Karel Vietsch 24/11/1952 – 23/02/2014

Karel Vietsch, after having received a Dutch Royal decoration, 13 May 2013

Karel Vietsch, after having received a Dutch Royal decoration, 13 May 2013

TERENA is mourning the loss of Karel Vietsch, who passed away on 23 February 2014. Karel had been TERENA’s Secretary General from March 1996 until March 2012, when illness prevented him from fulfilling his duties. In spite of this illness, Karel continued to show a strong attention to TERENA activities, providing information and support to the Secretariat staff and occasionally engaging with the wider community. He will be much missed.

As Secretary-General, Karel’s responsibilities included the day-to-day management of the TERENA Secretariat staff, the execution of policies and activities, and reporting to the TERENA Executive Committee. Karel also represented TERENA in contacts with other organisations.

His extensive knowledge, paired with his ability to commit fully to TERENA’s goals, made Karel a respected personality in the wider research and education networking community. In 2013 Karel’s outstanding contribution to networking and the Internet was rewarded; appointed an Officer in the Dutch Royal Order of Orange-Nassau, Karel was presented with the royal insignia during a private ceremony on 13 May.

Speaking on behalf of the TERENA Secretary staff, Acting Secretary General Valentino Cavalli said, “I would like to express the highest respect to Karel for having brilliantly shaped TERENA during all his years in service, as well as our gratitude for the message he gave us through his conduct in his work – thoroughly business wise and intrinsically ethical. We will miss you, Karel.”

If you wish to leave a message of condolence for Karel’s family, please post your message at the bottom of this page and we will pass it on.

Short biography
Karel graduated from Leiden University in 1975 with a major in mathematics and minors in economics and theoretical computer science. He was a teacher and researcher at Leiden University, and obtained a PhD in mathematics in 1979. After doing military service in The Hague, sharing one computer with twenty other conscripts, he joined Delft University of Technology as manager of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

In 1984 he moved to the Science Policy Department of the Dutch Ministry of Education and Sciences, where he was involved in the implementation of the research part of the government’s Computer Science Promotion Plan, which included the creation of a national research network, SURFnet. Climbing through the ranks within the ministry he became Head of Unit for Information and Infrastructure in 1992, whereafter in 1996 he joined TERENA as Secretary-General.

Karel’s busy work schedule left him little spare time, but when he found some time off to travel he was keen to enjoy the atmosphere and culture of TERENA member countries.

Further information
The news item “TERENA Secretary General receives royal honour” links to photos from the decoration event of 13 May 2013 and contains more details about Karel’s achievements. A short video of the ceremony is available on TERENAtube.

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74 Responses to Karel Vietsch 24/11/1952 – 23/02/2014

  1. Erik-Jan Bos says:

    Beste Familie van Karel:

    Van harte gecondoleerd met het verlies van Karel. Hoewel zijn heengaan niet onverwachts kwam, kwam het voor mij wel erg plotseling. Nog maar enkele weken geleden zat ik met hem en anderen in een videoconferentie en het viel me op hoe actief hij was. Ik vond dat fijn om te zien. Wat een schok dat ik gisteren moest vernemen dat Karel er niet meer is.

    Vele jaren heb ik het genoegen gehad om met Karel te mogen werken, in zijn rol als Secretaris-Generaal van TERENA. Ik heb Karel leren kennen als een hard-werkende, veel-bereikende en bovenal redelijke persoonlijkheid. Karel’s heldere en scherpe analyses en zijn toewijding werden al door zijn afwezigheid in verband met zijn ziekte gemist, maar nu is dit definitief. Zo onwerkelijk….

    Karel heeft een grote rol gespeeld in de ontwikkeling van R&E Networks in Europa, maar ook daarbuiten. Karel heeft in deze community zijn plek in de geschiedenisboeken welverdiend.

    Ik wens u sterkte toe om het verlies van Karel een plek te kunnen geven.

    Hartelijke groet, Erik-Jan Bos.

  2. Condolences to the family of Karel and the TERENA organization from the European Grid Infrastructure community for the loss of a colleague and friend of many of us.
    Karel, thanks for your great dedication to the networking community in Europe and for so many years of a professional life spent in support to research and education.
    Tiziana Ferrari, EGI.eu Technical Director

  3. Cees de Laat says:

    Beste Familie en collega’s van Karel,

    Ik sluit me aan bij de mooie woorden van Erik-Jan en Tiziana. Van harte ook van ons (Universiteit van Amsterdam) gecondoleerd met het verlies. Ik herinner naast zijn grote constructieve bijdragen aan het Europese netwerken ook zijn warme belangstelling voor onderzoek en innovatie vanaf het begin met short technical projects tot de zeer goed vorm gegeven Terena conferenties en verbindende factoren in talloze EU projecten. Karel hield zich altijd enige mate op de achtergrond maar was altijd feitelijk een grote drijvende positief ingestelde kracht! We zullen hem zeer missen!

