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Information bulletin
(June 1951)

Ball, Robert P.
Goethe house restored,   pp. [3]-6 PDF (2.6 MB)

Page 6

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-
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.
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
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
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

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