Ladislaus Löb

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Ladislaus Löb
photograph
Ladislaus Löb in 2003
Born 8 May 1933
Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár), northern Transylvania
Residence Brighton, England
Education English and German, University of Zürich, 1953–1961
Occupation Professor Emeritus of German, University of Sussex

Ladislaus Löb (born 8 May 1933) is Professor Emeritus of German at the University of Sussex in England. He is the author of From Lessing to Hauptmann: Studies in German Drama (1974) and Christian Dietrich Grabbe (1996).

Löb is also known for having been a passenger, when he was 11 years old, on the Kastner train, which saw almost 1,700 Jews given safe passage out of Hungary to Switzerland during the Holocaust. He has written about his experience in Dealing with Satan: Rezso Kasztner's Daring Rescue Mission (2008).[1] For this book he received the Austrian Holocaust Memorial Award 2012.

Early life[edit]

Löb was born in Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár), northern Transylvania, the only child of Izsó, a businessman, and Jolán (née Rosenberg), who died of tuberculosis in 1942. He was raised in Marghita, a small town of 8,600 residents, 150 km northwest of the city.[2]

Kastner train[edit]

Further information: Kastner train and Kastner trial
photograph
At age eleven, on his arrival in Switzerland, December 1944
photograph
A page from the Kastner train passenger list, showing the entry for Ladislaus Löb

In 1944 Löb was taken with his relatives to the Kolozsvár Ghetto (known by its Hungarian name because Northern Transylvania was then under that country's control), but escaped with his father and joined the “Kasztner group” in Budapest. The group consisted of almost 1700 Hungarian Jews who were given safe passage to Switzerland, as a result of a deal struck between Adolf Eichmann and the Hungarian lawyer and Zionist leader Rudolf Kastner. The group was detained in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp near Hannover, Germany, for five months before Eichmann allowed them to leave for Switzerland in December 1944. In the 1950s in Israel, Kastner was accused of collaboration and murdered by Jewish extremists.

Education and career[edit]

In Switzerland Löb spent two years at the Ecole d’Humanité, before attending the Realgymnasium of Zürich from 1948 and studying English and German at the University of Zürich from 1953 to 1961.

In 1963 he took up a post at the University of Sussex in Brighton. He taught German language, German literature and Comparative literature, and held visiting professorships in the University of Constance and Middlebury College. Before retiring as an Emeritus Professor in 1998 he published mainly studies in literature; since his retirement he has concentrated on translating from German or Hungarian. His combined account of his own experience of the Holocaust and the fate of Kasztner has been published in six languages.[3][4]

Works[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Mensch und Gesellschaft bei J.B. Priestley (Doctoral thesis, Bern 1962)
  • From Lessing to Hauptmann: Studies in German Drama (London 1974)
  • Christian Dietrich Grabbe (Stuttgart 1996)
  • Dealing with Satan: Rezso Kasztner's Daring Rescue Mission (Jonathan Cape, 2008).
  • Also published as Rezso Kasztner. The Daring Rescue of Hungarian Jews: A Survivor's Account (Random House/Pimlico, 2009).[5]

Translations[edit]

  • Krisztián Ungváry: Battle for Budapest 1944-1945 (London 2002)
  • Otto Weininger: Sex and Character (Bloomington 2003)
  • Béla Zsolt: Nine Suitcases (London 2005)
  • Friedrich Nietzsche: Writings from the Early Notebooks (Cambridge 2009)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Note: this was also published as Rezso Kasztner. The Daring Rescue of Hungarian Jews: A Survivor's Account (2009).
  2. ^ Löb, Ladislaus (2009). Rezso Kasztner. The Daring Rescue of Hungarian Jews: A Survivor's Account. Random House/Pimlico, p. 6
  3. ^ Short Biography of Ladislaus Löb from the Nationalism Studies Program
  4. ^ Article about Löb and Kasztner by Times Higher Education
  5. ^ Review from "The Telegraph"