Google has shone a spotlight on the acclaimed Jewish poet Else Lasker-Schüler, who fled Nazi-Germany in the lead-up to the Second World War.
The search engine paid tribute to Lasker-Schüler on Friday with a daily “Doodle” illustrated by the artist Cynthia Kittler, who is based in Frankfurt.
Lasker-Schüler, whose verses dealt with alienation, romance and fantasy, was born in 1869 to a wealthy assimilated family in Elberfeld.
Leaving school as a teenager due to poor health, she was home-schooled by her mum, a voracious reader who encouraged her to write.She moved to Berlin in 1894 after marrying her physician husband Jonathan Lasker.
The couple divorced in 1903, and Lasker-Schüler later married the artist Georg Lewin, whom she divorced in 1912.
Lasker-Schüler became a fixture in Berlin’s Expressionist scene and literary cafes, known for her extravagant outfits. She was awarded in 1932 the Kleist Prize, a prestigious honour bestowed upon the country’s literary greats at the time.
Beaten in the street by a group of Nazis when she was 64, she fled to Zurich in 1933, where she penned her most famous poem “My Blue Piano”, which was first published on this day in 1937, when she was 72..
From Switzerland, she travelled to Jerusalem in 1939 but was unable to return due to the outbreak of the Second World War. She spent her final years in the city, where struggling with poverty and illness, she received support from the Jewish Agency.
Lasker-Schüler died at home in January 1945 and was buried on the Mount of Olives.
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