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Adler, H. G.

H. G. Adler: (Hans Günther Adler) (häns gün´tər äd´lər), 1910–88, modernist author and Holocaust studies pioneer, b. Prague to a German Jewish family, studied Charles Univ. He and his family were transported (1941–44) to a workcamp, to the Theresienstadt camp, and to Auschwitz. He survived, but his wife, parents, and most of his family were killed. In 1947 he settled in London and devoted himself to describing and analysing his experiences, producing 26 books. His three best-known novels—Panorama (1968, tr. 2011), Ein Reise (1962, tr. The Journey, 2008), and Die unsichtbare Wand (1989, tr. The Wall, 2014)—form what has been called his "Shoah trilogy." Autobiographical mixtures of fantasy and sardonic realism, they depict pre–World War II Eastern Europe, the world of the Holocaust, and postwar survival, exile, and reaffirmation. Adler's collective stream-of-consciousness prose captures the collision of the quotidian and the surreal and the workings of minds in madness. He also wrote poetry and such scholarly works as Die Juden in Deutschland (1960, tr. The Jews in Germany: From the Enlightenment to National Socialism, 1969), a study of Theresienstadt, and other books about the Holocaust.

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