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Academy students narrow down project ideas ahead of presentations
Academy students narrow down project ideas ahead of presentations
Aceel Kibbi 
Students at this year’s Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change are one step closer to transforming their thoughts into actions following a busy week of activity.

The second week of this year’s Academy -
Voices Against Extremism: Media Responses to Global Populism - saw students working closer together in their groups ahead of their final presentations next week.

Design-focused workshops helped inform the students’ creative thinking process as they brainstormed ideas. Pitches encompassing these early ideas were made midway through the week, enabling students to garner feedback from faculty and make improvements to their work.

Listed below are some of the takeaways students walked away with ahead of the final week of the program.

On challenging the value gap with empathy

Students were asked to think about the inequalities that prevail in their communities and reflect on how the media reinforce and/or challenge those beliefs, habits and practices. After exchanging their reflections, students understood value gaps operate similarly around the world and that, more often than not, the media re-emphasize those gaps. Therefore, students were asked to develop a moral imagination, one driven by empathy, and centralize their media making around it to transfer that empathy to others and shake the pillars of inequality.

On telling the stories of the victim and the perpetrator

Definitions of terrorism, extremism and victimhood are often in state of flux in the media, and these “mediated” definitions have proposed countless challenges to storytellers and journalists. Students were introduced to the communication strategies practiced by leading media producers and extremist political regimes. As they reviewed a series of case studies, they tried to untangle the symbiotic knots that connect media and populism together. They formulated a conclusion that terrorism has become a media spectacle that’s being abused by populists to ignite fear. Students were advised to interrogate journalistic norms, minimize sensationalism in reporting, and fully immerse themselves in the stories they tell. On critical media making and social innovation

Commodification has infected the media industry with sameness and has put future media makers at the forefront of innovation. Students discovered how creative acupuncture could be used to challenge mainstream media producers and inform consumers about social issues. They were introduced to various forms of media, including print, audio, video, photo, games, and other interactive formats. They also explored the means of creating and designing civic media that challenges social norms and preserves cultural integrity. By examining design thinking methods and participatory mechanisms, students discovered the potential of games and play in creating meaning, cultivating care, inviting participants to engage in social issues, and motivating them to search for solutions.

On confronting the past and moving forward

Ahead of a poignant trip to the Mauthausen Memorial, students gathered for a screening of Night and Fog - a documentary produced in 1956 depicting the horrors of Nazi concentration camps. Students were asked to critically think about the power of media in creating narratives of change, documenting events and providing perspectives on extremism and populism. In an effort to face the challenges that plague our world today, students and faculty entered a space of open dialogue, reflecting on the past and future. Students and faculty recognized the importance of developing a sense of responsibility which goes beyond the limitations of their own beliefs, norms and communities. Discussions will continue next week as students make the finishing touches to their projects. Final presentations will take place on Thursday.
Voices Against Extremism: Media Responses to Global Populism is part of Salzburg Global Seminar’s long-running multi-year program, the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change. More information on the session can be found here: http://www.salzburgglobal.org/go/sac11. You can also follow all the discussions on Twitter and Instagram by following the hashtag #SGSmedia.
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Local community helps celebrate Salzburg Global's 70th anniversary
Local community helps celebrate Salzburg Global's 70th anniversary
Salzburg Global Seminar 

Distinguished guests, board members, and friends of Salzburg Global Seminar gathered together for a special luncheon.

The event, hosted at Schloss Leopoldskron, took place on Friday afternoon as part of Salzburg Global's 70th anniversary celebrations.

More than 100 guests enjoyed a reception in the Great Hall and on the Schloss Terrace before having lunch in the Marble Hall. 

Dessert was served afterward in the Max Reinhardt Library and the Chinese Room, as Schloss Leopoldskron opened its doors to members of Salzburg's community.

The festivities were made complete with a surprise musical performance from Salzburg Landestheater's children's choir, who sang a selection of songs from The Sound of Music.

