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Munich Conference Honors
Space Pioneer Krafft Ehricke

March 2017

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EIRNS/Christopher Lewis
Marsha Freeman, EIR Technology Editor, addressing participants at the Krafft Ehricke’s Vision for the Future of Humanity Conference in Munich, Germany, March 25, 2017.
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EIRNS/Christopher Lewis
Soprano Diana Milewa (left) and Baritone Roland Albrecht (right), performing at the Krafft Ehricke conference in Munich, March 25, 2017.

Invitation (PDF)

Presentation by Marsha Freeman

Presentation by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

Presentation by Claude Nicolier

March 26—An audience of 130 gathered at the Sheraton Arabellapark Hotel in Munich on March 25, for a one-day conference organized by the Fusion Energy Forum and the Schiller Institute, on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the German-American space pioneer Krafft Ehricke. The theme of the event was “Krafft Ehricke’s Vision for the Future of Mankind,” placing his work for a new paradigm of human existence in the context of the present-day effort of the New Silk Road.

After welcoming remarks by Werner Zuse of the board of the Fusion Energy Forum, who particularly welcomed Lyndon LaRouche who was attending the conference, three artists (Diana Milewa, soprano; Roland Albrecht, baritone; and Elena Arnovskaya, pianist) introduced the event with three pieces: Josef Haydn’s “Nun scheint in vollem Glanze der Himmel,” aria from The Creation; and two songs by Franz Schubert, An die Musik and Frühlingssehnsucht. The artists also performed after the first break.

The first speaker, Marsha Freeman, EIR science editor and biographer of Krafft Ehricke, spoke on his “extraterrestrial imperative” which presented a vision of a human civilization that would finally be liberated from wars and poverty and make use of man’s creativity the potential of which is unlimited. Ehricke’s commitment to space exploration as the venue for this new paradigm was sparked by Fritz Lang’s 1929 movie Frau im Mond (The Woman on the Moon) which he saw in 1929 at the age of 12. During the early 1930s Ehricke wrote short fiction pieces portraying how human civilization had changed in the course of space exploration and colonization, as seen from a date in the future. He was always guided by the question: where will we live in 50 years, in 100 years from now? Focussing human creativity on the realization of this vision would finally, in his view, unify all peoples and nations; mankind would finally become mature.

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Poster of the movie Frau im Mond (Woman in the Moon) premiered Oct. 15, 1929, in Berlin, Germany.

In addition to his work on the technical realization of space exploration, Ehricke also was a prolific author on the political and social aspects of this entire process over decades. He made a special effort at the end of the 1960s to further elaborate his concept of the “extraterrestrial imperative,” giving interviews and speeches, as well as writing articles and books. He did so explicitly as a fight against the rise of the rock-drug counterculture and the movement against nuclear power and against science, whose aggressiveness reminded Ehricke of the Nazi shock troops he had experienced in Germany at the end of the Weimar Republic.

Ehricke, who died of cancer in 1984 at the age of 67, had become a household word in the United States. His role in shaping the American space programs had made his name familiar to everybody. His designs for “Selenopolis,” a permanent human settlement on the Moon powered by fusion energy, with a maglev transportation system, and for “Astropolis,” a permanent station in space as large as a city—the logical step forward deeper into the Solar system, were visions popular throughout the United States and beyond. Ehricke’s personal contribution to the development of space technology and the design of space missions is uncontested. Reviving his work for the present younger generation is a must.

A personal message from Krista Ehricke, Krafft’s eldest daughter, who could not attend the conference, was then read to the audience. She portrayed him as a scientist totally committed to the development of space science and technology, but also a caring father, who always challenged his daughter to understand concepts and develop new ideas. She and the Ehricke family grew up in the immediate environment of the first U.S. astronauts of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions.

The three musicians performed several pieces after the first coffee break: Ave Maria for soprano by Giulio Caccini; two duets for soprano and baritone by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Ich wollt meine Liebe ergösse sich, and Volkslied; and “Casta diva,” an aria for soprano from Vincenzo Bellini’s opera Norma.

