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The Schiller Institute is an international political and economic think tank, one of the primary organizations of the LaRouche movement, with headquarters in Germany and the United States, and supporters in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Russia, and South America, among others, according to its website.
The institute's stated aim is to apply the ideas of the philosopher Friedrich Schiller to what it calls the "contemporary world crisis." The American branch of the Institute publishes a quarterly magazine, Fidelio, which it describes as a "Journal of Poetry, Science, and Statecraft." The German branch publishes a similar magazine called Ibykus, named after Schiller's poem "The Cranes of Ibykus."
- 1 Ties to the LaRouche movement
- 2 Founding and stated aims
- 3 Political activity
- 4 Cultural activity
- 5 Criticism
- 6 Conferences
- 7 Further reading
- 8 Notes
- 9 External links
Ties to the LaRouche movement
The Schiller Institute is closely tied to Lyndon LaRouche. A biography of LaRouche hosted on institute's website states that "[i]t is his work and his ideas, that inspired the creation of the international Schiller Institute, as well as his intellectual and moral leadership that continue to set the standard for the policies and activity of the movement." LaRouche's writings are featured prominently in Schiller Institute communications and he is the keynote speaker at most of the Schiller Institute's conferences.
Founding and stated aims
The institute was founded at a conference in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1984 by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the German-born wife of American political activist Lyndon LaRouche. Its stated aim is to seek to apply the ideas of poet, dramatist and philosopher Friedrich Schiller to the current global political situation. They emphasize Schiller's concept of the interdependence of classical artistic beauty and republican political freedom, as elaborated in his series of essays entitled Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man.
On November 26, 1984, the institute released a "Declaration of the Inalienable Rights of Man," which it describes as "the basis of the Institute's work and efforts worldwide." It states in part:
We, therefore, Representatives of the Peoples of the World, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world, do ... solemnly publish and declare that all countries of the world are and of right ought to be free and independent States.
That all human beings on this planet have inalienable rights, which guarantee them life, freedom, material conditions worthy of man, and the right to develop fully all potentialities of their intellect and their souls. That, therefore, a change in the present economic and monetary order is necessary and urgent to establish justice among the peoples of the world.— Signators at Schiller Institute conference
Zepp-LaRouche has explained the need for the Schiller Institute as follows:
We need a movement that can finally free Germany from the control of the Versailles and Yalta treaties, which have tossed us from one catastrophe to another for an entire century. (Wir brauchen eine Bewegung, die Deutschland endlich aus der Kontrolle der Kräfte von Versailles und Jalta befreit, die uns schon ein ganzes Jahrhundert lang von einer Kastastrophe in die andere stürzt.
Among the past and present members of the institute's board of directors are Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Webster Tarpley, Civil rights leader Amelia Boynton Robinson, former South Carolina State Assemblyman Theo Mitchell, classical singer William Warfield, former Guyanese Foreign Minister Frederick Wills, physicist Winston H. Bostick, and former Borough President of Manhattan Hulan Jack. Among the founding members of the institute were Hulan Jack and French Resistance leader Marie-Madeleine Fourcade.
The website of the Schiller Institute includes transcripts of conferences that the institute has sponsored, throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, to promote the idea of what it calls "peace through development". The discussion at these conferences has generally centered around LaRouche's proposals for infrastructure projects such as the "Eurasian Land Bridge", and the "Oasis Plan", a Middle East peace agreement based on Arab-Israeli collaboration on major water projects. The conferences also typically discuss proposals for debt relief and the "New Bretton Woods," a proposal for a sweeping reorganization of the world monetary system (see Political views of Lyndon LaRouche). The Institute strongly opposes the "Clash of Civilizations" thesis of Samuel Huntington, counterposing what it calls a "Dialogue of Cultures".
