We mourn the death of Sibylle Lewitscharoff
On Saturday, May 13, Sibylle Lewitscharoff, our esteemed colleague, Büchner Prize winner and founding member of PEN Berlin, died in Berlin after a long illness. She was an outstanding, immensely original, stupendously educated writer and artist, and an exemplary strong, free person. She thought freely, she laughed freely, and when she got something wrong, as occasionally happens to everyone, she faced her errors as fearlessly and openly as she dealt with all the other impositions of life.
Her humor was boundless and infectious, and with her generosity she seemed to want to single-handedly disprove the prejudices against Swabians – and succeeded. Anyone who knew her will no longer easily fit the words »stingy« and »Swabian« into the same sentence.
She literally did not let herself be paralyzed by the serious, chronic illness that set in about twelve years ago. Now she showed all the more that mind and spirit – which in her case were full of linguistic richness, mockery, irony and holy seriousness – can be enormous forces of resistance. Her complex family history, her intellectual experiences, her interest in the world and her gift for love and friendship, all were and remained alive and present. Until the end, she worked on her beautiful, mysteriously-charged art objects, which, along with writing, were her great passion in recent years. Her friends, over whom she so lavishly dispensed »Schätzle« , her term of endearment, will miss her as much as her readers.
Sibylle Lewitscharoff was 69 years old..