Czech writer Arnost Lustig dies at 84

PRAGUE Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:16am EST

PRAGUE Feb 26 (Reuters) - Czech author and journalist Arnost Lustig, best known for stories about the Holocaust, died on Saturday at the age of 84 from cancer, Czech Television reported.

The Jewish writer, born in Prague in 1926, was the author of books such as A Prayer for Katerina Horowitzova, Dita Saxova and Diamonds of the Night, a collection of short stories of which one was also made into a film of the same name in 1964.

Lustig was in the running for the 2009 Man Booker International Prize.

As a teenager in 1942, Lustig was sent to several concentration camps including Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

In 1945, he escaped from a train transporting him to Dachau when the engine was mistakenly attacked by a U.S. war plane.

He went on to study journalism and worked as a reporter in Israel at the end of the 1940s during the Arab-Israeli War.

He later worked in the Czech capital before emigrating in 1968 to Israel and then to the United States. He spent regular time in Prague after the end of communism in 1989. (Reporting by Jason Hovet and Robert Mueller)

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