International symposium this week to examine life of writer who opposed Hitler, Stalin

AUBURN – The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University will host an international symposium this week on the life and legacy of Arthur Koestler, a 20th century European writer who was one of the first major political observers to sound the alarm over Hitler and Stalin.

The Austrian Cultural Forum in New York is collaborating with the AU college and department in presenting the symposium Thursday, March 22 – Saturday, March 24, at Greystone Mansion, at East Magnolia Avenue and Debardeleben Street in Auburn.

A prolific author and speaker on a variety of political, social and psychological issues, Koestler, who died in 1983, was one of the leading European intellectuals of the past century. Born in Hungary in 1905 and educated in Vienna, the multilingual writer became a British subject in 1945, following service in the French Foreign Legion and the British Army during World War II. His most popular novel was “Darkness at Noon,” a fictional account of Stalin’s reign of terror during the late 1930s in the Soviet Union.

The Auburn conference is drawing scholars from across the United States, as well as Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Bosnia. Columbia University Professor Michael Scammell, author of a forthcoming biography of Koestler, will present the keynote lecture at 4:15 p.m. Thursday.

For more information and program schedule go to or contact Robert Weigel at 844-6350 or

(Contributed by Roy Summerford.)

Contact: Robert Weigel, (334) 844-6350 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (