Richard Broadhead (10/13/1942-2/22/1985)
Can it be true
What they said--
My old friend
Dick Broadhead dead?
If I had wings like Noah’s dove
I’d fly cross the river
To the one I love
Fare thee well my honey
Fare thee well...
I remember him singing
The clear high voice ringing
The beautiful sincerity
The shining smiling eyes
I remember him singing
The water is wide
I cannot cross o’er
Neither have I wings to fly
Give me a boat
That can carry two
And both shall row
My love and I
I remember him singing
Freedom songs on picket lines
Gonna let that little light shine
For a time, we were closest friends,
I can’t believe how soon it ends
Memories of early years
Tears and triumphs,
Dreams and fears,
Surge of struggle, joy of love
If I had wings like Noah’s dove…
Thom Viner Irwin: (1941–2022)
Thom Viner Irwin was born on August 4, 1941 in Los Angeles and was raised in the Silver Lake neighborhood on “Red Hill.” He grew up camping and hiking across California’s mountains and valleys with family and friends, in particular Southern California - and explored the city with equal pleasure.
He attended UC Berkeley for a year and left school to become an important member of the FSM team, running Press Central and subsequently Legal Central.
Thom supported causes and friends that were important to him – and was central to supporting the work of the FSM-Archive.
He probably drove every road in CA on his motorcycles – and knew a lot about California’s native plants, shrubs, and trees as well. He especially loved his 1980-something Moto-Guzzi with its sidecar. He cared passionately about the Pacifica Radio Archive, a mind-blowing collection, and public radio in general, riding his motorcycle to the Grassroots Radio Conferences in Boulder in 1996 and 1997.
Thom worked as and really enjoyed being a computer engineer for the LA County court system, working with a great team of nerds. Unfortunately he was “retired/fired” by the county a year or two before he would have been fully vested in the retirement system! No big surprise.
Thom was extremely concerned with overpopulation and purposefully had no children. He never married but did have an ongoing relationship with a woman in Synanon and helped raise her son.
A family tragedy, and one from which Thom never really quite recovered, was the death of his younger sister, Jeanne Irwin. She was studying dance at UCLA, and while on a Fulbright scholarship studying movement/dance with Jerzy Grotowski in Poland, she was killed in a plane crash. In her memory, the family established an ongoing legacy grant to the UCLA dance department.
Thom was a much-loved member of the large Stromberg family, his mother’s clan. His mother was Jewish from Cleveland and his father was an Irish Nebraskan – both were activists and members of the Communist party in their earlier years. His mother was the center of the court case, Stromberg v California, in which she was tried and convicted of flying a red flag at a summer camp in 1929 – the case went to the Supreme Court and became a precedent-setting First Amendment case. www.orangegrovesandjailsfilm.com
Mrs. Irwin loved children and was a teacher. But because of her case, she was fired from her jobs teaching at UCLA and in the LA public school system. She ended up teaching at private schools until her retirement.
The case followed Thom around too; he was sometimes asked if he was related to Stromberg v California in various job interviews.
Thom died on the evening of November 28, 2022, from the effects of a severe stroke he had experienced a week earlier.
by Thom’s cousin Judy Branfman
Peter Haberfeld (1941-2021)
Peter Haberfeld, a lawyer for the people and community organizer, died of a heart attack at his home in Oakland on December 1, 2021. He was 80 years old. After earning a law degree at the University of California, Berkeley, Peter embarked on a life of activism as a lawyer and labor and political organizer.
As a law student in 1966, Peter worked in Albany GA for C.B. King, the pioneering civil rights attorney and only Black lawyer in Southwest Georgia. King deeply influenced Peter, firming up his determination to use the tool of the law to defend those who are marginalized, abandoned and powerless.
Between 1968 and 1975 Peter was an attorney and organizer in the California Central Valley, providing legal aid to Latino youth and farmworkers. In 1975, he joined the United Farm Workers legal staff, part of the legendary battle for farm worker union recognition. He was influenced by iconic leaders Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and his mentor, renowned union organizer Fred Ross, Sr. Peter helped win the landmark, Murguia v. Municipal Court, which successfully limited racially discriminatory prosecution of defendant UFW members.
