(1929 - )
Imre Kertesz is a Jewish Hungarian author, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate.
Born in Budapest in 1929
to a Jewish family, Kertesz was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 and later moved to Buchenwald.
He was liberated from the camp in 1945. Kertesz
won the Nobel
prize for literature in 2002. Most of
his novels deal with the subject of the Holocaust.
After the war he found work at a Budapest
newspaper, Vilagossag, but in 1951
he was forced out because of the Communist
takeover. Kertesz joined the military for
two years and has since made a living translating
German authors into Hungarian.
Among his works is a 1975 novel entitled Fateless,
based on his experiences in the Nazi camps. The novel was not well-received when
it was first published. Following this novel
was Fiasco in 1988. A third volume Kaddish
for a Child not Born, was printed
in 1997. (The Kaddish is the Jewish prayer said in memory of the
deceased). The main character in this novel,
Gyorge Koves, opposes having a child in a
world allowing Auschwitz's existence.
Other works include The Pathfinder (1977), The English flag (1991),and Galley Diary (1992). He has also lectured
extensively after the fall of Communism in Eastern
Europe in 1989 and his lectures have been
collected and published.
In addition to his Nobel prize, he has won
numerous other prizes for his writing, including
the Brandenburger Literaturpreis in 1995 and
the Leipziger Buchpreis zur Europaischen Verstandigung
As for his Jewish heritage, Kertesz explained in an interview with El Pais, a Spanish daily: "I am a non-believing Jew. Yet
as a Jew I was taken to Auschwitz, as a Jew I was in the death camps
and as a Jew I live in a society that does not like Jews, one with great anti-Semitism. I always have the
feeling that I was obliged to be Jewish. I am Jewish, I accept it, but
to a large extent it is also true that it was imposed on me."
Sources: The Jerusalem