THE MICHIGAN DAILY
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7, 1952
Arrow in the Blue
ARROW IN THE BLUE by Arthur Koest-
THIS FIRST volume of Koestler's auto-
biography takes him from his birth in
Budapest in 1905 to his alliance with the
Communist party in 1931.
Arthur Koestler has earned a wide repu-
tation as a brilliant journalist, sensitive
novelist, and keen political analyst. His
gifts of lively chronicling, detached hu-
mour, and penetrating psychological per-
ception have produced some of the best
firsthand reports from inside the hotbed
of the first half of the twentieth century.
Koestler's experience as an active Com-
munist yielded the insight for Darkness at
Noon (1940), Yogi and the Cojnmissar
(1944), and The God That Failed (1950).
His youthful effort as a colonist plus spor-
adic sojourns in Palestine resulted in Thieves
In the Night (1946) and Promise and Ful-
fillment (1950). Koestler's daring and ideal-
ism led him behind Franco's lines in 1937
for Dialogue with Death (1938) and Spanish
Testament (1938), and the frustrating days
of a cofrupt, crumbling pre-war France pro-
duced Scum of the Earth (1941) and Age of
Arrow in the Blue is a remarkably suc-
cessful synthesis of self-examination, politi-
cal analysis, and historical sketching. The
book strikes home at a college audience par-
ticularly, for it covers Koestler's childhood,
adolescence, university experience, and the
five years following his departure from
home and from school.
Koestler's sensitive adventures in Vien-
na, the Middle East, Paris, and Berlin
gain significance and universality as they
are set against the political and social
phenomena of the day. His portrayal of
his family and parents as they drift across
Central Europe, cosmopolitan yet un-
worldly, is deft, humorous, and sensitive.
Koestler's chapter on the tumultous, care-
free,' secure carryings-on of his Vienna
'Burschenscaft' (drinking and duelling fra-
ternity) is a gem. Koestler studied for an
engineering degree from the ages of 17 to
21, though mostly ignoring slide rules and
laboratories in favor of the "highly enjoy-
able activities of the Burschenschaft, read-
ing in psychogy, psychiatry, and social en- ,
gineering, Zionist politics, and other pecul-
iarly Viennese distractions. Koestler notes
that his college years was the only period
he thoroughly and completely enjoyed him-
self without any feeling of guilt.
Six months before graduation Koestler
dropped his studies and left for Palestine to
join a communal farm settlement. Though
completely unacquainted with Zionism be-
fore his university days, Koestler's Zionist
Buschenschaft projected him into an active
and leading role in the local movement.
Arrow In the Blue reveals the excite-
ment and the frustrations of Koestler's
two years In the Middle East. Untrained
and unprepared for the devbted, ascetic,
malarial-ridden life of a pioneer farmer
in the undeveloped Palestine of 1926
Koestler left the settlement to roam
through Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem.
The Open City
I think it was the distinguished delegate
of the Philippines who mentioned the rising
of cities on the banks of large rivers which
led to great civilizations. I also see a great
city growing up on the banks of the East
River. This city has no moats or draw-
bridges; it has no limits or boundaries; it
does not fly the flag of Caesar. It is not
built on rock or stone but on concepts and
ideologies; it is not built with brick and
mortar but with emotions and feelings. It
is not built with the whip and lash but
with freedom and dignity.
May this open city of ideas, with an ever
increasing number of flags, grow and spread
by the Indus and the Ganges, the Don and
the Volga, the Seine and the Tiber, the Nile
and the Euphrates, the Amazon and the
Mississippi, the Yellow River and the Yalu.
Let history show that the peoples of this
century have been great architects of hu-
man dignity and human freedom, great
builders of material colossi, great inventors
of engines of destruction which they con-
verted to the uplift and happiness of man-
-Concluding statement by Syed Amiad
Ali of Pakistan, President of the 14th
Session of ECOSOC, August 1, 1952
At The State.
FLAT TOP, with Sterling Hayden and
MONOGRAM Pictures, an outfit that rich-
ly deserves its obscurity, apparently tried
to cram every war-movie gimmick possible
into this production. Not only does it fail
to try anything new, but also does the rou-
tine things as miserably as possible.
