Nobel Prize Winner Imre Kertész Dies at 86

April 1, 2016

Imre Kertész, prestigious and celebrated Hungarian Nazi concentration camp survivor, novelist, and Nobel Prize winner (2002) died March 31 in his Budapest home at the age of 86.

According to book publishing firm Magveto Kiado, Kertész died after a long illness.

Hungarian President Janos Áder said Kertész's life was a "gift". Áder also noted that, "He taught us that we should not forget anything about our past because it all belongs to our common fate, in our   common fatelessness."

Imre Kertesz (1929-2016) by Csaba Segesvári
Imre Kertesz (1929-2016) by Csaba Segesvári

In 2002, Kertész became the first Hungarian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. His best known novels, such as “Fatelessness” and “Kaddish for a Child Not Born”, covered the horror of the Nazi holocaust and dictatorship.

In 1944, at the age of 14, Kertész was deported from Hungary to Auschwitz, and later he was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.

After the Allies liberated Germany, Kertész returned to Budapest and worked as a journalist. After winning the Nobel Prize, he spent most of the following decade in Berlin.

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