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Nelly Sachs

Lawrence Bush
December 10, 2017

Nelly Sachs, poet and dramatist, was born in Berlin on this day in 1891. Her poems, wrote one German critic, are each “a flower planted on the grave of another victim” of the Holocaust. (“O you chimneys/O you fingers/And Israel’s body as smoke through the air!”) On December 10, 1966, her 75th birthday, she received the Nobel Prize for Literature (sharing it with S.Y. Agnon).

In spite of all the horrors past, I believe in you.”—Nelly Sachs

Read Zelda Gamson’s appreciation of Nelly Sachs: “Nelly Sachs and the ‘Hubris of Pain’: How the Poet Became a Symbol of the Holocaust,” from the Autumn 2012 issue of Jewish Currents.

​​​​Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.