“The Russian Lessons” by Johannes Baar, Doctor of Philology
This article describes the personality, life, and work of Johannes Baar (1921–2018), doctor of philology, outstanding person, and organiser of seminars on the Russian and German languages in Germany and Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. The authors describe his biography in historical and social context, the circumstances of his personal life, and his vigorous humanitarian work to strengthen the international relations between Germany and Russia. After going through the gruelling ordeal of World War II and captivity, Baar managed to understand the “mysterious Russian soul” and did everything to restore good relations between the German and Russian peoples. Baar was an extraordinary person with a broad outlook, brilliant erudition, and an ability to gather friends and like-minded people around himself. Baar’s life’s work was to spread the Russian language in Germany. In the tense years of postwar misunderstandings, he bridged the gap between Germany and Russia. Baar’s activity relating to the teaching and popularisation of the Russian language received international recognition. He established the oldest International Russian Seminar in Germany in Timmendorfer Strand, which has been working for 53 years and is known all over Europe.
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