Peter was the first staff person hired to run the new office of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. He worked at the Youth Law Center, California Rural Legal Assistance and the Bar Sinister legal collective in Los Angeles. His audacious combination of lawyering and organizing incurred the wrath of the conservative legal and political establishment everywhere he went. When Governor Ronald Reagan tried to defund CRLA, he specifically cited Peter’s legal work, including his involvement with the Black Panther Party in Marysville.
Peter later organized and advocated for back-to-the-land folks in Shasta County. He was a lawyer for the California Department of Industrial Relations, the state Occupational Safety and Health Agency, and the Public Employment Relations Board. He later became a union organizer for teachers in Fremont, Oakland (Oakland Education Association) and Vallejo. He then worked for the Oakland Community Organization, organizing teachers and parents for school reform in Oakland. Peter fought his final court battles at the law firm of Siegel & Yee including an epic case that ensured the survival of the National Union of Healthcare Workers.
Peter was proud of his record of four arrests:
●during the 1964 Berkeley Free Speech Movement;
●while serving as a poll watcher during the election campaign of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to elect candidates to the state’s legislature in 1967;
●at People’s Park in 1969;
●and with his wife Victoria Griffith in San Francisco protesting the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Throughout his life, Peter was always ‘presente’ to ‘fight the good fight’ against abuses of power--in occupational safety, school reform, civil rights and more. Peter worked well into retirement, volunteering on Barak Obama’s and Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns as well as helping friends and family with legal needs.
Peter, whose Swiss and Austrian parents escaped the rise of Nazism, was born in Portland, OR on October 23, 1941 eight minutes before his identical twin and grew up on his family’s farms in Oregon and rural Los Angeles. He attended Reed College and the University of California Berkeley School of Law. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1968.
Peter was a lifelong learner — deeply engaged with the world and people around him. In recent years, he and his wife Tory traveled and lived in South America. He wrote until the very end of his life on political issue in Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Peru and most recently France where he and Tory spent a very special time together in Montpellier and on a small farm.
Peter, whose early years were spent on his family’s farm, returned to farming in France - harvesting olives, caring for sheep and horses and milking cows while “Wwoofing” (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). Peter and Tory lived off and on in France for the last four years of his life.
Peter summed up why he wrote this past year a detailed unpublished memoir of his lifelong engagement in ‘good trouble.’ With modesty, he wrote: “If [it] …appears as though I consider myself a hero or a major player in any way, I do not. I have described my experiences merely to convey what was happening during the period and how I participated.”
Peter is survived by his wife, Victoria (Tory) Griffith with whom he shared a passion for political organizing, his daughters Demetria (Demi) Rhine of Oakland and Selena Haberfeld Rhine of New York; two granddaughters, Marina and Alexa Escobar; the mother of his daughters, Barbara Rhine of Oakland; his ex-wife Dorothy Bender of Palo Alto; his brother Steven (Rena), living in Israel; his sister Mimi Haberfeld, living in Mexico; many nieces and his mother-in-law Marilyn Griffith of Redwood City.
Peter was dearly loved and will be terribly missed by legions of people who admired his gutsy and creative lawyering and organizing as well as the many who considered him central to their lives, for both personal and political reasons. A memorial will be planned for the spring. Donations may be made to The East Oakland Collective, an organization that Peter supported which addresses the needs of unhoused people in East Oakland. https://www.eastoaklandcollective.com/
Peter beautifully summed up what motivated him to be the always-engaged political person that he was in this letter he wrote to the son of one of his oldest friends. It’s well worth the read, especially for young advocates wondering whether anything they do in life will make a difference in people’s lives.
What I say here is not to try to convince you that you and your dad are wrong to articulate doomsday visions of our future. I do not know how things will turn out and I will be long gone as all the evidence comes in. Simply, I will tell you what motivates me.
Something in my background has caused me to be an activist. Perhaps it is because my parents taught us that if an injustice exists, big or small, do something about it.
