University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame

America - Europe

A Transatlantic Diary 1961 - 1989

Klaus Lanzinger

Innsbruck, January 20, 1977

Today Jimmy Carter was sworn in as 39th President of the United States. There is every indication that Carter will be a popular President. His inauguration turned out to be a huge public festival in Washington. Carter gives America again a sense of optimism and idealism.

[Jimmy (James Earl) Carter, Jr., was born in Plains, Georgia, 1924; by profession he is a farmer, an engineer, and a politician. Carter was Governor of Georgia, 1971-75, and U.S. President, 1977-81. Following his presidency, he has been actively engaged in peacemaking missions, working for many humanitarian organizations and defending human rights. Next to numerous other honors, he received the Albert Schweitzer Prize for humanitarian work in 1987, and the Felix Houghouet-Boigny UNESCO Peace Prize in 1995.]

[Transl: Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2002.]

Innsbruck, [January 21], 1977

Vigilance is in Order

The out-going Ford Administration cannot warn enough that the Soviet Union has gained military superiority. A sudden thrust into Western Europe cannot be excluded anymore. In fact, it is in the long-term strategic planning of the Soviet Union. How would one otherwise understand the extensive protective measures taken in Russia against a nuclear war on the one hand, and the offensive nuclear armament on the other. Time Magazine bluntly published operational plans of the East for an advance to the Rhine. Similar plans were also confirmed by the French media. Although these gloomy predictions may be exaggerated, a heightened vigilance is nevertheless in order.

Innsbruck, January 23, 1977

Americanism without Awareness

Without being aware of it, most areas of European life have been penetrated by American life styles. This refers to common habits of every day life, how people dress, interior furnishings, television and radio programs, merchandise, toys, clubs of any kind, discotheques, shopping malls, advertising, cars, sports, etc.

The European attitude toward America is ambivalent: On the one hand, America is vehemently rejected, but on the other hand, Europeans, in their daily lives, follow consciously or unconsciously American models. Despite all the revolt against America, there is a hidden “Amerikasehnsucht,” a longing for America.

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