University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame

America - Europe

A Transatlantic Diary 1961 - 1989

Klaus Lanzinger

South Bend, September 1, 1985

Coming Back

Coming back to America after a long absence, one has to get used again to the way of life here. At first one is surprised by the bewildering abundance of goods and merchandise offered in malls and supermarkets. This abundance and diversity of consumer goods brought together here in one place from throughout the country and the world is made possible by a highly efficient delivery system. On the other hand, as a customer one is continuously hard-pressed by the relentless advertising on television, radio, in newspapers and by phone calls at home. One has to get readjusted to that over time.

The friendliness of the people is overwhelming. The many “welcome back!” handshakes come from the heart. They make one feel to be at home again right away.

South Bend, September 2, 1985

The Powwow

The Potawatomi Indians in Northern Indiana and Michigan gather once a year in late summer or early fall for a powwow. This is a ceremonial festival open to the public, in which the Potawatomis come together in their tribal costumes wearing feather bonnets, colorful beadwork dresses and mocassins. At the center of the festival is the ceremonial dance, which, with its songs and heavy drum beats, can intensify to a self-forgetting trance. This is not a folkloristic performance for tourism. The powwow arises from the need to preserve the tribal heritage. As a spectator one feels to be put back to a strange, mysterious age long passed.

September 9, 1985

New Perspectives for Reunification

The Consul General of the Federal Republic in Detroit gave a lecture here at the University of Notre Dame, in which he took into consideration new perspectives for the reunification of the two German states. It would be conceivable that the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic remained sovereign states if the interstate relationships improved and the exchange of persons would be made easier. Also, certain democratic basic rights have to be guaranteed in the German Democratic Republic. In any case, reunification remains a German hope. Even under such a modest framework, it could possibly be realized.

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