My involvement has always made me optimistic. I stood alongside many of my generation who fought for civil liberties, civil rights and an end to injustices. I met people who were courageous, who dared speak and fight for a better future. I felt our collective power and saw that positive change can come about without a majority being mobilized. It was sufficient that well-intentioned, hard-working activists took a stand.
The Civil Rights Movement sacrifices led to improvements, growing consciousness, and access by young people to the college education that prepared them to become important scholars, writers, commentators. It is they who are developing a new and improved narrative for the present Movement and that which will come.
The Farm Workers Movement awakened the Chicano Youth. It put in motion the Latino leadership that has taken over in California to make it a Democrat-run State. Our State, as deficient as it is, is still a beacon to the residents of Mississippi and other slave states as well as the fly-over states.
The Women's Movement has transformed the consciousness about women's equality. It has led young women to become doctors, lawyers, leaders in all spheres, who have begun to influence how people perceive their living conditions. It still has a way to go to bring about wage equality and an end to physical and sexual abuse. But you cannot deny the progress that came about because people fought for something better.
You can say the same about the LBGT Movement and same sex marriage. The quote from Frederick Douglass about "not getting anything unless you fight for it" is still relevant. The totalitarian control and exploitation of millions of slaves would be with us today if it had not been for the minority of the population ho fought it and moved the country to a new, although still unacceptable, stage.
The anti-War movement trained activists to understand the dangers of a fascist takeover of the US, now in police departments. Hopefully, soon they will oppose US Imperialism. We helped stop the imperialist expansion in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and other places our misleaders would have taken young US soldiers had it not been for the "Vietnam Syndrome", had it not been for the people my twin brother now refers to as the "peaceniks" who thwarted the glorious war mongers.
My association with activists has made me an optimist. I have learned to combat my cynicism and pessimism by going to work with people who share my perspective. Recently, for example, as I sat in a meeting of 25 people on a Sunday morning talking about what brought us to go into the precincts to talk with voters about Bernie, I was excited to be connected to intelligent, well-informed, life affirming people who dared to win and risked to lose.
People like us who have grown up in bourgeois settings, satisfying our desires with material goods, embrace a mentality that is less prevalent farther down the economic ladder. We expect that all we have to do is make up our minds and become the person we imagine. We believe that there will always be progress. Our view is very short term. We have come to expect immediate solutions. We have a rough time adjusting to negative events. We have to, instead, see that history plays out over a long period, and that what is important in our lives is to be pushing for change to happen as quickly as possible.
Hand-wringing gets us nowhere. In fact, it is too often a pastime people use to excuse their lack of courage to fight for something better. It is appealing to reach a negative conclusion. If it is all bad, has always been bad, and will always be bad, only stupid (or unrealistic) people get involved in the struggle for something better. And they miss the exhilarating experiences of joining others who have the courage to face the negative forces by marching, petitioning, talking with others, and organizing collective power among the people to confront the wealth and military power of the fascists.
I have organized teachers strikes among other actions. This takes a long time. People must develop a consciousness about what is bad and what could be better. Then, they must conclude that there is no other acceptable choice but that of fighting for what is right, risking losing, losing pay, being scared, offending people who decide to break the strike. The job of the organizer is to lead people through a set of experiences that develops that consciousness.
It teaches us to view current political events through the lens of an organizer. We have to look at what is going on in the US as a consciousness-building experience. We challenge the police for what they do to unarmed young men and women of color. They respond by revealing their violence-prone nature. A shift is occurring, and the participants see that it is a product of their effort. They want more victories. Their demands become more far-reaching. Their analysis of the problem becomes more profound. Others, initially bystanders, join the effort. There is a payoff from viewing the glass as half filled, not half empty: we see what works, where we have to go from here, and we enjoy being hopeful, even if the next turn in the road is negative.
The only alternative is the unacceptable one of going passively to the slaughterhouse. That does not appeal to me as a fulfilling way to live.
(Have you read "the People's History of the US" by Howard Zinn and "People's History of France" by Gerard Noiriel? I think that they make the point much better than I can ever hope to do.)
