They were in the leadership of the anti-Semitic LaRouche network for decades and know its secrets. Yet they've never talked, never apologized, and they refuse to provide information about the death of my son.
The letter below by Erica Duggan is addressed to Rabbi Prof. Eveline Goodman-Thau, a prominent Israeli scholar who participated in an Oct. 19, 2010 public meeting in Berlin (read here and here) that was billed as a "conversation" between herself and one Frank Hahn, a former leading member of the German LaRouche organization.
The event, part of a lecture series on "100 Years of Jewish Thought," was held at Berlin's Library House under the co-sponsorship of the Hebraic Graduate School of Europe (with which Goodman-Thau is affiliated) and Spree-Athen e.V., a nonprofit organization founded by Hahn and other former LaRouche associates that sponsors talks by members of its own circle and by outside academics.
Goodman-Thau had given at least three previous talks--June 2009, February 2010 and May 2010--sponsored or co-sponsored by Spree-Athen, which is part of a larger network of websites and cultural organizations run by ex-LaRouche followers and called the "Solon" group by outsiders. The name comes from their main website, solon-line.de, which in turn is named after the ancient Athenian lawmaker Solon the Wise, thus suggesting (as in Lyndon LaRouche's many references to Solon and Plato) that the Solon group and Spree-Athen represent a superior wisdom rooted in the ideology of an intellectual elite. (A Goodman-Thau essay appeared on the Solon-line website in November 2008; read here.)
Most of the members of today's Solon group quit the international LaRouche movement in 2006--three years after Ms. Duggan's son Jeremiah died under suspicious circumstances while attending a series of LaRouchian indoctrination sessions in Wiesbaden. (The German police immediately declared the death a suicide, in large part because of false information provided by leaders of the LaRouche movement, and never conducted a proper investigation. In June 2010, however, a British coroner's court asked Scotland Yard to launch a criminal probe as a result of new forensic evidence and statements about Jeremiah being bullied, hunted down, and beaten by LaRouche cadre.)
The members of the Solon group and others who broke with LaRouche in the mid-2000s include most of the top leaders of the German LaRouche movement at the time Jeremiah died. They have never acknowledged what they may know about the fate of the Jewish university student (a citizen of the U.K.) or about the details of the cover-up launched within hours of his death by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Lyndon LaRouche's wife.
Frank Hahn (left) chatting with Lyndon and Helga LaRouche at the 2003 Schiller Institute conference in Bad Schwalbach that was attended by Jeremiah Duggan several days before his death.
Thus Jeremiah's mother has good reason to be concerned about the fact that Rabbi Goodman-Thau--a native of Vienna who survived the Shoah in hiding in the Netherlands, moved to Israel after the war and is active today in the field of Holocaust Studies--has lent her name to Hahn and his Solon group in spite of repeated warnings about their sinister history.
After Ms. Duggan sent an email to Rabbi Goodman-Thau asking her to stop providing aid and comfort to the Solon group, the rabbi sent a brief reply on Oct. 3 saying that she'd "speak with Mr. Frank Hahn personally about this matter and keep you informed of the results" (no mention of making any inquiries on her own). Although she signed her note "with warm regards from Jerusalem," she never informed Ms. Duggan of any "results" in the weeks thereafter, never contacted the experts recommended by Ms. Duggan, and never cancelled her participation in the Oct. 19 event.
Indeed, the Spree-Athen website announced that she would be giving another presentation on Nov. 16 in continuation of the "100 Years of Jewish Thought" series.--DK
By ERICA DUGGAN
London, December 3, 2010
Dear Rabbi Goodman-Thau:
My father was a Jew brought up in Berlin. He survived the Holocaust and was devastated by the destruction of so many millions of Jewish people, including many of his friends and family--all this in the land of his birth, Germany. He loved Berlin, and now you are appearing in that same city as a speaker at events sponsored by shadowy former members of the anti-Semitic Lyndon LaRouche movement, including your Oct. 19 co-panelist Frank Hahn.
I remember my father telling me that people should give one moment of every day to ponder on all that happened during the Holocaust--and work to ensure that it never, ever happens again.
His only grandson--my son, Jeremiah--had the misfortune to be invited to a 2003 LaRouche movement gathering in Germany which opened the day following the launching of the U.S.-British invasion of Iraq. Jeremiah mistakenly believed the event was going to be a peace conference, but much of what he heard there included attacks on the Jews. After he spoke out against such remarks, revealed that he was Jewish, and began to reject the indoctrination process, they decided he must be a British spy--an enemy.
Jeremiah ended up dead beside a highway in the early morning hours of March 27, 2003--a victim of the cruel and ruthless organization to which Frank Hahn and his current associates devoted so many years of their lives, often in leadership positions, before breaking away and founding the "Solon" group.
