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Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021: Holocaust survivors who built /changed Europe – Imre Kertész

“When I am thinking about a new novel, I always think of Auschwitz.”

Hungarian Jewish writer Imre Kertész was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1929. During WWII, at the age of 14, he was deported to Auschwitz and from there to Buchenwald.

His first novel, ‘Sorstalanság,’ which translates as ‘Fateless,’ is a semi-autobiographical book based on his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald, was published in 1975. It became the first instalment in a trilogy reflecting on the Holocaust, the two other novels being ‘A kudarc’ (‘Fiasco’) and ‘Kaddis a meg nem született gyermekért’ (‘Kaddish for a Child Not Born’).

After the end of communism in 1989, Kertész made more public appearances, was translated into more languages, and took on a larger literary role in Europe. Among his numerous decorations for his work, he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2002, “for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history.”

He passed away in 2016 at the age of 86.