University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame

America - Europe

A Transatlantic Diary 1961 - 1989

Klaus Lanzinger

Innsbruck, June 5, 1967

The Powder Keg in the Middle East Explodes

In the early morning hours of today, the powder keg in the Middle East exploded, full-scale war between Israel and the Arab League has broken out. In a quick air strike, Israel destroyed with one blow the air forces of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, before their aircrafts could even take off. And within a few hours, a heavy tank battle was underway. It is hardly imaginable that this small country will be able to withstand the Arab superiority.

Innsbruck, June 11, 1967

The Six-Day War

What Israel has accomplished in the past six days is unbelievable. Israel succeeded in destroying the entire Arab armed forces and to compel them to surrender within 48 hours. The Israeli tanks stormed through the Sinai Peninsula to the Suez Canal. The Israelis were also capable of taking the Old City of Jerusalem and to occupy the Gaza Strip, the West Bank of the Jordan River as well as the Golan Heights. On the urgent request by the Security Council of the United Nations, a cease-fire is being kept on all fronts.

Several lessons can be learned from the Six-Day War. A small country that is well armed and has the necessary will to defend itself can stand up against superior enemy forces. The Pan-Arabic superpower was practically only on paper. The massive Russian weapons supplies are of little help if the highly technical materials are not properly operated and serviced. A regional conflict carried out with conventional weapons does not trigger, as was feared, a nuclear war. But in the end, the war leaves behind untold misery: destroyed cities, casualties in great numbers, mutilated people, destitution, and a new flood of refugees.

Pentecost 1967

Twenty Years Catholic Student Union of Austria in Innsbruck

The twentieth anniversary of founding the Catholic Student Union of Austria in Innsbruck brings back memories of the hardships under which the generation after 1945 had to study. A warm room was already a relief. With a cup of tea and a sandwich, debates were carried on late into the night. The seriousness and maturity of that generation, who under great difficulties were building an existence for themselves, and who were searching for a new outlook on life as well as striving for a new sense of community, were unique. But despite all the difficulties, a certain optimism for the future prevailed.

Remembering Father Heinrich Suso Braun

One of the decisive and at the same time happiest encounters in my student years was Father Heinrich Suso Braun. As Director of the Campus Ministry at the University of Innsbruck, Father Braun was in charge of the Catholic Student Union. He not only impressed by his high intellect and upright personality, but even more so by his warm humanity that he extended to every single member in the community. By his sermons, which are broadcast every Sunday and heard by millions, he has arguably become the best known preacher in Austria and Southern Germany. And in addition to that, in his old age this man is also administering a home of the Seraphic Charity for handicapped children. He may serve as an example of complete Christian devotion. By his dedication and unpretentious demeanor he has become a model for me that I have deemed desirable to emulate.

[Father Dr. Heinrich Suso Braun, OFMcap. (1904-1977) came from Riedlingen in Southern Swabia on the Danube. He entered the Capuchin Order in 1923 and was ordained a priest in 1927. He studied at the Gregorian University in Rome 1928-31 and earned a doctorate in philosophy. Thereafter, he taught in Salzburg until 1938. He served as Director of the Campus Ministry at the University of Innsbruck 1943-53. His weekly sermons “Wort am Sonntag” (Word on Sunday) were broadcast by Radio Tirol from 1945 until his death in 1977.]

Innsbruck, June 20, 1967

The detonation of the first Chinese hydrogen bomb shows again the extreme danger that threatens humanity by the nuclear armament.

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