The arendt files, p.9
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       The Arendt Files, p.9

           Ivan Rosemblatt
 
What a strange series of events had lead him there? He was such a young scientist when he had been recruited from Budapest to the United States for an assistant professorship at Wayne State University. At the time he had never even heard of Michigan but was fully aware of Detroit and it's automobile industry. If he had had any sense what the winters were like there he might have reconsidered.

  When the war had broke out and he was drafted before he even had a chance to figure out how to enlist. One day there was a knock on his door in University housing and the next he was working in a laboratory in Utah. It was an isolated location but he was amazed by the majesty of the nature around him. Pine and Cypress spotted the mountains sparking memories of the dark forests of his country. The land here was more barren but breathtaking and fresh. He could take heart there. From the moment he arrived he felt that there was an openness in that land which filled him.

  Back home things, life, the mind, everything was set in place, like the porcelain figurines in his mothers curio cabinets. The openness he experienced had freed him tremendously in his work. He had space to think and felt that he was making some real progress in his understanding. That was his focus at the time, revisiting basic concepts and examining them again from new angles, making sure the assumptions he had been taught were valid, then putting them back together in new ways, just to see what happened. Some combinations held their place easily, others seemed to resist while others held out, mysterious and defiant.

  The accommodations were sparse but despite being housed in soldiers barracks, as scientists and officers, he and his one roommate, a fellow engineer, were allowed civilian furniture they picked up in the small nearby towns on their days off

  Moving from a University to a military base he was initially convinced that his days of free thought would be over but he couldn’t have been more incorrect. This was an environment without academic politics. The officer’s who ran the operation treated them with an attitude it took him a while to parse out. On the one hand they expressed a kind of respect or deference. All the officers called him “doc” which he enjoyed. They didn’t tell them how to do their jobs and when he requested equipment or supplies they would just say, “We’ll get on it.” One of his colleagues who had been an engineer in the military had let him know that this was an uncommon experience, most scientists and engineers had to beg for what they needed and worked with an uncooperative antagonistic chain of command.

  “What are these bookworms doing in my army!” Evan’s would imitate his former commanders thick southern drawl in the evenings when they would drink too much whisky sitting on the porch they had decorated with a couple of rocking chairs and potted plants in mortar casings they had found behind one of the buildings in heap. That other aspect of the way they were treated that had taken him longer to figure out. They were treated as children or pets. This didn’t really frustrate him particularly because he understood it. He was the furthest thing from a soldier and a foreigner on top of that, plus, had always been a bit of strange fish even back home. But there was one last element that had only made itself apparent one day when he had been working in the laboratory. He was having tremendous trouble getting consistent results with an experiment that he had been able to complete fairly easily before. He had his hands on the edge of the work bench, his head nodded down and his eyes furrowed as he leaned forward putting pressure into his palms trying to concentrate. “What am I doing differently” when he had that feeling everyone knows, that someone is watching you. He turned around and saw Captain Pike staring at him intently through the window in the door. He didn’t turn away either when Leskov caught his eye, but continued to gaze at him. Leskov became unnerved and himself. It came to him all at once. They were studying him, they were the researchers and he was the subject, there was more than going on than he was aware of. For the next year and a half he tried to figure out what but to no avail. He never had much luck in understanding people or their motivations.

  Chapter 10

 
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