Ilse Aichinger

Ilse Aichinger ( Vienna , 1 as November as 1921 – November as November as 2016 ) 1 was an writer Austrian , known for having reported the persecution to which he was subjected by the Nazis because of his Jewish origin. 2

Life and work

Aichinger was born in 1921 along with his twin sister, Helga. His mother was a Jewish doctor, and his father a Christian teacher. His childhood passed between Linz and Vienna , where his family suffered persecution initiated by the Nazis in 1933 against the Jews. In 1938 her mother was stripped of her house and parted from work by the Nazis . In 1939 alone her twin sister emigrates to England , others because war can not follow. She and her mother spend World War II in Vienna. In 1942 the Germans murder their mother’s brothers and their grandmother. 3

Aichinger began to study medicine in 1945, working at the same time as a writer . In his first account, Das vierte Tor (The Fourth Door) , he wrote about his experience during Nazism. That same year, an essay by Aichinger, Aufruf zum Misstrauen (A call to mistrust) was criticized for her appeal to “self-distrust” (Selbstmisstrauen ):

“The clarity of our intentions, the depth of our thoughts, the goodness of our actions! We must even doubt our own truth! ” 4

After five semesters, Aichinger again dropped out in 1948, his medical studies, to complete his first novel, Die größere Hoffnung (The Biggest Hope) . One of the earliest works on the Jewish and autobiographical Holocaust.

In 1953 he married the German writer and essayist Günter Eich with whom he had a son actor and writer Clemens Eich and a daughter (Mirjam Eich). 5

In 1952 received the prize of the Group 47 by the story Spiegelgeschichte . 6 7 In 1955, Aichinger was awarded the Immermann-Preis of the city of Düsseldorf , and in 1956 joined the Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts) in Berlin ; In 1957 he won the Literaturpreis der Freien Hansestadt Bremen (Literature Prize of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen) . In 1963, Aichinger moved to Großmain , near Salzburg . Later, in 1971, she was awarded the Nelly-Sachs-Preis.

In 1987 he received the Europalia-Literatur-Preis, and in 1991 the Großer Literaturpreis of the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste . In 1995 he received the Grand Prix of Literature of Austria to the whole of his work and in 2000 the Joseph Breitbach Prize , the latter with WG Sebald and Markus Werner .


  • Das Pour Tor (1945)
  • Größere Die Hoffnung (1948)
  • Spiegelgeschichte (1949)
  • Der Gefesselte (1953)
  • Das Fenster-Theater (1954)
  • Kleist, Moos, Fasane (1987)
  • Film und Verhängnis (2001)
  • Unglaubwürdige Reisen , short stories (2005)
  • Subtexte , essays (2006)


  1. Back to top↑ The writer Ilse Aichinger dies at age 95.
  2. Back to top↑ “Ilse Aichinger” , Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. Back to top↑ “Ilse Aichinger” Meike Fechner & Susanne Wirtz, at Lebendiges Museum Online
  4. Back to top↑ “World War II saga: Gail Wiltshire revisits Ilse Aichinger’s novel” × Tess Livingstone, The Australian , August 8, 2015
  5. Back to top↑ Krispyn, Egbert (1971). Günter Eich . Twayne’s World Authors. New York: Twayne Publishers.
  6. Back to top↑ View Britannica Online Encyclopedia : Ilse Aichinger (Austrian author)
  7. Back to top↑ See Resler, W. Michael: “A Structural Approach to Aichinger’s ‘Spiegelgeschichte'” in: Die Unterrichtspraxis / Teaching German 12 (1) (1979 prim.): 30-37 ( JSTOR-link )