A forum in Berlin will focus on the Lyndon LaRouche movement in Germany.
The unexplained death of a Jewish student more than five years ago prompted Friday’s event looking at the allegedly anti-democratic and anti-Semitic aspects of several political organizations established by LaRouche, an 86-year-old American political activist and economist, according to Erika Duggan.
Jewish and pro-democracy groups are hosting the forum.
Duggan’s son, Jeremiah, died after attending an anti-war conference sponsored by a LaRouche-linked group in Wiesbaden. Witnesses told Duggan that her son, shocked by statements during a meeting of the Schiller Institute that blamed Jews for the Iraq war, stood up and announced he was Jewish.
German courts have ruled Jeremiah’s death a suicide – investigators said he was hit by at least one car when he ran onto a highway. But British investigators have disputed the finding and suggest Jeremiah was beaten and thrown onto the highway.
Duggan and her former husband, Hugo, have filed an appeal to Germany’s constitutional court asking for the investigation to be reopened.
Along with the Schiller Institute, the LaRouche movement in Germany includes LaRouche Youth, established in 2000, and the BuSo political party (Civil Rights Movement Solidarity), founded by LaRouche and his German-born wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche.
The Berlin forum “aims to publicly examine the dangers posed by the Lyndon LaRouche Movement,” according to a news release from Duggan, who lives in London. Discussion also will focus on “coded form[s] of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”
Among the scheduled participants are German Parliament members Hans-Christian Ströbele (Greens) and Gert Weisskirchen (Social Democratic Party), as well British lawmaker Simon Hughes. Also speaking will be former members of the LaRouche movement from Germany, the United Kingdom, France and the United States.
The forum is sponsored by Weisskirchen, who is representing the chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Combating Anti-Semitism, and Ursula Caberta, the head of the focus group on Scientology at the Interior Ministry of Hamburg.