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Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

Il Popolo d’Italia, Newspaper Founded by B.Mussolini – November 1930

“Popolo D’Italia”, Italian Newspaper founded by Benito Mussolini
4th of November 1930
TAFARI MAKONNEN CROWNED EMPEROR
The festive cerimony in the Ethiopian capital city.
With most sumptuous solemnity the Emperor Haile Selassie I has been crowned yesterday morning, by the envoy of the Patriarch of Alexandria, Emperor and King of Kings of Ethiopia. The cerimony had a grandeur that surpasses any imagination, and that has reunited in one splendid frame the lavish ancient magnificence perpetuated by the tradition, and the new aspects that our time and the contacts with our world start to impress on these ancient feudal and warrior people. (…)
In the sky, six airplanes fly: one of them is a gift of the Italian government to the Emperor, its pilot is captain Marazzini. The cannons fire the last blanks for the glory of the King of Kings, so joyfully ascended to the throne of Salomon’s descent.
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Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

Giuseppe Faraci, Italian Journalist – 1965

“These pages want to bear witness of the political wisdom and high human values by which Haile Selassie I, emperor of Ethiopia, lead his people, in the domestic and foreign affairs. These qualities have been particularly expressed in favor of the Italians after his return to the motherland, in 1941.
Moreover, this book want to manifest the feelings of admiration and friendship that Italian people, also since before that time, cherish for the Ethiopian people and their sovereign.”
“3000 years and 224 emperors have passed away, and we reach Haile Selassie I. (…) He is the sovereign that has struggled more for his country, for remove Ethiopia from Middle Age and lead her on the way of modern civilization.
Tireless at work, his day starts at the 6 AM, and ends the night at late hour. He often visits the provinces, without forgetting the darkest villages, that he reaches by strong cars and even mules. Since 5th of May 1941 to 5th of May 1965, he has travelled for more than 1,500,000 Km through the woods.
A man 73 years old, minuscule, small hands, vivid and good glance of wit. The goodness, the human sense, are the most visible qualities in him. He got energy, vigour, endurance in adversities, readiness to take the favourable occasions. Most intelligent, of exceptional mildness of spirit, but inflexible when it is due.
But above all, he is a man having a great faith. In his speeches, he never forget to call on God and Providence. He is firmly sure that God will assist him in leading Ethiopia, and will make him able to achieve the goals he has set. But he also has faith in himself, in his own courage, in his own will, in his conviction to represent the maximum source of wellbeing of his people.
Everything that Haile Selassie I has achieved, has been dominated by this double force, God and himself. His heroic acts, his patient ascension from ras to Neguse Negest, his serene courage during the fascist war, his exile into England, they are all evidences of faith in God and trust in his own mission. His return to his re-conquered motherland was the just prize for this huge character and faith. He is the statesman and ruler that has gathered in himself more history than any other.”
(Taken from “Etiopia Guerra e Pace”, G.Faraci, 1965 Edizioni dell’albero.)
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Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

Birmingham Gazette (UK) – October 1954

From “Birmingham Gazette”, October 15 1954:
WHY, HE HASN’T CHANGED AT ALL
When the Emperor Haile Selassie stepped from his carriage on to the red carpet at Victoria Station today there was a gasp of surprise from the people who remembered him in London during his exile.
Except for his splendiferous uniform and cocked hat with its lion’s mane, he looked just as he used to do some 15 and more years ago. Not a grey hair streaked his beard which is a little more neatly trimmed nowadays.
His melancholy face with its dark eyes and fine features is only a little older, his figure is as slight, and now, as then, it was the superb dignity of this tiny man which made the chief impression.
In the old days he had the dignity of suffering and of protest. Today he had a grave and royal manner as he went through the ceremonial of a state arrival, kissed the Queen’s hand, greeted Sir Winston and inspected the guard of honour.
IN AMHARIC
On of the heroes of the Emperor’s arrival was the officer commanding the guard of honour from the 3rd Grenadiers. This tall young major approached the Emperor and addressed him in his native language of Amharic, inviting him to inspect the guard. A flicker of pleasure passed across Haile Selassie’s face at this courtesy from the non-linguist British. The man who learnt to report in Amharic that the guard was ‘dressed and correct and ready for inspection’ was 28-year-old Major Nicholas Hale-Pakenham-Mahon“.
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Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

