• Life of Foreign Teachers Exhibition: Dept. of German's Kathe Starkloff-Linke


  • Peking University. Beijing. May 3, 2010: The Department of German from the School of Foreign Languages held an exhibition in PKU Academia Historica with the German Research Center of Peking University on April 26 entitled “Forever Gratitude — Life of Kathe Starkloff-Linke”. over 100 people, including Kathe Starkloff-Linke’s children, her former colleagues, students she taught, representatives from the German embassy and teachers from the department of German, attended this exhibition to pay tribute to the great contributions Kathe Starkloff-Linke made in areas like the German major construction and training in PKU, cultural communication between China and Germany and so on.


    Kathe Starkloff-Linke was born in Berlin in 1906 and later studied in the University of Berlin, University of Heidelberg, G?ttingen University. She earned her doctorate in philosophy in 1935. In 1941, she was married to Mr. Zhao Xilin, who is a renowned expert in metallurgy in our country. She came to China with her husband in 1947 and later taught in Beiyang University and Tsinghua University. She took on Chinese nationality in 1953, in 1954, she was transferred to Peking University to be a teacher in German major, the department of Western languages.


    Through the joint efforts of many famous scholars and translators, she taught and trained excellent students with her academic passion, profound knowledge and rigorous attitudes of study, which paved the way for the flourishing of the German major at Peking University, which has always played a vital part in China’s teaching, researching and translation of German literature. Moreover, graduates from the department of German have also achieved glorious success in German literature and areas such as economics, diplomacy, science etc.


    In addition, Kathe Starkloff-Linke also took up translation work for the Foreign Language Publish House, Beijing Weekly and took part in translation and editing of such books like the works of President Mao and the “Chinese Fundamental Facts” series. In 2005, she died in Beijing at the age of 99.


    Prior to the exhibition, Prof. Cheng Zhaoxiang, dean of the school of foreign languages gave a speech reviewing the achievement of Kathe Starkloff-Linke when she worked in Peking University and hoped to express gratitude toward the many foreign scholars like her who made great contributions to the research and teaching cause of foreign languages in Peking University through this exhibition.


    After that, Prof. Huang Liaoyu, dean of the department of German, expressed gratitude for the great support that families and friends of Kathe Starkloff-Linke had offered. He continued to speak highly of her being paradigm of tolerance and enthusiasm for teaching as well as her devoted role as a folk cultural ambassador between China and Germany.


    Prof. Tong Xiuying, teacher of the department of German, spoke on behalf of Kathe Starkloff-Linke’s students, emotionally recalling her training and care when she worked at Peking University. And last of all, her son Mr. Zhao Xia addressed the whole family’s gratitude for Peking University for holding this exhibition, and recalled her deep love for China.


    This exhibition consists of four parts, namely “the Youth”, “with Germany and China”, “Teaching in PKU” and “Enjoying the Senior Years”, which vividly reflected the legendary life of Kathe Starkloff-Linke. Her former students are mostly well over seventies by now, yet many attended this exhibition with much gratitude and respect, eagerly putting down how they miss her on the visitor's book. The young teachers of the department of German who visited the exhibition regarded the spirits of indifference to fame and fortune, endurance to loneliness and painstaking research, which characterize the elder scholars of literature like her, as priceless spiritual assets for successors. They feel obliged to follow in their footsteps, and move on in carrying on these traditional virtues.


    Being the first in exhibition series of life of foreign teachers in the school of foreign languages, the display will continue till May 9, 2010, which will be followed up by exhibitions on other foreign teachers in PKU Academia Historica later on.


    Edited by: Connie Chang

    Translated by: Chen Long

    Source: PKU News (Chinese)