Hahn and his Solon comrades have never acknowledged--or supported any of us who seek to expose--the threat to the human personality and the danger to society posed by the LaRouche organization. Nor have they ever apologized for the suffering they inflicted on others when they were leaders in that organization. Apparently, the ex-members associated with the Solon group think that, after participating for decades in LaRouche's war of hatred against the Jews and the British, it's okay to just walk away from it all and protect their reputations by remaining silent.
And today, as the LaRouche organization continues its efforts to block any investigation of my son Jeremiah's death, former German members such as Hahn still will not discuss the cruel treatment of Jeremiah and so many others in indoctrination sessions over the years.
Hahn and his associates lie to themselves as well as to the outside world.
Rabbi Goodman-Thau, you have lent your good name to these "ex"-LaRouche followers by speaking at their gatherings and sharing a platform with one of their leaders, thus giving them an aura of legitimacy. If you had investigated their background rather than accepting them at face value, you would know about their history of deceit--how they lie to themselves as well as to the outside world, while maintaining the fiction of knowing more than anyone else about economics, philosophy and now even about Jewish intellectual history.
By lending your name to them, you are in effect condoning the harm they have done to the Jewish people by way of the LaRouche organization's sophisticated propaganda operations in over a dozen languages. You are also trivializing the anguish they have helped to inflict on hundreds of families of various faiths and ethnicities around the world whose sons and daughters have been captured and brainwashed by the LaRouche Youth Movement through an insidious process that turns them from enthusiastic and naive activists into rage-filled conspiracists who break off all ties with their parents (unless the parents painfully compromise their own integrity by agreeing to keep silent about the harm the LaRouche organization has done).
Perhaps you'd be interested in having a "conversation" (the term used on the Spree-Athen website to describe your and Hahn's joint presentation) with some of these parents who've lost their children to the LaRouche Youth Movement?
They helped to ruin many young lives.
The Solon group includes individuals who were in the top leadership of LaRouche's German operation for many years (some of them were in the organization for three decades or more, having helped to found the German branch). They ran his recruitment and indoctrination program in Germany and much of the rest of Europe. They were responsible, through their lies and psychological terror (e.g., "ego-stripping") tactics, for persuading many young people to drop their university studies and devote themselves to peddling LaRouche's hate literature on the streets full-time.
Many of those recruited in past decades by persons who are now in the Solon group, have remained trapped in the LaRouche organization until the present day--never completing their educations, never experiencing the joy of raising a family, never contributing anything positive to society.
In the face of year-in/year-out abuse from leaders such as those who now associate themselves with the Solon group, a number of lower-level members experienced psychotic episodes, some underwent multiple abortions under heavy psychological pressure, and some committed suicide. Others died early deaths as a result of stress, unsafe and exploitative working conditions, substandard health care, appallingly inadequate diets, and other results of living an impoverished life within a basically totalitarian environment where the needs and rights of the individual are not respected.
Numerous U.S. members were induced by the organization's leadership and by LaRouche himself to engage in criminal scams targeting senior citizens. Over a dozen of these members were convicted of loan fraud and served prison sentences along with LaRouche. I have been told that much of the money raised illegally by U.S. members was sent to the German organization, the leaders of which lived much better than the U.S. members and never had to engage in such strenuous fundraising. Some ex-members have reported that the German leaders looked down on the U.S. members, regarding them as little more than servants of the German organization.
Your Solon friends such as Hahn are not just "victims" of LaRouche--they are people who were deeply involved in victimizing the LaRouche organization's rank and file, including the hundreds of European youth recruited into the LYM in the early and middle 2000s and the many U.S. young people sent to Europe for special indoctrination far from their parents and friends.
And I must emphasize how Hahn and others now in the Solon group were among those who spread conspiracy theories and lies to potential recruits at the 2003 Bad Schwalbach conference in the aftermath of which my son died under such sinister circumstances. My son and others were told at the conference, and at a training program in Wiesbaden held immediately afterwards, that the World Trade Center in New York had been destroyed by a plot involving elements of the U.S. government in league with London bankers and the Israeli right. This is the same wicked conspiracy theory that is spread in Arab media and on neo-Nazi websites.
The lectures and classes at these LaRouche events also promoted conspiracy theories of a more intellectual type; for instance, the canard that Jews who were affiliated with the Frankfurt School (a loosely organized group of socialist-oriented German and Austrian thinkers in the 1920s and 1930s) had sought to join the Nazi party and, when rebuffed, moved to the United States where they became the real "Nazis" and eventually influenced George W. Bush to become the new "Hitler."
They have not dealt with their past in a principled and public way.
