Herbert Lederer, professor emeritus of German, died July 18. He was 86.
Formerly of Storrs, Lederer, who lived in West Hartford, joined the UConn faculty in 1969 and retired in 1989.
Internationally recognized in the field of German studies, Lederer was head of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages from 1969 to 1979 and was a vocal member of the University Senate.
He expressed his interest in modern German drama through essays and reviews, and by directing student theater productions.
He was known as a dynamic teacher, and authored textbooks and articles on teaching methods.
“Hebert Lederer was a most accomplished scholar of German and Austrian literature,” says Katharina von Hammerstein, professor of German. She says Lederer was “an expert on Franz Kafka, a fan of theater who put on stage many productions, and a pillar of the University of Connecticut community. He was truly a great man and colleague. We will miss him.”
Gene Barberet, professor emeritus of French, described Lederer as a “splendid man in so many ways.” He noted Lederer’s passion for teaching, love and concern for students, and “tremendous devotion” to his late wife of 50 years, Eva Marie.
Lederer chaired and served on many national committees devoted to the improvement of foreign language instruction.
He was also on the faculties of Queens College (CUNY), Ohio University, Wabash College, and the summer language institute at Middlebury College.
He founded a German theater competition that fostered student enthusiasm in German drama throughout New England.
The Austrian government awarded him the Austrian Cross of Honor, First Class, and the German Federal Republic gave him a Certificate of Recognition for his achievements.
Lederer is survived by his daughter Barbara, his son George, and three grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to the Herbert Lederer Scholarship Fund, with checks payable to the UConn Foundation, and mailed to the University of Connecticut Foundation Inc., 2390 Alumni Drive, Storrs, CT 06269-3206.