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‘Ciao, Fighter!’

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The writer Arnošt Lustig died on Saturday. Born in Prague in 1926, Lustig was sent to Theresienstadt in 1942. He was later transported to Auschwitz and Buchenwald, but in 1945 escaped from a train taking him to Dachau when it was bombed by an American plane. He returned to Prague in time for the May uprising against the Nazis. His novels include Night and Hope (1957), Dita Saxová (1962), and A Prayer For Katerina Horowitzowa (1974). In 1989, the LRB ran a poem dedicated to Lustig by Rodney Pybus, called ‘Ciao, Fighter!’, later included in his collection Flying Blues. Lustig told Pybus that he liked the poem a lot, as he thought it captured much of his personality.

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