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Personal encounter in East Berlin

Personal encounter in East Berlin

2018.07.28

Unexpectedly,1986.February  I received a letter not waited for on his front Pete Seeger. With three occasions informed that February gives concerts in East Berlin between the 17. and the 23.we may meet there as a last year signaled it already. I considered the opportunity as sensible! I was surprised to read the lines and thought it was completely natural that I was at all costs!

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   There were a lot of thoughts about my design in my mind. The first problem was that no exchange of letters was possible. I did not know Pete's phone number yet. I was thinking of going to the GDR center and telling the facts. I did not know what kind of help I hoped for, but the idea seemed good! I did it. The lady working there was kindly welcomed and after a while I had a German newspaper printed in my hand and there was a daily breakdown of the place and time of the festival. I asked for a copy to be bought for free but I gave it to me in my hand. I thanked for thank you. So I knew where to find my friend.

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    My next aid came from a hobbyist. He worked in the Hungarian Radio and had long been known about his musical relationship with Seeger. He offered to introduce a man who works at the Patriotic Front and can help me. He was interested in country music and similar sound for music. The encounter was also created. After I told my story to Pete Seeger at his request, he offered me to visit one of my friends at the Hungarian embassy in Berlin, when I contacted him at the embassy. It was a sensible option, because I did not speak a word in German. I was very grateful for the opportunity and promised me that when I returned home, I told stories about it. Of course, I was happy to give my word later. But let's not go ahead. As I left the Bródy Sándor street, I was aware that I had to concentrate on the journey. I often traveled by train to Dresden, but Berlin is a lot farther away and I have to be there when I do not want to miss the events. My girlfriend, Mariann, was enthusiastic about getting the ticket, which seemed to be the best solution.

So, with his portable recorder, we flew to East Berlin. I do not know, I have not sat on a plane so far and I really enjoyed it. I had the feeling that we arrived very soon to Berlin. This was followed by a series of trials. The domestic taxi operated so that it was easy to walk along the road to the free car while you were walking and you could have traveled. That was not the case. At the taxi station you could get in either by bus or tram stop.Of course, there was a car at the taxi station.Yes, there was no trace of it. Somehow a Hungarian speaking man was found and for a little money he stopped a free taxi in the middle of the city.Berlin was centered because at the time of the Róte Lieder Festival all the hotels were full. We got room for maybe because he was the most expensive here. we did not seem so expensive.

   After we closed our room, we set off to the place of the concert. We did not have a ticket and everyone was informed that we could not get it. In the taxi stop a disciplined crowd waited to find a car! We were forced to adapt. Then our taxis arrived. The driver did not speak a word in English, but he was German. When I told him about the location of Pallas der Republik, he was angry and did not show any enthusiasm.I think he wanted to get out of here. After a long break he just started. After about three minutes drive we arrived! If we had not walked from the hotel for so long, because the place was behind the building. "So that's why the taxi driver raged. I gave him a tip, in a Hungarian way. He looked at me unhappily and wanted to give me back at all costs. Finally, it was simply at the meeting that I had to \ "forget \" the tip! They did not know it in Germany! We went into the floating, air-conditioned building in a shining lightshade. Now the entire facility was demolished as a symbol of socialism. It was difficult to find the floor of the lecture hall. At that time I tried to buy tickets. They were jerking on me. But my stay came to fruition.

     There was an English speaking East German coming! I showed him my Seeger letter and made a place in the crowded auditorium, even if it was on the cockroach! Our happiness was immense! It went a lot easier than I thought. Although meeting with my music teacher before the concert did not seem to seem like I could live on a live concert yet!

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      After we had a seat, I had a lot of time to be careful. Unfortunately I had to state that the air conditioner room in our country would not have found a pair. Then I listened to the music as the orchestra followed. The music was rumbling! Pete Seeger, who has come to the closing part, is he a thread with his instrument and singing to be able to take up this intense musical sound? He did not go out on stage for a long time and started his concert with the American story of the band and the guitar.It seems impossible, but the second song, which was a blues, was sung by the audience with the chorus. I do not deny that I was relieved to experience this. I secretly thought that singing on the discs with singing was the result of some studio work. Well no! That was the way it really worked! It has an overwhelming effect on the audience that they could not sing it! What a lucky thing to sing with the songs of beauty, peace, friendship, goodwill, and even rankings, and not to do something evil about the audience. It's amazing for the power of mobilizing power!

