Speaker: Ulrich Lins
As speakers of a ‘dangerous language’, the adepts of Esperanto were harassed and persecuted. The fate of Esperanto can be seen as a barometer to measure the degree to which regimes tolerate the desire for direct person-to-person international communication. After the fall of Fascism and Stalinism, conditions were becoming favourable for Esperanto. But the language still is in a very weak position compared to national languages, because it relies on a sentiment that is itself weak: spontaneous internationalism.
Ulrich Lins received his doctorate at the University of Cologne, Germany, with a dissertation on Japanese nationalism. For thirty years he worked for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). His book Dangerous Language (2016), written originally in Esperanto, has also appeared in German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Lithuanian translation.