By Leo Lowenthal
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Additional resources for An Unmastered Past: The Autobiographical Reflections of Leo Lowenthal
Lowenthal: That's just what I meant, you've formulated it perfectly. Suddenly, all of that was there once again: the class differences that express themselves in this reserve, in the distance, the gestures. These signs signaled to our group that we lived in another, socially different world. Dubiel: Yes, Leo, in this we agree, but what can we do with it? It can be said that the American dream is the perverse apogee of a thoroughly ideological class harmony, which the ruling strata in the Federal Republic can only dream about.
The senior officials in the State Department, however, wanted to know only the critical side. So I was tugged back and forth between the wishes of the director and those of his superiors: the one wanted only justification, the other only criticism. That was a precarious position. I have many more sociologically interesting stories from that job, but that would take up too much time here. Dubiel: Leo, I have a burning question. At that time in the early fifties, with your political past and in that politically sensitive position, surely you would have been an ideal victim for McCarthy?
In the course of your work with the Voice of America you traveled more or less all around the world. What especially interests me now are the trips to Europe, your return to Germany in the early postwar years. Please continue. Lowenthal: I first returned to Europe after the Hitler years, or as Germans usually say— regrettably—"after the war," in 1949 on business for the Voice of America. My first destination was England. At that time, of course, there were no jets that were able to make the whole journey nonstop.
An Unmastered Past: The Autobiographical Reflections of Leo Lowenthal by Leo Lowenthal