You have talent and skills to help tell the story that combats the narrative of the forces in power. I look forward to a film that makes that kind of mark and to Jean's advertising campaign that raises people to a higher level of consciousness and greater readiness to take on the people's enemies.
Love to you dear comrades
San Francisco Chronicle
January 25, 1940 - May 30, 2017
Robin Louise Goodfellow, performer, artist, educator, musician, and community activist, was born to Ted and Lois Goodfellow in Portland, Oregon. She is survived by her husband, Charles Hixson of Oakland, and her brother, Gordon. Choosing to be known as Robin Goodfellow, she was a spirit of lightness and fun, enriching the world around her.
Robin's mother was a dedicated artist; her father an engineer, musician and inventor. Family life in Oregon revolved around these pursuits. In grade school, Robin was winning music competitions, by high school she was teaching younger music students, writing original music and playing flute, piccolo, string bass, violin, and viola. To entertain children, she wrote short stories and invented a method of cutting out and folding paper animals. In California, she attended Santa Rosa Junior College, playing in the Santa Rosa Symphony before moving to San Francisco and Berkeley in her early 20's, eventually settling in Oakland.
All her life Robin was a performer and entertainer, using her musical and artistic skills, and her charismatic personality. She was the Pied Piper at Fairyland (her father was the Pied Piper at the Nut Tree). Some performance highlights include the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, the Dickens Fair, the Iowa State Fair, the Portland Library, Pocket Opera, SF Chinese Orchestras, as well as countless birthday parties and weddings. The elaborate paper sculpture animals she cut and folded right before your eyes at these events were a true delight to young and old.
Robin avidly collaborated with many artists. In her home studio she made recordings, slides and films, and designed and made instruction/activity booklets for music and crafts. She was a consummate recycler, inventing a craft activity for every piece of junk mail that came into her house.
A lesson with Robin often became a fabulous story and experiment in color, sound, history. and science. She encouraged her students to share their talents, starting music groups that continue to this day. Several students went on to distinguished careers in music education and performance. She was most proud of teaching multiple generations of the same family; seeing the continuity gave her great satisfaction as a teacher.
Robin had a strong sense of community. She volunteered time and supplies to many organizations including the local emergency Ham radio group, fire safety patrols, the Dimond Library, the Dimond Recreation Center, Oakland Public Schools, and the Oakland Parks and Recreation Department.
Robin leaves an empty spot in the world and in the hearts of her many friends and family. We honor her life by continuing to share her creative spirit with others.
Donations may be made in Robin's name to:
Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation: www.oaklandparks.org
Friends of Dimond Library:: www.friendsofdimondlibrary.org
Friends are invited to a Celebration of Robin's Life on October 14th, at Bjornson Hall in Oakland. For details please contact Marisa at firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Garlock passed away peacefully on May 31, 2016 in Pueblo, Colorado. Susan, who had changed her name to Tetsuko of Cold Mountain years previously, often cited her involvement in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement as a key turning point in her life, sparking her interest in peace, non-violence and Buddhism.
Born April 29, 1940 in New York City, Tetsuko later moved to Espanola, New Mexico, to Boulder, Colorado -- where she studied with Trungpa Rinpoche -- and then to Monte Vista, Colorado, where she founded the Wirikuta Peace Center and where she continued to create and exhibit her art.
Susan was a lifelong artist; her brother David called her "a woman of the world who traveled little physically but often and widely with her mind, spirit, imagination with the help of friendships, social media and a wheelchair that hardly ever got in her way to wherever she wanted to go. The world was her oyster and she painted it with talent, enthusiasm, joy, a very wide brush and a vision like no other."
She is survived by Berkeley-born sons Christopher, Seth and Shem, and Jon Garlock, her former spouse and fellow FSM vet.
1/14/2004, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Elizabeth Carlson
"Carlson came to California in the early 1960s to attend the University of California, Berkeley, where, she proudly noted on her SRJC job application, she was arrested during a Free Speech Movement sit-in at Sproul Hall."
