Judith Kerr OBE (born June 14, 1923 in Berlin ; † May 22, 2019 in London ) was a British illustrator and writer of German origin. In Germany she was best known for her youth books, in which she describes the story of her Jewish family's flight from Nazi Germany and life in exile .
Judith Kerr was the daughter of the theater critic Alfred Kerr and his wife Julia , nee Weißmann, and the sister of Michael Kerr . In 1933, as they were persecuted in Germany, the Kerr family fled via Switzerland to France , where Judith attended school for two years and learned French. In 1935 the family moved to England , where they initially lived in a small hotel in London.
Kerr attended the Central School of Arts and Crafts . During the Second World War she worked for the Red Cross . After the war, Kerr worked as an editor and proofreader for the BBC , where she met her husband, British television writer Nigel Kneale , to whom she was married from 1954 until his death in 2006. As a freelance painter and text designer, she also illustrated numerous children's books, including A Tiger Comes to Tea , which she wrote herself .
Judith Kerr was a member of the PEN Center Germany . She had lived in London since 1935, where she died in May 2019 at the age of 95 after a brief illness.
In 1971, Kerr published Als Hitler Stole the Pink Rabbit . Here, as in the two following books, Waiting for Peace Comes (1975) and A Kind of Family Reunion (1979), she described her family's escape from National Socialist Germany.
In addition to these three novels, Kerr published other stories in England, not all of which were published in Germany, but mainly picture books that she illustrated, including 17 volumes with stories about the cat Mog. She also worked as a writer for the BBC in London and published in English .
In England she became famous for her picture books, most notably A Tiger Comes to Tea (1968), which was filmed in 2019 , and the series with the cat Mog. She says she loved telling stories through pictures. In words, she was not only economical out of consideration for the difficulties of learning to read, but this was also due to stylistic ideals from her childhood, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer . She named the children's author Dr. Seuss .
During her lifetime, Kerr's books were translated into 25 languages and sold a total of over ten million copies.
Pink rabbit trilogy
When Hitler stole the pink rabbit . Translation by Annemarie Böll . First edition. Maier Verlag, Ravensburg 1973, ISBN 3-473-35007-9 . New edition: Ravensburger Buchverlag, Ravensburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-473-54321-2 (also read as an audio book by Martin Held).
- Original: When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. Puffin Books, New York 1971, ISBN 0-14-241408-5 .
- Wait until peace comes ( The other way round , later also called Bombs on Aunt Dainty ). German by Annemarie Böll. Ravensburger Buchverlag, Ravensburg 2004, (1st edition 1975) ISBN 3-473-58004-X .
- A kind of family reunion (A small person far away). Ravensburger Buchverlag, Ravensburg 2004 (1st edition 1979), ISBN 3-473-58005-8 .
- Mog, the Forgetful Cat (Mog the forgetful cat) . Maier, Ravensburg 1977 (1st edition), ISBN 978-3-473-33633-3
- Mog and the Baby (Mog and the Baby) . Maier, Ravensburg, 1981 (1st edition), ISBN 978-3-473-33652-4
- Mog celebrates Christmas. Maier, Ravensburg 1983
- A tiger comes to tea (The Tiger who came to tea). Maier, Ravensburg 1990 (1st edition 1979), ISBN 3-473-33641-6 .
- An awakened childhood. Argon, Berlin 1990.
- ... and then the ark was gone (When Mrs. Monkey lost the ark). Maier, Ravensburg 1993, ISBN 3-473-33479-0 .
- Judith Kerr's Creatures. Harper Collins Children's Books, London 2013.
- A seal for Mr. Albert. S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2016, ISBN 978-3-7373-5445-5 .
- Katinka's Tail. Harper Collins, London 2017.
- The Curse of the School Rabbit. Harper Collins, London 2019.
Kerr has received many awards for her books; Among other things, she received the German Youth Literature Prize in 1974 for When Hitler Stole the Pink Rabbit .
In 2012, Kerr was named Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to children's literature and holocaust education .
- Birgitta Reddig-Korn, Gabriele Runge, Judith Kerr: Materials on teaching practice: Judith Kerr, "When Hitler stole the pink rabbit" . Ravensburger Buchverlag, 1991, ISBN 3-473-98292-X .
- Astrid van Nahl : The woman who stole the pink rabbit from Hitler. First biography about Judith Kerr. wbg Theiss in Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft , Darmstadt 2019. ISBN 978-3-8062-3929-4 .
- Literature by and about Judith Kerr in the catalog of the German National Library
- Literature by and about Judith Kerr in the WorldCat bibliographic database
- Interview with Judith Kerr , Spiegel , October 16, 2007
- Interview with Judith Kerr ( memento June 7, 2008 in the Internet Archive ). In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , June 6, 2008
- The girl from London , article on Elisabeth von Thadden's 90th birthdayin Die Zeit , June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2013
- Lucy Wallis: Judith Kerr and the story behind The Tiger Who Came To Tea. BBC News, November 26, 2013, accessed on November 26, 2013 (Judith Kerr visits her parents' former home in Berlin).
- Thomas Kielinger : "I am not a writer" . Interview in: The Literary World , June 8, 2013, p. 7
- Deborah Vietor-English: Alfred Kerr. The biography. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2016.
- Claire Armitstead: Judith Kerr, beloved author of The Tiger Who Came to Tea, dies aged 95. theguardian.com, published and accessed on May 23, 2019
- Lothar Müller: The red room. How to make few words and say a lot. An encounter with the children's book author Judith Kerr in Berlin. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , No. 216, 17./18. September 2016, p. 21.
- Obituary: Judith Kerr died on May 23rd. The Economist, June 6, 2019, accessed June 12, 2019
- OBE , thegazette.co.uk, June 16, 2012, accessed May 23, 2019
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||British illustrator and writer of German origin|
|DATE OF BIRTH||June 14, 1923|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Berlin|
|DATE OF DEATH||May 22, 2019|
|Place of death||London|