The point of the whole business, when
it can be glimpsed, completely fails to
come off. As one of the characters puts
it, the idea is that "there's no room for
individualism in the Navy." Far from rep-
resenting a huge and important military
The year that followed was a constant
struggle against hunger and despair, en-
livened by the Bohemian atmosphere of
his surroundings and acquaintances and
occassional sales of political and travel
articles to the European press.
At twenty-two Koestler landed a job as
Middle East correspondent for Germany's
major news service, replete with interviews
with Arab kings, investigations of the vices
of Beirut and the poverty of Cairo, and a
quixotic interest in the social and religious
cranks that thronged the Holy Land. Too
much a European to remain overseas, Koest-
ler demanded, and got a Paris assignment in
1929 at the age of twenty-four.
Arrow in the Blue deals mostly with anec-
dotal trivia of Koestler's Middle East stay.
Though it contains little by way of analysis
or evaluation, its description of the ways of
life and of the people there at the time has
the sparkle of well-written sympathy and
understanding. The superficiality of this
portion of Koestler's autobiography, relative
to the greater digestion and personal per-
ception of other episodes, suggests that per-
haps Koestler has still to come to terms with
the values that pulled him from Vienna to
Palestine twenty-five years ago and the ex-
periences he had there.
Koestler's year in Paris as a political
reporter probably laid the groundwork for
his later departure from the democratic
camp to join the Communists in 1931.
Arrow in the Blue notes the corruptness
and the perennial crumbling of the French
democratic system. Nevertheless a year
later, in Berlin as a science journalist,
Koestler still espoused the values of the
Weimar Republic, middle-class, honest
liberalism, a faith in reason and in the
population, and a belief in progress and
respectable democratic methods.
Arrow in the Blue provides an amusing
and captivating portrayal of the Berlin of
the radical Bohemia, the staid, influential
Ullstein Publishing House, denizens of public
communication and a bulwark of German
liberalism and the Weimar Republic, and
the adventures of a science editor on Zep-
pelin trips to the Arctic and interviewing in-
ventive cranks and Nobel Prize winners.
This was the Berlin of the 1920's and 1930's
that replaced Paris as the capital of Europe,
the Berlin of Isherwood's I Am a Camera, of
cosmopolitanism, culture, inflation and un-
employment, and impending catastrophe.
Koestler sketches the distressing, lonely
picture of Germany's hapless liberal forces
caught between the twin suppressions of
Nazi and Communist totalitarianism. Only
at that time Koestler did not view them as
twins. Sucked in by the Soviet myth and
horrified by the selfish domination of Hit-
ler's industrial sponsors and the callous
racism of his frustrated supporters, Koestler
deserted the sinking ship of liberalism and
joined the only German force willing, able,
and ready to slug it out with the Nazis in
the gutters, the factories, and the minds of
the masses, the Communist Party.
In The God That Failed Koestler describes
the twenty-four hour period preceding his
letter to the German Central Communist
Committee. It included a disastrous poker
game, a drunken party, a cracked motor
block in his recently repaired car, and a
regretted overnight 'alliance.' Arrow in the
Blue makes plain that though Koestler
moves 'suddenly, as in his snap decision in
1926 to throw up his studies and leave for
Palestine after an afternoon's intensive, re-
flective discussion, his attitudes are well
prepared by many months of thought and
inclination. And given the shape of things
in Germany in 1931, who can blame Koestler
for grasping any tool to fight off the Nazi
True enough, Koestler's Arrow in the
Blue admits that he became a Communist
without reservations. But Koestler is the
prototype of the modern man, at times in
love with unreason, living the modern
myths, and leaping at all-inclusive an-
swers to humanity's and his own social
problems. Arrow in the Blue makes equal-
ly clear Koestler's life-time concern with
the infinite, the absolute, the cure-all, the
complete answer, and the utopia.
Koestler's life led him from a cosmopoli-
tan, cynical, gay Vienna to the Promised
Land, with a short stopover in thegtolerant
liberalism of Europe of the 1930's, and then
a blind acceptance and faith in the Land
of Promise. Yet each step was the product
of a keen mind and a deep experience.
settlement eventually, with Carlson con-
fessing, "you were completely right, chief."
