Voices of Minnesota: Gisela Konopka (remembrance broadcast)

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A remembrance of the late Gisela Konopka, U of M professor, an expert on helping troubled kids. The internationally known University of Minnesota professor of social work died Tuesday (12/09/2003). She was born in Berlin, Germany, and was a resistance fighter during World War II. She was interviewed in 1995 for MPR's Voices of Minnesota series.

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(00:00:00) From Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Greta Cunningham officials with the Archdiocese of st. Paul and Minneapolis say priest in the diocese abused 69 children over 50 years, the incidents involve 33 Catholic priests. None of whom is still in active Ministry. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is requiring Bishops across the country to provide information about abuse after widespread allegations that some Bishops had failed to report sexual abuse to Civil Authorities. And in some cases had protected abusive priests. Gary Schoenherr is an expert on clergy sex abuse and works with the walk-in Counseling Center in Minneapolis. He says any child abuse by a priest represents a tragedy (00:00:38) first of all, no matter how small the number it's very very troubling and within the study that's being done. Of course, we don't know when all of this happened so but it's the numbers are always troubling no matter how small (00:00:56) some victims Advocates or skeptical that all victims had been accounted. For a spokesman for the Twin Cities archdiocese says no cases of abuse is acceptable but notes that 33 priests cited represent. Just one point one percent of the priests who serve the Archdiocese over the past 50 years University of Minnesota veterinarians are caring for more than a dozen starving horse has seized from a farm near Sauk Center another six horses were found dead. And one had to be put down their surviving horses were found to be thirsty starved and covered in parasites. Most of the horses were expected to survive. The owner of the animals May face felony charges the forecast for Minnesota today calls for clear to partly cloudy skies. It will be cold around the region highs ranging from five above in the Northwest to 18 above in the Southeast right now in Duluth is partly sunny and 10 above in the Twin Cities Sunshine 6 above a wind chill index of minus 9, that's a news update. I'm Greta Cunningham. (00:01:50) All right. Thanks Greta. It's six minutes now past 12:00 and welcome back to midday on Minnesota Public Radio. Rio I'm Gary eichten Gisela konopka a Minnesota woman who survived the Nazis and went on to win international Acclaim for her work with that lessons Gisela konopka died this week. She was 93 years old her life story was almost too amazing to be true except of course. It was true a native of Berlin Germany Gisela. Konopka was a member of the German resistance to the Nazis. She was a holocaust Survivor and she was there when the Nazis marched into Vienna. She recalled telling herself at the time quote. You must know how it looks when The Inferno is beginning on Earth. And if I ever get out of this I'm a shout. I must tell I must never never forget Isola. Konopka did get away. She managed to survive. She fled to New York and eventually ended up at the University of Minnesota where she gained worldwide attention for her work as a professor of Social Work and founder of the used Her for Youth Development and research back in 1995 Gisela konopka told her remarkable story to former Minnesota public radio host. John Ray be is part of our voices of Minnesota series cannot get told John that her family lived in their small grocery store and was too poor to send her to high school. She says she cried and cried until they finally agreed to find her find a way to send her to (00:03:25) school. I do know that there were books always in the house and that was wonderful because I could since very early I could pull out books and just look at them and I couldn't read them right away. My father was a very I sing today and upset man who had of hop condition, but at that time we didn't know that so he was yelling a lot on that made me very afraid of him. That was not good but on the other hand he loved talking with me, so I still Remember that we walked around the block often when I was maybe eight and nine and a little older and he discussed every problem of the political world with me. So I have two ways to think of him as a man you are afraid of because he was yelling and hitting and all the bad things on the other hand. He was also a man terribly interested in political events. He showed me how in just the world was he took me once to a place in Berlin where he showed me sit here. They killed was a Luxembourg and Callie punished and I did not agree. He said with their political views, but you mustn't kill people. I mean, this is the cake way I can see my father my mother I can see as a woman who when I was a teenager. I was very angry because she was I thought much too submissive. She would just always Be quiet when he got angry later, I understood a little bit because she told me that she knew he was sick and that she just didn't want to make it worse, but that I didn't know. So if you want to how she raised me she didn't raise me as a quiet and submissive kind of person but she wears herself at that time submissive. The other thing is that they were very concerned with us. We were sweet girls. All of us learning a lot learning was very very important being good in school. And I that's a Time short after World War One when children went to a school and then they had to decide whether they wanted to go to what was called gymnasium, which is the preparation for the University and my Older sister had got a scholarship and I wanted it to and they were my boss parents saying we