Klaus Scharfschwerdt, the longtime drummer of the East German rock band “Puhdys”, is dead. He died of cancer on Friday at the age of 68.

Relatives wrote on Monday evening on his Facebook profile:

“Deep pain fills us, we are without words. And yet we unfortunately have to announce: Our Klaus Scharfschwerdt finally lost his long fight against cancer last Friday. He was always strong and full of hope. We shared this hope and were firmly convinced: He can do it! Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Please give us as a family the quiet time we need now. It was also his wish that the funeral service should only be for the immediate family. Please respect that. Thank you.”

Klaus Scharfschwerdt was the drummer for the Puhdys from 1979 to 2016. In the mid-1980s he was recognized as the best drummer in the GDR. Most recently he lived in Berlin-Rahnsdorf.