Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Nachruf auf den Anglisten Prof. Dr. Heinz Reinhold

News vom 27.05.2013

Verfasst von Prof. Dr. Michael Slater
(Emeritus am Birkbeck College der Universität London, ehemaliger Herausgeber des Dickensian und Präsident der International Dickens Fellowship sowie der Dickens Society of America)

Professor Heinz Reinhold

The outstanding German Dickens scholar, Professor Heinz Reinhold, died in Berlin on 15 November 2012 at the great age of 102. His life spanned an extraordinarily turbulent, indeed tragic, period of German history and his remarkable four-volume autobiography, completed during the last years of his life, is a most valuable record of everyday life during a lektorship at Edinburgh University. It was interrupted by military service, followed by years of imprisonment in Russia under appalling conditions. In an outstandingly eloquent and moving speech at the Dickens Birthday dinner in 1975 (see The Dickensian, vol. 71) Professor Reinhold recalled his retelling from memory to his fellow-prisoners the story of Nicholas Nickleby to help keep alive in them the idea of a different world and hope for better times. After repatriation to East Germany he made a daring escape to the West where he resumed his studies in Munich under another distinguished Anglicist Wolfgang Clemen. In 1956 he became Professor of English Literature at the Free University of West Berlin, a post he held until 1975 when he became Professor Emeritus. His first publication in The Dickensian was an illuminating article on "The Stroller's Tale" in Pickwick in 1968. Subsequently, he contributed many reviews and also lectured on Dickens and Germany at the 1992 Fellowship Conference in Haarlem. In the 1970s he published major studies of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English novel, but his great work on Dickens (the title translates as Dickens and the Age of Naturalism and the Aesthetic Movement) did not appear until 1990 when he was 80.
Like his hero Dickens, Heinz Reinhold was an extraordinary pedestrian, regularly walking for three hours every morning and a further two in the afternoon. As a child, he once recalled, he had heard that "at least one hour of exercise a day in the fresh air is good for health" and clearly took this very much to heart! Sadly, this exercise could not stave off the growing blindness that afflicted his later years but with which he coped calmly and courageously. He was a man of great warmth and friendliness with a wonderful beaming smile and will be much missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. He is survived by his widow Erika and two children, Gisela and Rüdiger.


Quelle: The Dickensian, No. 489 Vol. 109/1 (Spring 2013), p.105

36 / 66