According to the Executive Intelligence Review, LaRouche formed a group called the "Committee to Save the Presidency" to fight the international financiers who he said were behind an attempted coup against President Bill Clinton. Schiller Institute members are reported to have collected petition signatures defending Clinton, and picketed the U.S. Capitol in 1999 with signs that said "Save the Presidency! Jail Kenneth 'Porno' Starr". A Schiller Institute spokesperson said "This is a coup to overthrow the United States government and disenfranchise the American electorate".
The March 18, 2007 internet edition of the Danish Paper Jyllands-Posten covers the Schiller Institute proposal for a national Maglev train system in that country. In the 2007 Danish elections there were four candidates for parliament affiliated with the Schiller Institute. Despite their poor showing at the polls (they totaled just 197 votes nationwide, while at least 32000 are needed for a local mandate,) they garnered significant press coverage, including an interview with Tom Gillesberg in Berlingske Tidende, which discussed the slogan of the LaRouche slate, "After the financial crash, Maglev over Kattegat.".
During Fall of 2007, Schiller Institute Vice President Amelia Boynton Robinson toured the nations of Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France and Italy, during which she spoke with European youth about her support for LaRouche, Martin Luther King, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as well as the continuing problem of racism in the United States, which she said was illustrated by the recent events in Jena, Louisiana.
In March 2009, the Danish branch of the institute distributed flyers at a climate change conference in Copenhagen which asserted that 'British Climate lies will lead to Genocide', stating that the Bush administration had been a puppet of the British Empire, that "solar activity, not human activity, is the main factor in the Earth's changing climate," and that "massive investment in windmills and solar panels" to combat climate change would create genocide by raising the price of food.
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The institute has published its quarterly magazine, Fidelio, since 1992, described as a "Journal of Poetry, Science, and Statecraft." It was co-founded and edited by Kenneth Kronberg. The magazine is named after Ludwig van Beethoven's opera, "Fidelio," which tells the story of a political prisoner who is freed by the courage of his wife. At the time the magazine was founded, Lyndon LaRouche was still in prison.
Its issues include articles on Homer, Henry VII, Benjamin Franklin, Gottfried Leibniz, the Vier ernste Gesänge of Johannes Brahms, Vice President Dick Cheney, Paul Kreingold’s “I.L. Peretz, Father of the Yiddish Renaissance”, and reviews of books, art exhibits, and musical, and dramatic performances.
In 1988, the institute initiated a campaign to establish "philosophical pitch" or "scientific pitch" as the classical music concert pitch standard. This tuning system is based on middle C set at 256 Hz, making concert A 430.539 Hz rather than the most commonly used 440 Hz. The Schiller Institute calls this system "Verdi tuning" because it was Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi who first sought to stop the increase in pitch to which orchestras are tuned. However, Verdi used the French standard 435 Hz in writing his Requiem in 1874; later he indicated that 432 Hz was slightly more optimal. It is this 432 Hz standard that the Schiller Institute advocates. French acoustic physicist Joseph Sauveur first researched then proposed the philosophical pitch standard in 1713, more than a century before Verdi began leading orchestras. Sauveur was strongly resisted by the musicians he was working with, and the proposed standard was not adopted.
In 1999, the institute circulated a petition calling for the establishment of a permanent orchestra in Verdi's childhood home in Busseto, Italy, employing the special tuning in order to mark the composer's centennial. Signers of the petitions have included Norbert Brainin, former First Violinist of the Amadeus Quartet, and the following vocalists: William Warfield (baritone), Carlo Bergonzi (tenor), and Piero Cappuccilli (baritone). Other well known vocalists who endorsed the initiative include Shirley Verrett (soprano), Joan Sutherland (soprano), George Shirley (tenor), Luciano Pavarotti (tenor), Sherrill Milne (baritone), Fedora Barbier (mezzosoprano), Grace Bumbry (soprano), Elly Ameling (soprano), Peter Schreier (tenor), Birgit Nilsson (soprano), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Kurt Moll (basso), Marilyn Horne (mezzosoprano), and Ruggero Raimondi (basso).
