At the beginning of 1933, Lasker-Schüler's artistic career was at its height. The previous year she had won the distinguished Kleist prize. The Jewish poet, author, playwright and artist occupied a central place in the artistic community in Berlin. She was widely admired by many artists. Her poems were published in journals and anthologies and painters painted her portrait. She gave poetry readings throughout the German-speaking world, from Prague to Vienna, from Zurich to Berlin and in many other German cities.
However, shortly after the Nazis rose to power, her homeland began to turn its back on her. Lasker-Schüler was attacked in the media and even suffered physical violence against her. In March of 1933, she left Berlin, the city she loved and the center of her creative activity. She escaped to Switzerland. As a German citizen in Switzerland, she was able to obtain a temporary resident visa. And so her long battle to extend her stay in Switzerland until the terror passed began. It very quickly became clear to her that the terror would not pass, but indeed, was only becoming worse. Her material situation became more untenable each day and her visa expired after only a few months. In her fight against the Swiss authorities, she was helped by a Jewish-Swiss lawyer, Emil Raas.