Farewell Ida Fink

Ida Fink, photo by Elżbieta Lempp

Ida Fink, an Israeli novelist who wrote in Polish, the author of such books as "The Garden That Floated Away", "The Journey", "Spring 1941", died on Tuesday at the age of 90 - announced WAB Publishers

Ida Fink was born in Zbarazh (now Ukraine) in 1921. In her youth she wrote poems which she later assessed as very weak. After graduating in 1938 she moved with Zbarazh to Lwow, she studied music at the Lwow Conservatory, Fink wanted to be a pianist.

During the occupation she spent two years in the Zbaraz ghetto with her family. In 1942 her and her sister managed to escape and hide until the end of the war with the help of Aryan papers, as forced labor working for the Germans. She described the experience years later in the book "The Journey". In 1957 she left Poland and settled in Holon, Israel. She worked as a music librarian and an interviewer for Yad Vashem. In recent years she lived in Tel Aviv.

It wasn't until the early 1970s that she published her first work. She published a collection of short stories "A Scrap of Time and Other Stories" and then "The Journey", visual arts and audio recordings were published as "Dialogue": "Table", "Traces", "About the Morning"; volume of prose "Footprints", and stories entitled "The Garden that Floated Away" and "Spring 1941 ".

Her stories deal primarily with the subject of the Holocaust. Her works have been translated into several languages, including English, Danish, French, Hebrew, Dutch and German.

"I write mainly about what I lived through. I belong to the so-called writers of the first generation after the Holocaust .(...) One poet told me, that is not the way to write about the occupation. He said its if as I opened a window and left open only a small gap, through which I look at the world. And then I wrote about what I saw, in a quiet voice, a whisper. (...) Despite his advice, I did not stop writing in this way. I couldn't write any other way", Fink said in an interview for Gazeta Wyborcza.

Ida Fink is a laureate of numerous awards, including the Anne Frank award, the Buchmann prizes awarded by the Yad Vashem Institute, the Premio Moravia award and the Sapir Prize. Her name was included by the National Jewish Book Center in New York on the list of a hundred major Jewish authors. In 2003 she was awarded the Special Prize by the Polish PEN Club.

Source: press release

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