The tuning initiative is opposed by Stefan Zucker. According to Zucker, the Institute offered a bill in Italy to impose the Verdi tuning on state-sponsored musicians that included provisions for fines and confiscation of non-Verdi tuning forks. Zucker has written that he believes the claims about the Verdi tuning are historically inaccurate. Institute followers are reported by Tim Page of Newsday to have stood outside concert halls with petitions to ban the music of Vivaldi and even to have disrupted a concert conducted by Leonard Slatkin in order to pass out pamphlets titled "Leonard Slatkin Serves Satan."
Other music initiatives
In 1992, the institute published A Manual on the Rudiments of Tuning and Registration: Book I: Introduction and Human Singing Voice, which discusses the tuning issue from the artistic and the scientific point of view. The Institute asserts the Bel Canto method of singing is "one of the best examples of mankind's ability to discover an existing physical principle, and to use that discovery to create new works of science and art, which then increase humanity's power to build civilization." They also assert that composers such as J.S. Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Giuseppe Verdi all wrote with the distinct vocal registers of the Bel Canto system in mind, and that their compositions intentionally exploit the different tone colors that these registers produce.
In 2010, 25 LaRouche supporters protesting a new production of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen presented by the Los Angeles Opera carried signs that said, "Wagner: Loved by Nazis, Rejected by Humans" and "L.A. County: $14 Million to promote Nazi Wagner, Layoffs for Music Teachers". They distributed flyers from the Schiller Institute which asked "Does Los Angeles County have nothing better to do ... than bail out L.A. Opera, so that it can celebrate the monstrous sexual fantasies, and the cult of violence, of that vile anti-Semite, Wagner?"
The Schiller Institute presented a performance of Mozart's Requiem at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, on January 19, 2014, the 50th anniversary of the performance of Mozart's Requiem and pontifical mass for John F. Kennedy which was held at the Cathedral. Remarks were made by Ambassador Ray Flynn, and a letter was read from Irish President Michael D. Higgins. Recordings of speeches by President Kennedy were also featured.
Drama and poetry
The institute has published a four-volume series of English translations of the works of Friedrich Schiller, entitled Poet of Freedom, as well as some translations into other languages.
Allegations of antisemitism
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Following the 2003 death of Jeremiah Duggan, a student who had been attending a Schiller Institute conference in Germany, the Schiller Institute was accused of spreading antisemitic conspiracy theories. An internal London Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard) letter, obtained by the BBC's Newsnight during a British investigation into the death says: "The Schiller Institute and the LaRouche Youth Movement... blames the Jewish people for the Iraq war and all the other problems in the world. Jeremiah's lecture notes and bulletins showed the antisemitic nature of [the] ideology." The German newspaper Berliner Zeitung categorizes the Schiller Institute as antisemitic.
Duggan had been attending a Schiller Institute conference and LaRouche Youth Movement cadre school in Wiesbaden, Germany, when he died after running onto a busy road. The German police investigation found that he had committed suicide. A British inquest rejected that verdict after hearing testimony about the nature of the Schiller Institute.
The antisemitism at a meeting of the Schiller Institute would not be obvious at first. You would have to listen over time to a... set of patterns, and you would begin to hear the echoes of the classic antisemitic conspiracy theories, in the way that Israel is talked about, in the way that Jews are talked about, in the way that the idea is put forward that the wars of America are somehow manipulated by Jewish lobbies and Israeli interests, and this really is an echo of the old classic antisemitic conspiracy theories. It's not that every criticism of Israel or American-Jewish lobby groups is antisemitic, but over time this pattern emerges."
The Schiller Institute issued a statement in response to the controversy, calling it "a politically motivated smear job" based on "conspiracy theories," and alleged that the Institute was being targeted because of its opposition to the Iraq War.
