Lojze Kraker

1926 (Semic, Slovenia) - 1995 (Ljubljana)

Writer, Publicist

"The poet’s tree in the concentration camp of death / Amongst skeletons with barely still living, groaning souls, amidst the agony of death, curses, in defiance of life, in sad remembrance, the tree grew with greening crown."

Lojze Krakar was born in Semič, Slovenia on 21 February 1926, the son of a farmer. Until his arrest, he attended the grammar school in Novo Mesto.

He was arrested on 18 March 1943 and held prisoner in Italian internment camps (Koper, Perugia), then in Dachau Concentration Camp. At the end of October 1943, he was committed to Buchenwald Concentration Camp as a "political".

After liberation, Krakar returned to Slovenia and the grammar school in Novo Mesto. He published his first works in 1946. In that year he embarked on the study of Slavistics at the University of Ljubljana. From 1954 to 1961 he worked as a journalist for the youth newspaper Ciciban and the magazine Tovaris, as an editor for the Slovene television station RTV Ljubljana, and for Slovene radio in Ljubljana. From 1961 to 1965 he was employed by the Cankar publishing company in Ljubljana as an editor. In 1962 he published a collection of poems written in the concentration camp entitled Od tod so bezale se ptice ("Birds Still Fled From There"). From 1965 to 1975 he was a lecturer on Slovene and Serbo-Croatian at the university in Frankfurt a. M.; in 1970 he obtained his doctorate in German in Frankfurt a. M. with a thesis on Goethe in Slovenia. From 1976 onward he served as a professor of Slovene at the University of Zadar.

Krakar was the author of numerous volumes of poetry and publications on the literary-historical relations between Germany and Slovenia during the period of German Classicism, and translated from the Polish. In 1983, he, Rudi Supek and others published Zbornik Buchenwald, a sourcebook on Buchenwald Concentration Camp in Slovene. Lojze Krakar died in Ljubljana on 24 December 1995.