Honorary President and founder of the French Group of Disabled People
Henry Cassirer Just published his book on the century
or on :
A CITIZEN OF THE 20TH CENTURY
Witness of the age.
Henry Cassirer is witness to the forces of destruction and hope that have marked the 20th century and which he lives with determined commitment and openness to the world. Born in Berlin in 1911, his earliest memories recall the outbreak of the First World War. Raised in a spirit of democratic humanism in the Odenwaldschule, he faced the rise to power of National Socialism in resolute oppostion, first in Germany and then as a student at the London School of Economics from where he undertook risky, secret missions to the Resistance in Berlin. On September 3d, 1939, his resounding voice announced the British Declaration of war to the German people over the German-language service of the BBC.
In 1941, as assistant director of the CBS Short Wave Listening Station in New York, he collaborates with William L. Shirer to unmask German propaganda against the war and President Roosevelt and its echo in the American press. He was the first to report to the American public the invasion of the Soviet Union by the armed forces of National Socialism, as he recalls in a dramatic account.
Appointed by CBS as its television news editor, he established the first television news service in the United States. The book presents a vivid account of the halting beginnings of the TV medium. Cassirer obtained his US citizenship in long litigation with derogatory efforts by the FBI. Producer/writer of the first TV program on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with Eleanor Roosevelt, he gained the attention of the United Nations.
Recruited in 1952 by UNESCO in Paris as Director
of educational Radio and Television, he introduced innovative forms of
community communication through Radio and Television in Europe, Asia and
Africa. In a world view, he wrote the first assessment of television as
tool of formal education.
Returned to Unesco, with 'manageable' disability, he pursues his career as an international civil servant until 'retirement' in 1971 to Annecy, in Haute Savoie at the foot of the French Alps. Here he applies once more his experience to the promotion of grassroots comunication and the rights of the disabled.
Retracing his life experience and continued involvement, the book analyses the functions of democratic communication in our age and the role of a citizen of the world who is committed to meet the challenges of the modern age.