National Geographic : 1948 Oct
Propaganda-filled Nazi Schoolbooks Are Replaced Now by Honest Ones Approved by AMG Books are still scarce. The author visited several country schools, found many children who speak some English, and introduced one delighted group to the old-time American spelling bee. In this country school near Wiesbaden, homemade desks are in use. Not one geography book was on hand. This school is visited weekly by Air Force mobile library trucks (pages 533 and 541). MG helps young musicians form orchestras and brings over famous American musicians to play for them. It aids German actors to stage such American plays as Three Men on a Horse, Life with Father, Boy Meets Girl, or Men in White. Forums and Debates Encouraged One of GYA's most useful jobs is the debates and open forums it arranges. A Frankfurt group asked me to preside at its weekly panel discussion and suggest a theme. I took over, and was joined by Rufus Woods, editor of the Wenatchee, Washington, Daily World. We chose a theme, "The Difference Between German and American Newspapers, and the Influence of Journalism on Human Behavior." Practically all the 60 or more German young men and women present spoke more or less English-certainly their English was better than my German! And lively though friendly clashes of opinion followed. Now and then the talk got so far from the subject that Woods or I, or Captain Ford in charge of GYA work at Frankfurt, had to bring them back to it. But everybody thoroughly en joyed the free trade in ideas. Sound logic, and skill in talking on their feet without preparation or rehearsal on a subject quite new to them, marked this debate. Especially clever was one girl, Irmgard Hinze, daughter of a streetcar company offi cial. When an American soldier in the crowd made a point she didn't agree with, she was instantly on her feet demanding, "Here, let me answer that GI! . "I want to go to the States," she told me later, "and study at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, or a place like Antioch." Another good debater was a boy, Dieter Onneken, staff writer for Das Reissende Wasser, a monthly popular with this youth group.