: Hungarian novelist and Auschwitz survivor Imre Kertesz dies at 86
Politics19:55 Mar. 31, 2016
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Hungarian novelist and Auschwitz survivor Imre Kertesz dies at 86

Author won Nobel prize for literature in 2002

Hungarian novelist and Auschwitz survivor Imre Kertesz has died at the age of 86 after a long illness. He is seen here in 2002, when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Judges said his works portrayed the Nazi death camps as "the ultimate truth" about how low human beings could fall. Here he comments on how it felt to win the award.

Imre Kertesz, winner of 2002 Nobel Prize in literature: "My first reaction of course was a feeling of a very nice surprise and of joy and a tiny bit of fear, with all these journalists"

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After winning the Nobel Prize Kertesz spent nearly a decade in Berlin, where he produced his last works. His books enjoyed success among the German public. As a Jew he had experienced persecution by the Nazis. As a writer he lived under repressive Hungarian Communist rule. Kertesz wrote about his life in both direct and delicate prose. In 2002 he said success in Germany had historical significance.

Imre Kertesz, winner of 2002 Nobel Prize in literature: "I had a lot of support and understanding from Germany. I live in Germany and my publishers are German. I seem to be very popular among the Germans. And with the German language I seem to have found the best possible way of overcoming the consequences of the Holocaust."

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Kertesz was the first Hungarian to win the Nobel prize for literature. In his work, he returns repeatedly to the experience of Auschwitz. The camp in German-occupied Poland was the site of the deaths of more than one million Jews and other victims of Hitler's Third Reich.

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