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Book of Condolence

Our good friend Sebastian Kirke passed away on September 4, 1996. We, his friends and colleagues here in Berlin, have decided that, in his memory, it would be appropriate to create an electronic book of condolence.

If you wish to contribute a few words, please send an email and your comments will be included on the WWW condolence page.


Unser guter Freund Sebastian Kirke ist am 4. September 1996 gestorben. Wir, daß heißt seine Freunde und Kollegen hier in Berlin, haben beschlossen, daß eine elektronische Kondolenzliste in seinem Sinne wäre.

Wenn Ihr ein paar Worte beisteuern möchtet, bitte schicke ein E-Mail und euer Beitrag wird der Seite hinzugefügt.

The funeral took place on the 27th of September in Lochgilphead (about 2 hours from Glasgow). Five of his many friends from Berlin were able to be there.

Die Beerdigung fand statt am 27. September um 15 Uhr in Lochgilphead (ca. 2 Stunden von Glasgow entfernt). Fünf seiner zahlreichen Freunden aus Berlin konnten dort sein.

This photograph of his gravestone was taken about two years after his funeral.

Diese Fotografie seines Grabsteines wurde circa zwei Jahre nach der Beerdigung aufgenommen.

The words / Die Worte:


Unfortunatly I didn't write these down and can hardly read the words on the photograph. Should the dates need correcting, please inform me.

Leider habe ich die Daten nicht niedergeschrieben und kann die Worte auf der Fotografie kaum entziffern. Sollte es notwendig sein, die Daten zu korrigieren, bitte informiert mich.

From / von : Hans Berthold Hohmann 10. September 1996

What is a Friend?
What is a Friend? I will tell you. It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself. Your soul can be naked with him. He seems to ask you to put on nothing, only to be what you are. He does not want you to be better or worse. When you are with him, you feel as a prisoner feels who has been declared innocent. You do not have to be on your guard. You can say what you think, so long as it is genuinely you. He understands those contradictions in your nature that lead others to misjudge you. With him you breathe freely. You can avow your little vanities and envies and hates and vicious sparks, your meannesses and absurdities and, in opening them up to him, they are lost, dissolved on the white ocean of his loyalty. He understands. You do not have to be careful. You can abuse him, neglect him, tolerate him. Best of all, you can keep still with him. It makes no matter. He likes you. He is like fire that purges to the bone. He understands. He understands. You can weep with him, sin with him, laugh with him, pray with him. Through it all - and underneath - he sees, knows and loves you. A friend? What is a friend? Just one, I repeat, with whom you dare to be yourself.
C. Raymund Beran

From / von : Michael Hooper 17. September 1996

Sebastian was more than a good friend. He was also one of my most valued colleagues. I used to call him on the phone - several times a day - and he was always there with an intelligent answer to my often less-than-intelligent questions. Until one day I called him and there was no answer . . .

His death is a tremendous loss for me personally, for my colleagues at TEXT INTERNATIONAL, and for everyone who knew him.

Michael Hooper

From / von : Rubin Sastre Jiminez 18. September 1996

Amigo. Hermano. Humano. Humano. Humano.

Ich vermisse einen wahren Freund, eine verwandte Seele... Wir spielten Bossanova. Er war verliebt in diese Musik und lernte sie in einer unglaublichen Geschwindigkeit. Wir hatten viel, viel Spaß an langen Abenden und Gesprächen, begleitet von den schönsten Harmonien der Welt...

Alguma coisa acontece no meu coracao
que so cuando penso en Sebbo e seu grande amor
e que cuando eu llegue por alli
eu nada entendi
da dura poesia concreta de suas esquinas
da deseleganca discreta de suas paridas

E foste um dificil conheco que nao conheco
e quem vem de outor sonho feliz de cidade
aprende depressa a llamarte de realidade

Do povo oprimido nas filas nas vilas favelas
da forza da grana que ergue e destroi coisas belas
da feia fumaca que sobe apagando as estrelas.
Ainda nao havia para mi do re mi
a tua mais concreta traducao
alguma coisa acontece no meu coracao
que so coundo penso en Sebbo e seu grande amor.

