German author, critic of ex-communist East, dead at 87

13th September 2013, Comments 0 comments

German author Erich Loest, who was a prominent critic of the ex-communist East German regime, has died at age 87 after throwing himself out of a window, police said.

The writer apparently committed suicide from the second-floor window of the University Hospital in Leipzig Thursday where he had been receiving treatment for several days, police in the eastern city said.

Many of his works dealt with everyday and political life in the former East Germany where his public criticism of the governing party's leadership landed him in jail for seven years.

He described the period as "murdered time" and moved to West Germany in 1981.

His most renowned works included the bestseller "Nikolaikirche", the name of a central Leipzig church, about the final demise of East Germany and the protests that helped pave the way for the Berlin Wall's fall in 1989. It was also made into a film.

Born in 1926 in eastern Saxony state, Loest served as a young soldier at the end of World War II and was initially a convinced communist until the workers' uprising of June 17, 1953 was violently suppressed by Soviet forces.

© 2013 AFP

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