Aharon Appelfeld

Biography of Aharon Appelfeld

Aharon Appelfeld (born February 16, 1932) is an Israeli novelist.

Appelfeld was born in the former town of Zhadova or Sadhora (Садгора), now part of Czernowitz, Bucovina, Romania, now Ukraine. In 1941, when he was eight years old, the Romanian army invaded his hometown and his mother was murdered. Appelfeld was deported with his father to a Nazi concentration camp in Romanian/Axis-controlled Transnistria. He escaped and hid for three years before joining the Soviet army as a cook. After World War II, Appelfeld spent several months in a displaced persons camp in Italy before immigrating to Palestine in 1946, two years before Israel's independence. He was reunited with his father after finding his name on a Jewish Agency list. The father had been sent to a ma'abara (refugee camp) in Be'er Tuvia. The reunion was so emotional that Appelfeld has never been able to write about it.

In Israel, Appelfeld made up for his lack of formal schooling and learned Hebrew, the language in which he began to write. His first literary efforts were short stories, but gradually he progressed to novels. He completed his studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Today, Appelfeld lives in Mevaseret Zion and teaches literature at Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

In 2007, Appelfeld's Badenheim 1939 was adapted for the stage and performed at the Gerard Behar Center in Jerusalem.

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