Irgendetwas geschieht in meinem Herzen
was weiß ich, wenn ich an Sebbo denke und an seine große Liebe
als ich dort ankam [bei ihm]
verstand ich nichts
die harte Poesie seiner Ecken
die diskrete Uneleganz seiner Ausfälle

Du warst eine schwierige Bekanntschaft, die ich nicht kenne
die kommt, aus einem anderen, frohen, staedtischem Traum
lerne schnell Dich an die Realität zu halten

Das unterdrückte Volk in den Reihen, den Städten, den Slums
Die Kraft der Granate, die sich erhebt und schöne Sachen zerstört
der haessliche Rauch, der aufsteigt und die Sterne verdunkelt
noch gab es nicht für mich DO RE MI
Deine konkreteste Übersetzung
Irgendetwas geschieht in meinem Herzen
Was weiß ich, wenn ich an Sebbo denke und an seine große Liebe

"Sampa" von Gilberto Gil&Caetano Veloso, adaptiert für Sebastian

Ich vermisse ihn und seine Liebe.

From / von : Martin Gerhard & Sigried Damerow 21. September 1996

Wir saßen viele Abende mit Sebastian zusammen, haben dabei geplauscht, gelacht und so manches Computerproblem diskutiert. Sein Platz an unserer Seite bleibt frei, wir vermissen ihn sehr.

Sissi & Martin

From / von : Burkhard Schröder 22. September 1996

Ich habe ihn nicht persönlich gekannt. Aber es ist nicht selbstverständlich, daß jemand einem Unbekannten am Telefon bei einem schwierigem Übersetzungsproblem hilft. Er hatte gerade keine Zeit und hat mir trotzdem geholfen. Danke. Ich hätte ihn gern noch kennengelernt.

Burkhard Schröder

From / von : Abdassabur Kirke 23. September 1996

Few words, many memories. What do you do when your brother dies? You hear it, you try to work it out, you think you understand. But I still see him in the street, just out of reach, on the table over there in the pub, coming in with life and openness on his face. Rolling another cigarette, smoke rising in his sunny, chaotic flat. So many sides to him you did not know, and so many even I did not know. It is a sad time.

Abdassabur Kirke

From / von : Agie Reeves 27. September 1996

Dear Sebastian,

I think about you several times a day:

- when I come up against some obscure word in my work that you would certainly know (I've caught myself reaching for the phone more than once),

- when I encounter some computer problem or question that you would find most elementary (I can hear you scolding me, "Oh Agie, how can you be so computer-illiterate?!?!

- when Neumann does something particularly cute or smart (several times per minute). He actually goes outside now (I got him a collar with his name and address), hangs around, visits the kitties in the courtyard next door, and then comes back home, up the stairs, and meows till I open the door for him! We've solved the pooping-in-the-bathtub problem by simply taking the roof off the litter box (the last time I spoke to you, we were speculating about why he does that) - I guess he didn't like the dark or something, because ever since I took the roof off he's never once "missed." Amazing, huh?

Thanks for your friendship, professional support, and most of all for giving me Neumann (nicknames so far: "Herr Neumann," "Neumy," "Neumann-Schnuddelbun"). You couldn't possibly have given me anything better to remember you by - hopefully, for years to come.


From / von : Daniel Cutter 17. March 1997

I've taken my time to write these words. I thought giving it time would help. It doesn't, not really. I still miss Sebastian. When I go out for a beer, I still expect to see him sitting there, smiling making jokes.

My final words at his grave were those that I had written on the blanket with which we covered his coffin. Auf wiedersehen my friend. I think these words say all.


Created: Sunday, 15. September 1996
Last Update: Monday, 17. March 1997
Edited for the new site: 30.9.2005
Editor: Daniel Cutter

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© 1997 Copyright Daniel Cutter & Angelina Atmadjova-Cutter
last update of this page Mar 17th 1997
last update of this site Jan 20th 2007 4:51pm