    Met groet,
    Cees de Laat,
    Hoogleraar System and Network Engineering, UvA.

  4. Mark Jacobs says:

    Beste mensen,

    Het overlijden van Karel is voor allen die hem kennen een groot verlies. Hoewel ik maar kort met hem heb mogen samenwerken, was ik onder de indruk van zijn enorme enthousiasme en vakkennis…een zeer inspirerende man en collega. Hij zal nog lang in ons aller herinnering voortleven.
    Veel sterkte aan allen in Karel’s naaste omgeving in deze moeilijke periode.

    Mark Jacobs
    Stratix Consulting bv

  5. James Sankar says:

    So sad to hear this news, Karel you were a great friend and mentor to me, you had a great ability to cover the technical, business and political dimensions so well. You also knew how to have fun and Rhodes TNC will be fondly remembered by me personally and by my wife too. Thinking of your family and friends at TERENA and the community at large at this sad time. James Sankar, AARNet

  6. Karel was a historical figure of the global NREN community, a visionary European e-infrastructures fighter across borders and divides.

    And above all he was a valuable friend and trusted colleague, a pleasure to interact with and profit from his vast experience (even on occasions of disagreement over tactics) to achieve our common vision: Advancing the cause of research & academic networking towards an open public platform for trusted services, but also as a vehicle for innovations in distributed computing.

    I will always remember him with the fondest memories,


  7. DaeYoung Kim says:

    On behalf of the whole APAN community, I’d like to express our deepest sorrow to learn that Mr. Karel Vietsch passed away. Many of APAN people have worked with him for a number of years and he has been well known to the whole APAN community. We’d like to express our sincere condolence to his family. We pray he rest in peace. DY Kim, Chair, APAN.

  8. Tan Tin Wee says:

    To the family of Karel our good friend.
    Our deepest sympathies and condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of bereavement. Karel has been a tremendous help to us in Asia and an inspiration to us all. We will all miss him.
    Tan Tin Wee, Singapore.

  9. Very sad news, condolences to friends and family alike.

  10. Dear members of Karel’s family.
    On behalf of the Latin American Cooperation of Research Networks (CLARA) I would like to trasmit to you our deepest regrets for your lost which is also ours. For long time we have worled jointly with Karel in a series of initiatives of woirldwide collaboration, he has been an enthousiastic of international collaboration and we have always found in him the person to open TERENA’s support for an open collaborative world.
    Rest in peace dear friend.

    Florencio I. Utreras, Executive Director, CLARA

  11. Isaac Kasana says:

    On behalf of the board of Research and Education Network for Uganda (RENU) and the growing R&E community linked to RENU, I join the GÉANT community in saluting our departed colleague Karel Vietsch, and appreciate his contribution to R&E networking spanning over 18 years. We especially share condolence with his family and close friends.

  12. Anonymous says:

    CERNET have connected with GÉANT for years, linking students between China and Europe.
    Working in NREN as a community, we share the sadness of losing a friend.
    Wish him a peaceful rest.
    MA Yan, BUPT, Beijing

  13. Gorazd says:

    I would like to extend my condolences to Karel’s family. This is truly sad news and I dare to say that I also speak for a large part of the European Internet Security community as Karel was instruemental with setting up a cooperation platform for European incident-response teams, the TF-CSIRT that spurred interest also outside Europe. From May 2000 to May 2008 when I was the TF-CSIRT Chair, I often looked to Karel for advice and guidance and even when I thought that he was really just nit-picking in the middle of the meeting on a silly sentence in the TF-CSIRT Terms of Reference I later discovered that he had a really good reason for it as he was always focused and looked many steps ahead even with small formalities.

    Gorazd Božič
    Slovenian Computer Emergency Response Team (SI-CERT)
    Acedemic and Research Network of Slovenia (ARNES)
    TERENA TF-CSIRT Chair 2000-2008

  14. Baiba Kaskina says:

    I’m sending my sincerest condolences both to Karel’s family and the TERENA colleagues.
    For me Karel has played a very important role in life – at TERENA as a boss who first of all believed in me and later from whom I was able to learn so much. I really saw that as a privilege to work with him together – both at TERENA and later from the SigmaNet’s side.
    I’ll miss him very much.

    Baiba Kaskina
    SigmaNet general manager, CERT.LV manager
    Worked at TERENA 2003-2006

  15. Anthony says:

    I just wanted to extend my condolences to the family of Karel and to the rest of the team at TERENA Secretariat. While I only got to work with Karel for half of my time at TERENA before he fell ill, I held him in high regard for his knowledge and dedication to the work of the Secretariat, and where he and I bonded over the politics of the organizations’ actions and reactions within the society of researchers and NREN community. It makes me sad that he didn’t get to see the better of his sickness and make it through this, but I am also happy that he was able to experience the honor of the award of Officer of the Order van Oranje-Nassau.