Santa Rosa Junior College
Elizabeth Carlson was an SRJC employee from 1974-97 who passed away at an early age in January 2000. While at SRJC she co-founded and taught in the Disability Resources Department and served as the Staff Development Coordinator and Assistant Dean of Arts, Culture and Communication. She was a published author and poet who touched the lives of all who were fortunate enough to know her.
GENERAL AND COMPARATIVE ENDOCRINOLOGY 93, 151-152 (1994)
Joseph L. LaPointe
Comparative endocrinology lost one of its staunchest supporters recently. Joseph LaPointe, Professor of Biology at New Mexico State University, died on July 24, 1993, of an accident while at home. Joe was born September 7, 1934, in Harvey, Illinois. According to his wife, Judy, Joe "decided to become a biologist when he was 10 and organized the neighborhood boys into a group who explored the Indiana Dunes, collected animals and Indian artifacts. He worked as a volunteer at the Chicago Natural History Museum where he met Karl Schmidt and Clifford Pope. Schmidt, in particular, became a role model for Joe. After Joe discovered an ancient Indian village site, his father built a shed in the back yard which Joe used as a museum for his collections. His first field notes date from the 1940s."
LaPointe went to Reed College in Portland on an academic scholarship, having turned down several football scholarships to Big Ten schools. In Oregon, he worked in the woods as a logger and on high dams and bridges as a pile buck and lead carpenter to supplement his scholarship. He graduated with a B.A. in biology from Portland State University in 1959.
LaPointe moved to Berkeley in 1960 when he was accepted by the graduate school to work in Herpetology with Robert C. Stebbins. At the same time, he early evinced an interest in comparative endocrinology. He was a teaching assistant, finally becoming the associate in charge of the laboratory sections for the introductory biology course from 1964 to 1966. These were moving times in Berkeley, and Joe was a principled leader in the Free Speech Movement.
LaPointe received his Ph.D. in 1966 and in the same year he went to Bristol, England, where he was a Research Fellow with Professor Hans Heller, a pioneer comparative endocrinologist. Joe was particularly interested in the anatomy and physiology of reptiles, his interest clearly stemming from his early relationships with Schmidt and Pope. At the University of Bristol, an important center for studies on the neurohypophysis and the neurohypophysial hormones, Joe began studies on the effects of neurohypophysial hormones on the lizard oviduct. With E. M. Rodriguez, Joe also published some important papers on the electron microscopy of the lizard neurointermediate lobe. These contributions remain important sources for our knowledge of neurointermediate lobe structure and function in reptiles.
Professor Heller offered Dr. LaPointe the position of Senior Lecturer when Dr. Karl Lederis decided to move to Canada. Joe was unable to accept Heller's offer and instead took a position as Assistant Professor at New Mexico State University at Las Cruces. He taught in the Biology Department at NMSU from September 1968 to the present time. He was also Curator of the amphibian and reptile collection at NMSU. In addition, Joe was Director of the Electron Microscope Laboratory at NMSU.
At NMSU LaPointe was involved in extensive field work with his many students. Joe was a truly inspiring teacher and was always concerned with the welfare of his students. He volunteered on numerous occasions to give talks on such topics as the "Snakes of New Mexico" at White Sands National Monument and other parks visited by travellers to the Southwest. At the same time, he was active in regional and national meetings of comparative endocrinologists, including in their organization. The influence of this humane scientist and educator will be greatly missed by his academic and lay colleagues.
MAC E. HADLEY
University of Arizona
HOWARD A. BERN
University of California
Copyright (c) 1994 by Academic Press , Inc.
All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.
Stephen Alec Sokolow
Born November 27, 1943, in Los Angeles. He died of a heart attack in John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek on October 25, 2011, a gentle passing for him and a great, unexpected loss for the many people bound to him in love and friendship.
Steve graduated from Culver City High School in 1961, where he was school president and salutatorian. His graduation speech lauding the freedom riders in the South drew political fire from the local John Birch Society. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Mathematics from UC Berkeley in 1964, and that same year, married Jane Quarnstrom. As a graduate at UCB, he joined in the Free Speech Movement and was arrested in the Dec 3, 1965 Sproul Hall Sit-In. After finishing all course requirements for a doctorate in Mathematical Logic, he spent a year traveling, first hitchhiking through Europe and North Africa with Jane, and then throughout India alone. After having seen wider worlds, he accepted a Masters in Mathematics and left Academia for the social experiments of the late 60s.
