Imre Kertész was born in Budapest, Hungary on November 9, 1929. He was only 14 years old when he was deported with 7,000 other Hungarian Jews to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland in 1944. He survived that camp and later was transferred to the Buchenwald camp from where he was liberated in 1945. After returning to his native Budapest, he worked as a journalist and translator. He translated the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Elias Canetti into Hungarian. He wrote several novels that drew largely from his experience as a teenage prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. His novels included Fateless, Fiasco, Kaddish for a Child Not Born, Someone Else, The K File, Europe's Depressing Heritage, and Liquidation. He also wrote the screenplay for the film version of Fateless in 2005. While his work was ignored by both the communist authorities and the public in Hungary where awareness of the Holocaust remained negligible, his work was recognized in other parts of the world. He received awards including the Brandenburg Literature Prize in 1995, The Book Prize for European Understanding, the Darmstadt Academy Prize in 1997, the World Literature Prize in 2000, and the Nobel Prize for Literature for fiction in 2002. He died after a long illness on March 31, 2016 at the age of 86. (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from Fatelessness… (more)
Imre Kertész was born to a Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary. After his parents László Kertész and Aranka Jakab separated when he was about five years old, he attended a boarding school. In 1944, after Nazi Germany invaded his homeland during World War II, he was deported at age 14 with other Hungarian Jews to the death camp at Auschwitz, and was later sent to Buchenwald concentration camp. He survived to be liberated by U.S. troops in 1945 and returned to Budapest. He resumed his education and graduated from high school in 1948. Kertész became a journalist and worked for the periodical Világosság (Clarity) but was dismissed in 1951 after it adopted the Communist party line. After a short time as a factory worker, he was employed by the press department of the Ministry of Heavy Industry. He then became a freelance writer and translator of German-language authors into Hungarian, including works by Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Elias Canetti. His most influential novel, Sorstalanság (Fatelessness), written between 1960 and 1973, the first of his Holocaust trilogy, was based on his experiences in the camps. Initially it was rejected by the Communist censors in Hungary, but was finally published in 1975. In was adapted into a film in 2005. Subsequent volumes in the trilogy were A kudarc (The Failure, 1988) and Kaddis a meg nem született gyermekért (Kaddish for an Unborn Child, 1990). Having found little appreciation for his writing in Hungary, he divided his time between Budapest and Berlin, where he also was able to make public appearances. He won numerous literary prizes before being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2002.