Born: 10 December 1891, Berlin, Germany
Died: 12 May 1970, Stockholm, Sweden
Residence at the time of the award: Sweden
Prize motivation: "for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel's destiny with touching strength"
Prize share: 1/2
In May 1940, Nelly Sachs fled from the war in Germany to Sweden with one of the last passenger aircrafts. In Stockholm, Sweden, she started a new life as translator and author. In her first poetry volume, 'In den Wohnungen des Todes' ('In the Houses of Death'), she gave voice to the worldwide tragedy of the Jewish people. Her poetry and drama are expressed in lyrical laments of painful beauty and in dramatic legends showing a genuine sorrow at man's debasement.