Obiturary for Jochen Hillers

Obituary When you speak about a friend you let our heart speak. I first met Jochen Hillers on 13th October, 2006. Or rather I made his acquaintance by eying him with respect and initial scepticism. It was at 4 pm on that memorable Friday at Eckernförde’s Siegfried Werft restaurant where a number of interested citizens got together to launch an association supporting the idea of an as yet non-existent nature film festival named GREEN SCREEN. More from superficial curiosity for new developments in his home town rather than committed interest in the actual subject matter Jochen Hillers first took on the role as deputy chairman but soon moved to the forefront and became the powerhouse and the motor driving the festival organization and execution. A man who had his sleeves permanently rolled up and who was not above taking on any job that needed to be done. That was one of his extraordinary strong points. When he badly wanted something he would not let go. It is thanks to his personal dedication that a small idea evolved into one of the worldwide largest nature film festivals. Jochen Hillers was a pillar that provided support when things were not running smoothly. He conveyed confidence and sharpened the perception for his first priority – his town Eckernförde. Articulate and self-evident, a character with exclamation marks. Always the diplomat in countless meetings with state secretaries, ministers and other political functionaries, he knew about the power of the word and the words of power. A man who quickly figured out whether his counterpart made conversation or had something to say. Dear Jochen, you were both: A benefit and a benefactor for your home town Eckernförde. You were able to give this remarkable community something that so many places lack: A soul. And we know only too well: The most precious things very often turn out to be the ones that have been given as a present. Your undivided attention, for example. For that I want to thank you specifically with all my heart. Gerald Grote