Ruth Klüger

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At the Bavarian Book Prize 2016 Ruth Klüger was awarded the Honorary Prize of the Bavarian Prime Minister for her life's work.

Susanne Ruth Klüger (born 30 October 1931 in Vienna , formerly Ruth K. Angress ) is an Austrian- US -American literary scholar and writer and a survivor of the Holocaust .


Youth and Nazi persecution

Ruth Klüger was born in Vienna as the daughter of a Jewish gynecologist and pediatrician. In her early childhood she experienced anti-Semitism and the systematic exclusion of Jews from public life in her hometown. She learned that the National Socialist persecution did not stop at her own family either from the fate of her father, who had to flee to France without being able to bring the family to meet, and her half-brother, who was no longer brought to Vienna by her mother from Prague could. Both later fell victim to the Holocaust .

In 1942, at the age of eleven, Ruth Klüger was deported to the concentration camp with her mother , first to Theresienstadt . Then she was in Theresienstadt family camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau and then to Christian City , a satellite camp of Gross-Rosen concentration camp prisoner. In 1945 she managed to escape shortly before the end of the war. After the war, she lived with her mother in Straubing , Bavaria , where she took a secondary school diploma, in the American Zone . She describes this youth in her highly acclaimed book Live on in 1992 .

Studies and emigration

In 1946 - at the age of 15 - Ruth Klüger began studying at the Philosophical-Theological University in Regensburg . One of his fellow students was Martin Walser , who is portrayed in her autobiography in the figure of Christoph. Klüger ended the friendship that developed from his studies in 2002 with an open letter to Walser after the publication of his book Death of a Critic .

Ruth Klüger emigrated to the USA in 1947 and studied library science and German at the University of California, Berkeley in New York . She completed her studies in 1952 with a Master of Arts . In the 1950s Ruth Klüger was married to the historian Werner Angress and published until the 1980s under the name Ruth K. Angress. In 1967 she did her doctorate with the baroque researcher Blake Spahr .

Teaching and writing

Ruth Klüger Lost on the Road with her book , 2008

From 1980 to 1986 she was Professor at Princeton University and then Professor of German Studies at the University of California in Irvine and, since 1988, visiting professor at Georg-August University in Göttingen . Accordingly, the author lives on both sides of the Atlantic, alternating between Irvine and Göttingen.

In 2008 Ruth Klüger published her later memories under the title Lost on the Road .

As a literary scholar, Klüger dealt intensively with Heinrich von Kleist and was the editor of the German Quarterly magazine for many years . In 2005 Ruth Klüger was a lecturer at the Tübingen Poetics Lecturer . She is a member of the PEN Center Germany and the Else-Lasker-Schüler-Gesellschaft , Wuppertal.

Commemorative speech

On January 27, 2016 Ruth Klüger held as part of the memorial service for the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of National Socialism in the German Bundestag , the commemorative speech in which she her experiences as a forced laborer described in the concentration camp. At the end of the speech she praised the opening of the German borders during the refugee crisis and described Angela Merkel's sentence We can do it as “heroic”.



Ruth Klüger also wrote under the name Ruth Angress .


  • Thomas Mitscherlich : Traveling into life. Living on after a childhood in Auschwitz. 1996.
  • Renata Schmidtkunz : I don't come from Auschwitz, I come from Vienna - a portrait of Ruth Klüger. First performance on March 1, 2005 in Vienna. Production by 3sat, ORF and Bayern alpha Austria.
  • Renata Schmidtkunz: The survival of Ruth Klüger. Documentation. 83 minutes, 2011.


Web links

Commons : Ruth Klüger  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Wolfgang Paterno: I cannot excuse murder. In: Profil, 34/2008, p. 108.
  2. a b lyrikwelt ( memento of the original dated November 5, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Jochen Vogt: Reckoning in anger. Lost critical meeting on the go. In: Neue Ruhr / Rhein Zeitung , January 5, 2008. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Speech by Ruth Klüger: "Forced Laborers". On the website of the German Bundestag.
  4. Speech by Ruth Klüger: "Forced Laborers". Video recording of the speech on the website of the German Bundestag.
  5. Laudation from Eva Geber ; Klüger's answer: Theodor Kramer's Judaism , both on May 20, 2011; and Hans Höller : Making the repressed "available to reason", about Klüger, in: Zwischenwelt. Literature, resistance, exile. Journal of the Theodor Kramer Society, 28, issue 3, October 2011, ISSN  1606-4321 pp. 6-13.
  6. Standard set for humane existence. In: Börsenblatt of October 7, 2011, accessed on October 8, 2011.
  7. Paul Watzlawick Ring of Honor . Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  8. a b - Ruth Klüger receives Watzlawick Ring of Honor and an honorary doctorate . APA notification dated April 22, 2015, accessed April 22, 2015.
  9. ^ Honorary award for Ruth Klüger Börsenblatt des Deutschen Buchhandels from November 15, 2016, accessed on November 19, 2016.
  10. zugl. Speech on the award of the Thomas Mann Prize 1999. Also in: Thomas Mann Yearbook, 13, 2000, pp. 229–236.
  11. ^ Text on Journeys in Life - Continuing Life After a Childhood in Auschwitz on
  12. City of Vienna Film premiere March 1, 2005.
  13. Premiere on October 30, 2011 at the Viennale , in the presence of Ruth Klüger. See the film archive on the festival website , accessed February 24, 2012.
  14. Pictures of continued life in: FAZ from May 10, 2013, page 36.