    Knowing how closely the family at TERENA Secretariat works together, this must be a painful time for everyone, especially the managers who worked with Karel for such a long period of time. I wish you all the strength in this time. There can only be comfort in knowing that he is no longer suffering.

  16. Axel Pawlik says:

    I, along with many colleagues at the RIPE NCC, offer sincere condolences to Karel’s family, friends, and colleagues.

    Karel and TERENA proved instrumental to the establishment of the RIPE NCC and a great relationship has been maintained over the years. He will be sorely missed.

    Kind regards,
    Axel Pawlik
    RIPE NCC Managing Director

  17. Jean-Luc Dorel says:

    On behalf of European Commission’s colleagues i’d like to express our deep sadness for the loss of Karel and sincere condoleance to his family and relatives.
    He will be remembered as a wise, trustable and visionary man, one of the key individual having promoted this REN world and defending it vigorously.
    He was very much committed to the European cause and was keen to a frank and open dialogue with EC staff demonstrating both clear vision and grasp of the detail.
    My thoughts go to all staff at TERENA that loose with Karel a key family member.
    Jean-Luc Dorel

  18. Ana Hunsinger says:

    On behalf of Internet2 and also personally, I would like to express our deepest condolences for the passing of Karel. Karel left an imprint around the globe and for those of us that were able to work with him in many capacities, he will be sorely missed. I know that I speak for my colleagues at Internet2 and many in the United States. We will miss Karel’s directness and frankness (and also a unique but fun sense of humor) but most importantly, his contributions to the global R&E community. I know there are few words to console during this time, so may time and the loving memories help as much as possible.
    Ana Hunsinger

  19. In the name of the whole ACOnet team I’m offering our sincere condolences to Karel’s family and to the TERENA colleagues. Let us keep up with the open and collaborative TERENA spirit Karel was promoting for so many years as the basis for numerous valuable activities and services which have been developed in the international REN community over the past 20+ years.
    Christian Panigl

  20. Jacques Schuurman says:

    What an incromprehensible shock, this is. Karel leaves an imprint of a very determined, dedicated, knowledgeable, inspiring and intelligent colleague, whose advice I will deeply miss. His spirit will continue to inspire the TF-CSIRT community of which he was a true godfather. The community owes him profound gratitude for the stirdiness with which he has set the first tangible steps in a -then- almost unexploited and barren environment. My deepest condolences to Karel’s family and the TERENA community. We carry this loss jointly.

    Thank you Karel.

  21. Ann Harding says:

    Project meetings just haven’t been the same without him. Simply, we miss him.

  22. Dimitris Kalogeras says:

    Karel was a cornerstone figure of the latest Internet development in Europe. My sincerest condolences to his family and Terena. I would like to propose of a special session in this year TNC .

    Kind regards,

  23. Alexandr van den Hil says:

    Thank you Karel, for all the effort and passionate work you did for TERENA, GLIF and all the other projects you were involved. We’ll miss you!

  24. Jacqueline Brown says:

    My sincere condolences to Karel’s family and to his TERENA colleagues. A sad day for the global R&E community
    Jacqueline Brown, Pacific Wave

  25. Don Stikvoort says:

    Karel and I worked together on various topics for around 20 years. One of the cornerstones of our work together was building the European CSIRT community via EuroCERT, TF-CSIRT, Trusted Introducer and TRANSITS. What I will remember most vividly are his honesty, precision and integrity – but especially also those rare moments where we both had the time for a private discussion beyond work, and Karel showed a warm sense of humanity.

    You will be missed in this life, Karel.

    Warm Greetings to Karel’s family and friends, and to all who care to read these pages,
    Don Stikvoort

  26. Karel made a profound impact on the shaping of the CERT community in Europe, and his wisdom also helped me to determine where we at KPN-CERT wanted to go.

    It’s truly saddening to learn he has gone away, just at the time when I start to become a trainer of the TRANSITS course he helped to set up so many years ago.

    I’ll do my best to make you proud, Karel, thank you for everything you have done for the community.

    Best regards to Karel’s family, I will sorely miss him.
    Martijn van der Heide, KPN-CERT

  27. Namens SURFnet wil ik Karel’s familie en TERENA van harte condoleren met het overlijden van Karel. Hoewel niet onverwacht, is het een schok om te vernemen dat Karel er niet meer is.