The luncheon provided an opportunity for Salzburg Global to express its gratitude for the continued support it has received from the city throughout its 70-year history.

It also enabled those unfamiliar with the institution to learn more about the work which has been achieved and the role Salzburg Global plays for others – both in the local area and around the world.

Salzburg Global's President Stephen Salyer welcomed guests and provided a few remarks for the occasion.

He said: “At our 40th anniversary in 1987, Clemens Heller spoke for the three founders saying, ‘What we did was not done with the intention of creating an institution. Its survival as an institution is due to other people, not us… There is a feeling of astonishment and gratitude toward the people who make this thing go on and live, and who preserve the castle in the state in which we now see it.’

“30 years later, Heller’s statement still rings true. We add today that the people of Salzburg are actively helping 'this thing go on and live,' and for that we are deeply grateful.”


View full set on Flickr

Salyer discussed the origins of the Salzburg Global and its existing connections with the community - highlighting partnerships with the University of Salzburg and the Mozarteum University, among others.

He confirmed Salzburg Global would mark the 100th anniversary of Max Reinhardt’s return to Salzburg and purchase of the Schloss. Guests were also informed about the first-ever Salzburg Global Day, which took place earlier this month, and the hundreds of memories which were shared by Salzburg Global Fellows.

Salyer said, “These images and anecdotes – available on salzburgglobal.org – feature men and women from diverse places, interacting intensely as they share ideas, propose solutions, and forge breakthroughs.

“Their joy in finding commonalities across borders, with kindred spirits they will know for the rest of their lives is the shared DNA that makes this institution unique.

“Austrian men and women take their place in our programs alongside senior leaders and rising innovators from every part of the world.

“Their contributions make this institution stronger, and their presence introduces the world to all what makes Austria such a remarkable place to live and work. 

“As we celebrate 70 years, we are proud to be part of the Salzburg community, and to be contributing to the future of Austria.”

The event was featured on Austrian broadcaster ORF2. Watch the video online (available for a limited time only).

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Report now online - Getting Smart: Measuring and Evaluating Social and Emotional Skills
Report now online - Getting Smart: Measuring and Evaluating Social and Emotional Skills
Salzburg Global Seminar staff 
The report of the Salzburg Global session Getting Smart: Measuring and Evaluating Social and Emotional Skills is now available to read, download and share. The 2016 session of the multi-year series Education for Tomorrow’s World brought together forty education leaders and other stakeholders from around the world to explore the challenges and benefits of fostering SEL (Social and Emotional Learning), including how this will affect the development of academic skills and more general testing of learners’ abilities. The session was held in partnership with ETS.  Emerging evidence in education, psychology, neuroscience, and economics suggests that SEL skills can also be measured and developed to help improve academic achievement, reduce negative behaviors, and enrich interpersonal relationships. Cultivating SEL skills through a more systematic approach could therefore have long-term benefits for learners, schools and colleges, and workplaces. Policymakers, educators, innovators and researchers benefited from structured exchanges to identify the state of the evidence, policy challenges and viable solutions for measuring and enhancing SEL skills. Participants approached this topic in session-wide discussions and smaller breakout groups to consider how best to strengthen social and emotional skills through education policy, curricular development, assessment, and whole school policies. This report presents key points of discussion, debate and learning from the Salzburg session, as well as final recommendations summarized in the session Fellows' co-created Salzburg Statement on Measuring and Evaluating Social and Emotional Skills.
Download the report as a PDF
The Salzburg Global session Getting Smart: Measuring and Evaluating Social and Emotional Skills, which is part of the multi-year Education for Tomorrow's World. This session was held in partnership with ETS (Educational Testing Service). More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/566
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Justice Anthony Kennedy speaks at Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change
Justice Anthony Kennedy speaks at Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change
Salzburg Global Seminar 

US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy made a guest appearance at this year’s Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change to discuss the revolution of the cyber age.

