor. Tell me how does your mother how old is your mother my mother in heaven the cry of how does she see Allah there. She can't I'm of the politics and she can't rap and I can remain in good faith way and you can or what do you believe. My my we and the beauty of all the drama of who we are
than me. Accompli is that Domini again become dominant. Rapport we need to Democratic and we elect him and I hope America England and crown may be proud to add Russia to another with the elect who are still in Germany. I love life but I can die many will become more and more we and all the math prevent that that would have war. Wrong we would be a happy one. And if Frau Wagner if there is a hot war are what do you foresee. I couldn't recommend moving up the arm and arm for her would you up.
Voices of Europe
Hans Neumann and Frau Wagner
Producing Organization
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Interviews with Hans Neumann and "Frau Wagner" about life in West Berlin and East Berlin in the years after World War Two.
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.
Broadcast Date
Global Affairs
Berlin (Germany : West)
Media type
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Interviewee: Neumann, Hans
Interviewer: Mayer, Milton, 1908-1986
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 52-37-48 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:47
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Chicago: “Voices of Europe; Hans Neumann and Frau Wagner,” 1953-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 23, 2021,
MLA: “Voices of Europe; Hans Neumann and Frau Wagner.” 1953-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 23, 2021. <>.
APA: Voices of Europe; Hans Neumann and Frau Wagner. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from