Stephane Hessel, born in Germany in 1917, moved to France with his Jewish writer father and mother in 1924. He fought in the French army in 1940 and escaped from a POW camp to join de Gaulle's Free French in London. On his clandestine return to organise the Resistance in France, he was captured, tortured, and sent to the Buchenwald and Dora concentration camps. He escaped death to work after the war on drafting the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose ideals he defends passionately to this day.
Damion Searls (translator)
Damion Searls is a translator from German, Norwegian, French, and Dutch, and a writer in English. He has translated many of Europe's greatest writers, including Proust, Rilke, Robert Walser, Ingeborg Bachmann, Thomas Bernhard, Kurt Schwitters, Peter Handke, Jon Fosse, and Nescio, edited a new abridged edition of Thoreau's Journal, and produced a lost work of Melville's.