The senior Associate Justice addressed more than 80 students on Monday morning as the second week of the Academy got under way.

Justice Kennedy spoke to students for an hour, covering topics such as the opportunities and limitations the internet has presented and the significance of civic participation.

At the beginning of his talk, Justice Kennedy said, “Journalists have to begin to understand we are in a new world.” He went onto discuss how conventional institutions and structures were being bypassed as a result of the internet and how individuals were now participating in the revolution of the cyber age.

During his lecture, Justice Kennedy also reserved praise for Wikipedia, which he described as one of the most fascinating and inspiring works of modern civilization. He remarked on the vast body of human knowledge which had been collected, describing it as a marvelous tribute to the human spirit.

He said, “The cyber age has tremendous potential, as indicated with Wikipedia. But if it bypasses space and time where there’s just this obsession with the present – this neglect of our heritage and history – then our world will change.”

Following his talk, Justice Kennedy proceeded to take questions from the audience for half an hour.

Students at this year’s Academy – Voices Against Extremism: Media Responses to Global Populism – are reflecting on the media’s coverage of global populism, the role it has played in contributing to it, and how the media might be used to stem this movement.

Justice Kennedy first attended Schloss Leopoldskron in 1988 – the same year he was appointed to the US Supreme Court – as a member of the faculty for Session 269 – American Law and Legal Institutions.

Since then, Justice Kennedy has served as faculty or as a guest lecturer at two law-related sessions, five sessions of the Global Citizenship Program, and on one other occasion at the inaugural Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change. In 2016, he hosted the sixth annual Lloyd N. Cutler Lecture on the Rule of Law: Law and the Use of Force.


Voices Against Extremism: Media Responses to Global Populism is part of Salzburg Global Seminar’s long-running multi-year program, the Salzburg Academy of Media and Global Change. More information on the session can be found here: http://www.salzburgglobal.org/go/mediaacademy2017. You can also follow all the discussions on Twitter and Instagram by following the hashtag #SGSmedia. 

