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Dutch author Harry Mulisch dies at 83

(JTA) — The influential Dutch Jewish author Harry Mulisch has died in Amsterdam.

Mulisch, who died Saturday Oct. 30 from cancer, wrote powerfully about World War II, often focusing on moral and philosophical themes. He was 83.

His most famous book internationally was "The Assault," which centered on life and death in German-occupied Holland. Translated into more than 30 languages, it was turned into a movie that won the Academy Award for best foreign film in 1986.

Mulisch was the son of a German-Jewish mother and an Austrian father who was jailed after the war as a Nazi collaborator.

Mulisch’s father used his connections with the Nazis to save his wife and son, but his wife’s parents were deported and killed in Nazi death camps.

"I didn’t so much experience the Second World War," Mulisch once said. "I am the Second World War."

Mulisch won numerous Dutch awards and, in 2007, newspaper readers voted his 1992 novel "The Discovery of Heaven" as "the best Dutch book ever."

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called Mulisch’s death "a loss for Dutch literature and the Netherlands."