Ewald Osers

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Ewald Osers (Prague, 13 May 1917 – 11 October 2011), was a Czech translator born in Austria-Hungary. He was one of the most outstanding translators of Central European literature into English.[1]


Born in Prague to a secular German-speaking Jewish family, Osers studied chemistry in Prague and in London where he stayed after the Munich Agreement in 1938. He worked for the BBC World Service until his retirement in 1977.

He began translating Czech and German poetry in 1937 and went on to publish more than 150 books of literature in translation and several volumes of his own poetry and memoirs.

He translated several important Czech poetry works of the 20th century into English, including Czech poetry, including Jaroslav Seifert, Vítězslav Nezval, Miroslav Holub and Jan Skácel.[2] He also translated several German-language authors such as Thomas Bernhard, as well as Macedonian-language books (Mateja Matevski), poetry of the Silesian poet Ondra Lysohorsky, and two major Slovak poets, Miroslav Válek and Milan Rúfus.[3]


  • European Poetry Translation Prize[4]
  • Order of Cyril and Methodius in Bulgaria
  • Officer’s Cross of Germany
  • Macedonian Literature
  • Medal of Merit of the Czech Republic