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Professor Emerita of German Ruth Kluger to get honorary doctorate from University of Vienna

Ruth Kluger, professor emerita of German at UC Irvine, will be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Vienna this spring as that campus marks its 650th anniversary.

January 30, 2015
Credit: Sebastian Heise

Credit: Sebastian Heise

Ruth Kluger, professor emerita of German at UC Irvine, will be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Vienna this spring as that campus marks its 650th anniversary. Born in Vienna, Kluger is best known for her autobiography, weiter leben. Eine Jugend (1992), which she translated into English as Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered (2001). This version is taught in university courses throughout the U.S., including UCI’s Humanities Core Course. Kluger’s childhood in Vienna changed radically in 1938 when Hitler’s troops marched into Austria. She was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942. The book chronicles her life in the camps and in occupied Germany after the war, as well as her later life as a U.S. academic. Kluger has been invited back to the city of her birth on numerous occasions, including as a guest professor at the University of Vienna and as the celebrated author of the selection for the annual citywide reading of a single book (Eine Stadt. Ein Buch.) in 2008, when 100,000 copies of weiter leben were distributed to citizens. In 2011, she addressed the Austrian Parliament as part of Holocaust Remembrance Day. A distinguished scholar of German literature and culture and of women’s literature, Kluger is a member of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung and has also been elected to the German PEN Club. She continues to produce essays and articles that have been published in major German and Austrian newspapers.