    Karel was vanuit het Ministerie van OCW betrokken bij de oprichting SURFnet en heeft zich daarna altijd met hart en ziel ingezet voor de wereldwijde gemeenschap van onderzoeks- en onderwijsnetwerken. Hij gaf daarmee letterlijk invulling aan het TERENA adagium “Networking the Networkers”. Hij verbond ons met elkaar en velen van ons hebben de afgelopen 25 jaar met hem samengewerkt. We zullen Karel missen.

    Erwin Bleumink – SURFnet

  28. Anonymous says:

    On behalf of PIONIER community I would like to make a sincere condolences to the Karel’s family and his TERENA colleagues. We have been working together for many years and thanks to Karel we always achieved a consensus. Please accept our deepest sympathy at this most challenging time.

    Kind regards,
    Artur Binczewski, PSNC

  29. Stelios Maistros says:

    I only interacted with Karel in the TF-CSIRT meetings. I remember him being serious, kind, cordial and helpful to answer to anyone’s questions even when he was really really busy.

    My condolences to his family and colleagues.


  30. To Karel’s family I offer my most heartfelt condolences. With his friends and colleagues I will mourn his passing but celebrate his wit, his dedication, and his accomplishments in the service of the research and education community.

  31. Anonymous says:

    While Karel will surely be missed, his legacy will remain. With his tremendous work ethic sustained over the years, he has given us so much to continue building on for our community into the future.

    Our sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

    Robert Sultana
    University of Malta

  32. Anonymous says:

    My sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
    Rest in peace Karel.

    Chelo Malagón,
    Spanish Research and Academic Network (RedIRIS)

  33. ancormack says:

    Having worked with Karel for much of the past fifteen years, this is desperately sad news. Karel has played a vital role in developing the European CERT community from the earliest days of TF-CSIRT and its predecessors. His understanding of, and support for, the idea that incident response had to extend beyond the traditional TERENA community was vital. He was particularly involved in the development of the TRANSITS training courses, which are now used for training incident responders across the world, taking on all roles from shepherding the paperwork through the European Commission to selecting locations and even acting as minibus driver on occasion.
    Working with Karel we got a lot done and also had a lot of fun. Just a few of the many happy memories of him I will always keep:
    * Disentangling an Ethernet cable from a Christmas tree in the snow in Pruhonice;
    * Persuading us that an empty swimming pool was the perfect place for a team photo in Carcavelos;
    * Explaining to an appalled maitre d’hotel in Chantilly that we would take only an hour for lunch;
    * Completing the final TRANSITS project review in an hour, when we’d both assumed a full day, and made travel plans appropriately;
    * Eating sardines and watching flamenco at the TNC opening gala in the Malaga bullring;
    * Celebrating my 40th birthday around a rijsttafel with good friends in Amsterdam.

    Andrew Cormack (Janet)

  34. Anonymous says:

    We are so sorry to hear about his passing, and he will be missed. We would like to express condolences to the family.

    Warm regards,
    Bente Christine Aasgaard

  35. We have felt the first sadness when we heard that Karel Vietsch was ill and on leave since March 2012. But now we face the most unfortunate loss to our Research and Education Networking community, Karel Vietsch – man of vision, dedication, experience, inspiration, and success. There is no doubt that he has realized a great part of his vision and left a wide prospect to his successors. His example personality living in minds and hearts will continue to inspire many.
    On behalf of Azerbaijan Research and Education Community, AzScienceNet, I extend my condolences to the family of Karel and all our friends in TERENA.

  36. leon rothkrantz says:

    After finishing his PhD at the University of Leiden karel switched to Delft University of Technology. He was appointed as secretary of the Board of the Faculty Mathematics and Informatics. We remember Karel as a very job involved person, working etremely hard but lways open for social activities. He was for many years an active player of our volleybalteam showing a remarkable technology.
    We will remember karel as a person with a charming personality and give all the best wishes to his parents, family and friends.
    Yours sincerely Leon Rothkrantz
    Delft University of Technology

  37. Ilja Mottier says:

    Karel was a former colleague in the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Although he left the Science Policy Department quite a while ago, we sometimes still met as we were almost neighbours in his hometown.
    Karel was hard working, witty, not afraid to defend his points of view.
    My condoleances to Terena and to his family. Karel will be missed.
    Ilja Mottier

  38. Victor Reijs says:

    Beste familie en kollegas van Karel,

    Wat een schok! Ik weet dat Karel behoorlijk ziek was, maar het blijft een schok. Ik wens Karel’s familie en TERENA sterkte met het verwerken van dit grote verlies.

    Ik kan me Karel herinneren toen TERENA werd opgezet. Hij was er druk mee verbonden en bleef focus geven aan TERENA. In soms moeilijke tijden heeft hij het schip mooi door laten varen!
    En hij is ook een voorbeeld over hoe hij met z’n kanker om ging! Het was bizonder om dat te zien en hij bleef tot het laatste moment betrokken bij zijn kollegas en TERENA.

