読者です 読者をやめる 読者になる 読者になる



シュミットの晩年について、独Die Zeit紙の運営するZEIT ONLINE(英語版)は次のように伝えている(”Helmut, May You Rest in Peace”by Von Matthias Naß )。なお、シュミットは、1983年以降、同紙の共同発行人の地位にあった。

(…)Helmut Schmidt wasn’t afraid of dying, but he still hung on to life. He remained intellectually active right up to the end. Despite having been confined to a wheelchair in his final years and his struggle with some physical infirmities, his workload remained massive. He read nonstop – at home, in his office, in the car – and his reading was in no way limited to newspaper articles. He read through EU reports and embassy analyses, through draft legislation and parliamentary transcripts. At night he read philosophy and history books in addition to literary classics.


Schmidt was certain he lived to such an advanced age because he never quit working. More important, though, is that he never ceased being curious. He would barrage anyone who visited him with questions. Whether they were politicians, diplomats, the president of a central bank or journalists, they all had to report to him about all the latest developments – and he wanted it all in detail.


(…)It may be hard for outsiders to believe it, but Helmut Schmidt did in fact come to the office three or often four times a week right up until close before his death. He would show up on Fridays at 12 p. m. on the nose for the weekly editorial meeting of the Politics Desk, often the first person to turn up. It was almost always Schmidt who started the meeting. "I have a question," he would say.

(外部の方には信じがたいかもしれないが、ヘルムート・シュミットは亡くなる前まで、毎週3度か4度は、Die Zeitのオフィスに出社していた。金曜日12時からの政治部デスク会議にはいつも時間きっかりに現れ、しばしば一番乗りだった。会議の口火を切るのは、ほとんどいつもシュミットだった。そして「私は質問がある」と言うのだった。)

Often he was expressing a firm opinion in the guise of a question. It might have been about Ukraine, Greece, Obama or the German government’s refugee policies. He wanted to discuss everything, but he also wanted to hear counter arguments. During his 32 years with DIE ZEIT, Helmut Schmidt participated in around 1,500 Friday editorial meetings. There was not a single person on our staff who was not proud to be able to participate in those meetings with him.

(質問とみせかけて、おうおうにして、彼は確固たる意見を持っているのだった。ウクライナ問題、ギリシャ問題、オバマ米大統領、ドイツ政府の移民政策に至るまで。彼はあらゆることについて議論を好んだが、同時に、反対の立場の意見を聞くことも望んだ。Die Zeitでの32年間で、彼はおよそ1500回の金曜日の編集会議に参加した。彼とともにこうした会議に参加できたことを誇りに思わないスタッフは、私たちのうちに誰一人いない。)

(…)In his final years, Helmut Schmidt liked to cite a verse from American poet Robert Frost. "The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep."

(晩年、彼はアメリカの詩人、ロバート・フロストの詩の一節を引用するのを好んだ。「森は美しく、暗くて深い。だが、わたしには約束の仕事がある。眠るまでにはまだ幾マイルか行かねばならぬ。眠るまでにはまだ幾マイルか行かねばならぬ。」〔ロバート・フロスト、安藤一郎訳「雪の夕べに森のそばに立つ」『世界詩人全集第12巻 ディキンソン・フロスト・サンドバーグ詩集』新潮社,1968年 所収*〕)

* ロバート・フロストの詩の訳は、以下のサイトから引用させていただきました。「語られる言葉の河へ」