University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame

America - Europe

A Transatlantic Diary 1961 - 1989

Klaus Lanzinger

New York, August 17, 1976

[As I reassumed the directorship of the Notre Dame foreign study program in Innsbruck for the two year period 1976-78, my wife and daughter Christine traveled with me to New York where I met the student group. Christine, who had just been admitted as a student to the University of Notre Dame, was given permission to participate in the foreign study program in Innsbruck. Our son Franz stayed on campus in Notre Dame to finish his senior year for the B.A.]

New York Impressions

From the rooftop swimming pool of the Holiday Inn in Upper Manhattan one has an extensive view of the New York Harbor installations along the Hudson River. The piers of Manhattan are empty. What was just a few years ago a busy port, where the big vessels of the world’s major shipping lines were docked, no passenger ship is to be seen anymore. The famous Harbor of Manhattan has turned into a ghost town.

At a fruit stand on 9th Avenue, 57th Street, an older gentleman was offering his produce. He spoke no English. My wife, who is versed in the Romance languages, was able to start a conversation. We learned that he had fled from Cuba and just recently found refuge in New York. The room service maid at the Holiday Inn only spoke French. She came from Haiti to New York. The taxi driver, who brought us to the John F. Kennedy International Airport, had fled two years earlier from Russia to America. This has always been the way how millions of people who were searching for freedom and a better life started in New York. It is surprising for me to find out that this process of immigration and assimilation is happening today with the same intensity as it did under similar circumstances at the beginning of the century.

[At the JFK International Airport I met with the 37 students in my charge, who had come together from all parts of the United States for the flight across the Atlantic. We departed from the JFK in the early evening hours of August 17. The new “Jumbo Jet,” a Boeing 747, brought us to the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. After a short stopover, we flew on a Caravelle to Munich, landing there at 10 a.m. A motor coach brought us from Munich to Salzburg for the Summer School. The academic year in Innsbruck began on October 1.]

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