In Memoriam

Kenneth Lewis Kronberg

1948-2007

EIRNS/Stuart Lewis
Kenneth Kronberg, reciting “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” by John Keats, at an ICLC/Schiller Institute conference in September 1999.
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In Memoriam

Kenneth Lewis Kronberg

by Nancy Spannaus

The death of Ken Kronberg on April 11, 2007 represents an irreplaceable loss of a leader of the National Caucus of Labor Committees, who contributed immeasurably to the intellectual depth and life of the LaRouche organization. While most will associate him primarily with his role in the physical production of the LaRouche organization’s literature—at which he was a genius—his passion and lasting legacy lay in his contributions to creating a new Renaissance.

Ken made this contribution largely through his activity as the managing editor (i.e., the one who did the lion’s share of the work) on the NCLC’s political-cultural journal, The Campaigner, and as the editor of the Schiller Institute’s Fidelio magazine. Many are familiar with the way he patiently, but intensely, worked with dozens of authors to edit and illustrate their work, in order to make a beautiful presentation in a thorough-composed journal.

As for his own intellectual and cultural work, it was multifaceted. He had a lifelong commitment, in line with his own family background, to keeping alive the Yiddish Renaissance tradition, and was a leading participant in the NCLC’s celebrations of the German poet Heinrich Heine in the early 1980s, along with the late Mark Burdman. Ken continued his work on the Yiddish Renaissance tradition into the recent period, encouraging, consulting with, enriching, and editing the work of Steve Meyer, Paul Kreingold, David Shavin, Michele Steinberg, and others on Moses Mendelssohn, the humanist Jewish tradition.

As befitted his scientific education, Ken had also delved deeply into the work of English scientist William Gilbert (1544-1603) and his seminal work De Magnete, and he taught classes on this.

One of Ken’s groundbreaking works grew out of a presentation at an NCLC national conference, and was later published in New Solidarity newspaper, the 1992 EIR Special Report “The Genocidal Roots of Bush’s New World Order,” and finally in New Federalist newspaper, as a devastating weapon in the battle against the genocide lobby, and the cultural depravity that goes with it. This was “How the Romans Nearly Destroyed Civilization,” an extensive study of the devastation wrought by the Roman Empire over centuries and across continents, scientifically connecting the process of the depopulation of the Mediterranean region with the dominance at Rome of the anti-human cults and mystery religions, the blood orgies of the gladiatorial games, and the economy of “bread and circuses” which characterized Rome.

Perhaps dearest to Ken’s heart was the study of Classical poetry and drama, with a particular emphasis on William Shakespeare. Ken directed the 1982 Labor Committee production of Macbeth, which toured various East Coast venues. In later years, he directed performances Julius Caesar, of various Cervantes interludes, selections from Shakespeare plays (some with adults, some with children), a full-length production of Friedrich Schiller’s The Parasite, and children’s productions of The Odyssey and The Magic Flute. He also taught extensively on poetry.

His work was expressed in the symposium he organized for the Winter 1995 Fidelio feature on “Metaphor and Poetry,” which was introduced by his own article, “Some Simple Examples of Poetic Metaphor.” He wrote short poems for his friends, and longer poems that he never circulated, as well as the poem “In Memoriam: Indira Gandhi” (reproduced below), which was written in 1986, and delivered to Mrs. Gandhi’s son Rajiv Gandhi (who himself became Prime Minister of India), by Lyndon LaRouche’s EIR representative in India, Ramtanu Maitra. Rajiv Gandhi had Ken’s poem published in the Congress Party magazine. The poem can also be found in the Fall 2004 edition of Fidelio.

Ken’s depth of knowledge of science, and his compositional skills, and his commitment to educating a future youth movement at the highest level, came together in his indispensable contribution to EIR’s special Christmas edition of 2005. In that issue, LaRouche’s paper “The Principle of ‘Power’ ” was supplemented by 19 contributions by members of the LaRouche Youth Movement on universal physical principles, to make a powerful Socratic dialogue. Without Ken’s commitment to executing this project with attention to every crucial detail, as with so many others, it would not have happened.