Following the 2003 death of Duggan, cult allegations were made. According to the Berliner Zeitung, the LaRouche movement in Germany, operating as the Schiller Institute, LaRouche Youth Movement, Europäische Arbeiterpartei and Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität (BüSo), has around 300 followers, and "next to Scientology, is the cult soliciting most aggressively in German streets at this time."[dead link]
The BBC's Newsnight has said the institute places members under "psychological duress," during "so-called psycho sessions." Aglaja Beyes Corleis, a member of the Schiller Institute for 16 years, who left in the early 90s and wrote a book about the Institute, told the BBC:
When I speak with family members how I was then at that time, [they] tell me 'You were like from a different planet.' ... People tend to be drawn into it who did not want to be drawn into it, who did not want to join a cult or a sect or something like that ... I was freaked out and I experienced that other people freaked out. I saw other people who, members who, got out of their mind ... Sometimes Jewish members were put under special pressure. For instance, at a public meeting, the person was picked out and publicly attacked – 'your mother visited Israel'."
On November 6, 2003, a British inquest heard allegations that the Schiller Institute is a "political cult with sinister and dangerous connections." which may have used controversial recruitment techniques on Duggan.
Death of Kenneth Kronberg
Kenneth Kronberg, co-founder and editor of the Schiller Institute's magazine, Fidelio, and the president of a LaRouche movement printing business, committed suicide in April 2007. According to Nicholas F. Benton, a former member of the LaRouche movement, Kronberg killed himself on the day of a so-called "morning briefing," published daily by the LaRouche movement, in which Kronberg's printing business was heavily criticized. Kronberg's printing business was also reported to be in financial trouble, the Washington Monthly described it as being in "serious arrears in tax payments, including employee withholding, due largely to lack of payment for printing jobs by other LaRouche entities."
These are highlights of conferences from the Schiller Institute's 20-year history.
- Nov. 1-3, 1985: "Saint Augustine, Father of European and African Civilization" – Rome, Italy
- Labor Day conference, 1986, featuring a performance of Mozart's Requiem at C=256 Hz, with Schiller chorus and orchestra – Reston, Virginia, U.S.
- Nov. 22-23, 1990: "The Productive Triangle: Centerpiece of an All-Eurasian Infrastructure Program, Locomotive for a New, Just World Economic Order" – Berlin, Germany
- April 26–30, 1993: International conference on religions sponsored by the government of Sudan – Khartoum
- Aug. 7-14, 1994: Educational-cultural seminar for young musicians and artists, featuring Norbert Brainin, Lyndon LaRouche, and Helga Zepp LaRouche – Smolenice Castle, Slovakia
- July 17, 1997: Presentation by Dr. Jozef Miklosko, president of the Slovakian branch of the Schiller Institute and former vice premier of post-communist Czechoslovakia – Manila, Philippines
- Dec. 13, 2000: Memorial seminar for Russian Schiller Institute leader Taras V. Muranivsky – Moscow, Russia
- Helmut Lorscheid, Leo A Mueller: Deckname: Schiller : die deutschen Patrioten des Lyndon LaRouche (in German). Rowohlt, 1986. ISBN 3-499-15916-3 ISBN 9783499159169
- "Learn About the Schiller Institute- Join Today and Receive FIDELIO Magazine". Schiller Institute. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- "Homepage des Ibykus" (in German). Solidaritaet.com. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- Meet Lyndon LaRouche Schiller Institute
- The Inalienable Rights of Man Schiller Institute
- "State Dept. Official's Speech Is Interrupted by a Rightist". The New York Times. May 29, 1985.
- Schiller Institute Marie Madelaine Fourcade and Hulan Jack
- "Conferences - Partial List 1984 to Present". Schiller Institute. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- Freeman 2004
- Williams., Dave (January 7, 1999). "GRAHAM TO PRESENT 2 ARTICLES;". The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.). p. A.01.
- Foskett, Ken (Dec 16, 1998). "The Impeachment Debate Democratic core rallies round the president Mobilizing: Labor, feminist heavyweights push --- but as yet fail to move --- GOP leadership.". The Atlanta Constitution. p. A.20.