    Nogmaals sterkte met het verwerken van dit grote verlies. Ik zal hem missen!


  39. The UbuntuNet Alliance extends condolences to the family and colleagues. Karel negated Shakespeare’s words “Life is but a mocking shadow…”. His life was anything but, since he had the vision and the ability to touch and shape an environment in which the rest of us are thriving.


  40. Bob van der Kamp says:

    Ondanks dat ik niet vaak contact had met Karel wil ik, ook namens het NCSC, mijn condoleances overbrengen. Hij laat een indrukwekkende staat van dienst na.

    Bob van der Kamp

  41. Stanislaw Starzak says:

    I am deeply sorry to hear about Karel leaving us. He has played a very important role in NRENs’ community and we all miss him very much. My sincere condolences to Karel’s family and to his TERENA colleagues.

    Stanislaw Starzak
    Technical Univeristy of Lodz, Poland

  42. Wilfried Woeber says:

    What a sad moment, when I read the message. Many of us will miss him, offering advice, guidance and being an example of professional integrity and determination. My sincere condolences to Karel’s family, his friends and colleagues at TERENA.

    I’ll keep the fond memory, amongst all the others, of Karel joining in with the fun we had during the early days of TF-CSIRT, when we were flocking together in a small separate room, in a restaurant in Amsterdam, converting the A4 sheets with the menu into kids’ folded airplanes – and eventually annoying the patron.

    Wilfried Wöber
    ACOnet-CERT, Vienna

  43. I feel shy adding a word. Among you busy and important people. I worked with Karel way back 1984-1988. I caught his heart on his very first day at the Ministry of Education & Science. It was a hothot summer and I cared not for formalities so walked off to a nice icecream parlour and bought icecreams for all colleagues. This gesture caught him by surprise. We got on well. Our ranks way different, our incentives alike, our working attitude alike. As I wrote to Karel in his last weeks: “To me he is the standard in my life of what a good colleague is like. Respectful, efficient, incorruptible, kind, with the capacity to create lightness & laughter.”
    It must have been heartbraking for his sister, family & friends, to see Karel suffer for so long. Even though he still managed to contribute & participate.
    I wish all those near to Karel and all you here who carry Karel in your heart, to enjoy many happy memories of Karel. And please do continue his work.

  44. Claudio Allocchio says:

    For Karel TERENA was one of the most important things in his life, and he deserved so much to it and to all those who were working for it and with it that we will never forget about his precious work, suggestions and dedication. I had a long path with him, first in then task forces, working groups,conference programme organisation , and then in the TERENA Executive Committee…
    Thanks Karel for all you gave us… we will never forget you!

  45. Wim Jansen says:

    Met innige Deelneming. Sterkte in dit vreselijke verlies.

  46. Catalin Meirosu says:

    I am deeply sorry to hear about Karel passing away. In this sad moment, I would like to transmit my deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to his family and TERENA colleagues.

    It was a privilege to work for Karel at TERENA during 2006-2007 when I was the secretary of TF-CSIRT. I will always remember him as being driven by a deep sense of serving and developing the community through every thought, advice and action.

  47. Jaap van den Herik en Letty Raaphorst says:

    Lieve bedroefde Antoinette,

    Samen met Karel heb jij zijn levenspad afgewandeld. Hij was blij met zo’n zus. Hoewel hij zelf zijn verdiensten had, sprak hij graag en teder over jou en jouw inzet voor de maatschappij. Vooral in de laatste jaren heb je veel voor hem gedaan en daar was hij je zeer erkentelijk voor. Wij zagen Karel komen in het begin van de jaren tachtig bij Wiskunde en Informatica. Het was bouwen, bouwen en nog eens bouwen. Karel deed mee, vooraan staand met ideeen en stimuleren waar hij kon. HIj was zelfverzekerd en bracht zijn zelfverzekerdheid ook over op anderen. Altijd attent, correct en met een groot gevoel voor humor. Een goed ontwikkeld gevoel voor verhoudingen en als een netwerker avant lettre zocht hij zijn weg. Omgaan met studenten vooral ook als er een paar maatjes van het WP aanwezig waren, waren drijfveren voor hem om toch nog even een weekend naar Zweden te vliegen om acte de presence te geven: de faculteit hoopt dat jullie hier veel leren.

    na de wiskunde en de groepentheorie werd je leven gestuurd door de organisatie bij de TU Delft
    en het Ministerie. Je steunde Surf, dat werd vervolgens Surfnet en toen het eenmaal goed liep, ging jij naar Terena. Waar je ook maar was in de wereld we kregen kaartjes en jij kreeg ze van ons. We hadden als ‘t ware een denkbeeldige wedstrijd wie het trouwste was, wie de ander niet zou vergeten. In de laatste jaren beperkte jij je tot het ontvangen van de kaarten en natuurlijk communiceerde je dan per email. Elk teken van leven werd door ons gekoesterd. Nu is het zover dat we ook dat zullen missen.