Another major conflict involves a pilot
grounded for disobedience by Hayden.
He sulks around the ship until his big
chance comes. With everybody else off on
a mission, the carrier is attacked. This lad
zooms into the air and shoots down six
Zeros. There's a similarly glorious happy
ending for almost everyone.
None of the characters has more than an
embryonic development, and the dialogue
reflects this. Comic-book monstrosities like
"Boy, would I hate to get in a dog-fight
with him" are scattered liberally throughout.
The sequences calculated to be tear-
jerkers are clumsy, ridiculous and in poor
COMPLETE WITH massive choir, soloists,
and accompanying ensemble, the Chor-
al Union's annual super-colossal production
of Handel's Messiah was undoubtedly a far
cry from what the composer heard at its
first performance. As a Christmas gesture
of resounding faith, this performance was
successful. From high in my vantage point
in the second balcony, the choral sounds re-
verberated off the walls beyond the exits
for seconds after each section was finished.
But as an expression of Handel's musical
intent, there were flaws. The main com-
plaint was the orchestra. A pick-up group,
such as was employed last night, will na-
turally not have the precise intonation or
technic as an established group, but they
should still play with enthusiasm. The fault
. was primarily the conductor's. The overture
was lifeless; McCoy could not get the slight-
est crescendo from his musicians.
From a purely choral standpoint, Mc-
Coy proved himself much better. His
choir was technically flawless, its tone
predominanfly vocal, though on occasions
the sopranos and altos sounded harsh.
The only real trouble, however, was in
lyric passages. In purely declamatory
Choruses, like the famous Hallelujah chor-
us, the massive choir is effective, but in the
melodic chorus, like "For unto us a Child
is born," the sound was too heavy. There
were just too many people to sing softly.
The soloists were the most interesting
part of the program, James Pease, along with
Eunice Alberts, being the most outstanding.
Pease's voice, a rich operatic bass-baritone,
was exciting in the dramatic recitative and
aria, "The trumpet shall sound," while Miss
Alberts was best in the aria, "He shall feed
his flock," where her voice was especially
suited to its soft, melodic line. Nancy Carr,
soprano, was also at her best in this aria;
in passages where she had to sing louder,
her voice became a little strained. David
Lloyd, tenor, has not a rich voice, which
hampers him slightly, but in the recitative,
"He that dwelleth in heaven," he showed a
real dramatic quality.
The Choral Union seems set upon main-
taining their tradition of presenting only
the Messiah as there first offering of the
year, though there is certainly other ex-
cellent Christmas music, by such composers
as Bach and Palestrina. But if they are so
intent on performing Handel, it would be a
wonderful idea if they formed themselves
into a Handel society, along with their
other functions. They would have over thirty
oratorios from which to choose, and would
be doing the community, in fact the na-
tion, a much greater musical service than
they accomplish now.
WASHINGTON-Sources close to General
'' Eisenhower say that if the President-
elect had to have a break with Senator Taft,
he would rather it came early than late.
Though he did not expect or want the
disapproval of the powerful GOP Senate
leader over new Secretary of Labor Durkin,
nevertheless Ike figured a break was prob-
ably inevitable and, if so, he would rather
battle it out with Taft during the first two
years of his administration rather than
the last two years.
Meanwhile the most interesting thing
about the headline-making Durkin appoint-
ment is that it was largely accidental.
It came about partly because Ike and
advisers, 'having almost completed the cab-
inet, looked it over and found no one repre-
senting minority groups. It was a cabinet
comprised solely of Protestants, and wealthy
Protestants at that.
So it was decided that the Secretary of
Labor must be either a Catholic or a Jew.
Prior to this, Governor Alfred Driscoll of
New Jersey had been considered, though he
happens to be a Presbyterian. He felt he
must remain in New Jersey.
- TAFT BLOWS -
FRIENDS OF Senator Taft say that pri-
vately he blew off more steam over the
appointment of Sinclair Weeks as Secretary
of Commerce than Durkin as Secretary of
Labor. For Taft remembered all too vividly
how he had helped make Weeks chairman
of the finance committee of the Republican
party following which Weeks, at a crucial
moment of the pre-convention campaign,
telegraphed members of the finance commit-
tee and the GOP national committee urging
that Taft withdraw his name from the race.