don't have the money. We can't have you go to that and I cried and cried and I always say I cried myself into school, but they actually I think liked it in some ways, especially my father. So if you want to how we were raised a great deal of value on learning at the same time no money. So you had to earn your I learned since I'm 12 years old. I have always earned money for my clothes for instance. Was that helped a (00:06:39) little sure was it odd for the time for your parents to invest some money and some respect in girls Two to one of send their girls to school. (00:06:54) No, I have to laugh people always think the women's movement started when I don't know who here after World War II it by no means it did start at that time. I already grew up. I was 7 years old when there was a revolution in Germany and that immediately gave women for instance the right to vote. I didn't realize that there were women who were not allowed to vote from very early on and I as I said, I had a father interested in politics. He subscribed to all the Socialist literature which included a women's magazine and I read how important it was. I from very early on love with the work, which is also rounding Me by K2 culverts who was one of the great women artists there were many it wasn't unusual. I never have considered. That it unusual for a woman to go up. My sister wanted to be a doctor and if the Nazis hadn't come she would be one that wasn't unusual what we wear. We're much more aware of social distances. We were very low class and I don't mean how should I say? We had a little store and we had a place to live, but that was about it. But not at all. That's that was not unusual for girls to be aware of the social circumstances and literature at that time. I love still today. I my great love has always been literature philosophy history and I read it from very (00:08:43) early on. When did you first become aware of the Nazi party and Adolphe Hitler? (00:08:50) We become aware of that Valley early, but the Nazis came to power in 1933, which is when I'm 23 years old, but we are aware of it much earlier because the most significant experience I think of my adolescent life. Was that what we call the youth movement which was not Nazi whatsoever. That was a revolt against what we call it the raucous e and or stupid adults who didn't know what they were thinking, you know, we were pretty revolutionary very early and we were very close friends and we read literature and we played games we played plays and there was all that marvelous literature by an installer and by Bertolt brecht's in the theater. That is not so embarrassed known here, but I could give you as a names. So we were very when I was 15 16 17. We were very aware of social issues very early, and we thought we could make the world a better place. So when when I become 18:19. I went from Berlin to Hamburg. I'm no more in Berlin. I have to explain I finished my what you call the entrance or the finishing examination of gymnasium, which is the school that leads you to the university, but I didn't want to go right away to the university. I was much too imbued with the idea. That one has to help the world to be a better place. So I said I go to Hamburg and work in a (00:10:37) factory. Where did that where did that feeling in you arise was that from the youth movement or from your parents? (00:10:45) It's not that simple. We always think things are that simple. This is why I'm not as Pop psychologist who will always tell you everything comes from that it comes from many areas and I would talk for the next full hour about influences part of it. As I said, especially my father but also part of it a lot of reading. I still can say some of the Poetry very out loud today if that time and it's poetry of if you want to call it the Revolution and the concern for the poor. Okay, then it comes from friends who are all very concerned. And so this was there. It was in the air. I tried to join a labor movement. And first I didn't find the right one because some of my friends became very left-wing and I did not order interesting enough. I read too much I think or maybe it's good that I had so much I couldn't become a Marxist because I thought it was not logical. You can't say that it did World develops towards getting better. And then at the same time you say there has to be a revolution. It seemed to me nonsense also the Any Communists I know but very I found all of us were very dogmatic. So I and I liked people I wanted to be together with a number of people. So to say all these things explained why I searched for labor movement. So first I joined what was at that time and part of the Social Democratic party, but it was a more radical part of the youth group and I became part of that. So this is when I'm about 18 and still go to school when IM Sue with school. I decided that I cannot just go from school to the university that this is too comfortable that I must understand how it is to work in effectively. So I leave Germany and goal with very little money. To Hamburg and to that was a great so I know for my parents and sometimes when I talk with parents today, I better remember how awful that was here. They do everything to that that kid finally go to school and then she goes into a factory and I worked as a steel worker for a year in Hamburg, but I had a lot of support already from that use group to which I belonged. So that was there. I lived very poorly. I always think it's funny when people say they are poor you live in a womb I learned a lot. I will never miss that year working in the factory what it meant to have the same hint movement to have to do four hours and hours for being yelled at by the supervisor by finding colleagues who are trying to join a labor union and that gets so out because they build want to learn belong to its labor. Anya I one woman to whom I thought I was become friend who looked at