Ball, Robert P.
Goethe house restored, pp. -6 PDF (2.6 MB)
a universal genius which belongs not only to his own country but to the entire world. Like his fatherland, humanity can be proud of him as one of the most perfect and, as he described himself, universal figures -as one of those rare and most pre- cious flowers, which actually constitute a justification of mankind. He consciously addressed not only the Ger- man people but all of mankind. For that we tender him our admiration and our devotion. I do not propose to say much more about Goethe. There are others here who are far better qualified to talk about him. I should, however, like to say a few words about the meaning which Goethe has for the world today. I N THESE DAYS OF CHALLENGE to free men and free institutions we have great need of our best minds and finest talents. I think it is appropriate to remember that Goethe, the man of letters and of science, was not above entering the arena of practical political administration. He wrestled with the problems of balancing a budget, passing on plans for building bridges and roads, running a school system, reconstructing old copper mines, super- vising the theater and building factories. Nor was this active participation merely a hobby. It stemmed from the deepest conviction of the man who characterized the highest human developments as being helpful and kind, who found that the answer to the cen- tral problem of existence lay in the dedication of the individual to working unselfishly for the good of the com- munity. In these days when there is need to rise above narrow nationalism it is also good to remember Goethe's cos- mopolitanism and his internationalism. You all know how he valued the contributions to world culture of all races and all thinkers and condemned those who could only see literature and life through national prejudices. Without surrendering his loyalty to the German part of his heritage, he described the highest degree of culture as that in which one "feels the weal or woe of neighbor- ing people as if it had happened to one's own." To see, and to feel, what is common to us all, Goethe would say, marks the highest man. 1ODAY, THE NEED FOR SOLUTIONS which transcend nationalism is clear. Our success in working out such solutions - whether in the Schuman Plan, a united Europe or in western defense - depends on how clearly we see, and pay attention to, the common elements of humanity which lie deeper than national boundaries and cultures. These are times when the issues of freedom and the individual are again at stake. It would be superfluous to elaborate on Goethe's dedication to these ideals. Let us remember, however, that Goethe put freedom on the same plane as life itself. For that reason totalitarians, in his own country or elsewhere, have never been able to evoke his name successfully. Nowadays we hear much talk of a Vertrauenskrise (lack of confidence) and that disillusionment and cynicism INFORMATION BULLETIN Black and white photography cannot capture the copper gleam of cake and pudding forms hanging in the kitchen. are widespread. Therefore, to have an event such as this for this house, rebuilt from ruins, is a triumph of faith and belief. I hope this occasion will serve as a reminder, particularly to the young people of Germany, that there are values and ideals in which we can believe and upon which we can build a strong, human and free world. May all of those who seek the unification of Europe and who from far and near will make pilgrimages to this building, achieve in his spirit a universal form of think- ing and acting, remembering his promise and prophecy: "A new day beckons us to new shores." +END Gibney Preparing Labor Union Film Sheridan Gibney, prominent Hollywood screen writer, has been in Germany preparing a documentary film on German trade unions. The film will be the first of a series designed to acquaint foreign countries with the develop- ment of free trade unionism in Germany. The documentary will deal in part with the development of UGO (now Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund) in Berlin as a free trade union federation which separated from the Communist-controlled FDGB. Mr. Gibney was formerly president of the US Screen Writers' Guild and won an "Oscar" award for his script- ing of the "Life of Louis Pasteur." He also wrote the screenplays of "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay" and "Anthony Adverse." Beckmann Etchings Displayed A small memorial showing of early etchings of Max Beckmann, German-American artist who died in New York last December, were exhibited recently at Frank- furt's US Information Center. Mr. Beckmann, who was born in Leipzig Feb. 12, 1884, was considered one of Germany's outstanding exponents of expressionistic art. During the past 10 years he taught fine arts in St. Louis and at the Brooklyn Art Museum. JUNE 1951 6
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