U.S. President L.B. Johnson – 1967

White House, Washington, U.S.A.
February 14, 1967
Your Imperial Majesty, Mr. Vice President, Mr. Chief Justice, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:
It is a high privilege tonight to honor one of this century’s most courageous, farsighted, and respected statesmen, who has earned an indelible place in the hearts of men everywhere.
Monarch of the oldest Christian kingdom and an ancient civilization, you, Your Majesty, personify to us the eternal spirit of devotion to freedom and independence of your Ethiopian people.
The essence of the Ethiopian character was put in your stirring words many years ago: “With God’s help, we have always stood proud and free upon our native mountains.”
It is difficult for me to express to you tonight the very special place that you occupy in our tradition.
Indeed, in the tradition of all mankind.
Many of us in this room tonight recall the night of June 28, 1936, when the Emperor of Ethiopia made a plea to the League of Nations.
A plea for his suffering people which was also a very moving appeal to the conscience of humanity.
Your Majesty’s final question to the League has echoed down the years with prophetic impact:
“I ask the 52 nations who have given the Ethiopian people a promise to help them in their resistance to the aggressor, what are they willing to do for Ethiopia?
“And the great powers who have .promised the guarantee of collective security to small states on whom weighs the threat that they may one day suffer the fate of Ethiopia, I ask, what measures do you intend to take?
“Representatives of the world, I have come to Geneva to discharge in your midst the most painful of the duties of the head of a state.
“What reply shall I have to take back to my people?”
We all know–to. our shame–the reply Your Majesty received.
The betrayal of Ethiopia was in truth the turning point on the road to aggression and war.
Its lesson has been etched into our memory and has spurred us in building a world where solid commitments to resist oppression are no longer just scraps of paper.
Your Majesty, we also recall with great pleasure your triumphant return to Addis Ababa. And your remarkable reconstruction of your nation as you put into action your long-held and long-frustrated ideals of modernization:
–building schools, a fine university, hospitals, dams, airports, factories;
–turning Addis Ababa into a dynamic, beautiful, modern city;
–proclaiming a revised constitution and legal system;
–training young Ethiopians for the tasks of the future in the 20th century. Your Majesty has not confined your concern just to your people.
We have all witnessed and can testify to with admiration your striking performance as a leader of Africa’s many and diverse peoples–and as a mediator in potentially explosive confrontations between various African states.
The Organization of African Unity-which your initiative in 1963 was instrumental in creating–is one of the most hopeful institutions in the movement towards peace, reason, and unity in the great Continent of Africa.
It has always been a unique privilege and pleasure for me to have an opportunity to exchange views on international affairs with one whom I consider to be one of the world’s greatest eider statesmen.
Today, as in 1963 when we last talked, we had an immediate sense of the great mutual understanding and respect that our people entertain for each other.
Your Majesty, we treasure deeply this relationship. It is my genuine and most earnest hope that succeeding generations of our peoples will continue to reinforce the solid edifice of American-Ethiopian amity and understanding.
On this happy occasion, here tonight in the first house of this land, Mrs. Johnson and I, on behalf of our distinguished guests, all of those who are privileged to come here and be together tonight, and certainly on behalf of all of the American people, propose a toast to Your Majesty–respected statesman, peacemaker in the world, and most honored and trusted friend.
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Haile Selassie I - Testimonies Italo-Ethiopian War

The Chicago Defender – March 2 1935

News that the first contingent of Italian soldiers have arrived in Eritrea, on the eastern front of Ethiopia, does not give Emperor Haile Selassie the slightest worry, it was indicated here this week.

