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Dialogue of Cultures


A Celebration of the Beautiful and Sublime Life of Marianna Wertz

Marianna Wertz

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In honor of Marianna Wertz, who passed away on Jan. 15, we are publishing the following tributes to her, which were delivered as part of a four-hour event in her memory, on Feb. 15, 2003 at a conference of the Schiller Institute in Northern Virginia. The speakers were: her brother Anton Chaitkin; Schiller Institute Vice Chairwoman Amelia Boynton Robinson; her husband and President of the Schiller Institute, Will Wertz; Schiller Intsitute Chairwoman Helga Zepp-LaRouche; and Democratic Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche. In addition to these tributes, musical, dramatic, and poetic offerings were made (see box). The entire event is archived on www.schillerinstitute.org.

Tony Chaitkin: Good evening. We're going to celebrate the life of Marianna Wertz, my sister and a beautiful person, who passed away a few weeks ago. She will be very happy to hear this beautiful celebration.

Outside at the table, you will see a display on two white boards, of photographs and clippings from Marianna's life. One of the photographs there, is a picture of my father—her father—in the 1930s: a very intense young man in his 30s then, at the time when he was taking out lawsuits against Wall Street companies promoting Adolf Hitler, into power, including the grandfather of the current President, who was a director of many of those companies.

This activity by our father preceded our birth. I was born in '43; she was born in '48. But, the standpoint from which this activity proceeded, permeated our household. A sense of mission, of excitement, of possibilities in every avenue of life was there from the beginning, and it really was imparted to Marianna, as a gift. My father spoke both German and Russian, as a native language, coming from Latvia. And there was an intensely political environment; intensely musical—constant Beethoven and Bach and other music, which resulted in my brother being a musician, and this being considered on a par with politics and literature, as part of the normal existence of one's life....

So, Marianna, from a very early time, was extremely open to doing the right thing, and being excited about it, throughout her life. I will just say that, in the years that I knew her again, after leaving home when we were children—since 1971, when she joined our movement—I saw her grow as a person, to become more and more of a beautiful person, and my very special friend. And, she radiated happiness most of the time; she was able to convey a sense of happiness to people that she worked with. This was true, even in the hospital, in her last days, in Johns Hopkins Hospital. When they were doing a set of procedures, which were very invasive. And one of the nurses told me that she was trying to make all the medical staff feel at ease, and thanking them, while they were doing all these, you know, harsh things to her. So, he had a lump in his throat, over somebody with that quality.

And, it seemed to me, that in the last days of her life, she actually took off. There was never a time, when she did not feel that she had a gift that she was going to convey to other people.....

When Marianna discovered the existence of [civil rights heroine] Amelia Boynton Robinson, and fell in love with her, Amelia became a very, very large part of Marianna's life. And so, here we have Amelia Boynton Robinson, to say some words to us.

'God Never Makes a Mistake'

Amelia Boynton Robinson: Thank you. Of all of the people I have had as friends, through the years, no one has been as much of a friend, from their hearts, as Marianna Wertz. She was sunshine wherever you saw her. I never knew she had all of the pains and aches, and had gone through so much. She never burdened anyone with her troubles, and with her pains. And talking to her one day, I said, “I didn't know you had gone through so much.” And she said, “Yes, but it doesn't do any good to talk about it.” And I thought about the little saying, when I was small:

“Laugh, and the world will laugh with you;
“Weep, and you weep alone.
“For this old Earth,
“With its joy and it mirth,
“Has trouble enough of its own.”

And that was Marianna: She never burdened anybody or talked about the pains that she had had. But, one thing about it: God never makes a mistake. Whatever He does, it is for the good. She had done what she was delegated to do, when she was born....

But the thing about it is, some of us look at death, as being something that is harsh, that is dark, and gloomy. But, it isn't. Marianna's life proves, that it is something that you can give the world—give the world—as we say, “Give the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you.” Marianna knows what we're doing. She knows about this meeting. She knows the hearts of those who knew her, and gave the best that they had. And she knows what's going on.

Someone said, one time—in fact, I've heard many a time—speaking about reincarnation, that (and I have questioned it quite a bit, and I still do), about your coming back. And, when you come back, the Lord sends you back, to purify you, that you may not do the things that you used to do. And, I said, “Well, what happens when you have done all of the things? You have come back so many times, and now you're purified.” They said, “Well, God takes you to Heaven. He just lets you stay on Earth, long enough for people to know. And, you give sunshine. You help the poor. You do whatever you can to lift the burdens of others. Then, He takes you on home.” That's Marianna.

