2002 Hungarian novelist Imre Kertesz, whose writing is dominated by his experiences in Auschwitz as a teenager, won the 2002 Nobel Literature Prize. Outside his native Hungary, his work has found the most resonance in Germany, France and Scandinavia, but is little-read in the English-speaking world. The 72-year-old Kertesz has always refused to see Auschwitz as an exceptional occurrence, outside the normal history of western Europe, calling it instead “the ultimate truth about human degradation in modern existence.” Kertesz’ work centres on the decisive event in his life, a period spent in Auschwitz to which he was taken in 1944 as a teenage boy during the Nazi persecution of Hungarians. The Swedish Academy said his work described “the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history.” Kertesz himself has said: “When I am thinking about a new novel, I always think of Auschwitz.”
Other important events
1842 Britain proclaims victory as second Afghan War ends.
1859 Civil war breaks out in Argentina.
1901 American automaker Henry Ford enters his first and last automobile race and wins.
1911 Revolutionaries under Sun Yat-sen overthrow China’s Manchu dynasty.
1913 Atlantic and Pacific oceans are united when the Gamboa Dam in the Panama Canal is blown up.
1933 A United Airlines Boeing 247 is destroyed by an explosive device while flying from Cleveland, Ohio to Chicago.
1938 The Blue Water Bridge opens on the St. Clair River, linking Port Huron, US and Sarnia, Canada.
1943 Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek becomes President of China.
1963 High dam collapses near Belluno, Italy, and resulting flood kills an estimated 1,800 people.
1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, the first held in Asia, begin.
1970 Fiji becomes independent after a century of British rule.
1973 US Vice-President Spiro Agnew resigns after his conviction for income tax evasion.
1980 Thousands of casualties are reported following earthquake in Al Asnan, Algeria.
1985 US jet fighters force an Egyptian airliner carrying hijackers of cruise ship Achille Lauro to land in Italy, where the hijackers are arrested.
1987 India suspends trade and technical cooperation with Fiji.
1993 Socialist Andreas Papandreou returns to power in Greek elections.
1998 Rebels use a missile to shoot down a jetliner carrying 40 civilians in eastern Congo.
2000 Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the world’s first woman prime minister, dies in Sri Lanka.
2003 Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi becomes the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
2004 Australian Prime Minister John Howard wins fourth term.
2005 Angela Merkel becomes the first woman to serve as Germany’s Chancellor.
2006 Two bombs explode in insurgency-torn southern Philippines, killing six people.
2009 Turkey and Armenia sign a landmark agreement to establish diplomatic relations and open their sealed border.
2013 Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar announces retirement from Test cricket after playing his 200th match.
2014 Pakistani education activist Malala Yousufzai and Indian children rights activist Kailash Satyarthi jointly win the Nobel Peace Prize.
2015 Two suicide bombers hit a rally of pro-Kurdish and labour activists near Ankara’s main train station, killing at least 95 people.
2016 Dubai launches the groundbreaking ceremony for The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, the world’s next tallest tower.