Autobiography, with Letters

By William Lyon Phelps | Go to book overview
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98
MUNICH IN 1932

EARLIER in this book I have spoken of my love for Munich and its people, where we spent seven months in 1904, four months in 1911-12, and which always seems like home. In Paris I say with the Psalmist, 'By the rivers of Babylon I sit down and weep when I remember Zion.' But I am never homesick in Munich.

In the Spring of 1932 I met there my old University friends, Professor Schick (now Emeritus), Jules Simon, Hanns Oertel, formerly my colleague at Yale, and Professor Max Förster, my colleague to be; in addition to these and other friends and our beloved 'Eltern' at the Pension Nordland, there were two of my younger Yale colleagues in the English Department, Professors Robert D. French and Rudolph Willard. The University formally began its semester on a May morning; but as Professor Max Förster informed me, 'the informal opening of the university will take place at the Hofbräu this evening.'

He and Willard and I went down a narrow, dark street, left our hats and coats in a cloak-room, opened a door; we were in a vast room where about eight hundred men and women were seated at long tables, drinking the fresh beer of spring. In the gallery a band was playing, and the huge crowd were singing student songs. There was good fellowship--but no drunkenness, no disorder. Peasants, workers, students, servants, scholars, professors, business men, political magnates, officials, musicians mingled together with freedom. Such a thing as an 'introduction' to

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