     He captured his audience and the Germans did not let him finish the last song, so he continued with a repeat. A hot closing concert was successful and I was very happy to have given us this unforgettable evening with Pete Seeger. Out of the way I could not pull myself and listened to the tape recording that was better than I expected. The recording was not impeccable, but I was impressive to me all my life. Snow has dropped steadily since we came to Berlin, but this was the least employed. It was a very successful and meaningful day behind us. We started sliding to the hotel where we can relax this great day.

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     I do not intend to make political debates, but I can not listen to the fate of Pallas der Republik after German unification. I suppose I'm not alone in understanding the facts.

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We waited for tomorrow with no secret hope that our line would be easier because of the promised support from the Hungarian Embassy. In Taxi we felt comfortable and we found the embassy without any problems. They welcomed us cordially and after some coffee, we went to the Metropol theater on a snowy road. Our fellow countryman was firm and successful and the result was that the Germans who were there were counted as family members. We sat in the theater and waited for Pete Seeger to arrive at the sound test. I thought I was coming with a great escort, but I was not disappointed when, without any pump, Toshi's wife and the interpreter walked in the door and released the two instruments from his chest and started to work. That was all that I did not see a chance to that I should go to him without intrusion. I did not forget to turn on the tape, so I managed to record the whole technical setting. ________________________________________________________________________

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The bustle was growing ever more and more. Millions of times I decided to get up and go to my master, but I just pushed the dog down. Then I became aware that it would close the guitar case and go down to halfway, and it would be ready to pull it up. I came to the conclusion! I walked off the rows on the stairs to the stage. My heart was in my heart, just like the Marian who was sitting in his seat watching the happenings. Finally, standing behind Pete, I stopped and said goodbye. Something that I did not even think of in my most daring desires. He rose, stretched out his hand, and with a lurking joy he hugged, crying loudly, signaling that Kálmán was here. Toshi appeared in seconds and the scene repeated.

    There were some commonplace rumors, and Pete gave me the hope that this encounter would not be a big problem for me. I assured you that it is virtually impossible to get tickets for a festival that is organized in February. Toshi had delivered the supplies almost at that moment. We then stayed in the dressing room after the concert, where we could talk about our common themes. Since I thanked the Hungarian interpreter, Pete's interpreter was at my disposal. The local Germans, who have been getting more and more, have seen the events from a fair distance. They saw that they did not understand this Hungarian American friendship and they obviously appreciated the scene. Then I walked down the stage and looked after something to eat and waited for the concert in a mood. At this time we saw the posters on which Pete Seeger was advertiseed. Two of these were later purchased at Werner Seelenbinder Halle.

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     The Germans looked at me with great respect and they smiled broadly at me, where I was in the theater. There was also one who stepped in and shook hands with me. Of course, that was not for me, but for Pete Seeger. Then the concert started, where he was not walking, but running as usual. He started with Wellnd's song "Well Well the Wold Go," and with the help of an interpreter he was able to tell the song's content and story.

    This concert was the performance of the whole evening. Unfortunately, I could not fix the whole program with a voice cassette and Pete allowed me to. Its quality was better than the Pallas der Republik. I got the best quality at Werner Seelenbinder Halle.

 

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A wide selection of ballads to blues covered the color scale. He sang his audience in almost every song. Shopping atmosphere was great and impressive with the concert she gave. The glittering looks have proven to be a success! Then the solo night was over. Unfortunately! Success was huge, maybe I should not say so.     After the depopulation of the theater came I found Pete in her dressing room and we talked a lot about everything I was interested in but often asked about me. At that time, in America, many of us knew about our friendship. An interesting thing to do here! With the manager of Saga banjo, Richard L. Kelsen, we have been writing for several years and, in connection with an unexpected exchange of letters, he saw why I did not know his friendship with Seeger. He himself was a great admirer for the artist. He considered it unjustified that Seeger knew this. Later on, this gentleman helped me to become Seeger Vega Folk Ranger banner and is still up to date. The mail was brought to our country by a US dissident named Sándor Végvári who represented Saga in Munich and brought his own instrument free of duty and gave it to me at the Budapest Country Meetings. This precious piece is still today and I do not have to say that I love it. In the folk genre, the Vega bandage is the leading brand.

