For many years Dieter Zimmer's website was the place where you went for accurate, well-documented information on a lot of things on Nabokov. His research on Sergey Nabokov's life and death, especially, was important in the way it, for the first time, presented his story in all its tragic clarity. And his works on Nabokov's Berlin are the primary source for those who want to learn about the city in which Nabokov became the writer we know.
The Nabokov Readings 2020 online conference was opened with a tribute to Dieter Zimmer. This is all we could do, belatedly, to honor his exceptional contribution to Nabokov studies.
In Memoriam: Dieter E. Zimmer, by Maurice Couturier
I am very sad to hear that Dieter has passed away. He was one of the
first admirers and commentators of Nabokov, one of the most dedicated
scholars on his works, his biography, his butterflies, plus a rigorous
translator. The Nabokov community owes him a great deal and his name
will remain attached to that of the author of Lolita, Pale Fire, and Ada. I
have his annotated editions on my shelves and made an abundant use of
I met Dieter only once, in Cambridge in 1999, but I often communicated
with him and depended upon him and his wonderful fund of information for
Dieter Zimmer (1934-2020): noble, wise, driven by truth-seeking, mercilessly attentive to detail, an intellectual of the highest carat, a man of honour, a writer from God. He interviewed Nabokov several times and translated him into German, becoming the editor of VN's works at Rowholt Verlag in 1989. His Nabokov's Berlin (2001) and A Guide to Nabokov's Butterflies and Moths, his unprecedented website dedicated to VN's family and haunts, and his Lolita travelogue are and will remain the golden standard of Nabokov studies.