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Czech Jewish author Arnost Lustig dies

(This article expired 26.11.2013 / 14:48.)

Writer best known for stories about Holocaust succumbs to cancer at age of 84


Czech author and journalist Arnost Lustig, best known for stories about the Holocaust, died on Saturday at the age of 84 from cancer, Czech Television reported.

The Jewish writer, born in Prague in 1926, was the author of books such as "A Prayer for Katerina Horowitzova", "Dita Saxova" and "Diamonds of the Night", a collection of short stories of which one was also made into a film of the same name in 1964.

In 1994, Lusting received a literary award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for exceptional accomplishment. He was in the running for the 2009 Man Booker International Prize.

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

As a teenager, Lustig survived Auschwitz and two other Nazi camps. In 1945, he escaped from a train transporting him to Dachau when the engine was mistakenly attacked by a US war plane.

He went on to study journalism and worked as a reporter in Israel at the end of the 1940s during the Arab-Israeli War.

He later worked in the Czech capital before immigrating in 1968 to Israel and then to the United States. He spent regular time in Prague after the end of communism in 1989.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report