University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame

America - Europe

A Transatlantic Diary 1961 - 1989

Klaus Lanzinger

May 1, 1982

War in the South Atlantic

In today’s early morning hours, units of the Royal Air Force attacked and destroyed the airport of Port Stanley. That laid emphasis on the imposed blockade around the Falklands by air and sea. The war in the South Atlantic has begun. Its extent cannot as yet be fully measured. The United States initially assumed a neutral stance, trying to mediate in the Falklands conflict. But as all diplomatic efforts have failed, the United States is now assisting Great Britain.

Heavy Losses on Both Sides

The Argentine warship Belgrano was attacked by a British submarine and sent to the bottom of the sea. Hundreds of soldiers drowned in the ice-cold waters. Then, a missile fired by an Argentine combat aircraft hit the British destroyer Sheffield, which burst into flames and sank. Many British soldiers lost their lives. These heavy losses on both sides cast a gloomy shadow upon the war in the South Atlantic. The war also strains the relations between North and South America.

Sunday, May 16, 1982

Pierre Trudeau: Back to Détente

The Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Trudeau gave the commencement address at today’s graduation ceremony of the University of Notre Dame. Trudeau is a fascinating personality. He is witty, a splendid speaker being absolutely bilingual in French and English. Trudeau is also a politician of international stature and a farsighted statesman. He urgently appealed to the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, to return to détente and resume bilateral talks to stop the nuclear arms race. In Europe as well as in Canada, anxiety is growing as long as the two superpowers are not negotiating and talking to each other.

At the United Nations

[At the beginning of the Falklands conflict, the British Ambassador to the United Nations Sir Anthony Parsons succeeded in having a resolution passed by the Security Council, which demanded the immediate withdrawal of Argentine forces from the Falkland Islands. Just like Alexander Haig, General Secretary of the United Nations Perez de Cuellar had intervened in an attempt to find a peaceful solution. Also these efforts were of no avail. It had become ever so clear that Argentina was not willing to give up the Malvinas without a fight.]

May 21, 1982

The Quotation of the Week

General Secretary of the United Nations Perez de Cuellar declared repeatedly: “Time is not on the side of peace.” Time is indeed not on the side of peace. All diplomatic efforts for a peaceful solution of the Falklands conflict have failed. Last night British military units have begun to take the Falkland Islands by storm. Battle engagements are now escalating every hour.

May 23, 1982


After British marine units have succeeded in penetrating the Falkland Sound and establishing a bridgehead, they can advance on East Falkland to the capital Stanley. As the British fleet controls the sea and the ground troops are advancing on land, the roughly 10,000 men strong Argentine garrison in Port Stanley is de facto encircled.

South Bend, May 23, 1982

Cultural Uncertainty

Talking with American intellectuals, one will encounter over and again cultural uncertainty. One will meet with astonishment and incredibility that American authors are much in demand and read abroad. Is there in Europe really a wave of enthusiasm for Melville, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Thornton Wilder, and Thomas Wolfe? Doubts about it reveal a certain cultural inferiority complex vis-à-vis Europe, which goes back to the early 19th century. Americans are very sensitive when they feel to be exposed to European criticism as to their cultural understanding.

Lorin Maazel’s Farewell to Cleveland

The fact that the music director of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra Lorin Maazel has been appointed music director of the Vienna State Opera has attracted much attention in America. How is it possible, music lovers in America are asking, that one of their own has been entrusted with one of the most coveted and hottest conductorships in the world? Maazel responded with charm that it is not only a challenge for himself to go into the lion’s den but also a recognition that classical music in America is being furthered and that there are many talents to be discovered.

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