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Stephen Salyer - "You are part of something bigger here"
Stephen Salyer - "You are part of something bigger here"
Karin Zauner 
The original version of this article first appeared in the Salzburger Nachrichten on Saturday, July 22, 2017. The interviewer was Karin Zauner. To view the original version, which is in German, please click here. Bankers, Nobel Prize winners, or students -  they all are thinking beyond the horizon at Salzburg Global Seminar. 30,000 people have attended so far. When the group chairman of HSBC, the biggest bank in Europe, comes to Salzburg and turns off his cell phone to discuss fundamental questions about the finance sector with colleagues of all ages – for instance, if banks will still exist in five years -  and doesn’t take a single penny for his contributions, he is certainly at Salzburg Global Seminar. Salzburg Global is one of the most important international educational institutions in Austria. 30,000 people from 170 countries have attended programs over the past 70 years. The NGO is still fairly unknown in Salzburg, and their President, Stephen L. Salyer, wants to change that. SN: Salzburg Global Seminar was founded in post-war Europe (from the US) as a “Marshall Plan of the Mind.” Looking at the current difficult relationships between the US and Europe, do institutions like yours gain more significance again? Salyer: The initial idea after the Second World War was to create a secure place here in Salzburg, where people of different backgrounds and opinions could come together to speak openly and work out ideas. Today’s world is divided. When we start Salzburg Global’s next 70 years, we feel there is a place for this institution and opportunities for exerting influence are strong. This is not about Europe and the US only; this is about finding solutions to problems of global concern. Apparently, there has been a big divide between the US and Europe since Donald Trump became President. We do not have solutions for this at the moment. But we have a constitution, independent courts, and elections. We are not supposed to forget that.  SN: Do those currently complicated relationships between Europe and the US have an influence on your programs? Salyer: The demand for our programs has never been higher. 83 students are attending our Media Academy at the moment, the biggest group we ever had. We had more than 400 applicants. The topic is: how can we overcome extremism and populism? The students talk about the US, but also about their home countries – and also about Austria. We see a clear interest in exchanging ideas with other smart, thoughtful people. In our programs, we always try to respond to the current situation. It is not about merely talking and having a good time, we always look at what the participants take home, what actions they can implement afterward. This means we really focus on what participants are doing after they leave the Seminar.  SN: Although Salzburg Global has famous Fellows such as Hillary Clinton and Nobel Prize winner Saul Bellow, even the locals of Salzburg know little about what you are doing. Do you mind this? Salyer: We have been trying to open the doors of Schloss Leopoldskron for years. Since 2014 we have also been running a hotel business. Next year will be the 100th anniversary of Max Reinhardt’s purchase of the Schloss. There are talks with the Salzburg Festival about using the common history of the place. Salzburg is also one of our 19 hub-cities for young cultural innovators and therefore aligned with cities such as Athens, Tokyo, and Adelaide. Will there be cultural festivals in the future? Those are the questions we raise. Of course, we need to promote our activities all the time. Next week we will celebrate our anniversary, and that will be an occasion to tell our story. We seriously want locals to understand what we are doing. We need to become better at that. SN: Talking about the Seminar, what are you specifically proud of? Salyer: I am proud that we are still here after the financial crisis. Every employee voluntarily accepted a pay cut in 2009. We invested two million USD into the renovation of the hotel. We are a private institution and have a small foundation after all. Every member of the board must make their contribution every year – also financially. In all our programs we talk about how to finance the future, also the future of medicine, for example. The young people need to find this out [and] develop their capabilities. They do not usually learn that during their education in journalism. That is part of what we are doing here. We ask tough questions and want young people to think outside the box, to look beyond.  SN: How do you push your participants into more uncomfortable zones? Salyer: By having participants from different societies, [they] give examples and ideas that help you to question your own standpoint. One of our participants was heading the library in a small African town. The head of the British Library - one of the most important libraries in the world - told me after her presentation that he felt embarrassed by his own banal whining. The African colleague reminded him of the reasons why he wanted to become a librarian in the first place, and what he and his team could change to have a better future. We do not have the answers and do not force them on our participants. We create a situation where people listen to others and think: Wow, if they do it somewhere else, what can we do here? SN: This situation can be created everywhere. How can you motivate leaders worldwide to come to Salzburg? Salyer: Even nowadays people are afraid to raise their voice. Journalists fear for their life; they seek a secure space for exchange. This is valued here by the powerful as well as the young. We recently held our finance session in Salzburg, which is our stellar program. Among others, we hosted the chief regulator of the Australian finance industry and a governor of the American Federal Reserve Bank. When those people are here, they turn off their cell phones, they discuss if banks still exist in five years. I asked the group chairman of HSBC why he comes here. He said, first of all, because of the quality of the participants, at all stages of development; secondly, because of the high percentage of female participants, which is important in the finance industry; and finally, because this is the only meeting in the world where nobody wants personal advice from him.  