In spring 1993 my friend Ulrike Groll found out that she had cancer. The year before I persuaded her to consult a doctor because she suffered with strange back-aches but the x-ray did not show anything noticeable. In spring 1993 I went with her to see a doctor after the pain had become more and more terrible and overpowering. She was x-rayed again, and the doctor was so appalled that he sent her to a lung-specialist. On the x-ray nothing could be seen where the right lung should have been. The specialist who was puzzled by this strange phenomenon then ordered last yearís x-ray, and showed us all the small initial-stage carcinomas which the other doctor had failed to notice. Now these once small carcinomas had developed into incurable growths. 

From now on we started a mutual fight against Ulrikeís illness. First of all she thought that it should be possible to be able to go back to the previous state of her illness by undergoing a very serious treatment. The doctor had failed to notice the seriousness of her illness, and the deterioration of her health had really not been her personal fault. 

Unfortunately during the year of 1993 Ulrike had to learn that with fighting against the illness she also had to take a long farewell. From life, and from people who loved her. Because she was a very strong woman it never came to her mind to hide illness and death from herself or from me.

Slowly but surely she became discontented about her physical decay, and people -at least those people who knew her well- came to notice it, too. I had an idea to take her mind off it. I chose some of many nude photographs which we had taken during our happy years, years of extraordinary rich artistic co-operation, and I produced a document of gratefulness to show her how happy I was that she was alive. 

This is a book, 50 x 50 cm format, and I chose words which had had meanings to us in the past to go with the photographs of her. Because it was harder and harder for me to talk about these things I was happy to be able to use Erich Friedís love-poems to express my feelings. 

I gave her the book on her 48th birthday on October 2nd, and she was made up with it. A week before her death in February 1996 she gave it back to me for fear her sister might find it. By the state of the pages I could see that in the meantime she must have had looked at those photographs quite often. She had asked me to find a possibility to publish those pages, together with one last nude photograph, though. It was taken eight weeks before she died. On her body the marks for the lead-mask which was used for the radiotherapy can be seen, and beside her one can see her folded easel with the painterís overall.


das ist die Wärme

des Wassers in meinem Bad


an deinem offenen Schoß


das ist der Zorn

auf das Unrecht in unseren Ländern

Die Wärme des Wassers

genügt nicht

Ich muß auch drin plätschern

Mein Mund an deinem Schoß

genügt nicht

Ich muß ihn auch küssen

Der Zorn auf das Unrecht

genügt nicht

Wir müssen es auch ergründen

und etwas

gegen es tun

Das ist Leben

Erich Fried

Herzlich willkommen, laut  WebHits sind Sie seit dem 20. 11. 99 Besucher Nr.  auf dieser Seite