HERMANN AXEN, 75, an Auschwitz survivor who became a senior East German Communist and the former nation's highest-ranking person to officially visit the United States, died Saturday. Mr. Axen died after a long illness in Berlin, according to broadcast news reports. No cause of death was given. He was one of former East German leader Erich Honecker's closest foreign affairs advisers. He became the first ranking East German to travel to the United States on an official visit, meeting then-Secretary of State George Shultz in April 1988. In 1940, he was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp in occupied Poland. Mr. Axen was ousted when Honecker's government was toppled in November 1989. He was arrested a short time later for alleged corruption, but released because of poor health.
BEP van KLAVEREN, 84, whose fast and furious style earned him the nickname "The Dutch Windmill" and who was considered the Netherlands' greatest boxer, died Wednesday in Rotterdam. He was the only Dutch boxer ever to win an Olympic gold medal, placing first in the featherweight division at the 1928 Amsterdam games. He also held the European light and middleweight titles during the 1930s.
WILLIAM SCHUMAN, 81, a composer whose distinctly American style won two Pulitzer Prizes and guided him as the founding president of Lincoln Center and the president of the Juilliard School, died Saturday at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York after hip surgery, his family said. Among his varied music creations were 10 symphonies; five ballet scores; piano, violin, viola and cello concertos; four string quartets; numerous works for chorus; band scores and operas. Although it was a secular cantata, A Free Song, that won him his first Pulitzer Prize in music, in 1943, his symphonic works are considered his most important accomplishment. He won a second Pulitzer in 1985 for both his composition and his work as an educator and administrator.
RUFUS EATON, 111, a retired bricklayer believed to be Tennessee's oldest citizen, died Wednesday in Tullahoma, Tenn. Mr. Eaton, who received best wishes from President Bush on his 110th birthday on Jan. 18, 1991, died at Harton Regional Medical Center. His niece, Crystal Whitworth, said she has records showing her uncle's birth date to be Jan. 18, 1881. But a census worker once told her that Eaton could be nine years older than his recorded age.
JEANNE F. BERNKOPF, 65, who edited Scarlett and other best-selling books, died Feb. 10 in New York. Mrs. Bernkopf, who lived in Manhattan, was stricken and died while riding in a taxi, her family said. No exact cause of death has been determined. Mrs. Bernkopf edited Kitty Kelley's unauthorized biographies on Nancy Reagan and Frank Sinatra as well as Alexandra Ripley's Scarlett, the sequel to Gone with the Wind.
DOROTHY URIS, 85, an actress and voice teacher known professionally as Dorothy Tree, died Thursday in Englewood, N.J., of heart failure. Her best-known film roles were as the mother of Knute Rockne (played by Pat O'Brien) in Knute Rockne: All American (1940), and Louis Calhern's invalid wife in The Asphalt Jungle (1950). Mrs. Uris was a founding member of the Screen Actor's Guild.
DR. NAHMAN AVIGAD, 86, an eminent Israeli archaeologist, died Jan. 28 in Jerusalem. His death was reported in New York by American Friends of Hebrew University. Dr. Avigad led excavation of the vestiges of the workaday Jerusalem that the Romans razed in A.D. 70 together with the Second Temple.
TISSAHAMI, a Sri Lankan tribal chief who led his people for at least seven decades, has died, a government official said Saturday. It was not known when Tissahami was born, but he is believed to have been nearly 100. He died Friday of natural causes in the village of Mahiyangana, said government agent M. Etampawela. Tissahami led the Veddha tribe, believed to be descendants of neolithic hunters. In recent years, they have been forced out of their forest homes and confined to two government settlements, where they try to preserve their primitive ways.