Hilde Lowenstein was born into a German-Jewish family. She studied at universities in Heidelberg,Cologne, Bonn and Berlin until 1932, when she and her family had to flee the rise of Nazisim, and went to live in Italy. She finished her education with a doctoral degree in political science in Florence. In 1936, she married a fellow student, Erwin Walter Palm. The couple stayed in England for several years trying to get a visa before being allowed to immigrate to the Dominican Republic in 1940. Hilde worked as a teacher, photographer, and translator for over a decade, and adopted the pen name Hilde Domin in honor of the city of Santo Domingo. After World War II, she and her husband returned to Germany. Domin produced novels, poems and two volumes of autobiography, and became one of the most important German-language poets of her time. She was awarded the highest order of the Dominican Republic, the Orden al Merito de Duarte, Sanchez y Mella, in 2005.