1939-2018: Amos Oz is dead

adminDecember 29, 2018

Oz leaves his wife Nili and three children, Fania, Galia and Daniel. Oz's work, which includes not only novels and novels, but also several children's books and many essays, is one of the most widely read Israeli literature – in the country and internationally. From the early 1960s to his death, Oz was literary and a voice in Israel in his speech on the political situation. Again he was also a candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Oz's oldest daughter, author and historian Fania Oz-Salzberger, confirmed his father's death in a brief tweet: "My beloved father has just died asleep and peaceful in the presence of his beloved cancer, when his health deteriorated rapidly." Oz-Salzberger also asked in Tweet to respect the privacy, and stressed: "Thanks to all those who loved him."

Oz has always been politically active. He was one of the co-founders of the Shalom Achschav peace movement (peace now). In his work, he also deals with family trauma and national trauma. As a twelve-year-old, Oz discovered his mother's suicide. In his autobiographical novel "A Story of Love and Darkness," he described the serious shock that deeply affected his life.

Symbolic name

Oz was born in 1939 under the name of Amos Klausner in Jerusalem, son of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine. He grew up among books in his highly educated, right-wing Zionist family. Three years after his mother's death, he moved to Kibbutz Chulda and changed the surname from Klausner to "Oz", which means strength in German. He had symbolically killed his father by changing his name, Oz wrote later, "building a new life on the ruins."

The Israeli author Amos Oz

Reuters / Eloy Alonso

Amos Oz in 2007 Spanish Prince of Asturias Prize

"Every story a confession"

His first stories and the book "Among Friends" was also based on his experiences of living in collective settlement. Oz studied literature and philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has written a number of novels and short stories and has been awarded a number of prizes, including the Peace Prize in the German Bookstore (1992), the Siegfried-Unseld Prize (2010) and the Franz Kafka Prize (2013). Internationally known works include "My Michael", "The Perfect Peace", "Black Box", "Another Place" and "A Woman Recognize".

The autobiographical novel "The Story of Love and Darkness" was filmed in 2016 by actress and director Natalie Portman. "Every story I've written is autobiographical. There's no story that's not a confession," Oz summed up his letter.

With Abraham B. Yehoshua and David Grossman, Oz was especially present abroad. He, with his texts, made the modern Hebrew literature of the still young, until 1990s, strongly dominated by men, decisive. While figures such as Chaim Nachman Bialik and Shai Agnon represent the revival of Hebrew literature in the period before the founding of the state, Oz is certainly one of the most important Hebrew authors since 1948.

Modern Hebrew "Unique Phenomenon"

In an interview with the newspaper "Yediot Ahronot" in 2017, Oz spoke of a "unique phenomenon in history. And not only the language that once contained some ten thousand words in Biblical Hebrew today, contains hundreds of thousands of words, many of which became created on the basis of the original vocabulary … On the other hand, it is really a danger because I do not know where the World tomorrow and about our children, grandchildren and grandchildren will choose Hebrew. "

Since the 1980s, the father of three children and several grandfathers lived in the desert town of Arad. The family moved there because of an asthma disease in the youngest son Daniel there. Oz learned literature at Ben Gurion University in Beersheba.

The last TV interview this year with the public broadcaster Kan, Oz was grateful for his life. As a wish, he formulated that "some of the words I left behind did some good, someone or someone moved".

Criticism of vocational policy

Oz repeatedly spoke against the Israeli occupation policy. However, he emphasized that he was not a worldwide pacifist and saw Israel's right to self-defense. Oz also experienced the war itself: As a reserve soldier in a thought unit, he fought in the 1967 Sixth War and the Yom Kippur War in 1973. In the beginning, he profoundly told a two-state solution and criticized Israeli occupation after 1967.

Shortly after the six-day war, which was so successful for Israel, Oz published the "Our Forefathers Land" in the "Davar" newspaper. "Even an inevitable occupation is a devastating occupation," he warned against the long-term consequences of the occupation, not just for the Palestinians, but also for the Israeli community itself.

For the right to self-defense

Of course, Oz had a different view of the conflict in the Middle East than many European peace activists, who often unilaterally held Israel accountable for escalations. Oz was politically attached to the Labor Party for many years, later moved on to the left of Meretz. At the same time, he was always a convinced Zionist. Regarding the right to self-defense, Oz basically supported several war conflicts – for example, the Lebanon war against Hezbollah or the Gaza War in 2008/2009 and 2014. At the same time, he pressured to respect humanitarian positions and distanced himself when civilians and civilians were victims clashes.


In memoriam, Amos Oz shows ORF2 on Sunday at 22.55 clock the portrait "Against Unreasonableness" by the deceased from the year 2007 – more in tv.ORF.at.

Ö1 repeats a "soundtrack" from 2008 at 8.15 on Sunday – more in oe1.ORF.at.

"Peace inevitable"

At the funeral of the former president and pioneer of the Oslo agreements, Shimon Peres, Oz, said: "There are those who say that peace is not possible, but it is not possible, it is necessary and inevitable. Just because we have nothing else To go, we have no other place where we could go – and the same goes for the Palestinians. There is no other way but to share this house in two apartments and turn it into a two-family house. Deep inside, almost everyone knows this truth on both sides. "

On his 75th birthday, he said, "Europe has found peace after 2000 years of bloodshed and murder, we – Jews and Arabs – need less time for it." His desire to experience peace in the region was not fulfilled,

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