In 1969, he and Jane joined a small commune in Berkeley and had two children. When the commune dispersed in 1972, they purchased a home in north Berkeley. Two years later, Steve joined began work in Silicon Valley as a scientific programmer, creating software for mass spectrometers (devices that measure the chemical composition of matter). Within a few years, he partnered with two other scientists to create a new design for this device, which was later used in the O.J. Simpson trial.
In 1980, he and Jane divorced, but both continued to participate fully in their children’s lives. In 1990, his marriage to Bryana Lancaster also gave him a stepson, and, in recent years, two beautiful grandchildren to whom he was devoted.
Steve’s politics were anti-establishment, yet his gifts for engaging and uplifting people won him life-long friends of every political stripe. Steve was a born teacher. He had vast knowledge, understanding, and enthusiasm for many subjects and delighted to see others experience one of his favorite insights. Rather than just tell you the insight, he instinctively knew which piece of the puzzle you needed to achieve that insight for yourself. Whether if was Calculus, Wotan, or Superman, Steve would open up whole worlds to anyone who wanted to go there.
Of his many interests, it was in the ultra rich density of Wagnerian opera that he found emotional and spiritual resonance. As a starving student, he attended operas in the nose-bleed (balcony rear) sections or in standing room. In later years, his season tickets were front row center. 1980, he became a charter member of the Wagner Society of Northern California which he liked to call “Wagnerians Anonymous,” where Wagner fanatics could go indulge their passion for endless discussion and dissection without annoying their friends and family. He was board president multiple times, and whenever the SF Opera hosted the Ring Cycle, he gloried in hobnobbing with great Wagnerian singers and the conductor Donald Runnicles, as well as participating in erudite discussions and panels the WSNC presented.
In the early 1970s, Steve used his technical genius to penetrate the mysteries of Wagner’s genius by creating a Wagner concordance, a program that calculates the number of occurrences of each word in a given text. Given the state of technology at the time, this was a masterful feat. In the early 1980s he presented a copy of this work to Wagner’s grandson Wieland Wagner in the Wagnerian Mecca, Beyreuth, Germany. This concordance is now displayed in a museum there to this day.
The new production of The Ring presented by SF Opera this summer was a peak experience for him. He told his wife Bryana that he felt like Faust when he said, “When I say to the Moment, “Stay, thou art fair,” then Time be finished.” I think, for Steve, the Moment was fair.
In addition to Jane and Bryana, Steve survivors include his children Molly Hayden and Montano Sokolow, his stepson Jason Lancaster, his granddaughters Sophia and Amara, his mother Rita, younger brother Fred, aunt Bev Bogart, cousins Rick Bogart and Judy Bogart-Hyde, nephews and nieces Ramona, Dmitria, Pandro, Daniel, and Zac, and many fond friends and family members. A memorial is planned for Nov 27th, which was to have been his 68th birthday. The family invites anyone who wishes to honor Steve to listen to their favorite music on that day, surrender to it completely, and raise a glass in toast to Steve. For a multimedia glimpse of this special man, see please visit stevesokolow.com.
March 31, 1966 The Martlet (student newspaper, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)
Accident Investigation Questioned
Student Killed In U.S. Crash, Parents Irate
By LYNN CURTIS
Rolf-Hasso Lutz attended the University of Victoria in 1962-63.
He came to this university from Germany and studied Chemistry, Physics, Math and Russian. The next year he moved to California and attended the University of California at Berkeley.
On August 10, 1965 he stepped from a small roadside cafe, started his motorcycle and pulled out on U.S. Highway 87 in Texas. Eight minutes later he was killed in a head-on collision with a car that swerved into his path.
The driver of the car was U.S. Army Captain and Medical Officer A.W. Anderson, who was then stationed in Fort Houston, Texas. Lutz was not pronounced dead until five days after the accident. No doctor would provide the certification.
