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Holocaust survivor, top German lit critic dies

Marcel Reich-Ranicki / Wikimedia Commons

Marcel Reich-Ranicki / Wikimedia Commons

BERLIN (AP) - Marcel Reich-Ranicki, who survived the Warsaw Ghetto to become post-war Germany's best-known literary critic, has died at 93.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily, whose literary section Reich-Ranicki led for years, said he died Wednesday in Frankfurt.

The sharp-tongued Reich-Ranicki established himself as West Germany's premier arbiter of literary taste after arriving with no money in 1958 from communist Poland, where he served as a diplomat and intelligence agent in the late 1940s.

Reich-Ranicki didn't shy away from hard-biting criticism of authors, saying once that "clarity is the politeness of the critic; directness is his obligation and his job."

In his 1999 memoirs, "My Life," he conceded he had a reputation as "a man of literary executions."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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