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Erika - In Memoriam

Erika Falkenreck, 2. März 2012

A letter from Beate Hammett for


In 1936, Erika was born into a time of drama, which seems to have influenced not only her life but also the extraordinary circumstances of her death.   Even our first meeting was unusual, for in 1997 she was my Saturday hostess when I participated in one of the Senat’s guest- programs for exiled Jews.   We “clicked” at once and visited each other in Sydney and in Berlin over the subsequent fifteen years.

During that time, she told me many stories of her life, for example the one of the small pig her mother kept in their bathroom, to fatten and grow for the Falkenreck family in food-deprived wartime Germany.    A year later, to have their pet slaughtered in order to eat it was a hard lesson for a seven-year-old child.

In a later life of other dramas, Erika loved what the stage had to offer.

Photo: Erika on March 2, 2012, in the tennis-club Grün-Weiss, Berlin Zehlendorf | c-iberner

For some three years, she was Chair of what was then known as The English Theatre - a small, 80-seat, amateur theatre, that was, however, with Erika’s financial help, able to stage innovative, modern productions

Her own last, staged production was the Unveiling of the above plaque on the former Mädchenschule in Auguststraβe, before an audience of some 50 people.   Its organization took 15 months and an extraordinary attention to detail.   Erika was one of the five speakers.

Her final, truly dramatic act, however, was her own death.   In apparent good health, she is thought to have played one of her vigorous tennis games, designed only to win.   She must, nevertheless, have felt a discomfort that she hoped would cure with a hot bath.   An uncharacteristic silence followed for six days - until friends went to investigate.   An overflowing letter-box and blazing house-lights hinted at something wrong.

A roof-entry by the fire-brigade, under the supervision of the police, revealed the cause:  Erika was lying dead beside her own bathroom door!

As a woman of huge energy and wide tastes, with a large circle of friends and acquaintances, Erika would have approved of such an end for herself.   Mouldering slowly in a nursing home was definitely not her style.   I told her once that, on account of her intense exercise program, she would live to be a hundred.   She answered, quite crossly, that that wasn’t at all what she wished;  she wanted to die on the tennis court.

Well, she almost got her wish!


26TH August, 2012

Erika, Klaus Wowereit, Regierender Bürgermeister von Berlin, 2011

Photo: bei einem Treffen mit der jungen SPD und Klaus Wowereit, dem Regierenden Bürgermeister von Berlin, Sept. 2011

für Erika Falkenreck, die einfach von uns gegangen ist

Erika went from us without telling us why when and where. She certainly did not want to go, not now at least.  And she certainly would have said good-bye or would have arranged something as she had always done with everything she started in her life. And that was quite a lot, with quite a lot of people and friends from all over the world. I am one of them, and we had initiated some creative things which we wanted to continue, and which I now have to continue by myself without talking to Erika and without getting her advice or her tremendous knowledge and experience.

So if anyone of you, of Erika's friends, has the feeling or feels the need of leaving a sign in memory of the dear friend, you are cordially invited to do so here.

A sign can be a picture or just a word

Erika, July 2010, at home

Erika at her home, July 2010

Erika and Beate at the Jüdische Mädchenschule, BerlinErika and Beate in front of the plaque for Alexander Beer, Beate's father and architect of the Jüdische Mädchenschule, Auguststrasse, after the revealing ceremony on April 20th, 2012.- Erika actually initiated the plaque.

Erika and Beate Hammett, 21 April 2012, Erika's birthday

Erika's 75th birthday, 21. April 2012And at Erika's 75th birthday, April 21, 2012 (with Beate and Irmgard)



Erika und Edith Hillinger, at Erika's house, July 2010Erika and Edith Hillinger, at Erika's house, July 2010

Edith Hillinger visited Berlin with the last "Besucherprogramm" for Jewish emigrants, invited by the Berliner Senat.

Erika hosted Edith and kept in touch with her since then. We had a lovely lunch at Erika's house that hot sunny day in July 2010. I made a report about Edith's visit in Berlin.

Erika's house, July 2010Erika at her home, July 2010Erika in July 2010

Ухватившись руками "Босиком по небу Книга о детях для детей и взрослых" за головы, Сейджек с силой потянул их в "Край" противоположные стороны, и ящерица разорвалась пополам.

Сначала Мак хотел отвернуться от "Сонечка Голлидэй Жизнь и актерская судьба" этой красивой, но не в меру "Законы счастливой семейной жизни" строгой и скорой на расправу "Детская военная энциклопедия" женщины-духа, и не говорить ей ничего.

Мне очень жаль, но я "ГИА-2012 ФИПИ География 9 кл. Экзамен в новой форме" ничего не "Колобок" могу поделать,-ответил Фауст.

Ветер дул, не утихая ни на "Дюна Дом Коррино" минуту, гоня перед собою новые мрачные тучи, и не было "Комикс Мобильная маргаритка Т.2" этому бедствию конца.

Например, во время следующего перерыва.

Впрочем, не "Мировая карта изобретений и открытий" он первый попал под воздействие ее чар.

На самом деле он Джей "Энциклопедия бывалого охотника" Доннерджек сын Джона и.

Келси "КВ Тело человека" навел бинокль на незнакомца совсем юный, темные волосы, "Видеокодирование H.264 и MPEG-4 - стандарты нового поколения" хорошо сложен, но явно не спортсмен.

Безмолвие его владений нарушали лишь "Чужой. Путешествие во времени" звуки Второй симфонии Сибелиуса, опус 43, доносившиеся из магнитофона, который висел на "Котенька-Коток Бабушкины песни" ветке сломанного "Убийства по алфавиту" ветром древа логики, и фырканье Транто, собиравшего мусор в громадную гору.

Как "Правила и упражнения по английскому языку. 6 класс" только толпа созреет и придет пора собирать урожай, нам "Рисуем подводный мир от пираньи до кита" подадут сигнал.

Теперь оставалось лишь вытащить его и развязать.

Солнечный взрыв "Быстрые салаты" вызвал к жизни волну насыщенных "ЗП12 Лев" энергией статических помех, которые разорвали все линии.


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