Today we buried a friend and brother, our fellow LERA member Daniel Haufler. He passed away on 27 February 2023 while serving at the German Embassy in Washington, DC. As Labor Counselor, Daniel was part of the LERA family. His remains were brought to Berlin, his home of many years, where he was laid to rest today.
“Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it.” Those words by one of his favorite singers, Bob Dylan, seem to be a fitting motive for Daniel’s life. A native of the German city of Mainz, Daniel was eager to explore places in near and far. Just in time for the falling of the Berlin Wall, he moved to Berlin in 1989 to study literature and history. His studies later led him to Munich as well as across the Atlantic, to Duke University.
An avid reader and a true intellectual, Daniel followed his calling and became a journalist. He is remembered as a talented and passionate opinion editor, working for many years at the German newspapers taz and Berliner Zeitung. A “collector of opinions”, a former colleague called him. A good listener, intellectually curious, unobtrusive with his own views, everyone agreed.
In 2017, he took on a position as Managing Editor at the German trade union confederation DGB where he was in charge of the debate journal Gegenblende, publishing op-eds on current political and social issues and launching a podcast.
When, in 2021, the opportunity arose to move to Washington, DC to work as Labor Counselor at the German Embassy, he happily accepted, returning to the US, a country he had come to love during his days at Duke University.
The many friends who came to his side during the last days of his brief terminal illness were a testament to Daniel’s exceptional kindheartedness and his ability to maintain long and meaningful friendships – over decades and across long distances.