It was announced to day that author and holocaust survivor Imre Kertész has died aged 86. Imre was a Nobel Literature prize winning Laureate and his novels focused on the horrors of the Nazi Concentrations camps and the horrors of the Holocaust that he survived.
Imre was just fourteen when he was taken from his home in Hungary and placed into Auschwitz and then sent on to Buchenwald where he would remain until his liberation in 1945.
His novels focussed on the time spent in the concentration camps and his most famous Fatelessness is probably one of the most brutal pieces of fiction based on wartime Germany’s Final Solution actions.
In a cruel twist of fate, he not only suffered through WWii, he also lived through the Stalinist dictatorship in Hungary, and then the communist Kádár regime following the uprising of 1956.
His life and his writings were severely restricted whilst in Hungary and ironically (although he never saw it as such) it was only his success in Germany that finally brought his works to the attention of a worldwide audience and ultimately to being honoured with the Nobel prize for Literature in 2002.
Throughout his life Imre was dedicated to railing against and exposing totalitarianism in all its forms and he is quoted as saying about his experience of seeing other former camp inmates
“I have even seen former inmates of concentration camps making appearances at memorial events dressed in the uniform of inmates – that’s just ridiculous. I have always distanced myself from everything that was intended to manipulate the masses,”
Imre passed away peacefully at the age of 86 on Thursday 31 March.