    Antoinette, we bedanken Karel voor zijn jarenlange vriendschap en we wensen jou veel stekte zonder Karel.

    Jaap van den Herik
    Letty Raaphorst

  48. Diego Lopez says:

    This is only want to express my condolences to Karel’s family, but also to express my feeling of having lost a friend and one person that definitely shaped the academic networking in Europe and worldwide. I’ll never forget our long conversationss on how the new concepts on middleware (yes,we both were old enough to have known when it was something new) were shaping NREN landscape.

    We alll miss yiu, Karel!

  49. Ilse Koning says:

    I want to express my condolences to Antoinette and to Karel’s colleagues at TERENA. I worked with Karel for the last 10 years. First at the Ministery of Education, Culture & Science and later at SURFnet.

    My memories of Karel:
    – The commitment he always had to his work. I remember that I met him several times quite late at the train station in our home town Leiden. He just returned from the TERENA offices. Even when he was ill he kept joining the VCs.
    – I was impressed by the overview he always had in discussions, his knowledge, his ability to have a clear understanding of processes, positions, etc. His ability to summarize and to bring parties together.
    – Karel could be quiet during long discussions, listening carefully to all different positions. Then suddenly, at the right moment, he interrupted and said the right things.
    – His confidence in me.
    – The dinners with Karel, Malcolm Read and others after the European Networking Policy Group (ENPG) meetings. We spoke about serious business and came up with lots of fun ideas for business and holiday trips.
    – Whiskey tasting in Edinburgh or a rainy walk in a park in Umea after an ENPG meeting.
    – The wise lessons he gave me when I started to work internationally.
    – The anecdotes he told about his extensive number of business trips, like the one when he got upgraded to business class in China.
    – Some anecdotes that I can’t repeat here after and because of the wise lessons he taught me 😉
    – His humor and stories. Especially during long dinners or when I visited Karel when he was ill.

    Karel, I will miss you.

  50. Yuri Demchenko says:

    This is very sad news for me and many people. I could believe.
    I had a possibility to work with Karel and I learned a lot from Karel.
    Karel devoted all his energy to TERENA and he did a lot for all European networking and NREN community.

    My sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

    Rest in Peace, Karel.

  51. Eli Peleg says:

    On behalf of Israel’s NREN community, I would like to convey our condolences to his family and friends. We will miss him, his leadership and support.

  52. Karel was a wonderful person, with a tremendous sense of humour. We first met back in 1978, when he was still writing his Ph.D. thesis in Functional Analysis.

    It was a privilege to know him and spend time together with him.

    He was very dear to me, and no words can express how much I miss him.

    Beatrice Frock,
    Dept. of Mathematics,
    Stockholm, Sweden

  53. Nilesh Patel says:

    On behalf of everyone at Comodo, I’d like to express our deepest sorrow to learn that Karel passed away. It was a pleasure working with him over years, above all very good man. We’d like to express our sincere condolences to all his family and family -RIP MR Vietsch.

  54. Ton Verschuren says:

    My sincere condolences to Karel’s family and friends! And I hope they–and all of us in the R&E networking community–get some consolation from the warm words at this website.

    My last memory of Karel is at the time of the Terena networking conference in Brugge, Belgium, a couple of years ago. After I left SURFnet in 2007 not a lot of opportunities occurred to meet my international colleagues (as well the Dutch colleagues like Karel!). So in the afternoon I phoned Karel to ask if he would mind me coming over to Brugge for the conference diner that night. A very warm and enthusiast affirmation followed. With the addition that the diner would be free for me, of course. 100% Karel!

    Ton Verschuren

  55. Roberto Sabatino says:

    I am very saddened by Karel’s passing. My sincere condolences to his close family, friends and colleagues.

  56. This is very sad news. My sincere condolences to Karel’s family that can be proud of what he achieved for the Research & Education community.
    Karel always gave me the feeling that TERENA is for everyone, no matters who you are, from where you come, how much experience you have, just do it !
    And the community did it.

    Many Thanks
    Jean-Marc Uzé
    Director, Juniper Networks

  57. Anonymous says:

    My sincere condolences to Karel’s family.

    João Nuno Ferreira
    FCT | FCCN

  58. Daniel Karrenberg says:

    Karel and his contributions to networking and the Internet will be remembered for a long time. I will remember him as a man who helped the RIPE NCC along in a critical phase. Karel gave his full support and energy even when he could not always agree with everything we did. My sincere condolences to Karel’s family and friends. Remember him proudly!