The bare facts of Ken’s life should also be noted. He was born in New York City 58 years ago to Martin and Shirley Kronberg. He attended Bronx High School of Science, and graduated in 1968 at the age of 20 from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He spent a year in Santa Barbara, California, as a junior fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions. Thereafter, he returned to New York City, where he did graduate work at the New School for Social Research Graduate Faculty, and worked as an editor for the American Institute of Physics, and for John Wiley & Sons. In 1971, he joined the Labor Committees; soon thereafter, he married Molly Hammett (see letter to Molly from Lyndon LaRouche), who survives him. Their marriage produced a son, Max Kronberg, now 22 years old.

Ken was elected a member of the National Committee of the NCLC in 1974, was a steering committee member in the New York Region of the Labor Committees, and a National Committee member in the Midwest—in the Detroit Region—from 1975 to 1977. He returned to New York and took charge of the production of all literature for the political movement. He founded WorldComp in 1978 and became president of PMR in 1979. He devoted himself to maintaining quality literature production, through thick and thin, up to the day of his death.

Throughout all his political work, he collaborated closely with his wife Molly, who took a leading role in the creation of EIRNS and in production of the movement’s newspapers and pamphlets. Molly joined Ken on the NCLC’s National Committee in 1982.

For those of us who worked closely with him, and relied on him, and for whom now the sorrow seems almost too much to bear, Ken’s force of intellect and kindness to those around him provide a legacy complementary to his intellectual contributions, testified to by the extraordinary turnout at his funeral. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.



In Memorial

Indira Gandhi

d. Oct. 31, 1984

by
Kenneth Kronberg


COMPOSITION OF this poem, commemorating the October 1984 assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, began after the mid-flight explosion of the U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger on Jan. 28, 1986. It was presented by EIR Representative in India Ramtanu Maitra to Rajiv Gandhi, Mrs.Ghandi's son and then Prime Minister, who in turn had it published in the April 1987 issue of Congress Varnika, the official journal of India’s then-ruling Congress (I) Party.


Indira Gandhi, oil portrait
by Gary Genazzio, 1987

I

Ascending now the steep steps at Jaipur,
The watchman paused, held up his lamp;
Below, the moonlight shimmered like a gauze
Of purple muslin, and the wind was damp.

A little further, at the arch above,
A solitary figure plies his trade:
With sextant, glass, and astrolabe,
He plots the stars’ emerge from evening shade.

“What see you, father?” cries the guardsman out
(As torchlight wheels, and ashes fall);
“What future profit do the stars reveal?
Will Fate betray us, all our hopes recall?”

And, turning from his hoops of beaten brass
As if to wake, the sire replies:
“Dear son, my measures cannot scan our fate,
For God’s not dicing with the patterned skies—

“The circles of the stars are moved by One
Who Law upholds, not moments hire ...”
“But surely, father, some small sign He shows,
Some silent message echoes our desire?”

The watchman placed his torch upon the fire,
Awaiting answer to his quest;
the elder put his instruments to rest,
And challenged, said, “My son, what men call blessed

“Are not the birdsongs’ momentary joys;
Such things soon fade, as lotus hues;
These lustrous forest minstrels were but made
To image the unfolding of God’s muse.”

Unchecked, the guardsman did his cause pursue.
The night was still; an owl swooped past;
No soul disturbed their discourse thus, until
The dawn spread open to the world at last.

II

Above all else, what endeared her to us
Was her toughness of intellect, the star
She word diamondlike in the Indian sky.

She was descendant of a nation-building
Family, and sought to lift her people
Upon the pinnacle of history.

Now she is gone, this jewel whose enemies
Called tyrant. Harsh winter whistles though the trees.
They, they will inherit this barrenness.

