(First paragraph) Ruth Klüger’s Weiterleben: Eine Jugend (1992) is one of the first narratives of a series of testimonials of the last members of the generation of Holocaust survivors, which began to appear toward the end of the twentieth century.1 The author was born in 1931 in Vienna, where her first years of socialization were already marked by a rapidly growing discrimination against the city’s Jewish population. In 1942 she was deported together with her mother to Theresienstadt and eventually to Auschwitz, whose death machinery she survived by shear luck and her determination to live. At the age of sixteen, she emigrated to the United States, where she eventually became a professor of German literature. In the late 1980s she returned to Göttingen in Germany as the director of an American study abroad program. After her recovery from serious injuries stemming from a traffic accident, she decided to write down the recollections of her youth and her reflections on life. Her dedication, “To my Göttinger friends. A German book” (p. 284), at the very end of her memoirs clearly indicates that they were primarily written for a German audience.2
Original Publication Citation
Lubich, F. (2005). Surviving to excel: The last German Jewish autobiographies of holocaust survivors Ruth Klüger, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, and Paul Spiegel. Modern Judaism, 25(2), 189-210. doi:10.1093/mj/kji012
Lubich, Frederick, "Surviving to Excel: The Last German Jewish Autobiographies of Holocaust Survivors Ruth Klüger, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, and Paul Spiegel" (2005). World Languages and Cultures Faculty Publications. 26.