The Philosopher of Auschwitz

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The Philosopher of Auschwitz – Jean Améry and Living with the Holocaust

  • Tue 21 Sep 2010
  • 7:00PM
Imported 1230
Imported 1230

Austrian Cultural Forum London

28 Rutland GateLondon SW7 1PQ


T 020 7225 7300

F 020 7225 7300


A Book Launch
By Irène Heidelberger-Leonard

Jean Améry, born Hans Maier in Austria in 1912, escaped his homeland to join the Austrian Resistance in Belgium. He was imprisoned in Auschwitz and liberated from Belsen. He returned to Brussels in 1945 but committed suicide in Salzburg in 1978. He is perhaps best known for his seminal work, At the Mind’s Limits, one of the central texts on what Améry himself described as ‘the subjective state of the victim’. This biography examines how Améry, one of the most influential of Holocaust survivors and one of the most provocative writers and thinkers of the twentieth century, grappled with what it meant to be both a victim and survivor of the concentration camps and what his experiences there reveal about the tension between human dignity and the reality of horror. Focusing chiefly on Améry’s literary works, one of the book’s great strengths lies in exploring how every aspect of Améry’s life and thought is inextricably connected with his writings.