my hands and said they are much too clean what have you been and certainly I didn't want to tell her that I had been a partially student I said, well I was at home and then she said what is that? Anyhow, a Jew who will work in a factory. I mean you already got this feeling that people who will not understand on the other hand there were wonderful experiences, but when I explained things often say, I heard the crying of children who were beating up in the courtyards, I can give hundreds of examples that have influenced my feeling especially for fit children and young people. So I wasn't this is the time of unemployment and before that there was horrible inflation in Germany. So you lived on Practically nothing I there's little things that influence your life. Like I sometimes gave some lessons to some people and there was a woman who took some lessons to me and one day when I came and was scarf. She said finally you wear something decent you could be pretty if you wanted to and I was ready to kill her, you know, besides this. I had nothing I hadn't even enough to eat, but it was good for me, but then I belong to this labor union movement and also the Socialist movement and there were people who were very interested in education mean especially later became very famous after the second world war. Anyhow, she said, this is ridiculous. You go back to and study and you are more valuable if you have studied and so I started when is it I think 1830 so I mean by 20 years old. To at the University of Hamburg and it's an unusual curriculum because it was one of the very few ones that prepared teachers for the elementary schools. But you have to remember at that time elementary schools were for the poorest and I wanted that and I could again tell you for hours what happened there. So we were never gets all the rest of my life but to make that very clear is that at that time I think my studies were exciting. I always say not only wear that wonderful professors and I William Stern who later was known in the United States taught us psychology and I always quote him and people go about that stupid thing about IQs. You know that I never forget. This is this is before 1933. Eat that William Stern taught us. I he had started the idea of the IQ together with Nene and he said but don't believe that that determines a person's intelligence. It only determines how much they can learn in school. I thought that was so wonderful and here you know this I still remember he came back from America and said what have they done to my IQ, you know, they take it so personal. So perfect to this is study. It was very exciting and there was very exciting right now you ask me. When did you become aware of the Nazis? Very early. We I am and I say it in the book that I wrote. I'm very annoyed with people told me that they didn't know about the Nazis. We knew very early by about 1931-32 what the Nazis where they were already TOA in the streets now they were not in power. and I remember them demonstrating with what is it called? Well, the band allowed to carry weapons, but they were carrying something that speeds over their shoulders and we're singing We were weight that the that's a song that the Jewish blood flows from our you know flows around or something like that moving to be very aware of that at you. They would kill everybody. We were very active against them. We also distributed leaflets against them kathe kollwitz wrote of wonderful call in the very early 1932 against them Yo remember the fascists are already come to Italy we were very afraid aware of that. And so nobody can tell me that you didn't know you didn't want to know most people don't want to know the bad things. So, I'm in Hamburg. I'm no more in Berlin and so 19th. D sweet comes and him danberg makes it leather ice cancel as a chancellor. And he knew that this is the end of all our hopes and we who thought we would make the world a better place. We just knew it was and I can tell one story after another about the terror (00:19:46) and yet you began to work for the resistance. It's right at the same time you were you were thinking that all your hopes are shattered. How (00:19:53) come this is all my life. There is a word in German that says taught salad am in spite of everything. You have to stand up for what you believe in. You cannot allow bad forces to Simply take over that is just not allowed. You have to do what you can I think that's partially my present guilt that I live compelled to flee comfortably and can't do so much anymore. But I say to myself, what would I do going to Croatia? It wouldn't help very much because my legs don't really give up but otherwise no you always have to stand up for what you believe in. So there were holes. I could expect I could give a lot of experiences of that happened at the University of people suddenly telling how much Nazis they were and when I said well and one of the girls for instance colleagues sit, you know the Jews smell and they are dirty and they're filthy and I said, well I said next to you. Did you ever smell? I'm a Jew don't make any fun. You're not a Jew. You know, that kind of but you (00:21:12) told her in fact, I'm a polish. Jew in which that's divorce. (00:21:18) Yeah. These are the worst. You know, the Eastern Jews are the very worst. But but this cause I mean, there's my examinations. My finishing was just in the beginning. I think it's April or something like that of 33. I when people imagine that there that you go into an examination of final examination of the University when the evening before the knots police had come to your house and taunt everything apart because house I don't mean how's the womb and and threw around pictures and books and said, oh those Those awful people those damn do is look at that. You can see how they are all full of naked people. Now these naked people where Michelangelo but this is what they were doing. And