Israeli writer honored at Prague book fair

PRAGUE (JTA) — Israeli writer, journalist and translator Ruth Bondy, a Holocaust survivor, returned to her birthplace to receive a prestigious literary award. 

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Bondy was awarded the Jiri Theiner Award at Book World Prague which took place from May 17 to May 20.   

Born in Prague in 1923, Bondy was sent to Terezin when the Germans began deporting Jews, and later moved to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen. Bondy and her sister were the only members of her immediate family to survive. Upon returning to Prague, Bondy joined a Zionist youth group planning to immigrate to Palestine.

In 1948, following the communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, Bondy moved to Israel, where she worked as a journalist for the Davar newspaper. She eventually turned her literary skills towards writing books.

The Jiri Theiner Award was established in 2011 and is given to someone who has promoted Czech literature internationally, which Bondy has done as a translator. Among the authors Bondy has translated into Hebrew are Milan Kundera, Vaclav Havel, Bohumil Hrabal, and Jiri Weil, as well as Jaroslav Hasek’s classic “The Good Soldier Schweik.”

Bondy appeared in person at the book fair in Prague to accept the award.

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