With great sadness, we mourn the loss of our friend and colleague Ralph Sprenkels. Ralph was a lecturer for Latin American History at the University Utrecht, and apart from being a dedicated historian and anthropologist, he was also an academic highly committed to the defense of human rights. He co-founded and worked for many years with the Asociación Pro-Búsqueda in El Salvador, capturing the memories and lives of disappeared children and their families during the war in various publications. Ralph dedicated his life to academic work, receiving his doctorate with a work that explored the realities of guerrilla warfare in the post-war period. His texts and articles presented insightful and critical analyses, always empathetic with the victims of war and the post-war period. His work at the University of Utrecht did not stop him from supporting the search for justice and truth, as evidenced by his participation as an expert in the case of the massacre of El Mozote, El Salvador, this year.
Ralph became part of MemoriAL through Lena Voigtländer in 2016. He enriched the group with his knowledge, kindness and willingness to cooperate and create together. Ralph and Lena met in El Salvador, sharing their dedication to the study of memory and the civil war in El Salvador. Thanks to his extensive knowledge of Latin America and his way of motivating, Ralph became a mentor to many of us, giving warm, intelligent and sensitive advice.
Ralph, you will be missed. To your family, friends and colleagues, our deepest condolences.
We will remember the moments we shared working with you at MemoriAL.
Thank you, dear Ralph