Taft had also given Eisenhower a list of
his recommendations to 'the cabinet, from
which, however, not one name was select-
ed; and Taftites say this was a breach of
the Morningside Heights agreement on
Though Taft got credit for appointing his
distant cousin, Ezra Taft Benson, as Secre-
tary of Agriculture, and George Humphrey
of Cleveland as Secretary of the Treasury,
actually he initiated neither. Meanwhile, he
was convinced that Dewey was passing on
if not picking the entire cabinet.
"How About Launching A Dove Over Here?"
iette/J TO THE EDITOR
The Daily welcomes communications from Its readers on matters at
general interest, and will publish all letters which are signed by the writer
and in good taste. Letters exceeding 300 words in length, defamatory or
libelous letters, and letters which for any reason are not in good taste will
be condensed, edited or withheld from publication at the discretion of the
THE ANN ARBOR Art Association's 30th Annual Show is currently
on display in the Rackham galleries, where it continues through
December 18th. Hours are until 10 p.m. daily, closed Sundays.
There are a great many paintings in the four rooms, and it
must have been a great deal of work for the hanging committee of
two, namely Messrs. Thomas McClure and Cecil North. They did
a competent job and are not, of course, responsible for the gen-
eral quality of the stuff inside the frames.
Unfortunately, most of the paintings may most accurately and
kindly be described as clumsy and inadequate. Too much of the Same
Old Stuff without even the justification of technical competence.
Roughly 80% of the wall space is taken up by flower-fanciers,
landscape lovers, and imitative modernists. For all the difference it
makes in the representational work of the first two varieties, none of
the artists from the Minoan period to the present need ever have
picked up a brush.
They are "natural" painters who paint what they see-what
anyone can see-leaving out only the qualities essential to art
(vitality, imagination, etc.), but capturing all the details their in-
adequately trained senses and hands permit.
The modern-type canvasses are generally a little better because
any attempt to be weird requires some inventiveness. They don't suc-
ceed either, though, because they are copying externals, and have not
turned to cubism or whatever out of artistic necessity for this form of
expression, but because it is The Thing To Do, and to prove to the
world that they are Up On Their Picasso.
Happily, there are some good works peppered into each of these
groups, and their competence is greatly enhanced by the particular
context. These form a part of the wholesome 20%, together with some
others that would hold their own in any show, mostly by the old de-
Carlos Lopez' "Three Musicians" captures'the largest slice of
cake, as far as your reviewer is concerned. Kamrowski is the clos-
est thing we have to Picasso in Michigan, so far as I can see. He
has never stopped too long in one spot, and "Jack in the Box" is
in a much different vein than the canvasses I have seen lately with
his signature. The principle of the thing is more pleasing than this
particular color riot, which sthikes me as slightly gaudy and a little
After the Association's trinity showing earlier in the year, I
carefully sought out Bill Lewis' FREIGHTER FROZEN IN. It doesn't
seem to have quite the vigor of some of his earlier pieces; still, it's one
of the eight or ten really good paintings in the show. His stoneware
pot is also quite good.
Jamie Ross is another artist I sought out for his previous per-
formance, and here again I feel that his "Landscape with Lonely Trees"
falls a bit flat after some of his others. His smaller watercolor, "New
England Street," is much more satisfactory. Those of you who have
seen Ross' mobiles might be interested to know that he has several of
them on display in the coffee room of the Arts Theatre Club.
There are a few pleasant surprises to be found here also, chief-
ly in the work of Mark L. Harris, Jr. I would take his "Animals"
or "Conversation" in preference to any painting in the show ex-
cept the Lopez; unfortunately, none of the three is for sale.
When I first saw Harris' canvasses, I took them to be the work
of an exceptionally gifted child somewhere between six and twelve'
years old. The only information I have to the contrary is a listing in
the Ann Arbor telephone directory, so I presume my bubble of en-
thusiasm is pricked.
