Arnošt Lustig was born in Prague and at the age of fifteen was sent to Theresienstadt, then Auschwitz and Buchenwald. He was on a train headed for Dachau when the engine was hit and disabled. Lustig escaped and returned to Prague and fought in the Resistance. After the war, he studied journalism at Charles University in Prague and covered the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. There he met his future wife, Vera Weislitzova, also a Holocaust survivor. His was a vital voice during the build up to the Prague Spring, and he was friends with Vaclav Havel. When "socialism with a human face" was crushed by the Soviets, the Lustigs emigrated to the US, where he taught at American University until he retired in 2004. He and his wife returned often to Prague after the fall of communism in 1989. He wrote more than 20 books;many, if not all, are novels and short stories about the Holocaust.