The Papers of Walter Arndt, circa 1920 - 2006Manuscript MS-1195

Biography

Walter Werner Arndt was born on May 4, 1916, in Constantinople, Turkey to parents of German and Polish origin. In 1934 he moved to England to study at Oriel College, Oxford University. After Oxford, Arndt relocated to Warsaw for graduate study where he was able to increase his knowledge of Polish and Russian language. In 1939 he repudiated his German citizenship and volunteered for the Polish Army. After escaping from a German POW camp he spent a year in the Polish underground, forging Nazi documents before he made his way to Istanbul where he was able to study mechanical engineering at Robert College. Between 1942 and 1943, Arndt was active in political, military, and war economic intelligence with the OSS. He emigrated to the United States in 1949 and taught French, German and Russian at Guilford College in North Carolina. In 1956 he received his PhD in Comparative Linguistics and Classics from the University of North Carolina. After Ford Fellowships at the University of Michigan and Harvard, Arndt held successive appointments in linguistics and Slavic languages and literature at the University of North Carolina. In 1966 he was hired by Dartmouth College's Russian department where he became the Sherman Fairchild Professor in the Humanities and chairman of the Russian department. Among his many translations of German and Slavic texts are Pushkin's "Eugene Onegin," the "Anna Akhmatva" anthology, Goethe's "Faust," as well as verses by Lermontov, Pasternak, Heine, Wilhelm Busch, Morgenstern and Rilke. In 1995 Arndt was awarded the Order of Merit from Germany for "helping to bring the German language and literature to the English speaking world." Walter Arndt died on February 15, 2011 at the age of 94.

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