(From the left / de maldekstre): Sam Green, Ralph Dumain, Humphrey Tonkin, George Soros, Françoise Cestac (former Assistant General Secretary of the UN / eksa Asista Ĝenerala Sekretario de UN), Esther Schor, Neil Blonstein, Jonathan Soros.
I was the second speaker at From Zamenhof to Soros: A Symposium held at the United Nations on 15 December, Zamenhof's birthdate.
Esther Schor spoke about Zamenhof's perspectives on the future short-term and long-term.
My topic was "Esperanto, Washington, and the World in 1910", a thematic presentation of the various interests represented at the first Esperanto Congress outside of Europe and Zamenhof's only visit to the United States, with the novel addition of the missing perspective, that of African Americans in Jim Crow America. I introduced the public to major civil rights leader, classics scholar, and the first known African-American Esperantist, William Pickens.
Sam Green presented the rough cut of a new half-hour documentary on Esperanto, continuing the utopian theme presented in his previous documentary Utopia in Four Movements, with more interview material of contemporary Esperantists and film footage of Esperanto conferences in the 20th century.
Humphrey Tonkin spoke about Tivadar Soros, who changed his name from Theodore Schwartz (in Esperanto Teodoro Ŝvarc), key Esperanto publisher of the interwar period and survivor of both a World War I POW camp and Nazi-occupied Hungary, each the subject of a memoir published in Esperanto. ("Soros" in Esperanto means "to soar".) The latter memoir, Maskerado Ĉirkaŭ la Morto, which I read in the original Esperanto 40 years ago, was translated into English as Masquerade some years ago. Soros' 1923 memoir Modernaj Robinzonoj is newly published in English translation as Crusoes in Siberia along with another piece "The Fairest Judgment". Dr. Tonkin spoke at length about Soros' trek from Siberia to Moscow, his character, achievements as a writer and publisher and the circumstances of publication of these memoirs. (For political reasons, he could not have published the Siberian memoir in Hungarian).
Also introduced at this symposium was another book just off the press from Mondial Books, Zamenhof: The Life, Works and Ideas of the Author of Esperanto by Aleksander Korzhenkov, an abridgment of the original biography published in Esperanto.
So far in the American press we have this news item from the New York Times: How Do You Say 'Billionaire' (Soros) in Esperanto? by Alison Leigh Cowan (Dec 16, 2010).
Other reports have surfaced in English and Esperanto, mostly on Facebook. This report is bilingual: George Soros vizitas Esperanto-simpozion en Novjorko (December 18, 2010).
Also in Esperanto we have this report published by Esperanta Civito: Soros ĉe Zamenhof-Tago en Nov-Jorko (18 Dec 2010).