so there was also an interview. I mean interview a policeman who came one evening and he's looked at me and he's finally at the end. He said well, I want to take you with me because we just don't do anything against us. It's too complicated to tell all this how we decided to make small groups, you know, couldn't do anything in the open anymore. We knew about Terror we knew all these thing. Well, you go into an examination resolve that so I remember I of as lift on a bicycle going with a bicycle to the University first go to the washroom and so up because I was much too upset and then you take an examination likes a good Germans to with the one Professor who is already so not by the university but is still allowed to give an examination where the one on the one side of the table and on the other side the brown shirts sitting watching what we are doing. I can't describe all this but I finished And I hate to say it was what do you call that was extraordinary or something like that? I think there's a word for that said I can't think of right now. It's very high (00:23:41) grades come Lada come lad (00:23:45) but and then one of the professors who meanwhile had become a Nazi but who has always supported me and I came in and said goodbye and he said well you will be is the genius of our coming schools. And I said no I will never be employed. I'm one Jewish and I don't agree with the Nazis and he said I never forget isn't there a little mouse hole that we can get you through but he didn't and nobody did. (00:24:19) So would you have would you have gone through that little hole if they had provided (00:24:23) it? No, I mean we don't any help you couldn't and they have Many stories of that early time children in school telling me that suddenly the teachers that were first friendly where suddenly wearing swastika. You have to remember people suddenly became totally different you couldn't trust anybody (00:24:46) anymore and yet at the same time, you're very careful to outline that not only were there many Jews in the resistance. There are many many (00:24:55) non-jews. Well I had joined well, as I said the support of that socialist group that was very very clear about that. They stood against the Nazis and the most important one to me was also the one who later became my husband, but we couldn't get married right away. Anyhow, because he was not Jewish and I was and Paul was I think basically my strengths in many other ways. Yes. I had something brought with me, but I've never forgotten That to me is probably one of the most important moment of my life that I will never forget. I had finished my examination. I met him and we walked on the dikes overlooking the elbe and that's the river in Hamburg. And I said to him look there's the water let me go into it. It's no use I I will not be able to do anything and you will be only harmed by having a Jewish friend. So let me let me just go down there and I've never forgotten that this man did not but I guess I expected to or puts his arms around me and says poor little thing. No, he didn't he got angry. He said hey, what are you talking about? We are doing the same thing together. I am just as much against them as you are I cannot And a Jewish and sister to bed, but we can fight them together and we will continue until they take us. And this is so significant and Paul over said we are broken mention owner announced we need people without fear and I have to tell you at age 85. I have to tell that occasionally to myself when I see some of the awful things that go into the world and I have to say we need that we need people who are without fear was about said that much later. I suddenly think you know, what was that what he said like we have nothing to fear but fear is fear itself. Yes. So this is when you say this helped and we simply discuss because that's a other Story the the The resistance people always talk about the resistance that didn't exist certainly because you couldn't you couldn't talk anymore to anybody. You know, who was who you didn't know you could only talk to people who knew before and you whom you could trust. I think there are many stories that have made me all this very angry and that's why I wrote this one book cards and love where I described it. For instance. This recently was something in the paper and a very good I forgot her name writer wrote. Why did nobody stand up against the bullies but there were people who stood up against the bullies, but the world doesn't know about them. They're not famous. They know about one or two, you know, whose name became famous. There were a lot that stood up against the bullies. They were killed very quickly. They were also killed Uhn. I always said I'll Die Here Without a name without anybody knowing about it, right? That happened all over and not only that I think another thing to remember is that the Nazis had away immediately of making impossible any kind of communication. You can't read in the papers anything about anybody you cannot talk to anybody. You don't know for a long time. So if you don't have that there is not the resistance. It doesn't become that the little groups here and little groups. He there who do something this year. I have been back in Berlin for a week and I saw and I'm glad they showed us. I know what anyhow, it splits has a it's the prison where they decapitated people and did all the horrible things and you should see the little boy You there are people they are Catholics. There are Jews. There are Protestants. There are socialists. They are communists. There are there's one who belonged to the moments that fought the Nazis were decapitated in that place, but they wouldn't know about from each other we didn't so what I'm saying is this was a small group to which I belong to and I think we did what we could get leaflets out show resistance that people know there's something but that's as much and very