- http://www.jp.dk/indland/artikel:aid=4308762/ Archived March 28, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Jonas Schrøder Tirsdag (2007-11-30). "Hvad har du gang i, Tom Gillesberg? - Valg". Berlingske.dk. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- "Amelia Robinson in Europe". Schiller Institute. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- "Amelia Robinson Takes Denmark by Storm". Larouchepub.com. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- "British Climate Lies will lead to Genocide" (PDF), Statement by Tom Gillesberg, chairman of The Schiller Institute in Denmark, March 10, 2009
- "Climate Change Congress: Is it all a British plot?" Liz Kalaugher, environmentalresearchweb blog, March 10, 2009
- Fidelio Magazine masthead Accessed May 4, 2007
- "Kenneth L. Kronberg Sterling Businessman", The Washington Post, May 1, 2007.
- Johnston, Ian (2009). Measured Tones: The Interplay of Physics and Music, Second Edition (3 ed.). CRC Press. p. 36. ISBN 1420093479.
- Letter from Verdi to Giulio Ricordi, Verdi's Aida, Giuseppe Verdi, Hans Busch
- Rosen, David, Verdi, Requiem
- Haynes, Bruce (2002). A History of Performing Pitch: The Story of 'A'. Scarecrow Press. p. 224. ISBN 1461664152.
- "Opera Fanatic Magazine". Bel Canto Society. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- Schiller Institute -Music Chart of Human Vocal Registers
- Ng, David (May 31, 2010). "Protesters greet start of 'Ring'; Lyndon LaRouche supporters decry the production; inside, responses are mixed.". Los Angeles Times. p. D.4.
- Eiseman, Lee, "JFK Remembered in Musical Tribute," The Boston Musical Intelligencer, January 20, 2014
- Samuels, Tim. "Jeremiah Duggan's death and Lyndon LaRouche," Newsnight, 12 February 2004.
- "Tod auf der Straße". Berliner Zeitung (in German) (Berlineonline.de). October 23, 2008. Archived from the original on October 29, 2008. Retrieved May 13, 2014. Article title in English is "Death on the Streets".
- March 2003 conference attended by Duggan
- Degen, Wolfgang, "Nur die Legende hat ein langes Leben", Wiesbadener Kurier, April 19, 2007.
- Townsend, Mark & Doward, Jamie. "New evidence shows 'suicide' student was beaten to death", The Observer, March 25, 2007.
- Muir, Hugh. "British student did not commit suicide, says coroner", The Guardian, November 5, 2003.
- British Press and Officials Caught Lying in Duggan Affair, Schiller Institute, September 2007
- Townsend, Mark & Doward, Jammie. "New evidence shows 'suicide' student was beaten to death", The Observer, March 25, 2007.
- Minz, John. "Ideological Odyssey: From Old Left to Far Right", The Washington Post, January 14, 1985.
- Nordhausen, Frank. "A Mother's Investigations", Berliner Zeitung, April 4, 2007, page 3.[dead link]
- Townsend, Mark. "The student, the shadowy cult and a mother's fight for justice", The Observer, October 31, 2004.
- British Inquest: Coroner's Court transcript, Justice for Jeremiah website, undated, retrieved March 26, 2007.
- Beyes-Corleis, Aglaja. Verirrt: Mein Leben in einer radikalen Politorganisation (Lost: My life in a radical political organization). Herder/Spektrum, 1994. ISBN 3-451-04278-9
- Witt, April. "No Joke", The Washington Post, October 24, 2004.
- Nicholas F. Benton. Rt. 28 Suicide Jumper Was Long-Time Associate of LaRouche, Falls Church News-Press, April 19, 2007.
- Avi Klein. "Publish and Perish: The Mysterious Death of Lyndon LaRouche's Printer" Washington Monthly, November 2007.