At ninety-six she was by far the oldest active employee of the FAZ, and in the last twelve months alone she has written seven articles, six of them book reviews for the literary journal of this newspaper, including about the latest works by well-known authors such as Martin Walser or Martin R Dean.

However, the seventh article, published in Reiseblatt on October 14 of last year, was about Brandenburg's muse courts, whose cultural significance in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is now being rediscovered and marketed to tourists.

You could feel Maria Frisé's complete familiarity with Prussian history.

Her family was part of it.

Andrew Plathaus

Responsible editor for literature and literary life.

  • Follow I follow

Born as Maria von Loesch, she came from the old Silesian family of counts Zedlitz-Trützschler on her mother's side - the manorial existence was her "first life", as she described it herself.

It ended when she had just turned nineteen: she lost her homeland on January 18, 1945, the day of her wedding, which was quickly carried out on the family estate before the flight from the advancing Red Army began.

She was successful and her second life began: the newly married Maria Stahlberg came to northern Germany with her husband and became the mother of three sons, but the marriage didn't last.

After the divorce, she married the publicist Adolf Frisé in 1957, who at the time was involved in the development of Robert Musil's estate.

writer in her own right

But in this, her third life, Maria Frisé also became a writer in her own right.

In 1966 she published her first collection of stories at Rowohlt, "Chicken Day and Other Stories", and she had a great success in 1990 with the memoir "A Silesian Childhood", the prelude to several autobiographical works, the last of which, published in 2004, "My Silesian Family and I”, which became the most watched.

Another major theme of the writer was the family as a general phenomenon;

At the age of ninety she was still giving "information about life as a couple", and then she started a new volume of stories that was to be published in 2021: "One lives forever".

But she became best known to the public as an editor of the FAZ, whose feuilleton she joined in 1968 and was a member for almost a quarter of a century, most recently as the person responsible for the gravure supplement "Images and Times".

After retiring in 1991, contact with the newspaper continued.

Maria Frisé was a valued writer to the end, pouring her rich life experience into the articles and maintaining an intellectual curiosity that made each encounter with her a pleasure.

In Bad Homburg, where she continued to live after the death of Adolf Frisé in 2003, she was a focal point of society and Maria Frisé remained an enthusiastic rider well into her tenth decade.

The strict self-discipline that she cultivated resulted in her reviews in ever shorter texts, which, however, always understood how to bring out the essentials of the books discussed.

In her penultimate article, about Max Frisch's war diaries, one could see that she was shocked at having to experience another war in Central Europe at the age of ninety-six.

She died surrounded by her family on Sunday.

What three lives!