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Holocaust author Arnost Lustig dies at 84

28th February 2011

Author Arnost Lustig, who drew on his own experiences of the Holocaust in his novels, has died at the age of 84.

The Czech writer, whose works include Waiting for Leah and the Pulitzer Prize-nominated Lovely Green Eyes, survived a spell inside the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp as well as two other Nazi camps before escaping in 1945.

His novel Dita Saxova tells the story of a teenage girl who survived a concentration camp, while Night and Hope focuses on the lives of people in the Theresienstadt camp, where Lustig himself was imprisoned in 1942 at the age of 16.

In 2008, Lustig became the eighth recipient of the Franz Kafka Prize, awarded each year to a writer whose work is judged on its 'humanistic character and contribution to cultural, national, language and religious tolerance'.

Following the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia, Lustig returned to Prague, the city of his birth, in 1993 and remained there until his death from blood cancer.

Speaking about his life and illness earlier this year, the author remarked: 'I have survived everything in my life so far, so maybe I'll survive the cancer too. I think my life's OK.'

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