Hahn and his associates have yet to issue public statements indicating that they broke with LaRouche because of any principled objections to his conspiracist claims, to the fanatical ideology underlying those claims, or to the unethical and often criminal activities through which that ideology is expressed. Numerous attempts have been made to obtain statements denouncing the LaRouche organization and the LaRouche worldview from members of the Solon group, but so far the results have been almost nil.
Rabbi Goodman-Thau, do the right thing and the courageous thing. Repudiate these ex-LaRouche followers who refuse to acknowledge--indeed, refuse even to discuss--the harm their massive dissemination of the LaRouche organization's hate propaganda has caused over the years.
Your relationship to Hahn and his friends validates and encourages their conspiracy of silence--you've reinforced their belief that they can just walk away from what they've done without ever having to make amends. And even worse, you've allowed them to use your good name to gain for themselves a positive public image which they have not earned and do not deserve.
I regret that I must speak so harshly, but I think of my father and my only son when I ask you again to stop associating with members of the Solon group unless they agree to publicly denounce their past role in spreading anti-Semitic canards...and unless they tell the world everything they know about the LaRouche organization's crimes and about how my son died.
The Solon group should make a full disclosure of the LaRouche movement's improper and illegal activities.
Let Hahn promise to persuade as many German ex-LaRouche followers as possible to meet with my lawyers and with Scotland Yard and reveal everything they may know about my son's death and the subsequent cover-up.
Let Hahn and his associates add their voices to that of Ursula Caberta, a German government official, who has cited information from parents about how the members of the LaRouche organization believed Jeremiah was a spy, and how he was subjected to cruel mistreatment.
Let them provide eyewitness accounts of Helga Zepp-LaRouche instructing the cadre of the German LaRouche organization--only a few hours after Jeremiah's death--to keep their mouths shut about what happened and to not even discuss it with each other. Yes, that is what she told them at an emergency meeting at the offices of EIR, the LaRouche organization's weekly newsmagazine; and the members of the Solon group have followed these instructions faithfully to the present day, even though they say they are no longer answerable to Ms. Zepp-LaRouche.
And also let them tell what they know about other deaths that have occurred in and around the German LaRouche organization, such as suicides among its members, and about the many acts of political violence that top LaRouche aides encouraged and may even have helped to organize in Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Guatemala, Sweden and elsewhere.
Just who is paying for the Solon group's activities today? Have they shown you the books? Are they trying to get the German government to fund Solon-line and Spree-Athen e.V. (just as they induced Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office to place orders with their printing and typesetting business)? What a mockery this makes of the Jewish community's "never again" slogan! How can anyone in the government of Germany provide support in any form to people who are former leaders of an organization that has spread so many lies against our Jewish people?
Unless Frank Hahn and his associates are willing to step forward and tell everything they may know about the LaRouche organization's crimes, its links to former Nazis, and the circumstances surrounding the death of my son, how can you consent to speak before a Spree-Athen gathering?
The obstruction of justice regarding my son's death must end, now.
I believe that amongst Hahn and his associates there are individuals who know that my son was in the Wiesbaden offices of the LaRouche organization until just minutes before his death. Unless Hahn makes a full statement of all he knows or has heard, he is in my view perverting the course of justice.
Hahn is clearly not willing to make full disclosure or, indeed, any disclosure. He may tell you he is not an anti-Semite and that he has never been an anti-Semite. It is so easy for him to say this in order to avoid public embarrassment. But if he and his associates don't admit to their past collusion in the spread of LaRouche's open and coded anti-Semitism, how can we ever trust them?
I find it outrageous that Hahn is going around organizing public events where he and his associates can pontificate on the last hundred years of Jewish thought--and thus pretend to be friends of the Jews (or at least of any Jew who shares their devotion to German culture and German values).
One cannot be a real friend of the Jews while continuing to cover up for an organization, such as LaRouche’s, which spreads hate against the Jewish people. And no one in the Jewish community should be cooperating with individuals who continue to conceal vital information about the death of my son: a young Jewish man from Britain who, in the early pre-dawn hours of March 27, 2003, found himself surrounded--without allies, deeply frightened, and with no easy means of escape--in a room full of hostile persons who were promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that suggested the world was about to be destroyed--and that the Jews and the British were to blame.
My son was an ardent student, and perhaps could have contributed to the next "100 years of Jewish thought." But dying under appalling circumstances at age 22, he never got the chance to develop his ideas or write any books, or teach, or otherwise brings his insights to the world. And now you, Rabbi Goodman-Thau, after spending so much of your childhood living under the shadow of the Holocaust--in the Netherlands, in hiding, like Anne Frank--are willing to cooperate with Hahn, Spree-Athen and the "Solon" group? For shame!