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Henry Kreisel was born in Vienna, Austria in 1922. He left for England in 1938 during the Nazi annexation of his country. In 1940, Kreisel was among the many Jews and alleged Nazi sympathizers sent from Britain to internment camps in New Brunswick and elsewhere in Canada. When released a year later, he studied English Literature at the University of Toronto where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1946 and a Master of Arts degree in 1947. Kreisel then joined the University of Alberta where he completed a Doctorate in 1954, became a full professor of English in 1959, and eventually became head of the Department of English in 1961. In 1970, Kreisel was named Vice-President (Academic) of the University of Alberta. Kreisel wrote two novels, The Rich Man (1948) and The Betrayal (1964). He also published a collection of short stories, The Almost Meeting (1981), and has written many essays and articles on immigration, literature, and culture. The University of Alberta awarded him the A.C. Rutherford Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1986 and the Government of Alberta awarded him the Sir Frederick Haultain Prize for significant contributions to the Fine Arts.