Madrid – Award-winning Spanish writer and former Cabinet minister Jorge Semprun died Tuesday at his home in France, Spain's Culture Ministry told Efe. He was 87.
A World War II Resistance fighter who survived the Buchenwald concentration camp, Semprun served as Spain's culture minister from 1988-1991 in the Socialist government of Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez.
Semprun's family went into exile during the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War, ultimately ending up in France, where Jorge received most of his education.
With the coming of World War II, he became part of a French Resistance unit composed largely of foreign nationals. In 1942, Semprun joined the exile-based Spanish Communist Party.
Semprun was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943 and sent to Buchenwald, where he spent 16 months, an experience that he later addressed in several books.
Though he led the Spanish Communist Party's underground operation in Madrid for several years, the party expelled him in 1964 for political deviations.
The end of the Franco dictatorship in 1975 enabled Semprun to enter public life in Spain.
Jorge Semprun, who garnered honors for his novels and non-fiction in French and Spanish, also won an Oscar for his work on the screenplay of the 1969 film "Z."