Literature Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertész dead

The Jewish-Hungarian author Imre Kertész, laureate of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Literature, died in Budapest on Thursday aged 86. A survivor of Auschwitz, he dedicated his literary work to the memory of those who suffered. The Hungarian press pays tribute to the late author.

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Mandiner (HU) /

Kertész' last message: Be vigilant!

As a Holocaust survivor and victim of communist repression Kertész reminds us that we must learn from the past, writes journalist Gellért Rajcsányi on the opinion portal Mandiner:

“At the end of his long life, Imre Kertész stood above daily life. He had become wise, but also careworn. Yes, he could have been wise and cheerful, but that was not to be. His fate would not let him go. These damned circumstances. ... With his fate and his fatelessness, Imre Kertész shows us the way forward. We must not disfigure the 21st century. ... Don't let things get you down, and be viligant at all times. Perhaps that was Kertész's last message. Let's remember it at all times.”

Mérce (HU) /

Memory of Auschwitz indelible

As a chronicler of the Holocaust Kertész showed us how we will never ever be able to erase the memory of Auschwitz, writes philosopher Gáspár Miklós Tamás on the blog portal Kettős Mérce:

“We know all there is to know about the Auschwitz phenomenon yet it remains an unsolvable, silent and unspeakable secret, Kertész said. … We don't know if Imre Kertész was right. Naturally we hope he was wrong given that his truth, insofar as it is the truth, is unbearable. But he couldn't bear it. That's where his famous smile came from. And his famous sentence that writing and even life itself are superfluous. We continue to live and to write, and if Imre Kertész was right we do so at the cost of forgetting Auschwitz. But that is impossible.”