Nelly Sachs Google honours Nobel Prize-winning poet and playwright
Google has celebrated the German-Swedish poet and playwright Nelly Sachs with a special Doodle marking the 127th anniversary of her birth.
Sachs fled Nazi Germany as a refugee to Sweden during World War II and her experiences made her a poignant spokeswoman for the trauma of her fellow Jews.
Leonie 'Nelly' Sachs was born into a Jewish family in Berlin on December 10, 1891. She studied dance and literature as a child and began writing as a teenager.
She published her poetry in German periodicals as well as a collection of stories called Legends and Tales.
After escaping to Sweden as a refugee, Sachs supported herself and her mother in a one-room apartment by working as a translator.
During this time, she wrote powerful poems and plays about the aftermath of the war and family members who died in concentration camps.
Her haunting poem “O die Schornsteine" ("O the Chimneys"), evokes the spirits of the dearly departed through the image of smoke rising from the camps.
During this time, she corresponded with distinguished Swedish writer Selma Lagerlöf—who became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1909—and who eventually saved Sachs’ and
her mother’s lives.
Lagerlöf petitioned the Swedish royal family to help the Sachs escape Germany at the start of World War II.
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