Itongadol.- The German writer and literary critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki died in Germany Wednesday. He was 93. The Polish-born Reich-Ranicki, who was of Jewish heritage, was one of the most influential people in the German literary world and in German culture for decades.
Reich-Ranicki was born in Wloclawek, Poland to German parents – a father from Poland and mother from Germany. When he was nine he moved with his family to Berlin. In October 1938 he was expelled from Germany back to Poland. When the Warsaw Ghetto was established he was forced to move there. In the Ghetto he worked as a translator for the Judenrat, and even received the dictation and translated the evacuation orders in July 1942. He later managed to escape the Ghetto and hid with his wife in a home of a Christian Pole.
After the war he enlisted in the Polish military and served as an intelligence officer. In 1958 he escaped Communist Poland and settled in Western Germany, where he began a successful literary career: He was the literary critic for the important weekly Die Zeit and edited the literary section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He became a household name when he began hosting the literary talk show Literarisches Quartett on the German public television, which was broadcasted from 1988 to 2001, and brought the world of literature to the German public.
Reich-Ranicki was often called the \’Pope of literature\’ (Literaturpapst) in Germany. He considered himself the "Germany\’s literary hangman." He published dozens of books on literature and was considered an authority on the subject. He was renowned for his sharp, direct and aggressive style.