It's not a case of being burdened. It's a case of happiness, because it's just like, you're in a house. Oh yes, you like your house; you like the things that are in it. Well, this body is a house. And, if a house is on fire, the first thing you think about, is getting out! Because the material things will pass away, but I'm out of the house. And, that's the way it is with death. You have gotten out of this body, which is your house. And the soul, the spirit, that God has given us, returns to God Who gave it. And, there, where there's no more weeping, no more sorrow, no more pains, and no more death, because, you're in the arms of God.

So, I can just imagine, seeing the angels stooping down, and taking that soul and carrying it on to Heaven. We have to look at that as being something that is wonderful. And we say now, so often, that we're going to have a celebration when somebody dies. And truly, when we look at their going into another world, and they have done the best they could on this Earth, and they have given of themselves—yes, they are going home, and it is a celebration.

I wrote a poem, if I can read it. And maybe, it has been read by others:

“Within a land, I've lived and I've dined,
“And all its riches freely mine.
“Here, shines one day, yet come what may,
“For all my follies passed away.
“My Savior came and walked with me,
“Such sweet communion here have we.
“He gently led me by his hand:
“ 'Child, this is Heaven's border land.'
“The music that was sung for me,
“Great songs of Heaven's melody,
“As angels on their white-robed throne
“Joined in the sweet redemptive song.
“O heavenly land, sweet heavenly land
“As on the highest mount I stand,
“I look away across the sea,
“Where mansions are prepared for me
“And all mankind who loveth Thee.”

Not only for me, but for you, and for you, for each one us, who realize that we are going to have to leave this world, regardless of how well we like it, or how sad we may be. We cannot see death. But it's there. And, we realize that we can't—as far as I can see, we don't come back....

Marianna has gone, where she can lie down to pleasant dreams, and there, she'll be resting in the arms of our Heavenly Father.

Thank you.

A Celebration of the Life of Marianna Wertz

Will Wertz: My wife, Marianna Wertz, died on Jan. 15, 2003, Martin Luther King's birthday. Marianna was what Friedrich Schiller described as a “beautiful soul,” and in her triumph over death and disease, in her embrace of immortality, she achieved what Schiller described as a sublime state of mind.

In celebrating her life tonight, what she would wish that I do, is give especially the youth here, who are the future leadership of this nation and the world, knowledge of the fight she waged and the race she won.

Marianna was born in Pasadena, California on Aug. 14, 1948. Her parents were Jacob Chaitkin and Janet Rosenbaum. She was the elder of fraternal twins and was named after her father's mother. Her father, Jacob Chaitkin, was a fighter for justice. He left Latvia in 1912 to come to the U.S., where in the 1930s he faced off against John Foster Dulles in a successful suit against the Wall Street partners of the Nazi regime on behalf of American bondholders. As a result, he was hired by the American Jewish Congress to lead a boycott against the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler....

He served in Army Air Corps Intelligence during World War II and after the war, moved to California, where he taught scientific Russian and law at California Technical Institute.

Unfortunately, he died at age 57 when Marianna was seven years old and Tony 12, but his character clearly had a major formative impact on both Marianna and Tony, and later clearly led them both to embrace Lyndon LaRouche.

Marianna attended Alexander Hamilton Elementary School and then Woodrow Wilson High School. Her parents were both FDR Democrats. When she was in high school, Marianna became the president of the Girls' League, succeeding the previous president, Anne Roosevelt, the daughter of Eleanor and Franklin's son James.

After attending the University of California at Santa Barbara for one year, Marianna graduated from UCLA in political science. She was accepted at Columbia University Law School, but instead went to Harvard, where she received a masters in education....

In 1971, she visited her brother and sister-in-law, Tony and Janice, during the summer at Cape Cod. Lyndon LaRouche had been there as well, but had left before she arrived. As occurred a number of times in her life, music was a decisive factor in her decision to join the LaRouche political movement. She played the violin and loved Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, but had never heard Beethoven's. When she did, it helped her make the decison to join Lyndon LaRouche's “combat university on wheels” of that time.

After first joining the LaRouche movement in Boston at age 23, following Nixon's decision in August 1971 to dismantle Roosevelt's Bretton Woods system, she moved to New York City, where I had also joined the LaRouche movement....

