On May 23, 2010, Helmut Großer died at the age of 83. With Helmut Großer, OISTAT looses one of its great leading figures, whose accomplishments will always be a great example for all of us.
Helmut Großer has been active in OISTAT from the beginning of its existence. From 1974 to 1978, he led the programme commission of the newly founded organization, and he served as OISTAT President from 1978 to 1997.
Almost fifty years of his life were dedicated to his work for theatre. But to him it was not only work, it was a vocation. For more than forty years, Helmut Großer worked as Technical Director at the large theatres in Germany, for the last years at the National Opera of Bavaria. In parallel to his profession and his function as OISTAT President, he was active in the German Association of Theatre Technicians, DTHG, from 1976 to 1983 as President.
Strongly influenced by his war experience in his hometown Dresden, international understanding was a very important concern of Helmut. In OISTAT, he found the ideal organization to combine his will for understanding with his interest in international professional exchange in order to strengthen the international theatre community. He has contributed essentially to the prospering and growing of OISTAT, and at the same time he was also a wise and eloquent diplomat of a democratic Germany. However, he was not only an eloquent man, he was strongly interested in concrete activities. The creation “New Theatre Words” was a favorite project of him. Also, the contribution of OISTAT to the Prague Quadrennial was very important to Helmut.
His friendships with Ota Ornest, Jarmila Gabrielová, Eva Soukopova and Josef Svoboda were a strong link to the Czech Republic. As chief editor of the “Buehnentechnische Rundschau” from 1978 to 1997, he used that medium to promote the exchange with other magazines and colleagues in the world and also to share his enormous knowledge, experience and wisdom. His lecture tours in the USA were famous, as his old friend and former OISTAT President Joel Rubin recalls.
He was awarded the Cross of Merits of the Republic of Germany, the USITT Special Award and the “Linnebach”-Ring for his special merits in the field of theatre technology.
With all his professional activities, his wife and daughters, later his grand children, were the centre of Helmut Großer’s life.
In the name of OISTAT, we express our deepest sympathy to the family of Helmut Großer and wish them a lot of strength. We will miss our great teacher, colleague and friend.
For the Executive Committee of OISTAT