quickly people are either killed off. Or put in prison and I was pretty early in their 19. I never know what years I think it's nineteen thirty-five or thirty-six that I get into the Concentration Camp. So, you know, the concentration camps did not start with Auschwitz. And I think these were the worst so I know they were really the horse because they were the extermination camps and they brought people in who will he hadn't done anything hadn't even fought the Nazis. But the concentration camps existed very early and I have always said I was not I don't feel I was a victim. I was a fighter and I feel much better about (00:31:06) that. Does it Amaze you that they let you out of out of prison out of the concentration (00:31:13) color didn't amazed me at all. They did that to other people too. I wasn't long time in it. You know, this wasn't yet or chourus I wouldn't be able alive if it were there were other extermination camps and in the one in which I was in Foods better. Lots of people were hanged. I want you to know and I have all that material but no I just doesn't surprise me at all because they did that with other people. They released them to find out where they went and whom they met (00:31:48) it (00:31:49) very clear message that you become bait. The fortunate thing is that some of us where had meanwhile learned all these things. We knew that so I knew that the moment I was out. I wasn't the way I felt worth anything anymore because I couldn't fight them anymore. There was no way I couldn't meet my friends. I couldn't so I could go back to the place which was a little boom in some family because that I could do they were mice things. I told them what happened one had a friend who was her friends and I said you can tell them this is the way it's real very I don't think in a free Society one can understand these kind of things and then I very quickly went to my mother and I was allowed, you know, you can go to your mother and they watched and they were pretty you know, and I have to get her out of the country very quick and it's very complex how I got out of the country. (00:32:58) All this time when you were working in the resistance and doing other things where you also working on the foundation of the ideas that would lead toward your writings your studies in the Troubles of adolescence and adolescent (00:33:14) girls. I don't think I've worked on it, but it has influenced me greatly all the things that I have done later in the United States and you know, that's much later that comes after another prison in Austria and after horrible things in France. I don't need to it's will be too long, but I didn't study them but I experienced so much for instance. I still think that we could stop our violence. By being very different with young people. I am very concerned that we are beginning to hate our young people and the moment you are. Putting hate against somebody they hate back. So I saw that and I later in the United States I had time to study but I can it's not from books. It's much for my experience. For instance this business of gangs. I'm jumping fart. I have written about it. I don't think I can't wait much more because I've written so much but I am so concerned that we are just saying bad gangs, you know, put them in prison. Well, the gang's partially gives them a sense of security. Kids that are very afraid of things that are living under fear living under violence getting beaten up at home. They find finally others with whom they can join. This is what I think the enormous power of groups and our friendship. It's great. It's not bad. It becomes bad when that power is used for violence against others. So if we could work with gangs and I know some younger friends who have worked with gangs when kid work with them and gives them outlets for their energy and a sense of we are important then they will not have to hate so much and so much violence. I had a wonderful experience A few weeks ago The Homeschool the Hennepin Hunt County home school for delinquents who does I'm sure not do everything. I don't have us that's and it's much too much overfilled showed place and there were several of these youngsters involved and a wonderfully gifted young directed theater director had worked resource boys, and you should have seen that what they did. These are young people we single horrible you known me and they probably have done many things there. They were telling their story but not oh dear. Oh dear. I'm the victim but with a certain Pride not what they did, but what they could be. I have them the how do you call that the script here and it start out with a sentence of Langston Hughes, what happens to a Dream Deferred? And they use that as a jumping off point and they were superb and they're very young people they all twice as tall as I am and they are for Americans and hmong and white and everything and they were working together at that. I obviously would love I had wished I had a video of that when they finished and they got the Applause, you know, then they walk down from the stage. Now the superintendent Terry wise I think did a wonderful thing. She had a bunch of roses and she gave each one of those boys a hose and they walk down that whole length of the theater. Each one is a rose in their hands when have these kids have had all goes in their hand any flower in the end and then was its reception and I It was one of the kids and I said you were really excellent and I will never forget as I say it twice as tall as I and you pushed up his arms. And he said yes. Yes. I know we well wonderful. We are marvelous. We are the Future. These are delinquents. These are gangs but much more must happen. I believe in art. I when I can't sleep in there many nights. I can't sleep the only two things that put me to sleep. I say poetry to myself. Because I learned it or I get up and right now they can paint we don't do this enough with