Our first years were indeed combative. Our first “date” occurred after thugs from the Communist Party physically assaulted our members. Marianna and I drove around New York City all night delivering press releases on the CP's Stalinist thug tactics. We later moved to Newark, N.J., where we were engaged in a campaign to expose the fascism of the Black nationalism of Imamu Baraka. Then, when we moved to Seattle, Washington in 1974, we were engaged in combat against the left swamp and received an assassination threat from the terrorist Jonathan Jackson Brigade.

Like today's youth movement, we were part of LaRouche's light cavalry. When we moved from New York to Seattle, we worked for two weeks as typists in order to save enough money to buy cross-country Greyhound bus tickets. We carried all our possessions in two suitcases.

In 1975, Marianna ran for Seattle City Council and, with 26% of the vote, she won the primary election for an unexpired City Council seat. On October 29, 1975, we decided to get married and received prominent coverage in the Seattle Times the next day—“City Council Candidate Takes Time Out for Wedding.” As the coverage reports, Marianna said her marriage was “an expression of her commitment to human development and progress.” She defended monogamy and attacked the “bestiality” of the zero-population-growth movement.

The next year Marianna was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymph system. She had to undergo both chemotherapy and radiation. Indicative of the fighter she was, two years later, when I was running for Mayor of Seattle, she waged a public campaign against the decriminalization of marijuana for so-called “medical use” to relieve nausea.

In 1979, we moved to Los Angeles as part of the LaRouche campaign for President in 1980.

In 1982, Marianna was diagnosed with a return of Hodgkin's disease. While in the midst of chemotherapy once again, she was the Los Angeles Director of LaRouche's National Anti-Drug Coalition and spoke before hundreds of local social clubs.

In March 1982, she suffered a heart attack and had double-bypass heart surgery at age 33. Her arteries had been prematurely aged by the radiation treatment six years earlier.

Lyndon LaRouche sent a message to her at that time, that she had to fight the cancer as you would the financial oligarchy. And that is what she did. Although she had moments of fear, she always overcame them, and reached out to help others, rather than focus on herself, strengthened by her sense of mission in the LaRouche political movement.

In 1983, we were blessed by an invitation from Helga Zepp-LaRouche to visit Europe for six weeks. In this trip we came to know the “Old Europe” Donald Rumsfeld denigrates today. And it gave us a perspective on Western Christian Civilization and the Renaissance, which shaped our lives into the future.

During the 1984 Presidential campaign, we moved back to the National Center, then in New York City, and a year later, to Leesburg. We lived on Ibykus Farm, where, from 1985 to 1989, we were neighbors of the LaRouches.

Marianna was a founding member of the Schiller Institute and became its vice president. She was a signer on the The Declaration of the Inalienable Rights of Man, authored by Helga in November 1984, based on the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

It was during this period that she and I began to work on translating the works of Friedrich Schiller into English. Since 1985, we have published three volumes of translations of Schiller's writings, and the fourth, including many of her translations of such poems as “The Artists,” “The Walk,” and “The Pledge,” the latter of which she translated in collaboration with Paul Gallagher, will be published soon after this conference....

In 1988, during the LaRouche Presidential campaign, she played Charlotte in our performance of Schiller's “The Parasite,” which we performed in Concord, N.H. on Jan. 24.

Five months later, in June of that year, she had her first of four hip operations, which was necessitated by the after-effects of chemotherapy.

Later in 1988, we were confronted with a different kind of crisis. The unjust persecution of Lyndon LaRouche and his associates, which began following the 1984 Presidential campaign, culminated in an indictment of LaRouche and six of his associates, including myself. On Jan. 27, 1989, after a railroad trial in the rocket-docket in Alexandria, Va., although innocent, we were wrongfully imprisoned.

During the next three years, Marianna, who was a Trustee of the Commission to Investigate Human Rights Violations, not only visited me nearly weekly in jail in Virginia, but travelled on a number of occasions to Europe, to mobilize support for the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche. She did this even though she realized that she now badly needed a hip-replacement operation.

In October 1990 she had her hip replaced.

During our imprisonment, Marianna worked in Editorial, and prepared many of the books we published, including Lyndon LaRouche's The Science of Christian Economy, and The Unauthorized Biography of George W. Bush, co-authored by her brother, Tony Chaitkin. One of the books she prepared was Amelia Boynton Robinson's Bridge Across Jordan, which has now finally been reprinted in Marianna's memory.

