50th Anniversary of the Death of Nelly Sachs on May 12, 2020


May 12, 2020 sees the 50th anniversary of the death of author and poet Nelly Sachs.

Nelly Sachs was born on December 10, 1891 to liberal Jewish parents. In 1940, she and her mother fled to Sweden to escape the Nazis. In Sweden, she worked as a literary translator, among other things, and became a Swedish citizen in 1953. She was the first woman to receive the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 1965 and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1966 together with Samuel Agnon. Nelly Sachs died in Stockholm on May 12, 1970, the day of Paul Celan’s funeral.

In his laudatory speech on the bestowal of the Nobel Prize, Ingvar Andersson said this about Nelly Sachs: »Your lyrical and dramatic writing now belongs to the great laments of literature, but the feeling of mourning which inspired you is free from hate and lends sublimity to the suffering of man. We honour you today as the bearer of a message of solace to all those who despair of the fate of man.«

Suhrkamp Verlag most recently published an edition of Nelly Sachs' Collected Works.