A Latvian writer, physician, and Holocaust survivor, he published his famous work, Yet Icebound Rivers Flow, in 1957. The work was influenced by his time spent in Nazi concentration camps.
He joined the Young Communist League and was arrested in 1941 during the Nazi Occupation of Latvia.
He escaped from the Buchenwald concentration camp.
He was born in Rujiena, Latvia to a municipal employee father.
He and Elie Wiesel were both Holocaust survivors who wrote about their experiences.