young people. We don't give him as them a sense that they are others who sings us who can express themselves and you can too. You don't know. I mean, yes, you do know but I mean many people don't know what I have seen happening to dark-skinned teenagers when I quoted links and shoes night coming tenderly black like me light comes Knight coming tenderly black like me. I say we don't talk about tenderness we only talked about Fort and fighting Excuse me. I get on my horse at this moment. I get away from my story, but it's experiences if I have influenced me. I have been spit in the face by a tall black-clad, you know, one of those Nazis that on the concentration camps and he was yelling at me and he was telling me all the bad things that I was you know, and spat in my face and I still think humiliation is one of the worst things. And the anger that arises in you is Horeb is absolutely horrible. And if I hadn't I still think I was lucky because I had so much inner. Sings knowing that this man isn't worth anything if he does that to me, you know, I have always said a knife later used it in other occasions. I felt like everyone was wearing a raincoat and that stuff was just running down, you know, but we gives that to our children if we can give them a sense of inner pride and not just Pride not this constant respect is very wonderful, but also a sense of tenderness. (00:40:54) Why were so many kids involved in your in your youth. Why were so many involved in the youth movement when today there are so many kids who are involved in gangs and delinquency (00:41:07) one. They are many kids. He also used in involved and use movements and in very very helpful things. We only don't write about them. So that's number one to when I grew up it were not the Majority Issa it was always a modality. That was that concerned I belong to them but that wasn't everybody either. Let's face it. There were quite a lot there. We're not in addition to that if power lies on the other side, then you join them. I mean the many kids said joined the Nazi party. That was their excitement. And it was nice to beat up on somebody right? We have obviously human beings have Bose and and I'm included good and bad in them. So it depends what you are pulling out. No, I don't think this was so different don't I never talk about the good old times? They weren't so good and we weren't so good. It was a comparatively small group. All I'm saying is I want that this violence. (00:42:21) What do you think the divorce rate? The very high divorce rate has done to juvenile delinquency in the United States. (00:42:31) It's not divorce. It's a question of how do people relate to each other one is a married or not married. It's not legal separation. It's a separation of thinking that you again the expectations. I have sometimes talk with people were rather close as what's the expectation you should never fight with each other. That's just a foolish expectation, you know this idea that because you get married it will be always sweetness and light the expectation is that you always will have enough money. The expectation is that well, then comes the expectations that icing come from very old times you do what I told you. When the years ago, I thought that actually we are moving into a better relationship in marriage because we have I thought we had moved into a respect for every member of a family, you know, the father is not anymore which we all come from we come from the most tyrannical societies all of us but it seemed to me it was getting better. The father wasn't any more seen as the only one who has something to say the mother was in an equal position and the children were also respected according to their ages and what they could do it seemed good. It hasn't quite turned out that way. I know that but I don't think I do think the separation of Families is very sad and very harmful again not because they legally separate but because the children do not children have to expect long let have to experience. I always say three basic things one is love and tenderness and they belong together. The second is respect that they see people respect each other and that they are respected and three stimulation that is what children need to go up. And we do we make so many other things that we say unnecessary. This is the basic things. I don't think that the family always was better don't think that there were terrible things going on in families hidden. Maybe they were not openly divorced. They were doing it in the secret. I have no I have lots of I'm an art historian. So I have some very interesting books that I sometimes use when I'm speaking to people like is a Diary of a young girl which was written in Vienna in the nineteen. Well before 1900 and there she describes what went on in that family. It was a good, you know, good middle-class family, but the beatings that were hidden. I don't think the families were all better know if we tell young people all the time that everything was better then why should they have hope for themselves or the future? We have to tell them the basic things that are necessary. If you have a friend and you want to trust a friend, then please respect that friend. And if you want to have relationships with a person and has to be on a respectful base, (00:46:30) how do you turn them around though? If they have if if we have an invested respect in our teenagers for instance, how do you teach them what respect is (00:46:41) one? Don't say in our teenagers. It's not all of them. I always say that over and over. I don't want to indict our you see we do that right now. Again, we found too much indict all use and then we are surprised how wonderful things they do and they do wonderful things just marvelous things that I see some teenagers to so let's say that first but I thought about troubled youth the ones who have done pretty csing. First of all, don't tell them