Ausländer, Rose (1901–1988)

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Ausländer, Rose (1901–1988)

Austro-Hungarian acclaimed as one of the foremost lyrical poets of postwar Germany. Born Rosalie Scherzer in 1901 in Czernowitz (now Chernovtsy), Ukraine; died in 1988; married Ignaz Ausländer (divorced three years later).

Selected works:

Blindar Summer (Blind Summer, 1965); Inventar (Inventory, 1972); Doppelspiel (Double Game, 1977); Mutterland (Motherland, 1978); Ein Stück weiter (A Little Further, 1979); as well as five other volumes of poetry.

At the dawn of the 20th century, Rosalie Scherzer was born into a German-speaking Jewish family and raised in the Ukraine region. She left Europe in 1921 for the United States. There, she met and married Ignaz Ausländer, but the marriage was short-lived and Rose returned to her hometown of Czernowitz in 1931, as World War II loomed. Though she was never captured, Ausländer spent the war years hiding in the ghetto cellars of Czernowitz. With Germany's defeat, she returned to America but in 1947 her mother died. Ausländer had an emotional breakdown. As yet unpublished, she attempted to write in English but was unsuccessful and felt displaced. In 1964, she returned to Europe where she quietly worked in her native German. The following year, her first volume of poetry was published but received little notice. Not until the 1970s, when Ausländer was in her seventh decade, did her work receive critical acclaim. At the time of her death in 1988, Rose Ausländer was recognized as a preeminent poet of German literature detailing the war and postwar experience of the Jews.

Crista Martin , Boston, Massachusetts

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