The Philosopher of Auschwitz, By Irène Heidelberger-Leonard,

Jean Améry had always wanted to be someone extraordinary. Yet when he became just that, lauded by post-war writers, from Heinrich Böll to Alain Robbe-Grillet, Ernst Bloch to Günter Grass, Alfred Andersch to Ingeborg Bachmann, he still felt he had not achieved enough. He was the darling of the German media. Prizes and honours were raining down: from Switzerland, which had provided him with a living, working relentlessly hard, as a journalist and critic after his survival of the concentration camps; from Germany, the land not only of thinkers and high culture, but also of perpetrators, where he had not set foot during the intervening years; and even from Austria, from which he had been hunted "like a hare" in 1938, but where he returned to take his own life in 1978.