Nearly 100 students from the Eastern and Western sectors of a divided Europe met at the Student Council-sponsored. Salzburg Seminar to get a clearer picture of how Americans think and act.
Men and Women from 17 nations, including Communist Czechoslovakia and Hungary, and also France, Great Britain, Italy, Ireland, Spain, and the United States, jammed Leopoldskron Castle in Austria from July 15 to August 31.
In an informal atmosphere of freedom, the students traded national viewpoints and studied American government, literature, art, and history. Sociology and economics and other courses of international scope were also given.
Ronald Pierce, a Seminar administrator, said yesterday that all students mingled with case in the classroom, at meals, and at recreation.
Lectures and Seminars
The students, who average 27 years old, heard four lectures in the morning in a large hall at one end of the castle, and in the afternoon attended seminars. All instruction came from well-known professors, among them Harvard's Talcott Parsons, professor of Sociology, and Wassily W. Leontief, professor of Economics. Tuition, room, and board was free.
At the Seminar, students and faculty alike dressed strictly for comfort. All food was imported from Switzerland and served in a large central dining room.
Free time in the day was spent swimming or rowing on a nearby lake, playing ping-pong, or dozing in an easy chair. Most students devoted the evenings to chess or checkers, study in a luxuriously-furnished library, or listening to concerts of classical music in the music room.
Education was a two-way affair, Henry Nash Smith of the University of Minnesota, temporary chairman of the executive committee, reported. Smith felt that the faculty also learned. "We gave them an opportunity to learn about American problems. They told us about their way of life and about the European situation."
On the whole, Professor Parsons found the Salzburg students much like Harvard men, at least in attitude. "All students are much alike," he said, but pointed out that the Seminar scholars, since they were much older, were really on the advanced graduate level. Most had completed courses at well known European universities.
"But we had to instruct with an entirely different approach," said Francis X. Sutton, junior fellow who served as assistant to Professor Parsons. "You can't take for granted the little things you can expect of a Harvard audience. For instance, not a single one of our pupils had ever heard of Betsy Ross."
Nine Harvard Men
Running the Seminar was a big job that kept the faculty and administrators constantly busy. Other Harvard men at Salzburg besides Pierce and Sutton and Professors Leontief and Parsons were Robert Solow 2G, wha assisted Professor Leontief, and Richard D. Campbell Jr. '48, Roger S. Kuhn '47, Richard B. Wegster '48, and Kingsley Erwin Jr. '45, administrators.
The entire organizational set-up is clated for reconsisderation this fall, in addition to a brief drive to swell existing funds.
The 1949 Salzburg Seminar will be approximately the same as the 1948 session. Sutton said, "We found that our methods this year were tremendously successful. The opportunities for American-European contact are almost unrivaled, and for that reason the Seminar is an educational adventure that must be carried out again and again."
The Seminar's 1943 budget requirements were met last March when the Rockefeller Foundation poured in $13,000. This was the first time the Foundation had ever supported a student-run group working in international education.
Among other donors was an anonymous Radcliffe student from the Class of 1948. She wrote out a check for $5,000 payable on August 4, her 21st birthday.
As of last March, Salzburg coffers contained over $30,000 for the 1948 session.