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Else Lasker-Schüler Archive

"The Queen of Expressionisn"  this is what Else Lasker-Schüler is called to this day. Her place in this artistic movement, which was at its height about 100 years ago, remains unshaken. From the very beginning, she held a unique position in the movement: both as a woman (she is almost the only woman to be counted among the prominent representatives of the style) and as a poet, playwright and painter. Lasker-Schüler's work was mainly characterized by its multi-disciplinary nature, as a typical representative of Expressionism, in which the borders of the various mediums (writing, theatre and painting) were generally blurred. Among her more prominent works are her many love poems, some of which were translated into Hebrew by Yehuda Amichai, Nathan Zach, and others.

Else Lasker-Schüler was born in 1869 to a family of Jewish bankers in Elberfeld, Germany, which today is a district of Wuppertal. She received training as an artist in Berlin and at the beginning of the 20th century she began to publish poetry. Later, she also published plays, though only a few of them were produced during her lifetime. Despite that, Else Lasker-Schüler is considered one of the most important poets in the history of 20th century German Literature.​

 

When the Nazis came to power in 1933, the poet was forced to leave Germany. She lived in Switzerland until 1939, but visited Eretz Yisrael twice. During her third visit, Lasker-Schüler was surprised by the outbreak of World War II. Concurrently, the Swiss authorities didn't allow Else to return to Switzerland.
 
In Eretz Yisrael, Lasker-Schüler settled in Jerusalem and continued to write in German. One of her last works was a play called "Ich und ich" (I and I) which expresses her hope for the fall of the Nazi regime. Her death in January of 1945  kept her from finishing the work and witnessing the turn of events in Europe.
 
Her literary estate is under the supervision of an estate manager, but since 1974, the material has been kept at The National Library in Jerusalem. Her personal archives contain manuscripts of her works, drawings and correspondences with her contemporaries such as S.Y. Agnon, Samuel Hugo Bergmann, Gottfried Benn, Martin Buber, Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Max Reinhardt, Salman Schocken and Akiva Ernst Simon. You can also find evidence of her literary activities and thoughts in other personal archives and Library collections including many letters that she wrote to the Swiss lawyer Emil Raas, to S.Y. Agnon and to the Expressionist poet Albert Ehrenstein. These archival materials have served as the foundation for many scholarly works, as well as for new editions of her own works.
 אירוע השקת היצירה "סְפָר" מאת עפרי כנעני בהשראת ארכיון אלזה לסקר שילר
אירוע השקת היצירה "סְפָר" מאת עפרי כנעני בהשראת ארכיון אלזה לסקר שילר
האירוע התקיים ביום שלישי, כ"ה בחשון תשע"ד, 29 באוקטובר 2013, בשעה 20:00 בספרייה הלאומית.
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