I now half-expect a large gentleman between 20 and 30 to des-
cend on me in a furry, but I'll stick to my guns. I don't, of course, mean
that either canvas is childish. But both reveal the uncluttered and
delightful imagination of the child, both in the conception and col-
oring. Harris, whatever his age, has retained what Herbert Read calls
"the innocent eye," and manages to transfer his vision to the canvas.
Although the two are only slightly similar otherwise, Harris shares
this outlook with Paul Klee, one of the brightest lights in 20th century
Russell Steinke is another welcome addition to my list of
"discoveries." His "Summer Evening" is an extremely powerful
and moving study of a negro couple; the asking price leads me to
conclude that Steinke is already well-established, so he is probably
new only to me. His not-for-sale "Nude Figure" is just as fine, on a
smaller scale, as his other.
The ceramicists are as good, on the whole, as the painters are bad.
Not a piece that doesn't bear detailed inspection and satisfy sight and
touch. There is apparently no end to the variety of beautiful forms,
glazes and designs that these people can concoct.
As seems to be the usual thing in pottery displays hereabouts,
J. T. Abernathy carries off top honors. His black plate with white
design is excellent in every respect. His vase is only slightly less
wonderful, and a huge bowl with red interior glaze is the biggest
bargain in the building.
Pauline Elliott is perhaps Abernathy's most serious contender, with
a large green plate, a large speckled vase, and a light green bowl. For
the rest, you pays your money and you takes your choice, but this is
only figuratively true, as only about half the pieces are offered for
sale to the covetous onlooker. This is a great pity, because a fine pot
can apparently be had for much less than even a punk oil, judging
by the price list.
In the "for sale" class, pay particular attention to Jean Hazen,
Dorothy Cahill, R J. Raymond, Ann Rae, and Ethel Kudrna
Lewis, who is willing to part with one of her three pieces. No censure
intended, but it is our misfortune that Mimi Dobson, Helene Allmen-
dinger, and G. Dart have either already sold-or would rather not
To the Editor:
HAVE BEEN following Bernie
Backhaut's political develop-
ment via the Letters to the Editor
column with interest and not with-
out some confusion. Last year Mr.
Backhaut was a loyal if somewhat
deviant member not only of the
Young Democrats and the Civil
Liberties Committee but SDA, the
parent organization of which he
now implies is radical. In the mid-
dle of the Presidential campaign
he was lured into the camp of the
Young Republicans, and evidently
renouncing all his previous politi-
cal affiliations, became an ardent
supporter of Eisenhower,
To add to my already confused
state of mind, Mr. Backhaut came
out in the Letters column a few
days after the election, with a let-
ter in highest praise of Governor
Stevenson. By then I realized that
Mr. Backhaut must be contemplat-
ing writing a book entitled "I Was
a Republican for the SDA."
Mr. Backhaut's last contribu-
tion in Tuesday's Daily tries to
smear one of the most sincere and
hard working liberals on campus.
Perhaps Bernie means to change
the title of his book to "Backhaut,
the Man, the Chameleon, the
* * *
Rose Bowl.. ..
To the Editor:
FOR THE second consecutive
F year, Michigan is not going to
the Rose Bowl. Do you want to
know why? Well, I'll tell you why.
It was because of the Illinois game.
That was the only home Big 10
contest in which the Victors were
not very valiant and, had we won
that game, the Wolverines would
now be practicing for the New
Years day classic at Pasadena. But
Why was this game lost? I'll
tell you why. There was only one
canceled pep rally this season and
that was scheduled for the night
before the Illinois game. Who can
attribute this to ordinary coin-
cidence? Who can say for sure
that this was just negligence ra-
ther than a calculated plot so in-
famous as to deprive the Maize &
Blue of the glory they so justly
deserve? Who can claim that the
cancellation of this pephrally had
nothing to do with the ultimate
determination of the Western Con-
It does not look good for the
Wolverine Club from here. Either
someone slipped somewhere or
there is a dastardly plot in our
midst, a plot so vile as to dwarf
the deeds of Benedict Arnold, Pan-
cho Via, Alger Hiss and Rudolph,
the red nosed reindeer.
The circumstances involved in
the cancellation of this rally
should be investigated immediate-
ly. Now if only the Wolverine Club
would invite a speaker.
-E. Sterling Sader
Coffin Nails .. .