After I was released from prison in 1992, she began to work in Operations in the National Center, and with the imprisonment of many of our friends, she began to write articles and conduct interviews for the New Federalist in behalf of what Franklin Roosevelt called the “forgotten man,” in opposition to the death penalty, the injustices of the U.S. criminal justice system, the inhumanity of the Welfare Reform Act, and the murderous policies of the HMOs.

In February 1995, she delivered a speech entitled, “The American Auschwitz,” at the Schiller Institute national conference as part of a panel on the Conservative Revolution.

After a fall in May 1995, she had to have her third hip operation. The other problem she had was that the chemotherapy also was affecting her shoulder joints, which among other things, forced her to give up playing the violin. Although she was in constant pain, she fought to keep herself in good physical shape, swimming several times a week and adhering to a strict diet. She never complained.

One of her great joys during this period was working on translating and memorizing Schiller's poetry. Among the poems she especially loved were “The Glove” and “Pegasus in Yoke,” both of which she had translated.

The year 1998 was a joyful year for Marianna. On Aug. 14, 1998, she achieved the age of 50, which is something that earlier she had never thought she would do.

Later in 1998, despite the problem with her hip, she played Mary Stuart in Act III, Scene IV. In this scene, Mary succumbs to a desire for vengeance against Queen Elizabeth, played by Mary Jane Freeman. Only at the end of the play, does she achieve a sublime state of mind by forgiving her enemies.

In September 2001, Marianna gave a slide-show presentation at the national conference on the occasion of Amelia B. Robinson's 90th birthday. She concluded her presentation with a personal tribute to Amelia.

A year later she introduced Amelia at our last national conference by reporting on the event which she addressed on Aug. 18, 2002 in Selma, Alabama, which honored Amelia and her husband, Sam Boynton, for their pioneering role in fighting for voting rights.

One of Marianna's most important contributions in the last year of her life was her decision in the spring of 2002 to join the frontlines of the fight for Lyndon LaRouche's Presidential candidacy by joining the sales force. This was not an easy decision given her health problems, but she made it without hesitation, in contrast to the many Baby Boomers who had fled from the political fight into narrow-minded family life.

In early October, she discovered that she needed another hip operation, her fourth. The operation took place on our 27th wedding anniversary on Oct. 29, 2002. The hip operation went well, but unfortunately in November she had to be rehospitalized as a result of blood clots in her lungs. During her hospitalization, it was determined that the radiation that she underwent in 1976, had also caused damage to her aortic and mitral heart valves. Initially we thought she would have to have a heart operation in several months. She was home on Thanksgiving, but was rehospitalized in early December with congestive heart failure. The operation took place on Jan. 2, 2003.

Before the operation, Marianna told me and several others, that she was confident that she would survive and recover, but that if she did not, she had no regrets about her life; she felt completely blessed by knowing Lyndon and Helga LaRouche, and by our marriage. She said that she could not conceive of how she could be more blessed than she already was.

The surgeon told us it was a high-risk operation, but we had no choice. Thirteen days after the operation, she died of multiple organ failure due to an infection. She had fought until the very end. Even in death, she had wanted to give life to others by donating her organs, but because of her Hodgkin's disease her offer could not be accepted.

She was 54 years of age. She had lived for 27 years after first being diagnosed with cancer. And during those 27 years, she spent her talents well.

During the last three months of her life, Marianna was working on writing a paper on how to produce geniuses. The geniuses she was studying were Lyndon LaRouche, Leonardo, George Washington Carver, Gauss, Ben Franklin, Socrates, Schiller, Beethoven, and Kepler. Here are some of her notes from the writings of Leonardo and from a biography of Kepler.1

In the first quote, Leonardo writes: “What is sleep? Sleep resembles death. Ah, why then dost thou not work in such wise that after death thou mayest retain a resemblance to perfect life, rather than during life make thyself like the hapless dead by sleeping? Just as a day well spent gives grateful sleep, so a life well spent gives grateful death.”

Leonardo also emphasized the importance of truth-seeking: “Lying is so vile that even if it were speaking well of godly things, it would take off something from God's grace; and truth is so excellent, that if it praises but small things, they become noble.

“Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness.... The fact remains that the truth of things is the chief nutriment of superior intellects, though not of wandering wits.”

