In Memoriam Konrad Birkner, today Radiomuseum is closed

The death of Konrad Birkner brought it home to me that I suddenly lost my best friend. Today is his funeral and today Radiomuseum is in mourning.

As you now probably feel helpless, so do I.

Konrad joined as member number 1146 and with that was not among the first ones. But he soon became one of the most important and most reliable members. Not only was he in technical matters exceedingly well versed, his human side was equally admirable. If problems arose with members, we could always discuss them in a constructive manner. Even at the lowest point we remained steadfastly friends.

We shared very similar views on life, be it in political matters, philosophically, religious aspects or in music. He had a deep knowledge of classical literature but was also a skilled craftsman. We were in almost daily contact via Skype, these would be more likely brief but quite intensive encounters.

Now I am at a loss to envisage how we can substitute for the enormous volume of work he handled as a model administrator. And that at a time when guests and many members seem to see us more as a self-serve place rather than realizing how much work goes on behind the scene to make Radiomuseum as successful as we have become.
divIt's not at all infrequent that I am made aware of a member's disability brought on by an unhealthy life style. These so-called civilization illnesses have been of special interest to me for some time. The reason is my own health record, call it my medical fate, that led me to a deeper understanding of how what we eat governs our general well-being. This is my new project on which I plan to spend more time: http://www.diet-health.info/ (Sorry, most content still in German)

Please do not contact me directly but use the link "Contact" if and when you decide to make yourself available to assume any of the responsibilities connected with the administration of RMorg. At the same time give an indication of how much time you are willing and able to apply to the job. What we need are entrepreneurial types, not procrastinators. Means self-starters, people who take the initiative, have the required knowledge and possess a sense of humanity. Administrators are needed for all sections covered at RMorg, that includes for instance models, manufacturers, language to assist guests and members, and more... It has become mandatory that a part of my activities has to be assumed by others. The alternative is to curtail services provided.

Members do not need to be friends - but getting along with each other in a friendly way is a must. Still, here are some thoughts on the idea of


Aristoteles (384 B.C. - 322 B.C.) differentiated between three motives: character (type), benefit and lust. Let me talk here only about friendship based on character. Only that can be true friendship. Pursuing the same hobby or an ideology can lead to a collegial association. However, real friendship requires apart from congeniality also unquestioned trust. Friendship proves its authenticity in the challenge. And: only a catastrophe will reveal the true character of a person.

True friendship exists only between people at the same level. They develop a relationship of trust in which they willingly share personal secrets. Friendship is unthinkable without mutual respect and exchange of innermost thoughts.

As a true friend one always knows that the other will act in a positive way even if such action is not immediately fully understood. Differences are brought out in the open and discussed.

Friendship prospers in a contemplative atmosphere - that is to say in tranquillity and by giving attention to each other. Self-centred people (Dr. Fritz K√ľnkel) will not achieve it. They feel any slight criticism or comment as a personal attack, while a true friend sees something positive even if at first he perceives something as not completely friendly. Hurt or even anger, can only arise from his own nature, but with the chance to enter into a true friendship situation comes the ability for self analysis, honest exchange of views and insight.

A friend does not expose weaknesses to the outside world, but will work with him to resolve matters. This helps ultimately to a happier life, increased rationality and virtues and gives life force. Virtues you can only build up if you take care.

We all have received a certain character at birth and early life. But after a certain age we are responsible for our character. With high awareness, reflection, contemplation and genuine friendship we can develop our character along the lines of a good wine that will mature with time and eventually reach its fullness rather than turning into vinegar.

Ernst Erb