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Arthur Koestler (1905) Options
Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 12:00:00 AM
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Arthur Koestler (1905)

Born in Hungary, Koestler was an influential Communist journalist in Berlin in the 1930s. He was captured by fascist forces while on assignment during the Spanish Civil War and was later held in a concentration camp after the German invasion of France. In 1940, inspired by his break with Communism, he published his most important novel, Darkness at Noon, an examination of the moral dangers of totalitarianism. How did the terminally ill Koestler show his support for voluntary euthanasia? More...
Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 8:21:58 AM

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Tragic death. In my opinion, committing suicide when you already have terminal cancer makes no sense.
raghd muhi al-deen
Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 9:16:45 AM

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Koestler, Arthur
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Arthur Koestler
Arthur Koestler
Arthur Koestler.jpg
Koestler in 1948
Born Kösztler Artúr
5 September 1905
Budapest, Austria-Hungary
Died 1 March 1983 (aged 77)
London, England
Occupation Novelist, essayist, journalist
Nationality Hungarian, British
Ethnicity Jewish
Citizenship Naturalized British subject
Period 1934–1983
Subjects Fiction, non-fiction, history, autobiography, politics, philosophy, psychology, parapsychology, science
Notable work(s)

Darkness at Noon
The Thirteenth Tribe
Notable award(s) Sonning Prize (1968)
CBE (1972)
Spouse(s) Dorothy Ascher (1935–50)
Mamaine Paget (1950–52)
Cynthia Jefferies[1] (1965–83)

Arthur Koestler, CBE (5 September 1905 – 1 March 1983) was a Hungarian-British author and journalist. Koestler was born in Budapest and, apart from his early school years, was educated in Austria. In 1931 Koestler joined the Communist Party of Germany until, disillusioned by Stalinism, he resigned in 1938. In 1940 he published his novel Darkness at Noon, an anti-totalitarian work, which gained him international fame. Over the next 43 years from his residence in Great Britain, Koestler espoused many political causes and wrote novels, memoirs, biographies, and numerous essays. In 1968, he was awarded the Sonning Prize "for outstanding contribution to European culture" and, in 1972, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). In 1976, Koestler was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and, in 1979, with terminal leukaemia.[2] In 1983 he and his wife committed suicide at home in London.

"[Koestler] began his education in the twilight of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, at an experimental kindergarten in Budapest. His mother was briefly a patient of Sigmund Freud's. In interwar Vienna he wound up as the personal secretary of Vladimir Jabotinsky, one of the early leaders of the Zionist movement. Traveling in Soviet Turkmenistan as a young and ardent Communist sympathizer, he ran into Langston Hughes. Fighting in the Spanish Civil War, he met W. H. Auden at a "crazy party" in Valencia, before winding up in one of Franco's prisons. In Weimar Berlin he fell into the circle of the infamous Comintern agent Willi Münzenberg, through whom he met the leading German Communists of the era: Johannes Becher, Hanns Eisler, Bertolt Brecht. Afraid of being caught by the Gestapo while fleeing France, he borrowed suicide pills from Walter Benjamin. He took them several weeks later when it seemed he would be unable to get out of Lisbon, but didn't die. Along the way he had lunch with Thomas Mann, got drunk with Dylan Thomas, made friends with George Orwell, flirted with Mary McCarthy, and lived in Cyril Connolly's London flat. In 1940, Koestler was released from a French detention camp, partly thanks to the intervention of Harold Nicolson and Noël Coward. In the 1950s, he helped found the Congress for Cultural Freedom, together with Mel Lasky and Sidney Hook. In the 1960s, he took LSD with Timothy Leary. In the 1970s, he was still giving lectures that impressed, among others, the young Salman Rushdie."
Anne Applebaum, reviewing Michael Scammell: Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic[3]
Origins and early life

Koestler was born in Budapest to Henrik and Adele Koestler (née Jeiteles). He was an only child. His father Henrik Koestler, of Jewish and Hungarian descent, was born on 18 August 1869 in the town of Miskolc in northeastern Hungary. According to Koestler's authorized biography, Henrik's father, Leopold Koestler, was a soldier in the Austro-Hungarian Army who Magyarised his name to "Lipot".[4] In 1861 he married Karolina Schon, the daughter of a prosperous timber merchant. Henrik left school at age 16 and took a job as an errand boy with a firm of drapers. He taught himself English, German and French, and eventually became a partner in the firm. He then set up his own business importing textiles into Hungary.[5]

Arthur's mother, Adele Koestler (née Jeiteles) was born on 25 June 1871 into a prominent Jewish family in Prague. Among her ancestors were Mishel Loeb, a prominent 18th-century physician and essayist, whose son Judah became a well-known poet. Beethoven set some of his poems to music. Her father, Jacob Jeiteles, moved the family to Vienna, where Adele grew up in relative prosperity until about 1890. Faced with financial difficulties, her father abandoned his wife and daughter and emigrated to the United States. Adele and her mother moved from Vienna to Budapest to stay with Adele's married sister.

