On the 25th Anniversary of
The Fall of the Berlin Wall
Nov. 10, 2014
Dear Friends of the Schiller Institute:
Twenty-five years ago, the Berlin Wall came down, and today, many people don’t even remember that that was the beginning of the end of the Warsaw Pact, the Comecon, Communist system, and many young people don’t have any memory at all, and don’t even know what an extraordinary moment in history this was. But this was one of the crucial turning points, potential turning points in history, where everything would have been possible. It was the chance, when the Communist system was defeated, to establish a true peace order for the 21st Century.
Now, I want to show you a very short clip from a documentary which we made about this period, called, “The Lost Chance of 1989.”
Narrator: Filling the streets, demanding their freedom and the right to travel West, these demonstrations only grew stronger, and the people were no longer afraid to demand access to those inalienable rights of man that were still enjoyed by the West. Even though the Western system was crumbling under “controlled disintegration,” and the political leadership had become increasingly corrupt, elements of the West still maintained their Constitutional commitment to human liberty.
But after years of enduring the Soviet system, the people recognized that they no longer had to accept the conditions of that system, and they desired to be united with the West. In previous times, as with the revolts that took place in Hungary and Poland, the KGB and the military were brought in to round up resistance leaders, who, in some cases, were never seen again.
Now, all eyes were on East Germany, the sole barrier between the West and the East, which was in complete upheaval. Would the Soviet military be brought in again to crush these demonstrations? Would the people end Communism from the streets of Germany? Would this be the cause for another Berlin crisis?
In the midst of this great uprising, a GDR [East German] minister announced that there would be new travel guidelines. The message was immediately misinterpreted, and taken to mean that the borders to the West were now open! The border guards opened the Wall, and stepped down.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche: Dear Americans, I think you all have seen in the recent days, these extremely exciting, moving pictures from Berlin, now that the borders between East and West Germany have been opened, and the Wall in Berlin, while it’s still there, has practically come down. When this happened on the joyful 9th of November, in the first evening, 100,000 people immediately came over from East Berlin to West Berlin, to taste what the new freedom would look like. Finally 3 million people came, and the stream has not ended since.
Also into West Germany, people came and they embraced each other, and the people were so happy. And the West German people overcame all normal kinds of behavior—they showed tremendous hospitality, they opened champagne, they gave food, invited people for dinner. People were climbing the Wall from both sides. The Ode to Joy, the symbol of the fight for freedom, was sung on the most important street in Berlin, the Ku’damm [Kurfürstendamm] and the West Berlin Symphony played for free, the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven, and they performed two times [Mozart’s] The Magic Flute.
Well, let me tell you: I think this is a genuine, real revolution. It’s a revolution of agape, of love, of charity, not a revolution of rage. And as one woman from the GDR said correctly, “Schiller, in this situation, proves to be the real revolutionary.” And you remember the famous sentence in the Ode to Joy, “All men become brethren.”
A Peace Order for the 21st Century
Now, at that point, the openness of the population, not only in Germany, during the period of reunification, but also of Europe in general—people were expecting dramatic changes for the better. And indeed, the Schiller Institute and the LaRouche movement proposed at that time, the economic basis for such a peace order for the 21st Century, which was first called the Productive Triangle—the idea to economically unify Eastern and the Western Europe through infrastructure corridors.
And then, in ’91, when the Soviet Union collapsed, we extended that program to become the Eurasian Land-Bridge, which was the idea to connect the population and industrial centers of Europe with those of Asia, through development corridors.
Unfortunately, that program was not implemented at that point, because you had the neo-cons in the United States, and you had Margaret Thatcher in Great Britain, and they decided to use the collapse of the Soviet Union, instead, to go for the building of a world empire.
But, fortunately, over a year ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the New Silk Road as the policy of China; and in the meantime, that idea has taken on a tremendous momentum among the BRICS countries, among many other countries of the world, who are building exactly, not only the New Silk Road—what we proposed 25 years ago—but to extend that to become a plan for world development.
So, in that sense, I can say, at the 30th birthday of the Schiller Institute, and the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall, we are actually quite happy that our ideas did influence what is now the majority of civilization, namely the BRICS countries and many other countries joining the new world economic order, which is building very quickly.
