It was a couple of days after the fall of the Berlin wall on 9 November 1989 when Ullrich Schur and his wife Barbara arrived in Brussels. Barbara and "Ulli" - as he was known by his friends and colleagues – were standing in the back row of a packed Press Room on the first floor in the old Berlaymont building. No one knew then what would be the repercussions of the events. This was particularly true for Barbara and Ulli who had previously worked for the East German state news agency AND in Mongolia. But they certainly sensed more than most of the Brussels based journalists, that things to come would be totally different.
Already back in late 1989 there was this little smile on the face which Ulli never totally lost afterwards – in happier and, over the past, much more difficult times. As the Maastricht treaty took shape, Ulli left ADN and then worked as a free-lance journalist for different regional papers and radio stations, mainly in East Germany. It was a challenging task, but the least you could say about him was, that he never got tired when trying to explain the changes on the European political stage and what they meant for the people back home – not least the ordeal of the East German shipyards or the steel workers at EKO Stahl in Eisenhüttenstadt in his native region of Brandenburg.
Then came the day of his accident at home which left him unconscious during long hours. Later that day a postman calling at his place heard some noises, called for help and helped to save his life. A life which would not be the same anymore, as Ulli's quasi permanent companion eventually was a wheelchair. Although he was unable to continue with his job, he remained determined to enjoy life under the new difficult circumstances. And, importantly for him, in essence he remained a true journalist. When you met him he was always up to date and ready to come up with a sharp analysis.
Ulli joined API-IPA a couple of days after his arrival in Brussels, on 17 November 1989. And he remained a member for nearly 30 years until his death on 25 June. Our thoughts go to a reliable and kind colleague, to his friends and family, especially his two daughters.
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