Other Notable Deaths

October 26, 2007

ERNST LUDWIG EHRLICH, 86 Jewish religious philosopher

Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich, a Jewish religious philosopher who escaped the Nazis and later helped bridge the gap between Christians and Jews, died Sunday at his home in Riehen, Switzerland, according to a family notice in Swiss newspapers. He was 86.

Dr. Ehrlich, who was born in Berlin, studied at the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies, Rabbi Leo Baeck's rabbinical seminary, until the Nazis closed it in 1942. The Nazis forced him into labor until he was able to find shelter with a Berlin couple and was smuggled into Switzerland.

Dr. Ehrlich obtained a doctorate at Basel and later taught at universities in Switzerland and Germany. From 1961 to 1994, he was European director of the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith, founded in New York in 1843.

At the Second Vatican Council in 1965, he was adviser to German Cardinal Augustin Bea in preparing "Nostra Aetate," a key document on Roman Catholic-Jewish relations.

Dr. Ehrlich was the author of several books on Judaism and was credited by the Free University of Berlin with "influencing generations of scientists."

R.B. KITAJ, 74 Artist

R.B. Kitaj, a key figure in the British Pop Art movement, died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles, said a director of New York's Marlborough Gallery, which was the official representative for Mr. Kitaj's works. He was 74.

His death was reported as a possible suicide, but a cause of death was not given, pending results of toxicology tests, said Capt. Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

Mr. Kitaj emerged in the 1960s along with contemporaries and friends such as David Hockney and Lucian Freud. He eschewed the wildly popular abstraction of the times. Instead, his works emphasized human figures and were full of cultural and historic allusions.

His 1970s work If Not, Not, for example, contains a collagelike mass of images that include the guardhouse gate of the Auschwitz death camp and a portrayal of T.S. Eliot, whose poem The Waste Land inspired the painting.

Mr. Kitaj was elected as a Royal Academician of Britain's Royal Academy of Arts in 1991 -- the first American to receive the honor since John Singer Sargent in the 1800s. He also was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1995.

URSULA VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, 96 Wrote librettos

Ursula Vaughan Williams, who wrote librettos for her composer husband Ralph Vaughan Williams and produced his biography, died at age 96.

She died Tuesday in London, said Gwen Knighton of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, of which Ms. Vaughan Williams was president.

Ms. Vaughan Williams published RVW, a well-regarded biography of Ralph Vaughan Williams, in 1964. She also wrote lyrics for "The Sons of Light," "Four Last Songs" and parts of Hodie and Pilgrim's Progress, which he set to music, and produced five volumes of verse and three novels.

She married the composer in 1953. He died five years later.

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