Imre Kertesz.jpg

Imre Kertesz, the Hungarian writer and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2002, died on Thursday at the age of 86, news agency MTI reported, citing his publisher in Hungary.

Kertesz, a Holocaust survivor, was awarded the accolade "for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history," the official Nobel Prize website said.

He passed away in his home in Budapest after fighting a long illness. His German-based publisher Rowohlt has also confirmed his death.

Born of Jewish descent in Budapest in 1929, he spent time as a teenager in the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Buchenwald before they were liberated at the end of World War II.

His experience of war and suffering heavily influenced his best-known work, Fatelessness, which charts a 15-year-old boy's experience of life in the camps.

"Even if I am talking about something completely different, I am talking of Auschwitz. I am a medium for the ghost of Auschwitz; Auschwitz speaks through me," he wrote in his Galley Diary.

His writing on the deaths of almost 600,000 Hungarian Jews made him a controversial figure in his home country.

In 2002, he became the first Hungarian to win the coveted Nobel Prize in Literature. He was living in Berlin at the time.

He moved back to Budapest in 2012, several years after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The illness dealt a huge blow to his work as a writer.

In 2014, he was given Hungary's prestigious Order of Saint Stephen knighthood.

Related stories

Latest news

Greece's creditors want sweeping reforms before next bailout payment

Greece must make sweeping reforms to its labour market, pension system and collective bargaining agreements in order to receive its next vital bailout payment, the country's European creditors said Monday.

President wants to recall "politically appointed ambassadors", can't do it without gov't

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said that many politically appointed Croatian ambassadors were not carrying out state policies but that she could not replace them without the government to appoint career diplomats who would fight for Croatia's interests.

Izetbegovic hopes ICJ will confirm Serbia's responsibility for genocide

The Bosniak member of the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, on Monday rejected criticism stirred up by the announcement that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would be requested to review its judgement made after Bosnia sued Serbia for genocide.

British lawmakers locked in heated debate over Trump's state visit

Allowing US President Donald Trump to visit Britain would be akin to "pimping out the Queen," one British lawmaker said Monday during a heated debate in British parliament over two petitions concerning the US leader's future state visit.

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's sharp-tongued ambassador to the UN, dies

Russia's long-time ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died in New York on Monday, following a career that spanned four decades and saw Russia emerge from the Soviet Union and experience many turbulent events in its relations with the West.

French police raid National Front over European Parliament payments

France's far-right National Front Monday said that investigators had searched its offices in relation to allegations that it misused European Parliament funds.

Unhappy Presidents' Day: Trump still manoeuvring after Sweden comment

Donald Trump used his first Presidents' Day in office to continue trying to talk his way out of comments implying a terrorist attack in Sweden that never happened.

Croatia supports Kosovo's territorial integrity - Grabar-Kitarovic

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Monday expressed the support to Kosovo's territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic aspirations during her talks with the visiting Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj.

Petrov rules out early parliamentary election

Parliament Speaker and Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov on Monday dismissed speculation about a reshuffle of the parliamentary majority, saying an early election was likelier, but that right now he did not see "such a scenario."

First local elections in 20 years to be held in Nepal on May 14

Nepal's government announced the dates for forthcoming local elections on Monday, nearly 20 years after polls were last held for municipalities and village councils in the country.

US Defence Secretary: We are not in Iraq to seize Iraqi oil

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday that the United States does not intend to seize Iraqi oil, in reference to comments made by President Donald Trump last month.

Bryan Adams to play Zagreb

Canadian rock star Bryan Adams, who has sold more than 100 million albums in his 40-year-long career, will perform in Zagreb on November 9, according to his website and Facebook account.