Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Moe FonerMoe Foner
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 592

country. But he took me to Oberhausen, where they were hanging it, to take me on a personal tour of it.

Then they arranged for the head of the cultural affairs department of the West German Federation, the TGB, to come to Oberhausen to meet with me. I said, “Look, I'm not [?] to [?].” He says, “No, no, it's not very far, and I'll drive you back to the airport.” We met for a few hours, and I started to sell him on the idea, “You should promote an international conference on workers' culture.” They planned one and they had to cancel it for some reason, but I was the only American to be invited, scheduled to be invited. Swedes, all over -- Australia, etcetera.


How did you feel about seeing your ideas spread across the world?


Well it's good, it's good! But it's in a different language, I can't understand it. [laughter] So that the guys, you know, they come to me. The Swedes are always coming to me, “Can you get us Harry Belafonte to play?” Or the Italians. There's someone here now, she's got a Fulbright so she's studying. She calls me up, I'm seeing her Monday night. The head of the [?], “He said I should speak to you again about Bruce Springsteen.” I said, “Why are you wasting your time?” “I heard that Bruce Springsteen did a concert for workers in New Jersey.” So I explained to her how that worked, they're always different.


They say that he might be at this rally for P9 on the fourteenth.


What does [?] say, I asked her about it?


She's spreading the rumor.


I said, “Get a telegram, get a message.”

We also did our own show, the booklet, on how you organize workers' culture. That was done through the American Labor Institute by Matt Witt. I saw Earl yesterday, said that American Labor Institute is doing very very very well. He says they're booming. Everybody's using them. He's running all over the place doing things. I didn't find Earl, Earl existed a long time. But I was happy to be able to work with Earl. He's a wonderful person to work with.

The guy who brought me to Earl was there, too -- Walter Rosenblum, who's retired. He's a member of our advisory board. He was the head of the department of photography at Brooklyn College until his retirement. He and his wife did the major exhibition on Louis Hine, and his daughter Nina did the documentary on Louis Hine, which he told

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help