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Nelly Leonie Sachs

Nobel Laureate

Nelly Sachs

Nelly Leonie Sachs was born in Berlin on December 10, 1891, the daughter of a wealthy manufacturer. She studied music and dancing, and at an early age began writing poetry.

As a Jewish refugee, she arrived in Sweden with her mother on May 16, 1940. Her career as a poet of note did not start until after her emigration. As a poet, she became a poignant spokesman for the grief and yearnings of her fellow Jews.


In den Wohnungen des Todes (In the Houses of Death), 1947
Sternverdunkelung (Eclipse of Stars), 1949
Und niemand weiss weiter (And No One Knows Where to Go), 1957
Flucht und Verwandlung (Flight and Metamorphosis), 1959

Eli: Ein Mysterienspiel vom Leiden Israels (1950), broadcast in West Germany as a radio play, is probably her best known poetic drama.


Fahrt ins Staublose (Journey to the Beyond), 1961
Zeichen im Sand (Signs in the Sand) [verse dramas]
O the Chimneys, 1967 [English translations of some of her poetry and of her play Eli]

Honors and Awards

Prize of the Swedish Poets Association (1958)
Nelly Sachs Prize (1961)
Friedenspreis des deutschen Buchhandels (1965)
Nobel Prize for Literature (1966)

Nelly Sachs died in Stockholm, Sweden, on May 12, 1970.


Nobel Foundation

See Also

Nobel Prize for Literature

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This page was last updated on 10/02/2018.