SN: The setting of Schloss Leopoldskron is breath-taking. Does this mean anything for your work? Salyer: It is difficult to set apart the beautiful and inspiring environment from work. Everyone who comes here is touched by it. Attending a program here makes people think they are part of something, something that is bigger than themselves.  Stephen L. Salyer was president of Public Radio International. Under his leadership, the network's affiliate structure expanded from 200 to more than 800 stations. He also co-founded a nationwide web service company for public television and radio stations in the US. Salyer started his career as speech writer for the philanthropist, John D. Rockefeller III. Dates and Facts: the intellectual support program has changed Three Harvard students, Clemens Heller, Richard Campbell, and Scott Elledge laid the foundation for Salzburg Global as an intellectual support program (“Marshall Plan of the Mind”) in the summer of 1947. Heller, a native of Austria, who fled to the US in 1938, wanted to locate the Seminar in his home country. Through family ties, Heller was able to secure Schloss Leopoldskron as a location. After three summer sessions, it became an institution: “Massachusetts non-profit -  The Salzburg Seminar in American Studies.” During the Cold War, the Seminar played an important role as a bridge-builder. Ever since it has expanded widely both in geographical and thematic terms.  Salzburg Global Seminar makes a total revenue of about 10 million Euro. The operating revenue consists of individual contributions (16%), foundation grants (28%), hotel income (35%), and tuition (7%). In 70 years, no faculty member has been paid for their contributions. Salzburg Seminar bought Schloss Leopoldskron in 1959. 
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Analyzing the media's response to populism and extremism
Analyzing the media's response to populism and extremism
Aceel Kibbi 
More than 80 students from 25 countries have convened at Schloss Leopoldskron to take part in this year’s Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change - Voices Against Extremism: Media Responses to Global Populism. Participants are discussing populism and extremism in the media landscape, and will go onto create multimedia projects to unmask fake news and counteract intolerance.
Over the past few days, students have been asked to reflect on the devices employed by political leaders around the world, and recognize the importance of analyzing the media’s role in manipulating information and serving power over truth. Several faculty members have presented their research and conducted interactive workshops. Listed below are a few of the takeaways students have been able to gain so far.
On bridging cultural divides In less than 90 minutes of the program's start on Monday, students at this year’s Academy felt comfortable enough to share personal narratives about their identities and cultural backgrounds with one another. By doing so, they realized that they belong to one geographical knot that represents their diverse identities and values – they’re tangled in a multicultural web that would only fall apart were they fail to embrace their varied ideals.
On media literacy and active citizenship In the light of the steady decline of trust in mass media and the rejection of evidence-based journalism, students heard there is a need for a media-literate response. Students learned the differences between a media literate individual and an active citizen, while challenging the misconception the two terms have similar meanings. They also heard there was a need for new sets of constructs for how media literacy can be impactful in battling extremism. Students walked away with a better understanding of how digital culture and new legacy networks foster partisanship and diminish one’s capacity to identify problems. With a sharper critical consciousness, students will now be able to effectively cultivate agency and build mechanisms to push communities to respond to them.
On victimhood and social divisions The recipe for extremism has several main ingredients: blame, avoidance, attribution, and victimhood. Students learned how to challenge ideology by analyzing the definition of change, power, ignorance, freedom, resistance, populism and extremism. They also reflected on the dangers of victimhood and the ripple effect it creates - it divides people, breeds a competitive nature between them, and disempowers responsibility, which in turn fosters revenge, appropriation of general will and extremism.
On the ethics of journalism in covering extremism There are challenges to reporting on extremism while abiding by the code of ethics in journalism. Students learned the methodology journalists follow when selecting the proper tone, angle, sources, and multimedia elements for a story, while keeping the benefit of the public in mind. Through a series of thought-provoking case studies, students put these guidelines into practice. To challenge their intuition even further, students were shown how images could be used as a powerful tool to represent different sides of extremism. Students were also encouraged to critically evaluate mainstream media outlets’ journalistic standards. On creating relationships through imagination The students’ imagination was put into practice when they were asked to envision a future world in which they would aspire to live. Some of the components they discussed included citizenship, identity, media, justice, healthcare, environment, participation, identity, education, human rights, international reform, technology, and religion. Together, they experienced the power of civic imagination in harnessing social connections, forging solidarity and imagining alternatives to current social, political and economic institutions. Discussions continue next week.
Voices Against Extremism: Media Responses to Global Populism is part of Salzburg Global Seminar’s long-running multi-year program, the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/sac11. You can also follow all the discussions on Twitter and Instagram by following the hashtag #SGSmedia.
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Franco Dellepiane - "It was an unforgettable experience - not only academically but also on a human level"
Franco Dellepiane - "It was an unforgettable experience - not only academically but also on a human level"
Franco Dellepiane 

