Today there are fewer and fewer survivors of WWII or of the Holocaust. Those who lived through the atrocities of the concentration camps are approaching an advanced age that is beginning to take its toll on them. Imre Kertész
is one of the survivors who is more than just alive, but whom is thriving. As a survivor of Auschwitz as well as Buchenwald, two of the most infamous concentration camps of Germany, he witnesses terror and suffering that few today will be able to understand. Those experiences changed him forever, and after liberation he went on to become a famous author, widely respected in the literary world.
He is also a Nobel Prize winner for his writing, and his best-known work is Fatelessness. The book recounts the experiences of a fifteen year old boy named Gyorgy – or George – during his imprisonment in Auschwitz
, Buchenwald, and Zeitz. Imre Kertész was himself fourteen when he was placed in Auschwitz, and many believe that his book is autobiographical although he claims that it is not based on his own experiences but rather on the experiences in general.
The book was translated into a film in 2005, which he claims is much more autobiographical than the novel on which it is based. Additionally, he was one of the few famous Holocaust survivors who was very critical of "Schindler's List", one of the most famous Holocaust movies of all time. He called it 'kitsch' and claimed that it was unwilling to understand the connection between our mode of life and the possibility of the Holocaust.
Today he continues to write, mainly in Hungarian, and continues to be published in the country. He also won the Nobel Prize in 2002 as well as the Welt-Literaturpries in 2000. Many of his books focus on the Holocaust as well as on other themes. Books include A Detective Story, The Failure, and A Breath Long Silence While The Fire Squad Is Reloading Their Guns.
Too many, Mr. Imre Kertész is a prime example of success born out of terrible circumstances and he has been an inspiration to many. The events of the Holocaust were terrible and made an impact on his life in horrifying ways, but he has gone on to be one of the most celebrated and respected writers in the world. Age hasn't slowed him one bit, and it's likely that he'll continue to create great works until he is no longer able.