  59. Dorte Olesen says:

    With the death of Karel Vietsch the European NREN community has lost an extraordinarily accomplished and dedicated member, who even continued to make important contributions during the last 2 years where he was seriously ill.

    I had the privilege of working closely together with Karel during my 6 years as President of TERENA, and indeed I have known him since he became the Secretary General of TERENA in 1996. It was very important for Karel to ensure the fruitful collaboration between all the European countries in the area of high speed networking for research and education. The dedication and extraordinarily hard work he put in has made a vital difference. A good example was his huge personal effort in the EC-funded foresight study SERENATE (Study into European Research and Education Networking as Targeted by eEurope) carried out in 2002-03 under the Framework Programme FP5. This study triggered an early start of some very important new technological developments in European research and education networking.
    Karel also engaged himself deeply in the important area of network security, and TERENA has eg played a pivotal role in the development of and collaboration between European CERTs. It was also a great joy to him when a TERENA Task Force played a central role in starting up Eduroam.

    Karel did his PhD at Leiden University in the mathematical area of functional analysis, but after a few years he decided not to pursue an academic career in mathematics but instead became a civil servant of the Dutch Ministry of Education, and in this capacity was instrumental in starting up several initiatives including the Dutch National Research and Education Network SURFnet. Both his succesful career in the Ministry and his later achievements as Secretary General for TERENA were honoured at a ceremony in Leiden when he last spring became Officer of the Dutch Royal Order of Orange-Nassau.

    When we saw him so very active at the TNC2013 in Maastricht, it brought hope to many of us that he might still live for a long time in spite of his serious illness, but unfortunately this was not to be. It is a sad loss that he is no longer among us, and I will miss him both as a good friend and as an esteemed colleague.

    I send my sincerest condolences both to the TERENA staff and his family, especially his sister Antoinette who was with him in Maastricht last year and who has supported him so much during his illness.

    Dorte Olesen

  60. Sabine Jaume-Rajaonia says:

    Karel was full of energy, insight, always ready to tackle new challenges, new projects and to kindly provide advices and help, devoting his nearly last 20 years to the success of TERENA.
    It was a pleasure to work with him on SERENATE and other studies, as well as in TECs. I learned a lot thanks to him.
    We kept on hoping he would fully recover ….but unfortunately he now has joined other missing collegues, who also left too early.
    Karel ! We already miss you!

  61. Karel was a key person for the development of research network community within Europe and around the globe. Everyone will miss him. He has been also the right guy at the right place to make TERENA so successful as it is today.
    My sincere condolences to his family.
    We will all miss him
    Dany Vandromme

  62. Emil Broesterhuizen says:

    Ik ken Karel Vietsch als collega in zijn tijd bij Wetenschapsbeleid. Een intelligente en ongelofelijk hard werkende beleidsmedewerker en later afdelingshoofd, met een goed gevoel voor het beleidsspel. Kenmerkend waren zijn geestige opmerkingen en een heel specifieke en herkenbare lach. heel vak zag ik hem aan het eind van de dag als iedereen al naar huis was en ik ook mijn jas al aan had, weer binnenkomen van een van zijn vele missies, met een zware schoudertas vol werk, om ‘even’ nog wat dingen voor die dag af te ronden.
    De inbreng van zovelen in dit register legt getuigenis af van een waardevol iemand, die veel goeds heeft bereikt.
    Mijn condoleances aan Karel’s familie en vrienden.

  63. Karel was instrumental in setting up the Global eduroam Governance Committee. I will always remember those conference calls where here brought his pragmatic wisdom. We will be missing you Karel. Condolences to family, friends, and colleagues.


  64. Lajos Balint says:

    Karel has left us and we will miss him – but most of us will remember him for his talent, enthusiasm and devotion.

    A key contributor to research networking has been lost by Karel’s passing away – but the results of his efforts won’t be lost.

    Although most of us were unable to attend his yesterday funeral in Rotterdam, probably all of us were thinking about his outstanding role in TERENA’s success and progress.

    Karel has been a remarkable personality in many senses. Having been lucky enough to serve as a TEC member for about ten years, both at the late 90’s starting period of Karel’s career with us and at a later, mid-2000 period of his more mature, fully-fledged involvement in taking part at the forefront organisation of our European and global RN activities, I have had the opportunity to work together with Karel and to know him really very well – both his admirable strengths (his dominant features that made him such an efficient and influential leader at TERENA), and his weaknesses proper to humans (the features that bring people closer to our heart). It has been a privilege for all of us to work together with him, on the same goals and objectives, within the TEC and, surely within the TSEC staff. It has been not only productive and fruitful but also enjoyable to co-operate with him. It is good to know that definitely he also enjoyed his belonging to us and his function as a major representative of ours at many fora.