From the biography of Kepler, she took note of Kepler's axiom-busting: “With his ellipse proposition he had overthrown for all time the 2,000-year-old axiom, according to which every motion retrograde in itself must of necessity be a uniform circular motion ... and nothing is more difficult in science than to set aside such deep-rooted opinions. Everywhere in the solution of the problem confronting him, physical concepts were in the background and drove him forward.”

“It is Kepler's greatest service that he substituted a dynamic system for the formal schemes of the earlier astronomers, the law of nature for mathematical rules, and causal explanation for the mathematical description of motion.”

To the very end she was working to master the ideas needed to contribute to the recruitment of a new generation of youth.

Marianna did not have a tragic life. Marianna was a beautiful soul, and she was also sublime in her triumph over disease and death, not only her own, but in her political fight against the culture of death spawned by a cancerous and parasitic financial oligarchy. She was her father's daughter. She was, first and foremost, a partisan of Lyndon LaRouche.

Like the Good Samaritan in Schiller's Kallias letters, she did her duty with joy. She was always a “cheerful giver.” At the same time, while repeatedly facing death, she embraced immortality.

In “On the Sublime,” Schiller writes: “Only when the sublime is wedded with the beautiful, and our receptivity for both has been cultivated in equal measure, are we perfected citizens of nature, without for this reason being its slaves and without frittering away our rights as citizens in the intelligible world.”

Marianna proved, as Schiller insisted upon in “On the Sublime,” that death is not an exception to man's free will.

Like Martin Luther King, Jr., on whose national holiday she was buried, she had been to the mountaintop.

I want to conclude with an excerpt from a letter Marianna wrote me in 1990 when I was in prison:

“Thou sayest, too, that both of us do near
“The halfway mark of mortal life. Indeed,
“ 'Tis just this thought that I have borne within
“For nearly twenty years, as I did Death
“Confront and, with thy help, his iron grip
“O'ercame. Yet well I know, that Death doth come
“Not only in the guise of age, ill health,
“Or poverty—it comes, as wise men say,
“A thousand times unto the cowardly—
“But only once unto the brave of heart.”

“Each day that thou dost conquer fear within;

“Each day that Creativity doth swell
“Thy poet's breast with praises of our Lord;
“Each day that but one man is better made
“To stand against both hatred and despair,
“Because thou shared with him a moment of thy time—
“By just that day hast thou reduced the days
“That Death doth claim upon thy soul and mine.
“And this, my own sweet Love, is just the stuff
“Of which thy liberty is made, and too,
“ 'Tis what doth turn stigmata into signs
“Of heroism for the justest cause.”

My Little Sister in Eternity

Helga Zepp-LaRouche: I must admit, that it is very hard for me to speak, because, as you all have seen, Marianna was such a beautiful person, and, I cannot just not tell you how I feel. And I can only say, I will try to take the same courage Marianna always had in her whole life, to have the right attitude about this. But, I have to say the truth: She was my “little sister.” As a matter of fact, she asked me once, if I would accept to be her sister, and she immediately pointed out that she was my older sister, if only by eleven days. But, she was also—because we went through so many things—she became a very, very dear friend. And, for Schiller, friendship was actually very, very important. And, as he became older, friendship was almost the most important thing in his life.

You all know, and I know Will and Amelia agree, that she was the soul of the Schiller Institute in the United States. The reason why she was the soul of the Schiller Institute, is because, she obviously had a complete affinity, with the beautiful work of Schiller. She did many translations of his works. And, any of you who ever have tried to translate poetry, you know that Schiller is absolutely right, when he said, that you have to be a poet in two languages to be able to do it: And she was a poetess in two languages.

She completely fulfilled the definition Schiller gave to the sublime. Schiller said, a sublime person is somebody who had not connected his identity to his physical existence, but to a moral principle which is eternal. And Schiller, in his beautiful writings about the sublime, asks: What happens to a person, when such a sublime person, is hit with great hardship? Marianna was hit with many hardships: She had severe health problems, a very early sickness, as you heard, and, severe health problems as a result of this treatment. Her husband was innocently in jail. And, did this change her commitment? No! It made her stronger. She was a fragile, little person, and not without fears here and there—but, she was a lioness at heart.

She was our neighbor for several years, and I have many, many good memories of these years.

