OBITUARY: Ewald Osers (1917-2011)

Ewald Osers

Ewald Osers, a prominent translator of Central European literature into English, has died at 94.

He began translating Czech and German poetry in 1937 and went on to publish over 150 books of literature in translation and several volumes of his own poetry and memoirs. He is responsible for most English translations of 20th-century Czech poetry, including the works of Jaroslav Seifert, Vítězslav Nezval, Miroslav Holub and Jan Skácel. 

Oswers was the recipient of the European Poetry Translation Prize, the Order of Cyril and Methodius in Bulgaria, the Officer’s Cross of Germany, the Macedonian Literature Award and the Medal of Merit of the Czech Republic, among dozens of other honors.

Born in Prague to a German-speaking Jewish family in 1917, Osers emigrated to England in 1938 and worked for the BBC until his retirement in 1977. 

An interview with Osers can be read here.