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Ruth Kluger Edit Profile

Editor , German language educator

Ruth Kluger, German language educator, editor. Recipient Rauriser Literaturpreis, 1993, Grimmelshausen-Preis, 1993, Niedersachsen Preis, 1993, Marie-Louise-Kaschnitz preis, 1994, Heine-Preis, 1997, Thomas-Mann-Preis, 1999; American Council of Learned Societies fellow, 1978.


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.


Bachelor, Hunter College, 1950;Master of Arts, University of California-Berkeley, 1952;Doctor of Philosophy, University of California-Berkeley, 1967.


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. 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.

Klüger has been awarded many prizes, including:.


  • Klüger has been awarded many prizes, including:Rauriser Literaturpreis (1993)Johann-Jacob-Christoph-von Grimmelshausen-Preis (1993)Niedersachsenpreis (1993)Marie-Luise-Kaschnitz-Preis (1995)Anerkennungspreis zum Andreas-Gryphius-Preis (1996)Heinrich-Heine-Medaille (1997)Prix de la Shoah (1998)Thomas-Mann-Preis (1999)Preis der Frankfurter Anthologie (1999)Goethe-Medaille (2005)Roswitha Prize (2006)Lessing-Preis des Freistaates Sachsen (2007)Hermann-Cohen-Medaille (2008)Ehrenmedaille der Stadt Göttingen (2010)Theodor-Kramer-Preis (2011)Austrian Danubius prize (2011).


Member Modern Language Association (executive council 1978-1982), American Association Teachers German (executive council 1976-1981), Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung, Lessing Society (president 1977-1979), Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists association Club.


Married Werner T. Angress, March 1952 (divorced 1962). Children: Percy, Dan.

Viktor Hirschel

Alma (Gredinger) Kluger Hirschel

Werner T. Angress

Percy Kluger

Dan Kluger