The first German translation of the literary masterpiece Mauthausen (“Die Freiheit kam im Mai” in German) by Greek poet, author and academic Iakovos Kambanellis (photo) has been awarded the “2010 Translation Prize” by the Austrian Ministry of Education and Arts. The translation was made by Elena Strubakis and was published last spring by Ephelant publishing house. Ephelant publishing organization specializes in the publication of books of political and social content. The award committee praised the author on the successful adaptation of the original book in German, written by Iakovos Kambanellis in 1965, which has so far been published in thirty editions in Greek.
The German edition is also accompanied by an album. The album features four songs by Mikis Theodorakis’ “Mauthausen”, performed in Greek and Hebrew by Maria Farantouri and Elinoar Moav Veniadi.
The novel, which contains 37 chapters, is based on the experiences of Iakovos Kambanelis from the tragic conditions at Mauthauzen concentration camp. He was held prisoner at the camp from the summer of 1943 until the end of the war.
Mauthausen concentration camp was created by Nazis in August 1938. Until liberation took place on May 5th 1945, over 206,000 inmates from all over Europe experienced the cruelest conditions one could imagine. For 122,797 of them, among them 3,700 were Greeks, liberation came late, as they had their last breath at the Mauthausen crematoria.