Arnost Lustig


PRAGUE (AP) — Arnost Lustig, an author who escaped from a Nazi death transport to make the Holocaust the main theme of his fiction has died. He was 84.

Jana Jelinkova, spokeswoman for Prague's Kralovske Vinohrady university clinic says Lustig died early Saturday. He had been battling cancer for five years.

Born in Prague in 1926, Lustig survived Auschwitz and two other Nazi camps before he managed to escape from a train that was transporting him to another one — Dachau — in 1945.

His experience was reflected in his books, including "A Prayer for Katerina Horowitzova" and "Diamonds of the Night."

In 1994, he received a literary award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for exceptional accomplishment.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

Guest Book

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Arnost! I remember dancing with you at a party! You danced with every girl there:)

i was a colleague and a friend of Lustig ,his wife Vera , his daughter ,and I know also his son. A great loss to humanity in general and to his friends who adored him ,for optimistic vision ,warmth ,modesty and a great sense of humor in spite of his horrible experiences, He just loved people from any background !!!! Esther Robbins

I was one of Arnost's students at American University and he was not only extremely kind and humorous, but also very supportive of his students' efforts. He even told me: "one day you will belong to the big family of writers." (Mircea Bumbesti)

Having just learned of Professor Lustig's death I was saddened. He brought light to a subject that was shunned by many and taught us all to open our eyes and see what was truly going on around us. I was just one of his many students at American University in the mid-80's and remember him fondly. I wish his family health and a long life filled with fond memories of this very special man.

Ah, Fighter, you knew you lived for greater reasons than can be understood.
You said you gained a realization in the dark days in camp;
You learned that morality is black and white.

You also said you asked a great French writer in Theresinstadt what it took to be a writer,
And he told you.
You're insight elevated your soul,
And the French man gave you wings.

It is a tribute to the power of mankind that you forged gold from lead;

I am so sad to learn of Arnost's passing, but also glad he had such a long life. He had a way a making you feel important and special in his life. I loved his mind, his heart and his spirit. My prayers are with him and his family.

Pepe, I look forward to seeing you at a service and to a sharing a hug for you and your dad. Nancy Bulger

I am so sad to learn of Arnost's passing. He was a special friend to me the years I lived and worked in Prague. He encouraged me to write and to feel happy about my circumstances regardless of the challenges in the early 1990's after the revolution. He later came to my home in Washington for dinners and was reluctant to take the spotlight, but would pick out the guest who lacked a conversation partner, and make them feel like the guest of honor instead.
He was relentlessly cheerful...