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Archive for Saturday, July 16, 2011

25 years ago: 19th-century author of ‘Faust’ targeted for Republican fund-raiser

July 16, 2011

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for July 16, 1986:

A glitch in a computer-generated mailing list had caused a figure from the German literary world to be solicited by the Republican Party here in the United States. A form letter from Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole had been sent to the famous German poet and playwright Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Goethe, who had died in 1832, was unable to respond to the letter's assurances that Dole had "personally" placed Goethe's name in nomination for the "Republican Inner Circle," a select group of party loyalists who contributed large sums of money. The letter had been delivered to Boston's Goethe Institute, a German cultural center, where director Hans Winterberg said he "found it funny" and was quick to respond in the persona of Goethe, saying that although he shared Dole's concern about the federal deficit and was pleased to learn that he was regarded as still living, he was probably not a good fit for the Inner Circle: "Although once well off, I do not own anything anymore and will surely be excused from contributing to the Republic Fund, a possible main reason for the formation of the Inner Circle."

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