Ahead of Salzburg Global Day, Fellows were asked to get in touch and share their memories of their time at Schloss Leopoldskron. Franco Dellepiane attended Session 37 - Intellectual and Social Background of American Politics - in 1955. For his 90th birthday, he published the story of his life and shared it with Salzburg Global. Below is a translated extract from his book dedicated to his time at the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies. 

The Discovery of America - The Salzburg Seminar in American Studies

Then occurred the unexpected event that completely and positively changed how I was seen by my superiors and led me to consider new ways to advance my career. It was in 1954; I was spending most of my time on my political career. Through it I met Russell Harris, the person in charge of the cultural programs at the American Consulate. He was a bit older than me and he was following closely the activity of the democratic parties, in particular the activities of the younger members. I believe that this was part of his job, but he did it unobtrusively. One day he said to me: “Robert Mead, the Assistant Dean of American Studies of the Salzburg Seminar is coming to Genoa. I will introduce you to him.” I didn’t know what the Salzburg Seminar was, but I said I didn’t see any problem with meeting Mr. Mead. 

Here’s what I learned. In 1947, Harvard and other American universities realized that the conflict, and before then the existence of two European dictatorships, had created a cultural gap between the two continents. They decided to create an institution that would create courses for students coming from all parts of Europe (on both sides of the Iron Curtain)—not with the goal of spreading the principles of American institutions but to create an opportunity for cultural exchange between American scholars and young Europeans. I suppose that there must have been governmental participation by about 20 American universities. Harvard, Yale, Colby College and Stanford were among those to get together to found the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies. Austria was under Allied occupation and divided into four areas. Salzburg was in the American part. Schloss Leopoldskron, which had belonged to the Archbishop-Prince of Salzburg, became the headquarters of the Seminar and remains so to this day. 

Mr. Mead and another vice-chancellor traveled around Europe to select candidates for the courses, of which there was a great variety. There were courses in economics, law, literature, urban planning, science, teaching, etc. and each generally lasted six or eight weeks. Four professors of one of the universities, taking turns, would take “sabbatical leave” and come to Salzburg to teach the courses. 

Mead interviewed me and thought that I was a good candidate. I mentioned that I had work commitments that could prevent my attendance but Russell Harris (the person in charge of the cultural programs) told me not to worry, and he would think about how to make it work. Mead gave me a book in English about the Kibbutz movement in Israel and he asked me to write a paper on that and send it to him. I was able to do that and after a few weeks I received a letter informing me that I had been admitted to the Salzburg session on the Intellectual and Social Background of American Politics to take place the following year, in February 1955. One of the subjects of the session was the solution found to the 1929 market crash; I never thought that after 60 years it would still be so relevant! 

I was very interested but I couldn’t leave my job for two months and it was not feasible to resign and look for another job. The '50s were still hard years in Italy and I had to support my mother who couldn’t work anymore. My sister had found a job as a saleswoman in a shop but she couldn’t support the family. Russell Harris sent a letter to my executive director explaining what the Seminar was and then he said something along the lines of, “Your employee has been selected to take part in one of the Seminars; we recruit the cream of the crop from all of Europe and I beg you to do anything possible to give him the time necessary to participate." 

Such a letter from a diplomatic representative of the Unites States could not be ignored. I didn’t even know my executive director, but he called me and though he was a bit annoyed by this foreign intervention. He asked me to take all my holidays at once and he allowed me to take some extra time, too. This was not the only support from the American in charge of cultural programs; he also arranged for me to get Fulbright funds to pay my tuition fee. So in the spring of the year 1955, I found myself in an experience that changed my life. 

Salzburg

I arrived in Salzburg from Genoa traveling by train in third class. It was a long and uncomfortable trip but I was so excited at the idea of what was waiting for me. The Schloss was impressive - it was the residence of the Archbishop Price of Salzburg - but it had not been completely restored. The war had ended recently and it was evident that just getting the school to function properly was a challenge. We were a group of 54 “students” from fourteen different countries. We were hosted in dormitories with seven beds in each room/space and the beds were former military cots. There were seven Italians but the school made sure that in every room there were participants from different nationalities. I found myself with Scandinavians, a Dutchman and with a Belgian with whom I made great friends. 