China’s Space Program

The second speaker at the conference was Jacqueline Myrrhe, a renowned freelance space journalist in Germany who also publishes the Go Taikonauts! journal. She presented the development of the Chinese space program from its announced start in 1958, through the highly disruptive periods of the Maoist “Great Leap Forward” and “Cultural Revolution” periods which prohibited real progress in Chinese space science and technology.

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Helga Zepp-LaRouche (standing, right) addressing Krafft Ehricke’s Vision for the Future of Humanity Conference in Munich, Germany, March 25, 2017.
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Chris Lewis
Jacqueline Myrrhe
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a Chinese love song, performed by Feride Gillesberg-Istogu (soprano) and Benjamin Lylloff (piano)

Myrrhe pointed out that only in the 1970s, did China’s space sector make progress with work on a geo-satellite in 1981, and on a space station starting in 1992. The space sector has always been viewed in China as a science driver, with a priority on national economic and social development, in the broader perspective of the roadmap for progress until the year 2050. The Chinese space program may have been slow, particularly in earlier stages, but it has picked up pace and shows the absolute determination of the Chinese to turn plans into reality within a set timeframe.

Others, particularly the United States, may have been there first, but China is arriving there step by step. The space station, the lunar missions (first unmanned, then manned), and the Chinese Mars program, feature a resolute and optimistic development of technological and scientific capacities, and the entire future program is open for cooperation with other nations, as is the design for the New Silk Road, Myrrhe explained.

The afternoon session of the conference, which began with a speech by Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche, was introduced with a Chinese love song, performed by Feride Gillesberg-Istogu (soprano) and Benjamin Lylloff (piano).

Zepp-LaRouche spoke about her personal memory of Ehricke, whom she first met in the early 1980s and with whome she engaged in intense dialogue until his early death in 1984. Ehricke was characterized by a strong optimism; he was firmly convinced of the necessary evolutionary step mankind had to make to develop from a terrestrially-confined species to a space species. His view was that this would be an epochal change, comparable to the one which occurred from the Middle Ages to modern civilization, triggered by the Renaissance period. The New Paradigm which China is introducing with the New Silk Road strategy, is congruent with what Ehricke designed and what the LaRouche movement has campaigned for for more than four decades: a new and just world economic system which will develop conditions appropriate to promote human creativity.

Chris Lewis
Helga Zepp-LaRouche

The New Paradigm poses a challenge to the old paradigm: the oligarchical system of Western globalization, characterized by inhuman axioms and defended by advocates who do not want to see it replaced. In this strategic context, Helga explained the issue of “Donald Trump:” the new U.S. President, whose declared plans pose a threat to the elites of the old system, is in fact being attacked by an unprecedented campaign of lies, black propaganda, and hatred, which cammpaign serves to defend of the doomed old paradigm, the British System.

In his most recent public speeches, in Detroit, Tennessee, and Kentucky, President Trump has addressed the importance of reviving the American system as practiced by Abraham Lincoln, Henry Carey, and George Washington. He has announced that he will:

President Trump’s upcoming meeting with China’s President will—if it works well—bring a positive breakthrough in the global strategic situation, which is why President Trump is being attacked by the same intelligence agencies that worked for the old system, for Obama, and for the British. The task ahead for the United States is comparable to the one that Friedrich List defined when he wrote almost 200 years ago about the American System as an alternative to the British System.

The Chinese New Silk Road strategy, first formulated in 2013, has recruited 4.4 billion people in more than 60 nations into a global development program, in the range of $21 trillion, of projects along six land routes and one maritime route reaching out beyond Eurasia into Africa. The infrastructure development initiated by China in Africa, is largely congruent with the Africa plan presented by Lyndon LaRouche 30 years ago. Europe, which ought to play a constructive role with development in its neighboring continent, remains absent. But, the New Paradigm keeps marching forward, Zepp-LaRouche said.

