By Florin Diacu
To the reminiscence of Aristide Halanay (1924-1997) of the college of Bucharest, founding editor of theJournal of Differential Equations.
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Extra resources for A century-long loop
4 Schurz's opportunity came late in May. After his first speech in the student assembly, he took a hand in an appeal for the election of delegates to the all-German student congress at Eisenach. He himself was not eligible because financial difficulties had forced him to drop his full membership in the Frankonia fraternity, but when the presiding officers of the student assembly were elected and left to attend the meeting, he was chosen provisional presiding officer. Lack of money rather than a deliberate plan to stay at home, as has been asserted, brought him to the forefront.
At first he spoke a lot in abstract phrases which sounded strange to us corps students . . ," he wrote, "but soon his oratory became powerful. 8 But in spite of his time-consuming political activities, Schurz did not totally neglect his education. Although it is not now known whether he still attended many lectures, he continued his political studies. One fine summer's day his friend Spielhagen found him walking alone, reading Rousseau's Contrat Social. "Sitôt on peut désobéir impunément, on le peut légitement; et puisque le plus fort a toujours raison, il ne s'agit que de faire en sorte qu'on soit le plus fort," he quoted from his reading.
The clan, old and young, often gathered for family affairs, and Uncle Ferdinand's liberal outlook was not lost on the children. Politics was constantly discussed. Few of the inhabitants of the Rhineland had any great love for their new sovereign, the king of Prussia, since they had only been annexed to that Protestant state in 1815, and the struggles between the government and the archbishop of Cologne excited the neighborhood. General European affairs were also debated, and it is probable that the appalling condition of Gemany did not escape attention.