His aunt, Mrs. E.V. Schalke of Victoria, went down to Eden, Texas to investigate the accident. A lot of things came to light when we went down there, “Mrs. Schalke said.
Mrs. Schalke feels there are many things which the Texas authorities are trying to cover up.
“They expressed surprise that Hasso Lutz’s parents were in a position to come to Texas for arrangements to take their son home to Germany, as they thought Hasso was ‘only a poor foreign exchange student.’ The manner in which the investigation of the accident was handled will remain a lasting blot on the state of Texas the Concho County,” Mrs. Schalke said.
According to Mrs. Schalke, she and her sister along with Lutz’s fiancée Miss S. Peterson of New York, discover the following information.
All the local lawyers were ‘too busy’ to take any new cases. The sheriff claimed the accident was totally the fault of Lutz. He said that no records of the accident existed, because the circumstances were so straight-forward. The driver of the tow truck which attended the accident scene told Mrs. Lutz that his boss threatened to fire him if he gave any information to her about the details of the accident.
The base commander at San Angelo denied the existence of the reports. He told the American-born Miss Peterson it was important for ‘patriotic Americans to stick together.’ He said he did not know about Captain Anderson’s whereabouts, nor could he understand why Mrs. Lutz would want to see Anderson. Anderson’s absence was temporary. He was reportedly shipped to Korea four days later.
In the meantime a member of the German Consulate in Houston, Texas reported that they had received a statement made by Anderson’s insurance agent, in which the insurance company admitted that Anderson was to blame in the accident for attempting to pass another vehicle while his vision was impaired.
Mrs. Schalke said she talked with a cafe owner who clearly remembered serving Lutz on the night in question. ‘He said Hasso had waited a long time in his café for the rain to stop before he went out on the road. The sheriff claims the accident was caused by the rainy conditions. It was not raining when Hasso went out on the highway,” he said.
The road where the accident occurred was extremely straight. “I flew above the highway. It was straight for miles. There was a clear white line down the centre and a great deal of hard surface shoulder on either side. It was an extremely safe road. Besides this Hasso was an extremely good motorcyclist. He had travelled all over North America and Mexico,” she said.
Mrs. Schalke suspects that Lutz’s being German and an alien in the United States has much to do with the mishandling of the accident investigation.
“Court proceedings may be started against Anderson in the future, but at present he is still in the care of the U.S. armed forces, and they are not likely to try him under military law. It is quite possible that had the officials known beforehand of Hasso’s connections–his father is a well-known surgeon in South Germany –then the first inquest would have turned out quite differently, with not so much thought given to the military career of Captain Anderson,” she said.
Mrs. Schalke recalled that Lutz had been required by a judge to make a statement of his reasons for taking part in a sit-in demonstration while attending the University of California. “The judge wanted to know why he was there with his American fellow students. He was probably the only German student who took part in the sit-in,” she said.
“I don’t think there is any connection between the judge and the accident. But there is an American attitude at work in both places,” she said.
The following is part of the letter written by Lutz to the judge.
“I am asked to give my personal reasons for sitting in at Sproul Hall… Most important for me was a reaction based on the history of my native country, Germany. After the Nazi rise to power, one of their first things was to abolish the traditional freedom of the universities. Though I see no obvious relation between the political structure of Germany then and the U.S. now, I still feel that a possibility of danger exists even in this country, and I considered it a duty to act and be counted; not as an American, but as a member of a universal culture of students and professors.
“As to the charge of resisting arrest, I felt so shocked at the fact that certain authorities found it necessary to use policemen in the manner they did on a campus that I felt at that time, and in those surroundings, that my only course of action could be to follow the Ghandian principle and to disassociate myself through passivity… After attending the trial I perceived a greater complexity in the morality of my behavior, and I can perceive how society may be justified in taking measures against my action; but still I think that my intentions were honorable and my actions not altogether a menace to society. Though I may have acted wrongly within the limits of society, there still exists the possibility that my actions were more justified within a wider framework.”