Nelly Sachs – IN MEMORIAM PROGROM NIGHTS 1938: Ciné privé Against Forgetting. Literature & Music & Film

Irmi Horn & Henrik Sande

Series Women Empowerment: Literature NELLY SACHS & Music HENRIK SANDE & Film

With Irmi Horn & Henrik Sande: In memory of the pogrom nights and the terrible consequences. With literature & music & film we want to let empathy grow and stand up against hate, prejudice and hostility.

Nelly Sachs

Leonie (“Nelly”) Sachs, born on 10 December 1891 in Berlin, was the only child of wealthy Jewish parents. Her greatest wish was to become a dancer, but she also began writing at an early age. At the age of 17, she experienced a deep but hopeless love that had a decisive influence on her life and work; many of her later poems revolve around the “dead bridegroom,” who (according to Hilde Domin) was arrested by the Gestapo in 1940 and later murdered. Nelly Sachs never spoke about her lover. She was almost murdered by the Nazis like her friends Gertrud Kolmar and Helene Herrmann, and we wouldn’t even know her name. For the later “poet of Jewish fate” and Nobel Prize winner for literature received the order for deportation and the visa to Sweden on the same day.
On 16 May 1940, Nelly and Margarete Sachs arrived in Stockholm on the last plane from Berlin (their father had died in 1930). In addition to the hard work of survival (Sachs worked as a laundress for a time) and the exhausting care of her sick mother, she began to write poetry cycles and scenic poems. Despite her great productivity, Sachs was ignored in the Federal Republic until the end of the 1950s. In 1960 she was awarded the Meersburg Droste Prize, in 1965 she was the first woman to receive the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, and in 1966 she was the first and so far only German poet to win the Nobel Prize. Along with her success, however, came severe suffering, the horrors of the past once again haunted the almost seventy-year-old, she collapsed in 1960 and had to spend a long time in a sanatorium. Despite her illness and the torture of electroshock therapy, she continued to write; her last great cycles of poems were written. Nelly Sachs died on 12.5.1970 in Stockholm.
Works among others:
1947: In the Apartments of Death.
1949: Star Darkening. Poems.
1951: Eli. A Mystery Play of the Suffering of Israel.
1951: The Sufferings of Israel.


  • Please make reservations not later than 2 hours before the programme begins: or +43 316 262787. 3G/Mask!