University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame

America - Europe

A Transatlantic Diary 1961 - 1989

Klaus Lanzinger

Innsbruck, July 30, 1967

Racial Unrests in the U.S.

The recent racial disorders in Detroit and in a number of other American cities have demonstrated a degree of violence, which appears to be irreconcilable and seems to plunge the United States into a civil war. A national tragedy of immense proportions is happening before our eyes just at the moment when a solution to this dilemma seemed to be in sight. Left-oriented circles, not without some glee and false speculation, believe to have discovered the Achilles’ heel of the protecting power of the West that could impair America’s capacity to act.

With uneasiness and worries, one observes these racial unrests especially at a time when one is preparing a journey to America. It will need the cooperation of all positive forces as well as effective measures to clear up the slums in the cities in order to get these unrests under control, as they become more dangerous with every passing summer. The United States has no other choice but to solve its racial problems. But here in Europe one can hardly imagine how complex this undertaking really is.

Innsbruck, July 31, 1967

Remarks on the European Scene

Absolutism of the 17th and 18th centuries as well as the empires of the 19th century left behind sumptuous palaces where the succeeding republican citizens have established their ministries and dry offices. Humble townswomen now can take a walk with their baby carriages in the artistically designed ornamental gardens. How drab and profane would Europe be without the inherited splendor of the former ruling aristocracy?

[During the first three years (1964-67), the Foreign Study Program of the University of Notre Dame in cooperation with the University of Innsbruck established itself very well. Each year 50 students from Notre Dame came to Innsbruck for a year of studies. The group was accompanied by a professor from Notre Dame who directed the Program. As Assistant at the Amerika-Institut of the University of Innsbruck I served as academic adviser to the Program. I had the task of adjusting the curriculum requirements of an American private Catholic university to the available study possibilities in Innsbruck. In the course of this work, my relationship with Notre Dame deepened. When I was offered a position as visiting associate professor for the academic year 1967-68, I gladly accepted. Thus, in August 1967 my wife and I with our two children traveled for a second time to South Bend, Indiana. The fall semester at Notre Dame began the end of August.]

<< Klaus Lanzinger >>