We were then shown the program for the seminar, and as I said, there were four professors on sabbatical leading the program. Each took one of the topics and took turns teaching in the morning.

We had to choose one of the areas of study and we had to write a paper on that subject. The relevant professor would then have spent the afternoon with the group of students working on that subject. 

The evening was free time and we would end up in a “stube”, a picturesque beer pub that was completely decorated with wood, still with the professors. Schloss Leopoldskron is located a bit outside of the city so we would usually find a close by “stube” where we would either keep conversing about the subjects discussed during the morning or we would try to engage on the hard issues with the professors. Flashing forward to 2009 and its aftermath, one professor specialized in the Roosevelt era and spoke about the recovery of the United States from the 1929 crash. Equally relevant to today! I remember his saying the most important innovation was the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) which represented the first intervention of a federal entity on a vast territory that belonged to several states.

It was an unforgettable experience - not only academically but also on a human level. The fact that I could exchange opinions with other young people from across Europe and so soon after the war, which of course had interrupted regular international relationships, contributed to me being more informed and more open minded. I had an especially close relationship with two other young men, a Belgian and a Dutchman, Jean Paul Van Bellinghen and Frank Boreel. Both had graduated in law and were at the beginning of their diplomatic careers. The latter had come with his car, a Fiat ‘500 “Topolino”. I had brought with me a pair of skis and boots which was all the sports equipment that I owned. Three of us (taking turns in the Fiat’s little back seat) would go skiing during the weekend. Weekends were free time since this was an American university. Saalbach, Kitzbuehel, Berchtesgaden (Hitler’s mountain retreat) were our destinations. Austria and Germany after the war were very cheap. For 1000 lira you could stay at a hotel for one night!

It was a wonderful period also because of the discoveries that I made almost daily. I remember one day I saw Frank holding a book with the title, “University of Utrecht – Principles of Economics” and I was amazed by the fact that the Dutch university would print books in English (in 1955). Frank, in a very calm way, replied by saying: “Of course, they would have very few readers if the book had been written in Dutch!” A sign that in the Netherlands all the students were familiar with the English language. It was very normal for him but not for an Italian.  

I had casually mentioned that the following day, the 2nd of April, was my name-day. That evening at the end of the dinner, in the huge hall, with frescos covering the ceiling, where we would usually have our meals at different tables, I saw everybody getting up and starting to sing: “Because he is a jolly good fellow, and so say all of us.” One of them put in my hand a souvenir book of Salzburg with the signatures of all the participants. I was the jolly good fellow! With tears in my eyes I said a few words to thank everybody. I couldn’t do any more than that!

One day we opened the windows of the room and looked out on the lake, where usually we saw people on sleds and dogs running, and saw that the ice had thawed. The course was nearing an end, unfortunately!

I wrote my dissertation on the economic-political system of the United States, which was received with approval by my professor. I remember being very impressed by my discovery of “lobbying” (I was so naïve…) and the fact that the head of the president’s election campaign (if successful) would become the head of the Post Office where he could reward the party workers—the so-called “spoils system”. 

I have not seen many of my fellow students in later years. Frank and Jean were assigned to diplomatic offices in countries far away. I met a Norwegian guy when I started travelling for work. He had become the head of a labor union in Oslo. He invited me to dinner and went by taxi. He explained to me that he could not drive after drinking. At that time, we did not think about such things!

I had later contacts with two Italians: Giovanni de Luca, a Neapolitan and Demetrio Volcic who worked at Radio Trieste and who later became an anchorman on TV. As time passed, I lost touch with all of them but I was left with a great memory of that period and of what it represented for me. 

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