But, the strongest image I have in my mind, and somehow, this is the memory I will always keep of her: When Will got out of jail, both of them came to Germany. And, the enemy at that time tried to smash the organization, and then they sent many evil messages to us, saying, Lyn would never come out, and the organization would vanish. And I remember, that, at that point, Gretchen [Small], Marianna, and I were absolutely determined that this would not be true. So, I will never forget the image, when Will and Marianna came to the gate of my place in Germany, waving from a distance—and it was such a jubilant moment! Such a joyful moment, that I knew, at that point, Lyn would be out very, very soon. And, Marianna and the image of hope, in my heart, is so deeply ingrained, for that reason.

What she has done, she has achieved immortality, and she has not left us. She is here. She is there, in the simultaneity of eternity: Because Schiller said: Who has lived for the best of his time, has lived for all times, and that's what she did. I must say, like in the case of Friedrich Schiller himself, who also was very sick, and who had similar battles to be creative, against the physical limitations—like he, her life was just too short. Because, she had just reached the level of creativity, where one could get an inkling of what she would have done, if she would have lived longer.

And the only way I can console myself with that thought, is that it means a very strong obligation from all of us, to continue her work, and make her immortality even more rich, by what we do. I will now ask that a tape be played of a poem, which she translated. And, it is this beautiful poem by Friedrich Schiller, about friendship. [An audiotape of Marianna reciting her translation of “The Pledge” is played.] So, I think you will all soon be able to read her translation. And, this is actually a poem, where two friends—one is giving his life, potentially, for the other one; and the evil tyrant is threatening to execute the person if the other doesn't return. But, because of the absolute belief in the principle of friendship, the two friends are able to even move the heart of the tyrant, who then demands to be the third of the friends. And, I think this is exactly, if we would not have that hope, to even convince the tyrants of this world to change, the world would be a much poorer place.

There was another aspect about Marianna, and her relationship to Schiller, and that is that, actually, the Wertz family was a complete Schiller family, and it is a Schiller family. Because, as you saw before, to the family belonged two dogs and one cat—Tell, the black Labrador, and Kallias, the yellow one, and Hope, the cat—and that you understand, what would cause such a beautiful soul as Marianna, to call all her pets all these names by Schiller, we have now, in sequence, what this means: What is Tell? What is the question of Kallias, Beauty? And, what is Hope? Which will now be shown to you, by members of the Youth Movement from Los Angeles. [Performances of poetry and drama followed—ed.]

The Power of Immortality

Lyndon LaRouche: It was on this past Jan. 15, I was in the process of completing a session with Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. The last question came from a professor, a friend of mine, who asked on the points I had made about the prospects for humanity: On what basis would I assume that the U.S., as a nation, even under my leadership, would bring these things of which I had spoken to pass? And, I explained my motive, and the motive which would be driven by a nation under my leadership, on the theme of the principle of a sense of immortality, as opposed to the principle of tragedy, on which I spoke earlier, here, today.

I was coming toward the close of my answer to that question. I looked across the room, and Helga was sitting at a table at the back of the room. And, she'd brought along her camcorder, and had picked it up at that point, to photograph me, with the camcorder, as I delivered the last question....

But, then, as I looked across the room, as I neared the end of my remarks, I suddenly knew I was at the end of my remarks. I saw her tearful face, the expression on her face: I didn't have to be told why she had reacted as she did at that time.

The important thing about this, is, afterward I said it was a coincidence, and various people with me said it was no coincidence, that I should happen to have answered that question, at that moment that Helga had received, while I was speaking, the news of Marianna's death. It was not an accident. Perhaps in time, it was—but certainly Marianna was on my mind at that time, and perhaps I spoke with more passion, even on that subject, than I would have otherwise, except that I knew my friend was struggling for life, in very imperilled, reduced circumstances, halfway around the world.

There's a lesson in this. It's a lesson for me, and for others. A lesson about the meaning of life: The most impressive moment, sometimes—for those of us who understand this—is the moment of passing of life: Because something has ended, that we wish were continued. And thus, we wish, above all, that that which has ended will nonetheless be continued. We are saddened, and rejoice at the same time, when we know that the end is not the end. The life that has just been concluded, lives on, in its effects and benefits for humanity to come.

In such moments, when we are privileged to witness, even from a distance, the death of a friend, who qualifies in that way, we are strengthened, in our ability to deal with the crises before us, because we have lived at the moment of the passing that is not a passing; a moment, when we know a life was completed, and therefore is not ended. It has completed its work, to the highest satisfaction that a life can achieve. It has achieved a purity of its purpose, in having been lived. It has achieved something which will radiate, in the future generations.

