Werner M. Linz
Director: The American University in Cairo Press between 1984 and 2011
It took me some time to get over my shock hearing about Werner’s death. I know he was sick, because we had kept in touch by e-mail and phone since his diagnosis last year. However, I guess toward the end he did not want me to know how serious his illness really was.
Werner was my oldest and best friend for 70 years. We knew each other from childhood, joined the same rowing club as teenagers (rowing in the same team), I visited him in Frankfurt at his first job, and he visited me in Freiburg when I was a student there. I met his wife Helen when they were first engaged, and I followed his example by also immigrating to the USA. First as a student at Cornell and later as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale, I often visited him and his family in both the first and the second of his homes in Rye NY. In the meantime, he had also become my publisher in New York and, thanks to his unique combination of generosity and business acumen, we were able to launch some projects that turned out to be very successful for both of us. As a result, I was able to switch academic fields and to find my true calling. I saw his daugthers Julia and Alice grow up from infancy to college age. Over the years, I spent many weeks and even months with him and his family in their large oceanfront house where I worked on various book projects of his. There I witnessed a free-spitited and very happy family life. We often we went together to all sorts of cultural events in Manhattan – from Opera and Ballet to musicals, plays, and exhibitions. We met again and again at the Frankfurt Book Fair and various American book fairs. He also visited me in San Francisco. When in NYC for brief visits, I stayed as his guest at his Club in Manhattan. When I moved to Berlin, he once again visited often. Unforgettable were his 70th birthday in Cairo and his 75th in a famous German wine region.
In short, our lives were very much intertwined, and we shared many experiences that were decisive for our lives. He already met my lifetime partner over 35 years ago, and from then on, he visited us and invited us always as couple. Only his brother and his sisters knew him longer, but I knew him better than anyone else. And he also knew me longer and better than everyone else. We always shared our innermost thoughts and feelings and knew everything important about each other. What more can I say? He was my best friend from beginnig to end, and I will remember and miss him as long as live.
Erwin J. Haeberle