Nelly Sachs

Nelly Sachs
Nelly Sachs, 1966
Nelly Sachs, 1966
BornLeonie Sachs
(1891-12-10)10 December 1891
Berlin-Schöneberg, Germany
Died12 May 1970(1970-05-12) (aged 78)
Stockholm, Sweden
OccupationPoet, Playwright
NationalityGerman, Swedish
Notable awardsNobel Prize in Literature
1966
Droste-Preis
1957

Signature
Nelly Sachs, 1910

Nelly Sachs (10 December 1891 – 12 May 1970) was a Jewish German-Swedish poet and playwright. Her experiences resulting from the rise of the Nazis in World War II Europe transformed her into a poignant spokeswoman for the grief and yearnings of her fellow Jews. Her best-known play is Eli: Ein Mysterienspiel vom Leiden Israels (1950); other works include the poems "Zeichen im Sand" (1962), "Verzauberung" (1970), and the collections of poetry In den Wohnungen des Todes (1947), Flucht und Verwandlung (1959), Fahrt ins Staublose (1961), and Suche nach Lebenden (1971). She was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1966.

Life and career

Born Leonie Sachs in Berlin-Schöneberg, Germany, in 1891 to the wealthy natural rubber and gutta-percha manufacturer Georg William Sachs (1858–1930) and his wife Margarete, née Karger (1871–1950),[1] she was educated at home because of frail health. She showed early signs of talent as a dancer, but her protective parents did not encourage her to pursue a profession. She grew up as a very sheltered, introverted young woman and never married. She pursued an extensive correspondence with, and was friends with, Selma Lagerlöf and Hilde Domin. As the Nazis took power, she became increasingly terrified, at one point losing the ability to speak, as she would remember in verse: "When the great terror came/I fell dumb." Sachs fled with her aged mother to Sweden in 1940. It was her friendship with Lagerlöf that saved their lives: shortly before her own death Lagerlöf intervened with the Swedish royal family to secure their release from Germany. Sachs and her mother escaped on the last flight from Nazi Germany to Sweden, a week before Sachs was scheduled to report to a concentration camp. They settled in Sweden and Sachs became a Swedish citizen in 1952.

Living in a tiny two-room apartment in Stockholm, Sachs cared alone for her mother for many years, and supported their existence by translations between Swedish and German. After her mother's death, Sachs suffered several nervous breakdowns characterized by hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions of persecution by Nazis, and she spent a number of years in a mental institution. She continued to write even while hospitalized. She eventually recovered sufficiently to live on her own, though her mental health would always be fragile. Her worst breakdown was ostensibly precipitated by hearing German speech during a trip to Switzerland to accept a literary prize. However, she maintained a forgiving attitude toward a younger generation of Germans, and corresponded with many German-speaking writers of the postwar period, including Hans Magnus Enzensberger and Ingeborg Bachmann.

Other Languages
العربية: نيلي زاكس
aragonés: Nelly Sachs
asturianu: Nelly Sachs
azərbaycanca: Nelli Zaks
تۆرکجه: نلی زاکس
Bân-lâm-gú: Nelly Sachs
башҡортса: Нелли Закс
беларуская: Нэлі Закс
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Нэлі Закс
български: Нели Закс
bosanski: Nelly Sachs
brezhoneg: Nelly Sachs
català: Nelly Sachs
čeština: Nelly Sachsová
Deutsch: Nelly Sachs
Ελληνικά: Νέλλυ Ζαχς
español: Nelly Sachs
Esperanto: Nelly Sachs
فارسی: نلی زاکس
français: Nelly Sachs
Gaeilge: Nelly Sachs
Gàidhlig: Nelly Sachs
galego: Nelly Sachs
한국어: 넬리 작스
հայերեն: Նելլի Զաքս
हिन्दी: नेली साक्स
hrvatski: Nelly Sachs
Ilokano: Nelly Sachs
Bahasa Indonesia: Nelly Sachs
interlingua: Nelly Sachs
íslenska: Nelly Sachs
italiano: Nelly Sachs
עברית: נלי זק"ש
Kiswahili: Nelly Sachs
kurdî: Nelly Sachs
Latina: Nelly Sachs
latviešu: Nellija Zaksa
Lëtzebuergesch: Nelly Sachs
magyar: Nelly Sachs
मैथिली: नेलि साचस
македонски: Нели Закс
Nāhuatl: Nelly Sachs
Nederlands: Nelly Sachs
norsk nynorsk: Nelly Sachs
occitan: Nelly Sachs
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Nelly Sachs
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਨੈਲੀ ਸਾਕਸ
پنجابی: نیلی زاکس
polski: Nelly Sachs
português: Nelly Sachs
română: Nelly Sachs
русский: Закс, Нелли
Simple English: Nelly Sachs
slovenčina: Nelly Sachsová
slovenščina: Nelly Sachs
српски / srpski: Нели Закс
svenska: Nelly Sachs
Türkçe: Nelly Sachs
українська: Неллі Закс
Tiếng Việt: Nelly Sachs
Yorùbá: Nelly Sachs