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Born and educated in Vienna, Améry fled to Belgium in 1935 and joined the Resistance. He was captured by the Gestapo in 1943, tortured, and interred at Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Bergen-Belsen. After the war he changed his name from Hans Mayer to Jean Améry to disassociate himself with German culture, and he refused to publish in Germany or Austria for many years. He committed suicide in 1978.

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Jean Améry was one of Europe's most profound critics and essayists. Fleeing his native Vienna after the proclamation of the Nuremberg Laws, he joined the Resistance in Belgium, where he was subsequently captured by the Gestapo and sent to a series of concentration camps. After the war he made his home in Belgium until his death in 1978. At the Mind's limits was his unflinching analysis of his own inner world as a Holocaust victim and survivor. [from The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal (March 1998 ed.)]
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