But we said all the time, that an economic program can only succeed if we combine it with a true cultural renaissance. Because as people are painfully aware, in Europe and in the United States in particular, our culture stinks. It has gone down to barbarian dimensions, and the most obvious place where this is visible is the youth culture, where young people have absolutely no idea what a human being could be, and they most have a very bestial conception.
Schiller’s ‘Beautiful Soul’
And that is why, in a certain sense, it’s a blessing that the Schiller Institute—which is now becoming more prominent worldwide, because our ideas are being realized by many countries—is named for Friedrich Schiller. I gave the Institute that name 30 years ago, because I thought that from all the people I know, all the philosophers, thinkers, and poets, Schiller has the most beautiful image of man, because he was convinced and he is convinced—he is, because he’s immortal—that every human being has a potential ideal person within himself or herself, and that it is the great task of existence to bring that ideal inner person, which only exists as a potentiality, into cohesion with the real person, in real time, and in real life.
Now, obviously, that concept needs to overcome certain challenges, because Schiller, already in his time, was convinced that most people, rather than developing their entire potential, only develop one aspect, and therefore, they more resemble crippled plants than fully developed human beings. And therefore, Schiller said, in order to become such an ideal person, the most important task is the development of what is called in German, the Empfindungsvermögen, which is the idea to sensuously grasp the world, and own it, intellectually and emotionally, in the fullest possible way. Because only if you have that quality of the Emfindungsvermögen, can you have passion for the world around you.
Now, passion is extremely important, because the ideal of man which Schiller put forward, was the idea that every human being could become a beautiful soul. A beautiful soul, according to his definition, is a human being for whom duty and passion, freedom and necessity, are one. There are people who are moral, but they do their duty with a sort of bitter feeling, and you can see they really don’t like what they’re doing; they have to suppress their emotions to be moral. Schiller said that is only for the slaves, for the knights, but not for us, the “children of the house,” which was his notion for the beautiful soul.
For the beautiful soul, you have to be able to joyfully do what is necessary, to find your freedom in what reason commands, but not by suppressing your emotion, but by developing your emotions to the highest level, so that you can always blindly follow what your emotions are telling you, because they are educated so much to the level of reason, that they would never tell you anything different than what reason commands. And only that way, can you become a fully harmonious person, a person who develops all potentialities, all talents, and becomes a true genius. Because Schiller also says that the only person who is a beautiful soul, is the genius who, in a lawful way, enriches that lawfulness by adding dimensions to it.
Reviving the World’s Classical Cultures
Now, this is very important, because I’m convinced that the conflict right now, which exists very clearly between the Atlantic sector, especially the United States and the European Union on one side, and the BRICS countries, which are going for the New Silk Road and the World Land-Bridge, has everything to do with the image of man!
I have come to the absolute conviction, that right now, the leaders of the BRICS countries, Xi Jinping from China, Narendra Modi from India, Vladimir Putin from Russia—who is quite different from the many media slanders about him—all of these people, all these great leaders, are trying to develop a world perspective which is not geographical; it is not in contradiction to the rest of the world. But this New Silk Road is an all-inclusive idea, and it focuses on the universal character of mankind; and it also focuses on the idea of emphasizing the best tradition of the other country.
When Xi Jinping was in India a couple of weeks ago, he gave a perfect description of what are the high points of Indian culture, starting with the Vedic writings, the Upanishads, the Gupta period, the high points of Sanskrit writings, the Indian Renaissance.
And that image of man is what we absolutely have to revive, because it is very easy to relate to the best culture of the other nation, if you are self-confident about your own culture. And if you’re not sure, then you have to bully people around and you have to play a big macho game. And the problem right now, is that in Europe, and in the United States, we have almost forgotten our great Classical culture.
Now, I believe that therefore, the most important is that we combine a revival of great Classical music, with great Classical poetry and painting and architecture, and other areas of Classical art, to make clear again, what is the moral and cultural foundation of the West. Because if we don’t know what the values are of the West, how can we then relate to other countries and nations around the world?
So therefore, reflecting on the 25-year anniversary of the Fall of the Wall, when the system came to its end, we are now in a similar situation. The free-market economy is about to blow up completely. We are at an absolutely crucial transition of world history, and we absolutely must not again miss the great chance. And I hope that sometime in the future, our children and grandchildren will look back and say, “Ah! There were the people of the LaRouche movement, and, joining hands with the BRICS countries and many other countries in the world, they did not miss the great chance of 2014.”