Chinese and Western Thought

The advance of mankind onto the Moon, she explained, was seen by Ehricke as a process opposite to that which has occurred on Earth. Here, man arrived very late in evolution, whereas on the Moon, man will be the beginning of evolution. Lunar civilization will develop characteristics different from those which have dominated man on Earth. Mutual cooperation for the good of all others will have to be the basis of human life under lunar conditions. Harmony has to be at the center of relations there, just as it has to be at the center of the New Silk Road development, as presented clearly by China’s leading official, Yang Jiechi, during his recent visit to the United States. The notion of harmony, as developed by Confucius and also by Nicholas of Cusa—who portrayed peace and harmony as only possible on the basis of all microcosms working for the benefit of each other. Zepp-LaRouche added, education in universal history and the best contributions of all cultures, should guide mankind in the future.

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Astronaut and Professor
Claude Nicollier

The second speaker of the afternoon session, former Swiss astronaut Prof. Claude Nicollier, reviewed of his personal “Steps into Space” which included four service missions at the Hubble Space Telescope carried out from the Space Shuttle. Nicollier, today President of the Lausanne Swiss Space Center, said he fully agrees with Ehricke that space is the necessary next step in human evolution. This is a challenge, as much as it was when Kennedy, in his famous Houston speech of September 1962, said that the Americans want to go to the Moon, not because it was easy but because it was hard, because Americans were confident they would have the capability to overcome all difficulties and make it to the Moon by the end of the decade—which they did.

The lunar exploration program was unfortunately terminated with the Apollo 17 mission, but the ISS was built, as was the Hubble Telescope for deep space investigation. These are important steps into space, and new manned missions have to follow, which Nicollier said he is optimistic will indeed follow.

Before the last speech of the conference, a message from Thomas Stafford was read to the audience, endorsing the revival of the Ehricke heritage. Stafford is a veteran U.S. astronaut beginning with his work on the Gemini missions, through the entire Apollo Program, and the orbital stations Salyut and ISS. Two videos were then shown: one from a Silk Road-connected new science initiative for the youth of Yemen, and another from a Leipzig-based team of German youth who have developed a prototype of a Moon rover, which won a contest last year at an international presentation of rovers in Huntsville. A video showing President Trump’s endorsement and signing of the NASA Transition Authorization Act of the United States just a few hours before, was shown as well.

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EIRNS/Christopher Lewis
Dr. Carl-Otto Weiss, former president and professor at the German Meteorological Institute, spoke on human creativity at the Krafft Ehricke conference.

The concluding speaker, Prof. Carl-Otto Weiss, former president and professor at the German Meteorological Institute (PTB), spoke on human creativity being the only resource of mankind that can and will secure a future. The attacks on science by the green movement and the climate hoaxsters, have, since the beginning of the propaganda drive of the Club of Rome, caused a loss of optimism among the people. This propaganda, which Weiss described as a method originating in the interests of the economic-financial oligarchy of the Western system, has to be challenged with facts showing that the past inventiveness of man, in the course of his evolution allows confidence that all problems can and will be solved—by science, creativity, and development.

Climate change is not man-made. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever backing this ideology. The nature of climate is determined by other factors that have to do with the fact that the Earth is not a closed system, but embedded in the Solar system, and in the Universe, both of which have profound effects on terrestrial conditions. Green propaganda causes fear, and intimidated populations are easy to manipulate.

Ecologism is a new religion, which has replaced the churches as traditional partners of the ruling elites. Weiss stressed that there is no such scarcity of resources as claimed by this new religion. There is an abundance of raw materials, enough to guarantee supplies to mankind for thousands and millions of years. Mankind made his first big step in evolution with the discovery of fire; his next big step was the development of nuclear power. This will be followed by an even larger resource, nuclear fusion, Weiss said.

He also explained that for him, a particular aspect of the green propaganda is that it is the heaviest in Germany, and Germany is a target for a special reason: Anglo-American geopoliticians have always wanted to destroy the scientific-technological potential of Germany, especially its potential to work with Russia, which has been perceived as a mortal challenge to the Western system.

The conference was concluded by the Schiller Institute Chorus, singing “Va Pensiero,” the “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves,” from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Nabucco.