Monika Schoeller, longtime director of S. Fischer Verlag, is dead. She died after a short illness on October 17 in Filderstadt near Stuttgart at the age of 80, as her publisher announced.
Previously, her brother Stefan von Holtzbrinck had informed friends, companions and media representatives in a letter from Schoeller's death. "A few weeks ago, on her 80th birthday (... ...) you would not have noticed that she would soon say goodbye with a smile and quiet, in good with herself, the people and their great work," wrote by Holtzbrinck in the letter.
Together with her brother, Schoeller was a shareholder of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, which includes quality media and publishing houses such as "Nature", Macmillan and, alongside Fischer, the German publishers Rowohlt, Kiepenheuer & Witsch and Droemer Knaur.
Schoeller was born on 15 September 1939 as the daughter of the publisher Georg von Holtzbrinck in Stuttgart. She studied in Munich, Vienna, Paris, London languages and in Zurich art history and German studies. The publishing trade she learned among others at the publishing house Artemis & Winkler. In 1974 she became a publisher at S. Fischer in Frankfurt am Main.
"Glory-avoiding in secret"
Under her leadership, the publisher brought out numerous major editions, for example, the publication of Thomas Mann's diaries from 1977 onwards or the Great Annotated Frankfurter Ausgabe (GKFA) of Thomas Mann's works in 2002. Other editions of the work were published by Ilse Aichinger, Sigmund Freud, Carl Zuckmayer, Arthur Schnitzler, Alfred Kerr, Heinrich Mann, Franz Kafka and Hubert Fichte. In addition, Schoeller initiated in 1977 the "Black Series", the most comprehensive book series to date on National Socialism worldwide and the far-sighted series "The Woman in Society" and "Fischer Alternative".
At the end of 2002, Monika Schoeller retired from operational work, but remained a publisher and member of the management board. After her withdrawal, Schoeller focused on the S. Fischer Foundation, which she founded in 2003 as a private foundation. This is dedicated to the cultural, especially literary exchange. Since 2003, the S. Fischer Foundation has been supporting translations of German-language contemporary literature in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Hungary, Poland and Turkey. In 2008, she initiated the European network for literature and books TRADUKI.
For her commitment Monika Schoeller received numerous awards, including the Federal Cross of Merit, the Goethe badge of the city of Frankfurt and most recently the Maecenas honor of the working group of independent cultural institutes.
In addition to the literary work Schoeller was almost unknown despite their wide-ranging impact, since they never sought the limelight. "She dwells and likes to avoid glory in secret," author Silvia Bovenschen wrote on the occasion of Schoeller's 70th birthday. "Where it helps, it happens tactfully, where it judges, it happens with a fine sense."