To the Editor:
A CAMPUS newspaper, which
rightly seeks to preserve its
integrity against attacks from
without, must be continually on
guard against threats to its integ-
rity from within. To this end, it
must at all times adhere to the
highest standards of journalistic
ethics. It must be objective in its
news, courageous in its editorials,
and honest in both. Any depar-
ture from these canons weakens
the effectiveness of the collegiate
press, and gives more ammunition
to those who would suppress or
A case painfully in point is Gene
Hartwig's signed editorial, "Ike's
Labor Appointee" (Daily, Dec. 5),
which said in part:
"The appointment means that
organized labor will have direct
access to the White House. In ad-
dition, the President will have at
his disposal a man who can advise
on how labor will react to public
policy measures. Durkin may also
act as a spokesman who can inter-
pret the views of the administra-
tion to labor and the public."
Three days earlier, in the Ann
Arbor News of December 2, the fol-
lowing statement appeared in Da-
vid Lawrence's copyrighted syn-
"it means that union labor will
have direct access to the White
House. It means also that the new
President will have at his elbow
a man who can tell him how Labor
will react to various proposals of
public policy. Likewise, Gen. Eis-
enhower will have a spokesman
who can interpret the views of his
administration to labor and the
The Bank Dick ..
To the Editor:
FIRST SAW "The Bank Dick"
when I was 15 years old. I
couldn't recommend my critical
opinion at that age but I thought
it very funny-so funny that I had
the nerve to take my father to see
it. Though he never liked movies.
He liked this one, though he never
Since then I have tasted the tra-
ditional subtleties of Indian Kath-
akali Drama, and the richness of
the European stage. I've also seen
"The Bank Dick" five more times.
I still enjoy it. I recommend it to
all my friends. W.C. Fields was
seriously a very funny man. He had
presence. The depths of: "Don't
get excited, honey. I was only try-
ing to guess your weight." This
film is no mere television bait.
-John F. Mills
Mail, Please . .
To the Editor:
AM WRITING this letter in
hopes it will improve the mail
situation in my squad.
We are in the First Marine Di-
vision, Recon Company, now serv-
ing in Korea. When we are not
making patrols we just lay around
in hopes we may receive some mail
from back home. We would like to
correspond with some of the wo-
men at the University of Michi-
gan who 'would be interested in
writing to some of us Marines in
Here are our names and ad-
Pfc Jimmy R. Willis 1162151
Cpl. Bill Samaha 1168537
Cpl. Kent Nixon 1188316
Cpl. Andrew Guidry 1182625
Pfc. Howard C. Davenport
Sgt. Ted Amos 1095204
Bobby Strode HA/USN
Recon Co. 1st Mar. Div. FMF
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
-Jimmy R. Willis
Tom and Bernie .. .
To the Editor:
I N A LETTER in Tuesday's Daily
Bernie Backhaut refers to him-
self as "a liberal Democrat," and
bemoans the fact that he cannot
return to the fold because it has
been captured by the awful ADA.
In a letter to me, dated last
Tuesday, Bernie refers to himself
as "an Independent Democrat-
sort of a Wayne Morse in reverse."
Still later in the letter he says that
the most effective vote-getter to-
day is a "Conservative Democrat."
Now, I do not know Blue Car-
stensen, nor am I a member of
the ADA, but I do know Bernie, all
too well, and I do consider myself
to be a good Democrat, so here's
what I think.
It has not yet been made a crime
in this country to be an ADA mem-
ber. If the majority of Young Dem-
ocrats at the University desired
Mr. Carstensen for their President
and voted for him, I think Tho-
mas Jefferson would approve. And
in any event it is decidedly~much
better to have as President of the
YD's a person who is still not
ashamed to be called a Democrat-
rather than a person who has quit
his party, is still undecided wheth-
er he is liberal, conservative, or
independent, and who regards Bob
Taft as the finest Senator sitting
in Washington today.
At any rate, we can hardly
blame Bernie from wanting to get
away from the company he's been
keeping since he quit the YD's.
Edited and managed by students of
the University of Michigan under the
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Donna Hendleman ... Associate Editor
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John Jenks.... Associate Sports Editor
Dick Sewell.. Associate Sports Editor
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