79 Facts About Arthur Koestler


Arthur Koestler, was a Hungarian-born author and journalist.


In 1931, Arthur Koestler joined the Communist Party of Germany, but he resigned in 1938 after becoming disillusioned with Stalinism.


In 1949, Arthur Koestler began secretly working with a British Cold War anti-communist propaganda department known as the Information Research Department, which would republish and distribute many of his works, and fund his activities.


Arthur Koestler's mother was briefly a patient of Sigmund Freud.


Arthur Koestler took them several weeks later when it seemed he would be unable to get out of Lisbon, but he did not die.


In 1940 Arthur Koestler was released from a French detention camp, partly thanks to the intervention of Harold Nicolson and Noel Coward.


Arthur Koestler was born in Budapest to Jewish parents Henrik and Adele Arthur Koestler.


Arthur Koestler's father Henrik Koestler was born on 18 August 1869 in the town of Miskolc in northeastern Hungary.


Arthur Koestler's paternal grandfather Lipot Koestler, was a soldier in the Austro-Hungarian Army.


Arthur Koestler taught himself English, German and French, and eventually became a partner in the firm.


Arthur Koestler set up his own business importing textiles into Hungary.


Arthur Koestler's mother, Adele Jeiteles, was born on 25 June 1871 into a prominent Jewish family in Prague.


Henrik Arthur Koestler met Adele in 1898 and married her in 1900.


Arthur Koestler, their only child, was born on 5 September 1905.


Arthur Koestler fondly recalled the hopes for a better future he had felt as a teenager in revolutionary Budapest.


In September 1922 Arthur Koestler enrolled in the University of Vienna to study engineering, and joined a Zionist duelling student fraternity, 'Unitas.


When Henrik's latest business failed, Arthur Koestler stopped attending lectures, and was expelled for non-payment of fees.


Arthur Koestler occasionally wrote or edited broadsheets and other publications, mostly in German.


Later that year, through a friend, Arthur Koestler obtained the position of Middle East correspondent for the prestigious Berlin-based Ullstein-Verlag group of newspapers.


Arthur Koestler returned to Jerusalem, where for the next two years he produced detailed political essays, as well as some lighter reportage, for his principal employer and for other newspapers.


Arthur Koestler was resident at this time at 29 Rehov Hanevi'im, in Jerusalem.


Arthur Koestler travelled extensively, interviewed heads of state, kings, presidents and prime ministers, and greatly enhanced his reputation as a journalist.


In June 1929, while on leave in Berlin, Arthur Koestler successfully lobbied at Ullstein for a transfer away from Palestine.


Arthur Koestler was the only journalist on board: his live wireless broadcasts, and subsequent articles and lecture tours throughout Europe, brought him further kudos.


In 1931, Arthur Koestler, encouraged by Eva Striker, and impressed by the achievements of the Soviet Union, became a supporter of Marxism-Leninism.


Arthur Koestler concluded that Liberals and moderate Democrats could not stand up against the rising Nazi tide and that the Communists were the only real counter-force.


Arthur Koestler wrote a book on the Soviet Five-Year Plan, but it did not meet with the approval of the Soviet authorities and was never published in Russian.


In 1932 Arthur Koestler travelled in Turkmenistan and Central Asia, where he met and traveled with Langston Hughes.


Arthur Koestler wrote propaganda under the direction of Willi Munzenberg, the Comintern's chief propaganda director in the West.


In 1935 Arthur Koestler married Dorothy Ascher, a fellow Communist activist.


Arthur Koestler collected evidence of the direct involvement of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany on Franco's side, which at that time the Nationalist rebels were still trying to conceal.


Arthur Koestler had to escape after he was recognised and denounced as a Communist by a German former colleague.


Arthur Koestler took refuge in the house of retired zoologist Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell, and they were both arrested by Franco's chief propagandist, Luis Bolin, who had sworn that if he ever got his hands on Koestler, he would "shoot him like a dog".


Arthur Koestler was eventually exchanged for a "high value" Nationalist prisoner held by the Loyalists, the wife of one of Franco's ace fighter pilots.


Arthur Koestler was one of the few authors to have been sentenced to death, an experience he wrote about in Dialogue with Death.


In July 1938 Arthur Koestler finished work on his novel The Gladiators.


In 1939 Arthur Koestler met and formed an attachment to the British sculptor Daphne Hardy.


Arthur Koestler smuggled it out of France when they left ahead of the German occupation and arranged for its publication after reaching London that year.


Arthur Koestler attempted to turn himself in to the authorities as a foreign national several times and was finally arrested on 2 October 1939.


Arthur Koestler was released in early 1940 in response to strong British pressure.


Shortly before the German invasion of France, Arthur Koestler joined the French Foreign Legion in order to get out of the country.


