Picture of Nikos Mattheos
in loving memory of Rolf Attsröm
by Nikos Mattheos - Monday, 1 December 2008, 07:14 PM
Rolf Attstrom

About Rolf, love and other deamons...

By now the sad news might have reached you. Rolf Attström passed away in Switzerland, in the quiet and majestic Brienz, a place Rolf came to love and which has loved Rolf since many years. The sudden news caught us all by surprise and still seems hard to believe.

Rolf´s extraordinary academic achievement and his contribution to science, to research, to ADEE, to university and learning is well documented and known by all, it would be unnecessary to repeat here. Instead, my testimony to his character would be of a personal nature.

I met Rolf many years ago in an ADEE meeting, while I was still a shy student, lost and overwhelmed by the very idea of sharing the same space with all these people. Rolf had the amazing gift of making everything seem so simple. And so it became. Yet my story was only one story in a long, long line of stories, of people whose life changed forever by his presence in a similar way.

Rolf has been a thinker, a builder, a visionary, a full hearted pedagogue. With Rolf we spent so much time developing teaching methods, yet I see now that the strongest teaching of all was simply his example. His way of bonding people together, inspiring, pointing towards the vision and then discreetly supporting from the shadow as a proud father.

He taught me that words come and go. When all is said and done, when all is written and rewritten, discussed and re-discussed, words evaporate and all is left is love. The love you feel for what you have done, the love you feel for the people you shared it with. He showed me how to invest in people, invest in love and not in words.

Rolf has not left us. He planted his ideas, his enthusiasm, his tireless, gentle spirit in all of us who had the blessing to have worked with him. His example has shaped our thinking for ever. His countless academic sons and daughters are spread in all five continents healing people, teaching young generations, discovering, shaping the future. And as long as we all carry a piece of his spirit in us, Rolf is there, always young, tireless, loving, changing our world to the better. Rolf, we love you.

With humble gratitude,


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