‘We have done all a nation can do to preserve peace, but will not humiliate ourselves for Italy or any other country. We have appealed to no country for aid or for sympathy. We are fully aware that many nations desire the privilege of exploiting our mineral resources, therefore, are not misled by the pretenses they make to find an excuse for invading our country. But once the invasion starts, the worry will be theirs, not ours’. #QHS

(…) The Emperor of Ethiopia is not only a keen student of military tactics, but is a diplomat as well. Educated in France and England, he has absorbed much of the suavity of those countries along with the military astuteness of the former. Besides running his country ably, Haile Selassie is an accomplished journalst, and edits the country’s only newspaper along with the assistance of the Empress, who, besides being a model, modern mother in every sense of the word, is a typist and a shorthand expert”.

 

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Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

McGill University, Canada – Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa – 1954

F. Cyril James, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University
Montreal, 5th of June 1954
“Mr. Chancellor,
I am deeply privileged to present to you, in the same of the Senate, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, Elected of God, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, in order that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Already renowed for his wise direction of the development of his country, he stood forth before the Western World in 1936 as a symbol of courage and of that vision without which nations perish. ‘I decided to come myself’, he told the League of Nations in calm but unforgettable words, ‘to bear witness against the crime perpetrated upon my people, and to give Europe a warning of the doom that awaits it if it should bow before the accomplished fact’.
The Western World was not quickly awakened, but when it had become engulfed in Armageddon His Imperial Majesty at once returned to Khartoum to lead the patriot forces that fought gallantly to reconquer their country from the aggressor. For many men that would have been achievement enough; but then years later, in 1950, when freedom was endangered in a distant corner of the world, His Imperial Majesty promptly gave the support of Ethiopia to another country in desperate need. ‘You are fighting not only for freedom as we know it in Ethiopia’, he told his soldiers as they set out for Korea, ‘you are also representing and defending in far corners of the earth the most sacred principle of modern international policy – that principle of collective security with which the name of Ethiopia is imperishably associated’.
Mr. Chancellor, in the name of the Senate, I present to you His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, pioneer in the field of education; clear-visioned to promote the development of his country; skilled and unflinchingly courageous in its defence; leader among leaders – Negus Negusti – in man’s progress toward a world society in which every nation shall enjoy the blessings of peace.”
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Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

The Chicago Defender – 8th of November 1930

CORONATION OF RAS TAFARI MARKED WITH SPLENDOUR
The oldest kingdom in the world has just crowned its 334th ruler. Sunday, at daybreak, the coronation ceremony that made Ras Tafari Makonnen Emperor Haile Selassie I, Lord King of Kings of Ethiopia, Conquering Lion of Judah and the elect of God, was performed amid the splendors of the old world that transformed this city of 60.000 into something approaching a page from the ‘Arabian Nights’.
It was such a scene that has not been witnessed in many centuries in Africa, and rarely if ever before in any other part of the world.
By this ceremony, that has its beginning three weeks ago, when the new ruler with his wife, Princess Waziru Menen, opened into the ancient period of prayer that has marked the coronation of new Ethiopian rulers for centuries past.
Then, following a series of ceremonies of lesser importance, the ras and his princess prepared themselves Saturday afternoon for an all night vigil in the Cathedral of St. George, where they remained in one long, continuous prayer for strength to rule their people justly, until the break of dawn Sunday morning when, led by the priests and high priests of the kingdom, Ras Tafari and Princess Waziru passed through a long line of bowing subjects to the newly built coronation hall where the Coptict archbishop of Ethiopia placed a crown of gold and jewels upon the head of Ras Tafari.
‘This crown shall be the crown of thy glory’, chanted the archbishop in a clear voice and in the picturesque language of Ethiopia, and the emperor answered, ‘I am the least of thy brehren’.
(…)
Absolute quiet reigned throughout the town during the ceremony, Although 300,000 souls had crowded into a territory that normally housed and fed just 60,000, there was the peace and quiet of an ordinary Sunday morning. The voices of the archbishop and the emperor could be heard clearly by the throng outside the hall (none but priests and high officials of state were admitted to the ceremony). Then when the last word was spoken, and the new emperor, mighty ruler of the Lions of Judah, arose from his kneeling position before the altar, a mighty cheer went up that rebounded against the three hills upon which Addis Ababa is situated,, 8.000 feet above sea level, and sent roaring echoes into the jungle. Cymbals and drums that had remained quiet during the ceremony took up their jubilant heating, and voices once again resumed their hurrahs for their master.
Out upon a raised platform, the emperor greeted his subjects in the order of their importance. First came the rasses of Ethiopia’s 30 states, many of whom were bowing in complete submission to the King of Kings of Ethiopia for the first time in their lives. Then came the priests and other high churchmen, followed by dignitaries of foreign countries. The Duke of Gloucester, son of the king of England, led the delegations of foreign countries. (…)
Ethiopia is one of the most unique and picturesque countries of the world. The country is believed to have been founded more than 2.000 years before the birth of Christ. The reigning house of which Ras Tafari comes was founded, according to authentic history, when the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon to seek advice from him about the country.”
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Ge'ez ግእዝ Mysteries Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