We feel sadness at death, not for those who died so. We feel sadness for those poor, miserable people, throughout the world who die, without that compensation, without that sense of a continuity, without a knowledge of the sense of true immortality.

I've often referred recently, especially, after David Cherry and I got into a little collaboration across the waters, on the subject of Jeanne d'Arc. And David had pointed out some additional research on the actual history of Jeanne d'Arc's life, which I thought very valuable, particularly since it pointed out, that Schiller had done an excellent job, from an historical standpoint. He had made one dramatic change, in the conclusion of the drama, but otherwise, as far as the historical import of Jeanne's life, he had captured it all, in his Jeanne d'Arc. And, the Jeanne d'Arc we know from Schiller, we know is, in that sense, the Jeanne d'Arc of her actual life. She was a simple woman, not like the more complicated Marianna, whose sense of humor will assure us that she was not uncomplicated: She saw the complicated side of life, and always had a wry sense of humor, which was not cruel, but it was sometimes pungent.

In the case of Jeanne, you had a simple woman—maybe not entirely so simple. A girl, a farm girl, who went to a King, a Dauphin—would-be King—and said, “God sent me here to tell you to be a real King, not a fool.”

And, he said, “What do you want from me?“

“I don't want anything from you,” she said. “God wants you to be a real King! And that's what I want. God wants for you to become a real King.”

And so, she was sent to battle, and she survived—much to the astonishment of the poor, cowardly Dauphin, who ultimately betrayed her to the enemy, and to the Inquisition. When she was confronted with the choice of giving in—like Socrates, who was given the choice of taking hemlock or escaping—her escape would be not to be killed, if she accepted their conditions. And, in face of death, in face of being burned alive, she refused to abandon her mission. Her rejection of abandonment of her mission, made France a nation: the first modern nation-state, based on the principle of agape, the principle of the general welfare: That no King, no monarch, no government is qualified to rule, except that it serves the general welfare, not only of the living, but of posterity. That to be a ruler, to govern, is a sacred responsibility, not merely to the living, but to future generations.

And she accomplished that. Her martyrdom sponsored an emotion in France, which led to its freeing itself from the conqueror. Her example turned the councils of the Vatican upside-down, and lent a great inspiration to the Renaissance, the 15th-Century Renaissance. This simple woman, simple girl, with this devotion, captured in herself, a sense of immortality, and is immortal, especially wherever freedom, in the form of the sovereign nation-state exists, to protect people and their posterity in the world today.

Marianna, as I say, is a more complicated person, more sophisticated, as you've heard and known, with a more sophisticated sense of humor, which still will resonate with us for a long time to come. But, it was ironical that the news of her death should come to us, just at the moment, when I was dealing with Jawaharlal Nehru University students and faculty, and the question was posed to me: What proof can you give, that your leadership of the United States will bring this goodness to our planet? And I was thinking of her at that time, because we were very much concerned, with these daily communications as to what her state of health was.

And so, it was a coincidence, which was no coincidence. And, certainly my prescience, of the danger to her life, at the last report I had had from Will beforehand, moved me at that point, to answer that question in that way, perhaps with greater force than I would have on other occasions. And, I would say, after hearing what we've heard today, on this subject this evening, I would say: That's the final statement I wish to make on this subject. She lives. And she died in a moment, when she was still alive and immortal, and will remain so, forever.

1. Max Caspar, Kepler; Dover, New York, 1993.

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Transcript of Lyndon LaRouche's Remarks on Immortality

As the report arrived to Lyn and Helga about Marianna Wertz's death, Lyn was giving a public address to a group of both young and old people. Although Lyn had not yet learned that Marianna had died, he was, at that very moment, speaking about immortality. Lyn asked that what he said, be conveyed, as a message from Helga and himself, to Will, and to everyone.

Question: Despite all of its development as an industrial power, as a great nation, how could it happen, that America has come to this point, to want to be an imperial power?

Lyndon LaRouche: It happened because the American people became totally corrupt. The point is, that people believe too much in democracy. I believe in the purpose of the government; I do not have any faith in democracy. The history of mankind is tragedy, history as tragedy, typified by the Classical Greek tragedy, or European tragedy — Shakespeare, Schiller. Every tragedy, Classical tragedy, is the result of the corruption of the people, not the result of the corruption of this or that leader, but because people become corrupt.

