Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Former Soviet President Gorbachev Attends Wagner Opera Festival at Bayreuth

Gorbachev Urges Artists to Stay, Help Russia

The Daily Gazette, Monday July 26, 1993

BAYREUTH, Germany -- Russian culture needs foreign help to remain vibrant, former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev said Sunday in an appeal to support artists tempted to emigrate.

"The culture of Russia is in distress," Gorbachev said at a news conference before the opening of a five-week Richard Wagner Festival, which will feature perfomances of five of his operas.

Help also is needed for architectural monuments, museums and libraries, he said.

Gorbachev was supported in his appearance by former German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher.,5920097

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

People have been coming up to me on the street, demanding to know, needing to know, how on Earth I could believe that Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union, could possibly know anything about me. Is there even any remotely rational basis to my belief, people have been asking?

Well, here's what I experienced. It was late December 1991. Bob Strauss was U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union. Gorbachev resigned on 25 December 1991 and the Soviet Union was formally dissolved the next day. Two days later, on 27 December, Boris Yeltsin moved into Gorbachev's old office in the Kremlin, in Moscow.

I don't know the exact date, but one day in late December 1991 there was a hubbub at the Cleveland Park Branch of the D.C. Library, managed by Brian P. Brown.

When I left the library that afternoon and arrived in my apartment building, the manager, Elaine Wranik (now deceased) looked through me, as it were, as if I was invisible! She seemed shaken -- but perhaps I am exaggerating in retrospect. If I were to attach words to her expression they would be: "Why, he was never anything but a smart-ass white boy!"

I thought at that moment: "He must have talked to Gorbachev."

And those were my perceptions and reactions. That's all I know -- or "know."