Jorge Semprún obituary

Spanish communist, writer, politician and Buchenwald survivor

Leader of the communist underground in 1950s Madrid, prize-winning 1960s screenwriter, minister in Spain's socialist government in the 1980s, and novelist and memorialist of deportation to a Nazi concentration camp, Jorge Semprún, who has died aged 87, was an outstanding participant in and witness of 20th-century Europe.

The experience of 18 months in Buchenwald, from 1943 to 1945, underlay all he thought and did. To the end of his life he suffered nightmares of the camp. His last public appearance, in April 2010, was to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the camp's liberation. He spoke then, on the same esplanade where he had seen people killed, of his belief in a united Europe rising from the ashes of Buchenwald's crematoria.

The fourth of seven children, Semprún was born in Madrid into an upper-class family. His maternal grandfather was the Conservative prime minister Antonio Maura. His mother died when he was eight.

See full article on The Guardian - Film News