III

The “Discovery of India,” she knew,
Was India’s discovery anew
That ancient pathways strengthen our resolve
To generate the future, to evolve—

That knowledge of the past will guide our way,
As God’s untested spacecraft we embark,
To lift us beyond height, whence we survey
The mobs of ignorance, suspicions dark—

That misery and tumult, pain and want
Are not man’s state of nature, but a cave,
Whose depths may be illumined by a spark
Brought down from heaven, to emblaze our hearts.

Beside man’s hearth there burns a sacred fire,
Nurtured by huntsmen ’gainst the starlit night;
O, let the orchids that adorned her pyre
Become the blossoms of that holy light!

For the India she saw, was never known
Except as past and future, never shown
Except to those whose vision could contain
The lofty Humalayan mountain range.

Her ashes blow, they billow in the wind;
Like birds they twist, they soar beyond our sight;
Remember us, Indira, on your flight;
Bear witness to things greater than our sins.

How rare those moments, when our eyes reveal
A beauty born of certitude and warmth;
How short those glimpses, which above we steal,
To recognize God’s triumph over death!

Let the star’s celestial motions
Unwind flowerings of grief;
Let her fathers’ secret ages
Mourn nobility too brief.

IV

“From fairest creatures we desire increase”;
From all God’s creatures we desire increase;
From each and every flower and leaf
Our hearts burst open for the soul’s release.
Our Bard, who fashioned music from the rude,
Unfinished letterings of earthy men,
Bequeathed to us a father’s attitude
Toward those who seek their nurture from our pen;
For wisely sang he praise of nature free,
Of love and beauty, twilight, of the Age—
What star amongst us dare to sing as he,
Unstrained, the precious goodness man attains?
__Indira. like Shakuntala, fly o’er:
__Lead continents of children to explore!

Kenneth Kronberg
October 25, 1986

Jaipur Greatest of the 18th-Century astronomical observatories build by the scientist-statesman Jai Singh.

“The Discovery of India” Jawaharlal Nehru, Mrs. Gandhi’s father, wrote this history of India while imprisoned by the British during the 1940s.

“From fairest creatures we desire increase” From the opening of Shakespeare’s sonnet series, the great fugue which charted the laws of verbal action in the English language.

Shakuntala Heroine of the drama by Kalidasa, the Fourth-Century author considered to be the greatest poet and dramatist of Sanskrit literature.

The Cave Book VII of Plato’s Republic. Is it the Greek Prometheus, or the Vedic Agni, who ignites man’s creative spirit?





The Immortality We May Share

Dear Molly: For all among us, the realization of the purpose of a life lies within a certain continuity which is centered for each in both our forebears and in the outcome of the lives of those who come after we have passed on. In all the storms of life, our connection to that process and its outcome, is the durable, immortal meaning of our having once lived. In moments such as these, we either cling to that dedication of our living, or we were no more than virtually beasts.

The ugly, horror-stricken moment must pass. To this end Nancy’s memorandum on a selection among certain aspects of Ken’s life as part of us serves a certain, essential purpose, for this passing moment. What is left out of her account, is the reference to what is even more crucial now than Ken’s past life as such: what does his having lived mean for the future of mankind?

He was struck down by a sickness, amid more than a decade and a half of both persecution by our enemies and betrayal by not only many among our former friends, but truly evil forces of those who had already been not only our own enemies, but, in fact those who are still, dead or living, among the enemies of humanity today. What counts most, therefore, is what Ken’s living contributed to the future of mankind.

Therefore, put aside the oppressive circumstances and the inner torment, betrayals of trust, and sickness which Ken endured during recent times. Grasp the essence of his life. That which is immortal is what is left in our living hands, to defend.

What are we doing, therefore, for the future of mankind? That is a crucial part of Ken’s future now that he is gone. On that account, the worst effect of Ken’s passing is that on those who have abandoned efficient expressions of hope in that future for which Ken dedicated decades of his life. As long as I live, and hopefully, beyond, that banner, his banner, will remain unfurled.


Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. Chairman, on behalf of the International Caucus of Labor Committees (ICLC) April 19, 2007

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