Ethiopian Wise Kidane Welde Keflie Ge’ez-Amharic Dictionary – 1955

From a very important Ge’ez-Amharic dictionary, printed under the imperial government in Ethiopia, in 1955, and written by Aleqa Kidane Weld Keflie. At the beginning of the book we find the picture of the King with a short Ge’ez composition:
ቀዳማዊ፡ሐፄ፡ኀይለ፡ሥላሴ፡
ንጉሠ፡ነገሥት፡ዘኢትዮጵያ፡
ኢይፈቅድ፡ይንግርዎ፡
ግእዞ፡ለሰብእ፡ግእዝ፡
እስመ፡ለሊሁ፡የአምሮ።
Qedamawi Hadziè Hayle Selassie
N(e)guse Negest ZeItyoppya
Iyfeq(e)d Yn(e)g(e)rwo
G(e)(e)zo LeSeb(e) G(e)(e)z
(E)sme Lelihu Yeamro ::
His Majesty Qedamawi Hayle Selassie
King of Kings of Ethiopia
Doesn’t want that one would tell Him
the Coscience of Men Ge’ez
For He Himself knows it ::
It is a literal adaptation from the Ge’ez Bible, from the Gospel of John 2:25 speaking about Christ:
ኢይፈቅድ፡ይንግርዎ፡ግዕዞ፡ለሰብእ፡እስመ፡ለሊሁ፡ያአምሮ፡ለሰብእ።
Iyfeqd Yngrwo G(e)(e)’zo LeSeb(e) (E)sme Lelihu Yaamro LeSeb(e) ::
which King James Version translates in this way:
“And He needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man.”
He knows the conscience of man (that is another meaning of Ge’ez, like the word used for the language) and no one shall educate HIM in this respect. By this statement, the ethiopian scholar is attributing to His Majesty the same supreme wisdom of Christ.
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Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

A.Morrison, “Ebony” Magazine, Chicago USA – 1963

Ebony, U.S. Magazine
Chicago, December 1963
“Emperor Haile, standing in New York hotel suit where he granted exclusive interview, is also called King of Kings, Conquering Lion of Judah, Elect of God and Defender of the Faith. A newsman who met the Emperor in Africa once observed: ‘When he turns those eyes on you, you get a funny feeling like you were going to melt’.”
(…)
“If there is such a thing as a ‘kingly air’, the Emperor has it”, observed an important U.S. State Department official who accompanied the five-foot-four monarch on his eight-day U.S. visit”
(…)
“On a cool October morning, Emperor Haile Selassie fulfilled in part the biblical prophecy that Ethiopia shall one day ‘stretch forth its hand…’. On that occasion, the little man who for one dramatic hour in 1936 became the conscience of the world, extended the hand of brotherhood to 20 million Americans of African descent, urging them to have faith in their future as free men and to press on with their current struggle for freedom until it is won. He also urged American Negroes to recognize their stake in Africa’s fight against colonialism.
The Emperor’s eight-day state visit (his second) to the United States stirred images that still lingered after 27 years, images of a bewhiskered monarch astride a white stallion leading barefooted Ethiopians against the invading Italian army. Ethiopian spears dueling Italian machine guns. Rocks challenging aerial bombs. Flaming patriotism versus poison gas. And Emperor Haile Selassie pleading to the League of Nations for aid and accurately predicting that Ethiopia’s fall would be a bell tolling the death of the League.
The events of 1935-36 haunted Emperor Selassie during his visit to Philadelphia, Washington and New York, flitting in and out of his talks with President Kennedy and other Americans. (…)
This was my second meeting with the legendary King of Kings. The first confrontation had taken place in 1961 in the richly-ornamented study of his gilded palace in Addis Ababa. (…)
My second meeting was more brief. Emperor Selassie displayed a remarkable composure under rapid-fire questioning and was prepared to continue the interview indefinitely if his schedule had permitted. He apologized for closing the interview, explaining that New York City had arranged a ticker tape welcoming for him and he ought to be there for it. (…)
“Emperor Selassie is the 225th head of the world’s oldest independent state, a 3000-year-old nation that, as one observer put it, ’emerged when England and France were unconceived and the United States inconceivable’. But while contemplating his nation’s extended past, the 72-year-old monarch does not lost sight of the present.”
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Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