    Our long intimate conversation ended with the German interpreter who informed Pete that the road was getting worse because of the uninterrupted snow and the arrival of the West in Berlin might become dangerous. Seeger gave the concert the next day where we could not go with him in the absence of a visa. You had to see the farewell here! We got through with this heart and we went out to work. I did not tell her that we had German friends in Dresden and we wanted to go to the Karl May Museum and we would also like to be there at Werner Seelendinder's concert in Halle on the 22nd. Unfortunately, due to the illumination of light and photographer's photography, a single photo is made on the Metropol stage, which certainly does not make the reader happy, but this is also an expensive treasure for me.

    This evening we were able to carry out a good and meaningful conversation. The beauty of the thing was the unhappy snowfall and Petet was getting more and more drowsy to leave until we were gone - not a little sorry. We married to Marian in Dresden and checked the museum, and then visited our German friend, who turned out to be on the 22nd Werner Seeledbinder in Halle for the Seeger concert. It was a surprise when he learned about my acquaintance with Seeger. So then we came to the sports hall very well before the concert and I surprised Pete Seeger on the sound test by stopping it before it came. I also presented him to Mariann, who kneeled down and held his hand. It was a cute scene. Then we changed a few words and we walked around to get to know the location. Then the program started with the orchestra, which was closing and the closing event of the whole festival was Pete Seeger.

   

After we got to know the sport hall, we sat down and listened to the program of the time that was going on. I was just aware that Pete Seeger was standing in the audience and looking at the program as a spectator. Of course, I went there immediately. After the usual embrace, he called me to go with him and put his hands on her shoulder and walked to her dressing room where we could talk over and over and over and talk about all the things that mattered. It was remarkable that she was not the most busy of her, but she was interested in my life with honest curiosity. How honest she was, the best proof that two years later when our daughter was born, she did not forget to congratulate on a picture card. She even remembered that I had two sons. During our conversation I once mentioned that she had clearly spelled out my name and it was a surprise to me. It turned out that he had sought an American and practiced the pronunciation. He has done incredible and unexpected things for the sake of harmony. Until then, we have been surprised by countless times during our long-lasting relationship. It did not even matter to me that I got books from her or did not buy me a year-long Sing Out magazine. He sent two copies of the book Where have all the flowers gone, one airplane on the other by sea post. The Weavers band video was not received on NTSC but according to a European standard so I did not know about its existence. I could continue the line to infinity!
 
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     Surely it is easy to understand that I have been relieved of this time and hurt my homecoming. I was extremely happy to be able to shoot at least with the portable recorder at the three locations and I could summon the concerts and their mood! Much later, when my technical possibilities were greatly improved, I could digitize the material and make my website. I can not make a secret that I have bitterness in this area as well. During my stay in Berlin, all the concerts were present on television and on many nights I saw news on the evening news shows about the concerts. I also made photographs with my primitive machine, but their quality is under criticism. For me, of course, invaluable treasures! I was secretly entrusted with the fact that some of the German people would have access to archive materials and some details about the concerts. Well, I think of something like the material below in Pete Seeger's first GDR.

 

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The situation radically changed in 2016.04. in the month when Előd Juhász informed me about the availability and the resilience of his music debut on the GDR and the closing song ended with Seeger recording! I received enormous help from Juhász Előd, who is thankful for this too! It is a special pleasure that in 2016 it was the 30th anniversary of the first encounter of my personal invitation to this fantastic man.
 
 
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Pete Seeger 1986 in Berlin

Blog | Robert Newald28. Jänner 2014, 16:09
 

Am Montag starb Folklegende Pete Seeger (Nachruf). Die Fotos entstanden im Februar 1986, während eines Konzerts im Rahmen des Festivals des politischen Liedes in Berlin, damals DDR.

foto: robert newald
foto: robert newald

Ahogy azt reméltem, mégis előkerült néhány fénykép ami akkor készült! Sajnos, halála után került fel a netre. Így nézett ki találkozásunk alkalmával.

Pete Seeger 1986 in Berlin/DDR; Foto: Thomas Neumann

Pete Seeger 1986 in Berlin/DDR; Foto: Thomas Neumann

 

 

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