that we were always so hot. I mean we were not perfect either. So you say so you do things that are wrong. So let's look what we can do right but in to me the basic thing is to involve them. Wisdom, not just always tell them wizard raised finger what they have to do. But that is very important. I have seen it working in institutions when I sit down with them and I say, all right, you will now decide what do you think could be done differently? Let them build it up and help together with them. We have to work the word Wiz is to me underlined. I'm doing a little bit work with our something in st. Paul and I think they do a good job and what they call Safe City and that was one of my basic suggestions that in the neighborhoods don't only make programs for that. We may always make programs for get a bunch of kids. And let them sit with you thinking so what can be done participation is a base for democracy and if we don't do it, we will have dictatorships. I don't know whether I make myself clear. It's so (00:48:42) difficult. One of the things you've gotten on me about number of times during this interview is in making blanket statements. Yeah, and I'm doing it in part to to get an answer for know I'd but also in your book you write for instance. How in your youth some people studied Freud's some people studied Adler. Yeah, you're part of the Adler camp at you still thought that Freud had some some good points you then write about how you are surprised how in the United States we embraced Freud and then we toss them out the window entirely. We didn't we didn't reach some kind of compromise on Freud just just as an example and it seems to me that maybe part of what you're saying. Is that there is this polarization in American society. We want absolute yes or absolute no black or white. We have a hard time embracing for instance teenagers who seem to be torn, you know pulled from both sides. They're just a mass of (00:49:39) contradictions. Yeah, and the moment you say that then I begin to get also myself into a generalization and I'll just say it I have often said this is such an exciting country with all this variety, but it's run by feds. You know if ideas, you know, you have to be one way only and that is for a while, you know, but so exaggerated it you cannot expect that people can have different kinds of feeling sometimes I say I'm like the Fiddler on the Roof, you know on the one hand and on the other hand, you know, but that's very difficult. Usually for Americans to accept. This is a vector still very action-oriented country and they are now this is generalizations very often. It has to be one way or the other way, you know, and we all children have to obey that's now gone I think but then comes a time. Oh, let them all be free to do whatever they want to now that they can't Either but that comes for a while, you know, and then to find this thing in the middle is very difficult. That's two and that is a it's a problem. I myself sink. If one could be less absolute. There are some very absolute values that I adhere to that. I will not go away one step. The basic one is a respect for every single human being regardless where they come from how they look what they do. And so on that to me is a very basic value. Okay, but beyond that they can be a great variety white now for instance A friend of mine has a Fourteen year old nephew and I think it's almost now I can say it's almost funny. He's Jewish and he shaves his head. What to me that looks like a Nazi I haven't seen him but that would be you know all skinhead but to him that's not what it is and I have to understand that to him. He is one like these wonderful basketball players. I give that only as an example, how one has to understand what goes on in somebody else's head but the respect for everybody that is something that from the beginning one has to install icing in people. I have to see that I find them because somebody else says that better than I and I thought I had that quote somewhere and I if I find it I read it to you. Oh, yeah. This was actually a Thurgood Marshall. And I can I read that code because I like it so much people are people strikes them and they were cry cut them and they will bleed starve them and they will wither away and die but meet them with respect and decency give them equal access to the levers of power attend to their aspirations and Grievances and they were flourish and grow and join together to form a more perfect union. He says it better than I can see it. (00:53:43) Internationally acclaimed University of Minnesota scholar Gisela konopka speaking back in 1995 with former Minnesota public radio host John Ray be as part of our voices of Minnesota series Isola konopka died on Tuesday, but no doubt about it. Her Legacy lives on the University of Minnesota is konopka Institute Bears her name and Carries on her work. She was 93 years old when she died this week a memorial service will be scheduled at a later time. Well that does it for our midday program today. We're going to be rebroadcasting this interview with Gisela konopka at nine o'clock tonight. And of course it will also be available on our website Minnesota Public Radio dot-org tomorrow Mike Mulcahy will be here for our midday program. You'll be filling in and should it should be a good program tomorrow Congressman Mark Kennedy will join Mike during the first hour to talk about toll roads and other issues over the noon hour. We'll have some highlights from tomorrow's Mondale Forum which focuses on American Security and America's role in the world. That's tomorrow on midday. (00:54:51) Programming is supported by Triple Espresso a highly caffeinated comedy a homegrown Show created to make you laugh until you cry appearing now at the music box theater tickets available online at Triple Espresso.com (00:55:03) your tuna 91.1 care wfm.


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