Anna Komarova

In November 2009, Anna and her colleague and friend Tatiana Davidenko gave a presentation at Berlin’s Humboldt University, reporting on sign language research in Russia and the Russian Deaf community. They were to take a plane back to Moscow the next day, but it became apparent that no provisions had been made as to where they would spend the night. Anna did not seem to consider this any problem and professed that she and Tanya were happy to wander the streets of Berlin in this bittercold November night. Of course, Sabine would not hear of it and invited them both to our home, which was then somewhat outside of Berlin. We improvised some food, it must have been pasta, Sabine’s Deaf parents came by, and the evening turned into a very animated, long signing night. We had some red wine, but this did not seem quite the right choice for our guests. Fortunately, an unopened bottle of Vodka turned up and added greatly to a very jolly evening. With all our wine and Vodka gone, Anna and Tanya slept, quite happily, in our children’s beds.Over the years, we stayed in touch and met repeatedly. Anna accompanied Tanya to an early death in June 2020, and sent us heart-warming pictures to commemorate her friend’s 68th birthday in August 2021. When Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year, Anna expressed the horror and shame she felt in very clear words. It was wonderful to have had a friend in Russia such as Anna. We miss her.

Sabine Fries & Jens Hessmann

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