Chicago Defender, December 15 1923

“ABYSSINIA KING TOILS ON ROADS WITH SUBJECTS

American Missionary Saw Ras Tafari Lugging Stones for Mending of Roads.
His royal highness, Ras Tafari, king of Abyssinia, is not above going to a rock pile and carrying stones to mend a road, and doing so with the humblest of his subjects, according to Dr. Thomas Lambie, an Amerian medical missionary at Addis Ababa, Abyssinia. (…)
The king of Abyssinia has just given the site to erect the first modern hospital in his kingdom. (…) The medical missionary wrote that in his mind the stone carrying incident revealed ‘an unusual spirit on the part of an eastern king’. He said he thought this was a good illustration of the Bible command, ‘bear ye one another’s burden and so fulfill the law of Christ’. (..)
‘When we got to the race track I noticed a big crowd of people coming along (…) Some very great man is riding out today, I thought to myself. (…) Yes, it most centrainly was his highness Ras Tafari himself, the ruler of Abyssinia. He saw me at the same time I saw him. We both raised our hats and I attempted to dismount from my horse that I might do him honor before his men. Over the heads of the crowd he smilinglu motioned me not to do so and passed on.
His Majesty Bears His Burden
(…) Everyone was carrying a stone on his shoulder. They had gone to Kugbana river and each had picked up a great stone and was carrying it back to mend the road in preparation for the rainy season which will soon be upon us. Yes, the ruler was with them: but surely he would not have to carry a stone. No, he would not have to, but nevertheless he was doing so. And as I saw him going out to do some menial work, as an example and to encourage his people, the words quoted above came to my mind. <<Bear ye one another’s burden and so fulfill the law of Christ>>.
Dare anyone criticize and say, <<better to hire some one to do this work than to give his valuable time to such service>>. Abyssinia is not America or England. Our Lord in coming to earth might also have used different methods. He might have come as a ruler on an ivory throne, a place He was lifted to occupy as David’s greater son: instead, however, He washed His disciples feet. The servant should not be greater than his Lord.
And so I saw the ruler of Abyssinia, going to the rock pile and carrying stones to encourage his men, I felt he was doing a very great and kind service to them and to the country. He was teaching them not to be ashamed to work. I personally believe he is the hardest worked man in all this country. From morning until night he is engaged in seeing people, in giving judgment between disputants, and in a thousand and one duties that daily press upon him as the ruler of this great land, so that his friends tell me that he often has a tired and worried expression. In one sense he is the ruler of all, in another sense a servant of all.
An officer said that he did not ask anyone to do a work that he was not willing to do himself. (…) He has some who hinder and prevent him in his own country, and some of his greatest difficulties arise from the type of Europeans who come to this country, but I feel that a ruler who shows this spirit of willingness to help and willingness to serve will overcome all difficulties and will with patient effort place Abyssinia alongside of the great countries of the world.
Here is a lesson for each one of us. Do not set another to do something you think yourself too great to perform. Share their burden with them and thus you bear the burden for them.”