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Son of Nobel Literature Prize Winner Working in Israel

Heinrich Boll, the West German author who was awarded today the Nobel Literature Prize, has a 22-year-old son in Israel. Vincent Boll spent six months at Kibbutz Sde Nehenyon in Upper Galilee and is presently working as housekeeper at the Institute for the Blind in Jerusalem. Heinrich Boll, a Catholic, was reportedly on his way to Israel to visit his son when the Swedish Royal Academy announced the award. He is the first German to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature since Thomas Mann 43 years ago.

The Nobel Laureate’s son said he interrupted his studies in architecture in West Germany because he is a conscientious objector and came to Israel for 18 months. He said he was surprised to learn of the award. “My father has been expecting it for some years. I think that he himself didn’t expect it at this time,” the young man said. Regarding his sojourn in Israel, young Boll said “I think my father was happy about my doing that.”

Heinrich Boll, 55, was born in Cologne and served as an infantryman in the German Army on the Russian front in World War II. He began his literary career in 1949. His novels have been critiques of postwar German bourgeoise life.

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