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Festschrift Celebrates
LaRouche 80th Birthday
by Ken Kronberg
September 9, 2002

The occasion of statesman, economist, and EIR Founding Editor Lyndon LaRouche's 80th birthday, September 8, 2002, was celebrated with the publication of a commemorative Festschrift, containing appreciations from notable friends and colleagues from around the world. The 260-page volume includes messages from 136 individuals, organized by continent, along with photographs and press coverage of LaRouche's global organizing activies over the past five years.

The contents of this extraordinary volume illustrate the remarkable role LaRouche has assumed as the unique, unifying spokesman for an international movement of persons dedicated to saving humanity from the existential crisis now gripping the world. These persons come from diverse political, religious, ethnic, and philosophical backgrounds, and their greetings reflect this; but they are united in acknowledging the hope offered by LaRouche's efforts on behalf of the common good everywhere.

The contributors run the gamut of personal and professional accomplishment, from Nobel Prize winner to plain citizen, from leaders of nations, to musician, artist, trade unionist, veteran, and scholar. Their greetings are alternately personal and formal, philosophical, scientific, and just plain cheerful. They include 31 sitting and retired Federal, state, and local elected officials from the United States; five Parliamentarians from Italy; four Monsignors and Bishops from Europe and North America; three Ambassadors of African nations; senior political leaders from India; academicians, economists, and scientists from Russia and Eastern Europe; impassioned spokesmen of the Arab world; and political leaders from Ibero-America. They view LaRouche from multiple perspectives: as a fighter against injustice and for a New Bretton Woods; as a campaigner for a new Renaissance of science and art; as a spokesman for the American Intellectual Tradition.

From Russia, Professor Tatiana Koryagina wrote: "It is no exaggeration to say that Lyndon LaRouche is a person of planetary dimensions. He is known in every country in the world. ... He is one of the public figures and thinkers, who shaped the development of humanity in the 20th Century ..." And from India, Dr. Rajiv Tyagi asks: "Where are the Gandhis, Lincolns, Lenins, and Tolstoys, who used to be concerned about humanity as a whole?" while fellow Indian leader, former Finance Minister K.R. Ganesh, calls LaRouche "a world statesman of epic dimensions," and wishes, "Dear friend, live long, the world and mankind need you." From Brazil, former Presidential candidate Dr. Enéas Carneiro marvels at an American politician who, reminding him of his youthful university days, knows what a catenary is. These are just a few of the efforts to find an appropriate perspective for the accomplishments of Lyndon LaRouche.

Touching the Heart

Many of the greetings give testimony to the influence of Lyndon LaRouche on their personal lives.

* Jean Gahururu, former Minister in the government of Rwanda, recalled LaRouche's words at a meeting of squabbling representatives from many African nations: "It is unjust and criminal on your part (he said) that in the name of your false ethnicities, each person seeks to represent himself as the sole victim in a general human catastrophe. ... Don't forget humanity overall! Make of your suffering a force for change!" Gahururu is now a leader of the African Civil Rights Movement.

* Konstantin Cheremnykh, the Schiller Institute representative in St. Petersburg, Russia, recounted his early experiences as a student under Communism, and how he "really discovered America, shortly after the conscience of America was released from prison. ... I remember: my doubts, my self-control, my feeling of something quite unusual, but actually, half-forgotten since the time of the student age, the half-forgotten joy of discovery when you jump to your feet, screaming, 'That's it!!!' ... I remember the change of feeling of space, of a world becoming broader and clearer, in all its tragic reality, and the real existence of the means to change this world for the better."

* David Brode, Vice President of the Western Maryland Central Labor Council, wrote: "You, and those around you, have taught me many things. Perhaps the most important is to use my time on Earth to do something to truly help the human race. I hope that I can succeed." Fellow trade-unionist Robert Cebina, President of U.A.W. Local 723 in Michigan, says simply: "It's been a pleasure working with you, and a pleasure knowing a man of the infinite wisdom that you have."

* Ljubco Georgievski, President of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, wrote: "The Macedonian public has been familiar with your work and has been following it. We are grateful for your strategic suggestions and the support you have been giving to Macedonia. As you know, the previous year was very hard for us, because we were fighting not only for the survival of the country, but for principles as well. We were ... fighting to defend the principle of national sovereignty and development. That is why we attach great significance to your ideas, and in particular to the idea of New Bretton Woods. What we need is a just and humane world order within which all nations—small and large—will be able to cooperate for humanity's common good."

The Festschrift's title page fittingly bears the words of Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind: "Drive my dead thoughts over the universe/ Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!/ And by the incantation of this verse/ Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth/ Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!"

Also included in the Festschrift are greetings from three U.S. Schiller Institute Board Members: Civil Rights heroine Amelia Boynton Robinson, former South Carolina legislator Theo Walker Mitchell, and internationally renowned baritone and scholar Dr. William Warfield. (It is with sadness that we report the death of Dr. Warfield shortly before publication of this commemorative volume.)

Related Articles:

LaRouche's Dialogues and Webcasts

Biography of Lyndon LaRouche

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