He was born in Budapest in 1929, within a Hungarian Jewish family. He and his family were deported to Bergen-Belsen in 1944; after a few months in the field, were saved eventually fleeing to Switzerland. After the war, he began his studies of German and Romance Languages at the University of Zurich, where he studied with Emil Staiger. Since his doctoral thesis, Theory of modern drama (1880-1950), published in 1956, his writings had a major reception in the intellectual and cultural world. Based on the aesthetic reflection of Schelling and Hegel, Schleiermacher's hermeneutics, the young Lukács, Adorno and especially Walter Benjamin, Szondi developed a method of analysis in which the concepts of 'dialectic' and 'tragic' occupy a central place. From 1959, he became friends with Paul Celan and Jean Bollack. In 1965 he founded the Institute for Comparative Literature at the Free University of Berlin, from which he soon tried to claim the critical force of philology in order to renew the academic institution. In Spanish have appeared so far their studies Hölderlin (1992), Poetics and Philosophy of History (1992) and Theory of the modern drama (1880-1950). Tentative on the tragedy (1994).