    Indeed Karel has been a distinguished, eminent member of our research networking community and the effect of his involvement in our activities will stay with us also in the coming years and decades.

    Karel, rest in peace. We won’t forget you and we remain indebted to you for your highly appreciated impact on our research networking activities in Europe and beyond.

    Lajos Balint

  65. Jean-Paul LE GUIGNER says:

    My sincere condolences to Karel’s family and his close relation.

    Karel has been a great strategist in building up TERENA and extending its influence on European research networks and well beyond European borders.
    He was used to work with pugnacity, with always in mind the best for our community and he has been successful.

    We will miss you Karel.

    Rest in peace Karel.
    Jean-Paul Le Guigner

  66. Cathrin Stöver, DANTE says:

    My sincere condolences to Karel´s family, friends and TERENA staff. I have worked with Karel for many years and have always admired his wonderful ability to retain the minute detail while never losing sight of the big picture. Our community has lost an influential shaper, we have all lost a great colleague and friend.

    Godspeed, Karel. Godspeed.

  67. Anonymous says:

    My sincere condolences to Karel’s family and TERENA staff. He was one of the key actor in creation and development of the European and global networking scene. I’ll miss his wisdom constructive dialogues we had.

    Rest in piece Karel.

    Ivan Maric

  68. It was a great opportunity to work with Karel for more than 10 years. I was the youngster that had still to learn and he knew it all. He was there from the beginning – the very early days.
    We did great things together – like IPv6 in 6net. Sometimes we had different views on how things should move – but we always agreed on the underlying principles and the long term objectives. Karel has shaped the community in Europe (and well beyond) like only a few others have.
    My sincere condolences to his family.

    I miss Karel,

    Bernhard Fabianek

  69. Martin Camilleri says:

    It with great sadness to hear that Karel has left us. He was such a nice guy and full of knowledge. I met Karel in 2002 in our first TF-CSIRT meeting and we worked together at every TF-CSIRT meeting and at the TRANSITs training courses. He was always there to help and assist.

    May he rest in peace and I sincerely pass on my deepest condolences to Karel’s family


    ex Manager mtCERT – Malta

  70. Shigeki Goto says:

    It is sad that Karel has passed away. He is our mentor at CCIRN, Coordinating Committee for Inter-continental Research Networking, where I was a delegate from Asia Pacific. We have discussed many hot topics every year. We also enjoyed dinner together. We learned many things from Karel. AP-CCIRN has created APNIC and APRICOT, for example. We are grateful to Karel for his thoughtful guidance.
    I hope Karel rests in peace. My sincere condolences to Karel’s family.

    Shigeki Goto
    APAN adviser, APAN-JP chair, JPNIC president, Tokyo Japan

  71. Christian Grimm says:

    It is with great sorrow that we read this sad announcment. Sad and disturbing particularly for the community to which he dedicated so much energy and devotion. Karel’s leadership cast a wide shadow and will be very much missed.

    Our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family – and in his familiy we may include our dear collegues at TERENA, as Karel dedicated more than his career to growth and prosperity of TERENA.

    Christian Grimm

  72. Matthew Scott says:

    Karel was a hugely dedicated and committed member of our community and did so much to promote Research and Education Networking across Europe. He did this not only through his role as TERENA Secretary General but also as a very active participant in the GÉANT project where his sound advice and forensic analytical capacity were much valued.
    A small number of us had the pleasure to witness Karel’s investiture last year and express our personal and DANTE’s appreciation of Karel’s contribution to our community while he was still with us. It is rather rare to have such opportunities and Karel was clearly very touched and proud that his work had been so well recognised by his colleagues and friends.

    On behalf of his DANTE colleagues and DANTE Board member also past and present, we express our condolences to his sister, Antoinette and TERENA staff and TEC members.

  73. Thomas Stridh says:

    We met Karel at several TF-CSIRT meetings and specially when SUNET CERT arranged the TF-CSIRT here in Uppsala, Sweden. We remember his commitments with this meeting and how he work really hard so everything would work smoothly for the participants.

    Our sincerest condolences to his family.

    The SUNET CERT Team

  74. Kees Neggers says:

    I just have re-read Karel’s condolences blog page and it is heartening to see how Karel’s tireless efforts to promote and improve world-wide research networking have been appreciated by so many. The impact there off will Indeed extend itself well into the future. I fully endorse all nice words contributed so far. Karel will be missed, both as a dedicated, professional and succesful colleague and as a friend. It is good to see he will live on in a very positive way in the minds of many colleagues around the world. He certainly will do so in my mind.
    My sincere condolences to all who have known Karel and in particular to his sister Antoinette and his colleagues at TERENA.

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