Obituary published in progressive German daily newspaper
"JUNGE WELT", March 26, 2003:
Only a few days have
passed since we congratulated him on his 92nd
birthday, him, our friend and comrade, communist,
internationalist, and peace activist Harry Fisher. And he
told me afterwards that a great number of birthday wishes had
reached him this year from Germany, more than ever before.
Yes, he is indeed
well remembered here for in spring 2001, Harry visited Germany
for some weeks on a reading tour introducing the German edition
of Comrades. Two months later, he returned to this
country once again, to this country that he had hated once so
much, to this country that he had to fight against twice in his
lifetime, he returned to take part in the largest bi-annual
festival of the German left, the UZ Pressefest.
He was overjoyed to see U.S. and German singers united in the
spirit of peace, freedom, and social progress.
from Hamburg to Munich got to know Harry as a quiet person with
a powerful charisma and deeply rooted inner values. His
book opened up a new, moving approach to the Spanish civil war,
especially for the younger generation. For the first time,
also the fears of a young fighter were described in simple words
and without any heroic exaggerations.
This book relays the
honest longing for peace of a man whose whole life meant nothing
but fight for justice and solidarity.
Many of the about
1,000 Germans, who had a chance of seeing Harry Fisher during
his reading tour, immediately sensed how open-mindedly and
wholeheartedly this man spoke, without a single sign of
exaggerated pathos or senile doctrines, always decent, yet
humorous whenever appropriate.
completed his second book back in 2002. It is expected to be
titled “Legacy” in the U.S. The German edition of it is
well under way.
From now on, Harry
Fisher wanted to spend more time opposing the terrible lies and
fraudulent works of certain historians and authors. One of
his concerns was whether generations to come would believe his
eyewitness account of Oliver Law’s death, or whether they would
go for the shameless anticommunist lies told about this brave
One year ago we, my
two antifascist German film maker friends (working on a
documentary about Harry) and I, happened to be around when Harry
learned about the existence of Oliver Law’s daughter, and we
will always remember how happy he was about being in touch with
September 11, Harry Fisher warned us all to distrust the
official paranoia and never got tired to stand up against new
violence and a new imminent war.
real activism had been part of Harry’s entire life, and hardly
any peace action in New York might have taken place without him.
No wonder that he simply had to go to the one in New York on
March 22, 2003 as well. Yet this small, agile man with the
wide-awake eyes and the radiant, kind-hearted spark of the
freedom fighter, having suffered a heart attack, had to be taken
from the peace demonstration straight to the hospital where he
left us forever.
His death means for
us, his friends and comrades in many countries, a deep loss.
His generation, the generation of contemporary witnesses, lost
another fellow fighter, whose simple, deeply humanistic way of
life had enabled him to stay young and remain so close to and
actively involved with the young generation.
To us, Harry Fisher
embodied a big piece of hope and trust in the “Other America”.
We miss him.
This one world of
ours needs more people like Harry Fisher – today more than ever.