Remembering 9/11 – A Tribute

 Klaus Johannes Sprockamp

Chief Financial Officer, LION Bioscience AG.  Resident of Muhltal, Germany.  42 years old.

To friends in Heidelberg, Germany, Klaus Sprockamp was Ein stiller Geniesser, or quiet connoisseur, a lover of Ferragamo ties who found time to host barbecues and tour the Alps on his Suzuki motorcycle with old school chums.

To colleagues at LION bioscience AG, he was a high-powered chief financial officer intent on helping to make his company and his country a global player in biotechnology.

In the emerging world of German biotech, Sprockamp stood out not because of scientific prowess but because of financial pragmatism.  His no-nonsense message to investors – that meeting quarterly estimates was as important as reaching research milestones – last year helped turn LION bioscience’s initial public stock offering into one of Europe’s hottest biotech offerings, even as many technology stocks were imploding.

It was a meeting with investors that brought Sprockamp to money manager Fiduciary Trust Co. on the 94th floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower Sept. 11.  He had come to reassure investors following a 30 percent decline in LION recently, after a handful of the original investors sold shares upon the expiration of the IPO’s lockup period.

As usual with Sprockamp, the meeting began punctually, at 8:30 a.m.  After the first hijacked plane hit the North Tower shortly before 9 a.m., Sebastian Gorki, a Deutsche Bank representative accompanying him, called his office to say they were OK.  Minutes later, the second hijacked jet hit the South Tower.  “I’ve thought often about how Klaus probably reacted. …  The more pressure there was, the more calm and collected he acted,” says Friedrich von Bohlen, chief executive of LION and one of his closest friends.

Though Sprockamp often worked long hours, a bout with cancer made him a believer in a balanced life.  In 1994, a skin growth was diagnosed as a severe but early stage of melanoma.  During his rehabilitation, he met his future wife, Beate, a surgeon.  He doted on their sons, Johannes, five, and Lucas, three, who have a fleet of toy cars.  On trips to Manhattan, Sprockamp usually made a point of stopping by FAO Schwartz to add to the collection.  To his delight, the store was less than 100 yards away from a Ferragamo boutique.

“I’m back home on Friday,” said the 42-year-old on the phone to his mother, Wilhelmina Sprockamp,  Later that day, she stared into the TV and muttered: “Now Klaus is dead!”

Initially, his son Johannes asked every day whether he could call Daddy in heaven. His brother, Lucas said: “If the terrorists had known how much we love our Dad, then they would not have flown the plane into the tower.”

Sprockamps body was found almost completely intact. He was lying near the body of German banker Sebastian Gorki.  Both died in the same office on that fateful day.

“For us, every day is September 11,“ says Wilhelmina Sprockamp. “We can not escape from our thoughts.”

. . . . . . .

Am Ende der Reise kommen wir heim. – 9/11/2002

. . . . . . .

You will never be forgotten my dear friend! I will always miss you, Jane Tierney – 9/12/2006

. . . . . . .

Never forget, always remember.

Remembering 9/11 – from 2006

Project 2,996

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About Tom Roland

EE for 25 Years, Two Patents - now a certified PMP. Married twice, burned once. One son with Asperger's Syndrome. Two cats. Conservative leaning to the Right. NRA Life Member.
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10 Responses to Remembering 9/11 – A Tribute

  1. Klaus survived a bout with cancer. Irony there, particularly in that on 9/10 everybody recognized cancer as the enemy but not the jihadists.

    Excellent tribute, Tom.

  2. Ken Taylor says:

    Thanks for the tribute Tom. We must never forget leat we neglect to remember why we fight and who we are as a people. So many, even in our own country are trying to make us the enemy when we were shamelessly attacked without provocation.

    Next time someone wants to gripe about waterboarding a murdering fanatical thug, show them a picture of the innocent people who jumped from the Towers having to choose whether to burn alive or fall 110 stories!

  3. Braden says:

    An excellent post. Ken, well put comment, too! God bless.

  4. Miradena says:

    What an important reminder that each person who lost a life on September 11th, 2001 had a special story. We simply cannot allow the Obama administration to take the deserved reverence from this day and replace it with a National Day of Service. This was a lovely tribute. We will always remember….

  5. Joe says:

    Ummm. Very powerful.

    Each of us remembers where we were and what we were doing that day.

    Let us be faithful in keeping the painful memory alive that it never be repeated.

  6. A really well done job, Tom. You fittingly placed some time and obvious effort in researching Mr. Sprockamp. I particularly like what these joint efforts do for the family and friends of their lost loved one. It also collectively enables anyone who is interested in any or all of the victims an opportunity to look into each and their contributions, accomplishments, passions.

    Each part is a piece of the whole. Thank you too for taking the time you did to read our tribute.

    Best to you…

  7. Tom says:

    Thank you, everyone, for visiting and leaving your thoughts and comments. My only regret is that we have to remember such a tragedy wrought by terrorists.

  8. Debbie says:

    What a wonderful tribute. As I’ve been reading the names and tributes yesterday and today, it amazes me the many different ethnic groups that were represented in the towers on September 11, 2001. We truly are a melting pot. All working together, some friends, some probably never met. But on that day strangers helped strangers. As always leaders stepped up, volunteers stepped up, that’s America!

  9. Give us a few more years, some people will feel guilty for saying “God Bless America.”

    You know, America: the last and best hope of this entire planet.

    BZ

  10. Tom says:

    Debbie – That is one thing that we are known for – jumping in and helping when disaster strikes, no matter who it may be. I can point to Indonesia after the tsunami hit as an example.

    BZ – There are already people feeling guilty and apologizing for actions of generations of Americans past. Look no further than the Obamination that is in the White House for an example of this.

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