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Leonie Nelly Sachs was the daughter of Wilhelm Sachs, a German-Jewish industrialist and inventor, and his wife Margarethe Karger. She grew up in a fashionable area of Berlin and was privately educated, also attending the Hoch Toechterschule (girls’ school). She began writing poetry at an early age. With the outbreak of World War II, Nelly's family had to flee Nazi persecution and, with the help of her friend Selma Lagerlof, she and her mother arrived in Stockholm in 1940. Her career as a poet began in Sweden -- among her most famous works are the verse play Eli, and a series of lays entitled Scenic Poetry. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1966, shared with the poet Shmuel Agnon. Her poetry has been translated into many languages. The German town of Dortmund instituted and funded the Nelly Sachs Prize for Literature, of which she was the first recipient in 1961.
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