Ruth Klüger Quotes
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Ruth Klüger is Professor Emerita of German Studies at the University of California, Irvine and a Holocaust survivor. She is also the author of the bestseller weiter leben: Eine Jugend about her childhood in the Third Reich.
In 1938, Hitler marched into Vienna. The annexation of Austria to the Third Reich deeply affected Klüger's life: Klüger, who then was only six years old, had to change schools frequently and grew up in an increasingly hostile and antisemitic environment. Her father, who was a Jewish gynaecologist, lost his practitioner's license and was later sent to prison for performing an illegal abortion.
She was born in Vienna. After the Nazi annexation of Austria, she was deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp together with her mother at the age of 11; her father had tried to flee abroad, but was detained and killed. One year later she was transferred to Auschwitz, then to Christianstadt, a subcamp of Gross-Rosen. Following the end of World War II in 1945 she settled in the Bavarian town of Straubing and later studied philosophy and history at the Philosophisch-theologische Hochschule in Regensburg.
In 1947 she emigrated to the United States and studied English literature in New York and German literature at Berkeley. Klüger obtained an M.A. in 1952, and later a Ph.D. in 1967. She worked as a college professor of German literature in Cleveland, Ohio, Kansas, and Virginia, and at Princeton and UC Irvine.
Klüger is a recognized authority on German literature, and especially on Lessing and Kleist. She lives in Irvine, California and in Göttingen.
Her memoir, Still Alive, which focuses primarily on her time in concentration camps, is strongly critical of the museum culture surrounding the Holocaust.