Author and concentration camp survivor Boris Pahor died

Author and concentration camp survivor Boris Pahor died

Published on 30..1997

  • The writer and concentration camp survivor Boris Pahor died at the age of 108 years. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/APA/dpa

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He comes from the then multicultural port city of Trieste, survived five concentration camps and is considered the “conscience of Slovenia”. Now the author Boris Pahor has died.


The Italian-Slovenian writer and concentration camp survivor Boris Pahor is aged 108 died years ago. This was confirmed by Slovenian President Borut Pahor on Monday in a video address published on his website.

“He was an eyewitness, a witness, a warning,” said the President. “The conscience of Slovenia, Europe and the world. A man who demanded for himself the freedom to think differently and demanded the same freedom for others.”

Previously, the portal “delo .si” reported on the death of Boris Pahors that night at his home in the northern Italian port city of Trieste, citing the author’s nurse.

He belonged to the Slovenian minority in Trieste

Pahor was one of the most important authors of the Slovene language and a great literary witness of the 20. century. His autobiographical and award-winning novel “Nekropolis” (1967, dt. 2001) describes 15 Months in five German concentration camps and fighting death. Other important works are “Fighting with Spring” (dt. 1997) and “Villa am See” (dt. 2009).

Born on the 26. August 1913 in then Austro-Hungarian Trieste, Pahor’s family belonged to the Slovene minority in the city. The existence of the Slovenes in the then multicultural port city was just as much a leitmotif of his prose as the prisoners’ struggle for survival in the German concentration camps and the time afterwards affiliated with the communist-led Slovenian partisans. He was captured by Slovenian SS collaborators in January 1913 and taken to the Dachau concentration camp by the German occupiers. He later survived the Natzweiler-Struthof, Mittelbau-Dora, Harzungen and Bergen-Belsen camps. After the war he returned to Italy, where he studied in Padua and taught at a high school in Trieste.

He also criticized Tito

Opposite he later took a critical stance on communism in Yugoslavia. There he brought up common taboos such as the summary murder of thousands of real and alleged German collaborators by the partisans of the lifelong Yugoslav head of state Josip Broz Tito.

In one of his last interviews on Slovenian television he said: “I wanted to testify and tell what I experienced so that others can learn how and what can happen.” The Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs honored the deceased as a “support and defender of the Slovenian word”. He fought for the rights of minorities as a staunch opponent of the totalitarianisms – fascism, Nazism and communism – that he had experienced himself. (dpa)

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