Arthur Koestler deserted in North Africa and tried to return to England.


Arthur Koestler heard a false report that the ship on which Hardy was travelling had sunk, and that she and his manuscript were lost.


Arthur Koestler was still in prison when Daphne Hardy's English translation of his book Darkness at Noon was published in early 1941.


Immediately after Arthur Koestler was released, he volunteered for Army service.


In March 1942 Arthur Koestler was assigned to the Ministry of Information, where he worked as a scriptwriter for propaganda broadcasts and films.


Arthur Koestler wrote several essays, which were subsequently collected and published in The Yogi and the Commissar.


In December 1944 Arthur Koestler travelled to Palestine with accreditation from The Times.


Arthur Koestler tried to persuade him to abandon militant attacks and accept a two-state solution for Palestine, but failed.


The region had its own intellectual circle, which would have been sympathetic to Arthur Koestler: Williams-Ellis' wife, Amabel, a niece of Lytton Strachey, was a former communist; other associates included Rupert Crawshay-Williams, Michael Polanyi, Storm Jameson and, most significantly, Bertrand Russell, who lived just a few miles from the Arthur Koestler cottage.


In 1948, when war broke out between the newly declared State of Israel and the neighbouring Arab states, Arthur Koestler was accredited by several newspapers, American, British and French, and travelled to Israel.


Arthur Koestler hired a new part-time secretary, Cynthia Jefferies, who replaced Daphne Woodward.


Arthur Koestler had reached agreement with his first wife, Dorothy, on an amicable divorce, and their marriage was dissolved on 15 December 1949.


Arthur Koestler intended to live there at least for part of each year.


Arthur Koestler donated all his royalties from the play to a fund he had set up to help struggling authors, the Fund for Intellectual Freedom.


On 13 April 1955 Janine Graetz, with whom Arthur Koestler had an on-off relationship over a period of years, gave birth to his daughter Cristina.


Later in 1956, as a consequence of the Hungarian Uprising, Arthur Koestler became busy organising anti-Soviet meetings and protests.


In June 1957 Arthur Koestler gave a lecture at a symposium in Alpbach, Austria, and fell in love with the village.


Arthur Koestler bought land there, had a house built, and for the next twelve years used it as a place for summer vacations and for organising symposia.


In early 1960, on his way back from a conference in San Francisco, Arthur Koestler interrupted his journey at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where some experimental research was going on with hallucinogens.


In 1962, along with his agent, A D Peters and the editor of The Observer, David Astor, Arthur Koestler set up a scheme to encourage prison inmates to engage in arts activities and to reward their efforts.


Arthur Koestler spent most of 1966 and the early months of 1967 working on The Ghost in the Machine.


Arthur Koestler cut back on overseas trips and spent the summer months at a farmhouse in Denston, Suffolk, which he had bought in 1971.


Arthur Koestler had stated more than once that he was afraid, not of being dead, but of the process of dying.


Arthur Koestler's suicide was not unexpected among his close friends.


Controversy arose over why Arthur Koestler allowed, consented to, or compelled his wife's simultaneous suicide.


Arthur Koestler was only 55 years old and was believed to be in good health.


David Cesarani alleged in his biography of Arthur Koestler, published in 1998, that Arthur Koestler had been a serial rapist, citing the case of the British feminist writer Jill Craigie who said that she had been his victim in 1951.


From progressive education and Freudian psychoanalysis through Zionism, communism, and existentialism to psychedelic drugs, parapsychology, and euthanasia, Arthur Koestler was fascinated by every philosophical fad, serious and unserious, political and apolitical, of his era.


Arthur Koestler wrote several major novels, two volumes of autobiographical works, two volumes of reportage, a major work on the history of science, several volumes of essays, and a considerable body of other writing and articles on subjects as varied as genetics, euthanasia, Eastern mysticism, neurology, chess, evolution, psychology, the paranormal and more.


Arthur Koestler embraced a multitude of political as well as non-political issues.


Arthur Koestler criticised neo-Darwinism in a number of his books, but he was not opposed to the theory of evolution in general terms.


Arthur Koestler was Jewish by birth, but he did not practise the religion.


Arthur Koestler argued that a proof that Ashkenazi Jews have no biological connection to biblical Jews would remove the racial basis of European anti-Semitism.


Much of Arthur Koestler's work was funded and distributed secretly by a covert propaganda wing of the UK Foreign Office, known as the Information Research Department.


Arthur Koestler enjoyed strong personal relationships with IRD agents from 1949 onwards, and was supportive of the department's anti-communist goals.


Arthur Koestler first learned Hungarian, but later his family spoke mostly German at home.


Arthur Koestler wrote his books in German up to 1940, but then wrote only in English.


Arthur Koestler is said to have coined the word mimophant to describe Bobby Fischer.