Nearly 60 years after the liberation of the death camps, Holocaust survivors continue to show themselves to be a durable, sometimes tragic, lot. On Thursday, Imre Kertesz, a Hungarian novelist and essayist who outlasted both the Nazis and the Communists, received the Nobel Prize in Literature. As a teenager he survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald; after the war he remained in Communist Hungary and survived once more. Among other necessary survival skills, Auschwitz no doubt bred patience. Largely because of Hungary's repressive atmosphere, Mr. Kertesz didn't publish his first novel, ''Fateless,'' until 1975. And it wasn't until the 1990's that ''Fateless'' and two later novels, ''Fiasco'' and ''Kaddish for a Child Not Born,'' were published to wide acclaim in Europe. In the United States, however, Mr. Kertesz was barely known.