The news that Lilli Gehrecke passed away has all of us Danube-Networkers left moved and sad. We want to express our sincere condolences to her family.
She has been a giving person to all of us: her humanity, her power, her visions of people living peacefully together across the borders, and she lived according to her values!
She taught us things, which are not to be found in any schoolbook, but should be lessons available to everyone, young or old.
It was her own sense of justice and balance, which gave her a clear view on right and wrong on both sides and on the necessity of reconciliation as a precondition for inner and outer peace.
We are thankful to Lilli Gehrecke for the endurance of her faith for the good in a human being, his capability of tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation.
Thanks to her for having us all share her outstanding love for Vukovar and for all of its inhabitants, be it Croatian, Serbian or the members of any other ethnic group.
We thank her for her commitment in and for the House of Europe in Vukovar. It is a visible token of her personal philosophy and leaves sustainable traces.
We thank her for her commitment in education of the senior generation in Vukovar as well as on the European level. She contributed fundamentally to the establishment of the education network Danube-Networkers and together with us successfully tested new activating methods for fostering of intergenerational and intercultural dialogue.
She was a woman full of optimism whose motto was “The glass is never half empty, it’s always half filled”. Her positive view on things, her open-mindedness, her willingness to learn, to try out new things and skills in spite of advancing age while keeping tried and tested worth keeping, will always serve as an example for us.
With Lilli Gehrecke we have lost an outstanding human being, an exceptionally amiable friend.
At all our future meetings we will keep missing her cheerfulness, her smile.
She will surely stay in our hearts and at our side forever!
in the name of the Danube-Networkers in eight Danube countries.
We want to cite a poem by Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918) which could have been invented by Lilli Gehrecke as well.
Death and Farewell
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.
All is well.