Chapter 1 – The Making of a Political Consciousness

Album artwork for podcastBorn in 1925 in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan’s East Side, Richard grows up in a working class German-American family surrounded by immigrants from the now defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire. Scenes of the Great Depression, the rise of Hitler in Germany, and anti-Semitic sentiment become etched in his memory. Richard receives an early political education from his Socialist cigar maker grandfather who emigrated from 1880s Germany, by hearing over-the-counter conversations about European politics at the butcher shop where Richard worked on Saturdays, from the Franciscan priest at the Hungarian parish where Richard made meat deliveries, and through his aunt Augusta Wagner, who in 1937 returned to Yorkville while on furlough from occupied China, where she was a professor of economics at Yenching College for Women in Peking.

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2 thoughts on “Chapter 1 – The Making of a Political Consciousness

  1. avatarHelen

    Dick- This is SO COOL! I’m really looking forward to following this. What a fun/great undertaking- Hope to see you next sun- Helen

  2. avatarRichard Paul Poethig

    Thanks for your comment. It’s great to have a daughter like Margaret who is on to these modern techniques of communication. Let me know if you have any questions about what you are reading.

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