country of citizenship: Germany
language of expression: German
educated at: University of Cologne
occupation: writer, journalist, science fiction writer, historian, biographer
award received: Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Jürgen Thorwald (born Heinz Bongartz, October 28, 1915; died April 4, 2006) was a German writer, journalist and historian known for his works describing the history of forensic medicine and of World War II.
Thorwald was a native of Solingen, Rhenish Prussia, and attended the University of Cologne. He started his career in 1933 in Nazi Germany, writing for publications such as Die Braune Post ("The Brown Mail"), the SS journal Das Schwarze Korps ("The Black Corps") and the NSDAP paper National-Zeitung. During the war he worked as a propaganda writer focusing on the Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine and the general German war effort.
After the war he used the pseudonym Jürgen Thorwald in order to be able to work under allied occupation. In 1947, he legally adopted the new name.Thorwalds book The Century of the Detective was nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1966 in Best Fact Crime category, but he lost to Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. In 1984 he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Thorwald died in Lugano.
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