Wiesenthal Centre Appeals to German Justice Minister To Reopen Investigation into Death of Jewish Student Attending Larouche Movement Seminar on Iraq War

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Wiesenthal Centre Appeals to German Justice Minister: "Reopen Investigation into Death of Jewish Student Attending Larouche Movement Seminar on Iraq War"

Paris, 10 November

In a letter to German Justice Minister, Brigitte Zypries, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted "the many messages of concern from our membership regarding seminars held at the Schiller Institute in Wiesbaden and the activities in Germany of its parent body, the Larouche organization", adding that "these expressions of apprehension came, particularly, from parents of students recruited internationally to the so-called Larouche Youth Movement."

Samuels stressed that "attention has closely focused on the case of the then 22 year old Jeremiah Duggan, a British student recruited on a Paris campus by Larouche representatives in France, who died in mysterious circumstances while attending a Larouche seminar in Wiesbaden in 2003."

The letter continued, "Ostensibly, this was a seminar on the Iraq war but Jeremiah's lecture-notes, found in his bag after his death, apparently point to stereotyping and antisemitic conspiracy theories to explain the background to that war and other global problems", and noted that "Jeremiah was Jewish, the grandson of Holocaust survivors, who would, tomorrow 10 November, have celebrated his 26th birthday."

Samuels also pointed out that "the Wiesbaden inquest suggested that he had fled the seminar shortly after 4 am and was hit by a passing car while attempting to commit suicide. A British Coroner subsequently rejected this conclusion. Despite Jeremiah's panic-stricken phone-call to his mother in London a few minutes before his violent death, the Coroner concluded that the student was in no way suicidal."

The Centre emphasized "its respect for the investigatory procedure of German democracy", but "in view of new evidence and increasing parental fears for young people lured, whether to cults, political organizations or youth movements," it urged the Minister to:

— " reopen the public investigation of this case at the highest Federal level
— to hold an enquiry as to whether Jeremiah Duggan's Jewish identity played any role in his death
—to impose the full application of German law to the supervision of the Larouche Youth Movement and its network of affiliates."

The Centre called on the Minister, "on this 68th anniversary of 'Kristallnacht', the prelude to the Holocaust and, ironically, Jeremiah Duggan's posthumous birthday, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre feels it appropriate that your Ministry ensure total transparency in the resolution of this enquiry."

For further information, please contact Dr. Samuels at +33 6 09 77 01 58.