This goes back to Solon of Athens' letter to the Athenians at the end of his life, on how they had became corrupt, after he had earlier saved them. It is cultural corruption. When you do not produce the leaders, who can lead the people away from corruption, when you reject them, after you have produced them, you are going to pay the penalty. For example, the case of Hamlet; the case of Hamlet is typical.

For example, Schiller's treatment of Jeanne d'Arc, which happens to be historically precise; there is one dramatic change in the play. Jeanne d'Arc made possible modern European civilization. Without her action, it would not have occurred. She was a simple farm girl, who went to her stupid king. She said: Stupid king, God sent me to you, to tell you: Become a real king! She said, God wants you to become a king. So she went out, and commanded troops, won battles, and then was betrayed by the king.

She lost the fight, because she was betrayed, but she refused to submit, at the point of being burned alive.

As a result of her courage, and death by the Inquisition, she inspired France to throw the British out of France, successfully, and also inspired and contributed to the Renaissance.

On the other side, take Shakespeare's case of Hamlet. Look at the third act, the soliloquy of Hamlet. Why has Hamlet failed? How has he failed? What was demonstrated by the play by Shakespeare? He failed because he said, “Shuffle off this mortal coil.” He was not afraid of death, he was afraid of immortality. He was afraid of what he would face, after he died. This is true, and this becomes a practical political question, of leadership. You have to have the dedication: all great leaders have the commitment to immortality. Not immortality in the sense of the flesh, but to say, I have only one life, how shall I spend that which is limited anyway?

In the simple way, a family — they sacrifice for their children and grandchildren. They say, I am doing something for humanity: I produced good children, good grandchildren. We make the society better, therefore, I achieve a certain kind of immortality.

The typical politician lacks that. He wants his satisfaction, now. He wants the success of his party faction. He wants good for his nation, but he wants to have it without having to give up his success. That is Clinton's problem. Clinton is a perfect Hamlet. He is bright, one of the brightest to occupy the Presidency during this past century. Yet, when it came to a certain crisis, he could never stand up and say, I will do the right thing. When you don't have that, how do you expect the people, who are tied up in their concerns for their immediate family interests, their insecurities, their concern for this and that, their income problems, how do you expect them to come out of their littleness, if the leaders of society act like little people themselves? Act like little mannequins?

What you need are true heroes, not the heroes of the sword, but the heroes of the spirit. You need a combination of courage, like that of Jeanne d'Arc, but you also need the wisdom that goes with it, the wisdom of the soul.

Now, let us come back to the United States, and our crazy culture, that we destroyed.

I saw it happen, because when I came back in April 1946, the majority of American soldiers in India, were fully in support of U.S. support for Indian independence. One year later, two years later, back in the States, of those I knew, 95% had gone over to the other side. That is how it happened. The point is, what had made the Americans moral, was that FDR provided them with a program for recovery from the Depression, and with the task of war, and gave them a sense of mission, that they had to do something good for the world. He brought them out of the Depression. When he died, I began to see this. The first thing, was with the soldiers in Canchapara. I was there on my way to Burma, and a bunch of soldiers came to me, on April 12, 1945, and they wanted to talk about what it meant for us, that the President had died. I answered first off the top of my head, but I came to the right answer. I said, I am worried, we had a great man, who led the nation, but the war is not completed. I am afraid of the effect, when a little man, replaced a great man.

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Related Articles

Conference Presentation:
Schiller Institute/ICLC Conference Panel II - Tribute to Amelia Boynton Robinson, September 1, 2001 (Read the Transcript, and also Watch the Audio-Video Webcast )

Selma, Alabama Celebrates “Boynton Weekend” Civil Rights Heroes Honored in Long Overdue Ceremony August 17-18, 2002

Why Classical Music Is Key to Education (Feb. 1998)

Humboldt's Education Reforms (Fidelio Magazine, Summer 1996)

Marianna's Translations of Poems and Ballads by Friedrich Schiller

Friedrich Schiller, Poet of Freedom, Vols I, II, III

Humboldt's Classical Education Curriculum (New Federalist, March 1993)

Supermax Prison Expose --( New Federalist, May 2000)

The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the LaRouche Campaign (2000)

Pope Brings `The Common Good' To Judge Globalization and War (EIR, May 2001)

Click to hear Marianna Wertz recite The Pledge

Marianna's Articles on the Death Penalty are Forthcoming

What is the Schiller Institute?

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