My Friend Gerhard


I met Gerhard in 5th grade. I had been bragging that I owned over 200 books, and when he seemed incredulous I said: "You can come and count them."

The next day our doorbell rang and Gerhard stood in front of the door: "I have come to count Klaus-Eberhard's books." (That's my full name in German; I was relieved to drop the 'Eberhard' when I came to America!)

We have been close friends since then. We used to ride around Berlin on bicycles, at one point we collected every science fiction magazine that had been published in Germany, we debated the mysteries of the opposite sex – we grew up together.

Gerhard 1958

Gerhard 1995

ger2-1.jpg (6919 bytes) Gerhard
Gerhard knew from his mid-teens that he was going to be a mathematician; he had an extraordinary talent. I, on the other hand, couldn't figure out for the longest time what I was going to do with my life, and for quite a while I was envious that he had picked a career without hesitation and agony, while I was clueless until almost 30.

Now Gerhard is a professor for mathematics at the University of Bremen.


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