Henrik Koestler met Adele in 1898, married her in 1900, and on 5 September 1905, Arthur, their only child, was born. The Koestlers lived in spacious, well-furnished, rented apartments in various predominantly Jewish districts of Budapest. During Arthur's early years they employed a cook/housekeeper as well as a foreign governess. His primary school education started at an experimental private kindergarten founded by Laura Striker (née Polanyi). Her daughter Eva Striker later became Koestler's lover, and they remained friends all his life.

The outbreak of World War I in 1914 deprived his father of foreign suppliers, and his business collapsed. Facing destitution, the family moved temporarily to a boarding house in Vienna. When the war ended, the family returned to Budapest. Arthur witnessed the short-lived Hungarian Bolshevik Revolution of 1919, the temporary occupation of Budapest by the Romanian Army, and the White Terror under the right-wing regime of Admiral Horthy. In 1920 the family returned to Vienna, where Henrik set up a successful new import business.

In September 1922, Arthur enrolled at the Vienna Polytechnic University to study engineering, joining a Zionist duelling student fraternity.[6] When Henrich's business failed, Koestler stopped attending lectures, and was expelled for non-payment of the fees. In March 1926 Koestler wrote a letter to his parents telling them that he was going to Palestine for a year to work as an assistant engineer in a factory, for the purpose of gaining experience which would help him find a job in Austria. On 1 April 1926, he left Vienna for Palestine.[7]
1926–1931 Palestine, Paris, Berlin and Polar flight

After arriving, for a few weeks Koestler lived in a kibbutz, an agricultural collective. His application to join the collective (Kvutzat Heftziba) was rejected by its members.[8] For the next twelve months, he supported himself by menial jobs in the cities of Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Frequently penniless and starving, he often depended on friends and acquaintances for survival.[9] He occasionally wrote or edited broadsheets and other publications, mostly in German. In the spring of 1927, he left Palestine briefly, to run the Secretariat of Jabotinsky's Revisionist Party in Berlin.

Later that same year, through a friend, Koestler obtained the position of Middle East correspondent for the prestigious Berlin-based Ullstein-Verlag group of newspapers. He returned to Jerusalem, where for the next two years, he produced detailed political essays, as well as some lighter reportage, for his principal employer and for other newspapers. He travelled extensively, interviewed heads of state, kings, presidents and prime ministers[10] and greatly enhanced his reputation as a journalist.

On June 1929, while on leave in Berlin, Koestler successfully lobbied at Ullstein for a transfer away from Palestine.[11] In September he was sent to Paris to fill a vacancy in the bureau of the Ullstein News Service. A year later, in 1931, he was called to Berlin and appointed science editor of Vossische Zeitung and science adviser to the Ullstein newspaper empire.[12] The same year he was Ullstein's choice to represent the paper on board the Graf Zeppelin airship's Polar flight, which carried a team of scientists and the Polar aviator Lincoln Ellsworth to 82 degrees North (thus not to the North Pole) and back. Koestler was the only journalist on board: his live wireless broadcasts and subsequent articles and lecture tours throughout Europe brought him further kudos. Soon after, he was appointed foreign editor and assistant editor-in-chief of the mass-circulation Berliner Zeitung am Mittag.[13][14] In 1931 Koestler, encouraged by Eva Striker, and impressed by what he believed to be the achievements of the Soviet Union, became a supporter of Marxism-Leninism; and on 31 December 1931, he applied for membership in the Communist Party of Germany.[15

with my pleasure
Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 10:47:55 AM

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Suicide makes no sense at all. To me it's like avoiding to fulfill your destiny. Everyone has their own ordeal to go thru...
Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 2:04:38 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/29/2016
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Location: Londrina, Parana, Brazil
“Suicide is the worst of crimes and dire in its results.” – H.P. Blavatsky
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