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Manfred Pagel - unshaken aplomb

Like others, I owed a lot to Manfred. He was demanding and direct and also very compassionate. He went out of his way to help young staff going through bumpy periods. He was understanding after I cut short an unhappy Mexico posting in 1980 and nevertheless assigned me to Paris and thence to Moscow as chief correspondent. He dropped into Moscow with much-appreciated moral support in the first Gorbachev year. Our Soviet clients (for the Monitor service) were impressed by his unshaken aplomb at the vodka-sodden soriée that they laid on for him. ■