A noble act: The female writer who fought Nazis and machismo

On December 10, 1966, the Jewish-German poet Nelly Sachs received the Nobel Prize for Literature in Stockholm, an award she shared with the novelist Shmuel Agnón. In her acceptance speech, she paid tribute to another Nobel laureate for saving her life. “In the summer of 1939, a German friend came to Sweden to visit Selma Lagerlöf and asked if she could find somewhere for my mother and I to take refuge,” she said. “In the spring of 1940, after several tortuous months, we reached Stockholm. Denmark and Norway were already occupied. The great novelist was no longer here.”

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