Previous | Next
288289290291292293294295296297298299300301302303304305306307308309310311312313314315316317318319320321322323324325326327328329330331332333334335336 of 1029
economist. We were all at the National Hotel together. I
remember they had an American jazz orchestra at the National
Hotel--three Russians playing American music. It was so
awful--we used to send over tips to persuade them to stop
When I came home I was so excited about Russia that I
persuaded my partner, Donald, to go over the next year, but
that winter the Kirov purges had started. When Donald shoved
off, I gave him letters to eight of the people who had befriended
me, that I'd gotten to know quite well--especially
this wonderful couple who were the Lunt and Fontanne of Russia.
Seven of the eight people had disappeared completely, and the
eighth one made it very clear that he didn't want to see
Donald! It was now dangerous to talk to an American. In a
single year the whole climate changed--from 1934 to 1935. When
we were there, Americans were feted and welcomed. By 1935 the
foreigners were feared.
Have you ever been back?
No, I'm going to go next year. I've been back to Israel,
but I've never been back to Russia.
It will be fun to go back, though.
Oh, yes. The laughs we had in Russia! We learned a
few words. I could say, “Gde vbornia?" which meant, “Where's
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help