Nachruf auf Herman van Herwijnen

Zum Gedenken an Herman van Herwijnen

15.10.1929 – 8.8.2004

Wir, die Gruppe der deutschsprachigen Rechenschiebersammler, bedauern den Tod von Herman van Herwijnen sehr. Hermans offene und klare Kommunikation, die er stets mit hoher Kompetenz führte, wird vielen Sammlern fehlen.

Er hat im Laufe seines Sammlerlebens gleich mehrere Meilensteine gesetzt: einmal führte er eine Klassifizierung der Qualitäten von Rechenschiebern (C0 bis C8) ein, zum anderen gab er das “Blue Book” heraus, in dem er erstmals den einzigartigen und mühevollen Ansatz vornahm, Rechenschieber zu katalogisieren, und das später in den Slide Rule Catalogue auf CD mündete.

Jeder Sammler ist sich der Wichtigkeit dieser Kataloge bewusst, stellen Sie doch eine bedeutende und systematische Zusammenfassung bekannter und seltener Rechenschiebermodelle dar. Hinzu kamen später die Fotografien von Tausenden dieser Modelle. Der Veröffentlichung der Abbildungen der Dennert & Pape ARISTO Rechenschieber aus seiner CD hat Herman ohne Umschweife zugestimmt.

Auch hierin äußerte sich einer seiner Wesenszüge, den alle zu schätzen wussten: Herman stellte all sein Wissen gerne in den Dienst der Sammlergemeinschaft, veröffentlichte seine Erkenntnisse z.B. zur Aufnahmetechnik bei Rechenschiebern und beteiligte sich mit großem Eifer, sofern es seine Gesundheit zuließ, an vielen Veranstaltungen, Märkten und Meetings.

Wir sind Herman zu Dank verpflichtet und werden ihn nicht vergessen.

Seiner Frau Diny danken wir für die Unterstützung von Hermans Aktivitäten und wünschen ihr und ihrer Familie für die Zukunft Kraft und Trost.

Sein Freund IJzebrand Schuitema hat einen Nachruf in englischer Sprache verfasst, der hier folgt:


 

IN MEMORIAM

Herman van Herwijnen

15th October 1929 – 8th August 2004

 

On Sunday 8th August 2004 Herman passed away. After a long battle with illness, first with rheumatism and later with cancer, it finally got the better of him and a full and active life was over. It had been obvious for some time that it was a losing battle. Both of his illnesses were expertly treated but unfortunately the respective treatments and medicine did not always mix well. Then came chemotherapy and the worrying side-affects such as loss of kidney function adding complications. There were also several operations but none of them could stop the cancer.

It must be terrible for anyone to undergo such a painful course of treatments and still lose the battle. Herman peacefully passed away in his sleep. Luckily his local Doctor was on hand to make sure his last days were pain free. In Herman we have lost a good friend, a friend it was always good to talk to. Herman was approachable, friendly, helpful and modest.

 

On August 2nd 1988 I received a letter from Herman. It was a reaction to an article on slide rules I had published in the Dutch collector’s magazine “De Verzamelkrant”. In those days neither of us knew of anyone else who collected slide rules. In the ensuing 16 years Herman was a fervent collector and it can be said without exaggerating, from e-mail correspondence to the collecting of slide rules, there was probably no one as well organised as Herman. He was in regular contact with hundreds of fellow collectors, both in Europe and in the United States – I believe nobody has contributed so much to our hobby as Herman.

 

When we first met and exchanged various slide rules in 1989 Herman proposed standardising on a coding system before too many personal or individual schemes made such a step impractical. Herman had experience in coding systems and catalogues from his two other collections, postage stamps and photographic equipment. This gave him first-hand knowledge how important it was to have an orderly documentation system and a coding standard to classify condition. Herman worked tirelessly at establishing both for slide rules. The standard for condition quickly got international recognition and was soon introduced as “the system from Herman van Herwijnen”. Based on the collections of several colleague collectors, Herman published the “Blauwe Boek” – a printed catalogue containing hundreds (and later thousands) of standardised descriptions of linear, circular, drum and watch-type slide rules. Several supplements followed as new descriptions were added.

 

 

Overtime Herman decided it made sense to transfer the “Blauwe Boek” to CD-ROM format, with the added advantage of being able to add pictures. Herman described himself as a computer fanatic and this characteristic ensured the success of the CD-ROM catalogue. Corresponding via e-mail with many collectors all over the world, he received details and photos of slide rules he could add to the catalogue. The last version included thousands of entries and pictures. Only recently Herman devised a way of incorporating the financial details from E-bay auctions for collectors interested in following the price developments in such sales.

 

His depth of knowledge about many aspects of slide rule collecting meant for years his energy and contributions helped make a success of the international meeting. On many occasions providing meeting presenters or authors of books with information and pictures. Sadly ill health prevented him from attending many of the more recent international meetings. Having to stay away was a great disappointment to him as he greatly valued personal contact with fellow collectors. The last international meeting he attended was the IM-2003. Even then he could not make the second day.

 

During his years of sickness Herman was lovingly and caringly supported by his wife Diny – nothing was too much trouble and she helped him in all and any way she could. Daily she acted as his private nurse and doctor. Diny also drove and collected him from the hospital in Amsterdam where Herman was regularly examined and operated on. In the end even the hospital ran out of treatments and Herman had to return home and let his illness run its course.

 

In Herman’s passing away we lose a fine friend. Many will keep fond memories of him. Let us hope that Diny, the children and the grandchildren will be able to come to terms with their loss. Perhaps in some small way it will help them knowing Herman is in our thoughts and we will always fondly remember him.

 

At Herman’s explicit wish, the cremation took place with just the next of kin present.

 

Farewell Herman, rest in peace.

 

 

IJzebrand Schuitema

August 2004