Else Lasker-Schüler bigraphy, stories - Jewish German poet and playwright

Else Lasker-Schüler : biography

February 11, 1869 - January 22, 1945

Else Lasker-Schüler (February 11, 1869 – January 22, 1945) was a Jewish German poet and playwright famous for her bohemian lifestyle in Berlin. She was one of the few women affiliated with the Expressionist movement. Lasker-Schüler fled Nazi Germany and lived out the rest of her life in Jerusalem.

Biography

Schüler was born in Elberfeld, now a district of Wuppertal. Her mother, Jeannette Schüler (née Kissing) was a central figure in her poetry, and the main character of her play Die Wupper was inspired by her father, Aaron Schüler, a Jewish banker.

In 1894, Else married the physician and occasional chess player, Jonathan Berthold Lasker (the older brother of Emanuel Lasker, a World Chess Champion) and moved with him to Berlin, where she trained as an artist. On August 24, 1899 her son Paul was born and her first poems were published. She published her first full volume of poetry, Styx, three years later, in 1902. On April 11, 1903, she and Berthold Lasker divorced and on November 30, she married Georg Lewin. His pseudonym, Herwarth Walden, was her invention.

Lasker-Schüler's first prose work, Das Peter-Hille-Buch, was published in 1906, after the death of Hille, one of her closest friends. In 1907, she published the prose collection Die Nächte der Tino von Bagdad, followed by the play "Die Wupper" in 1909, which was not performed until later. A volume of poetry called the Meine Wunder, published in 1911, established Lasker-Schüler as the leading female representative of German expressionism.

After separating from Herwarth Walden in 1910 and divorcing him in 1912, she found herself penniless and dependent on the financial support of her friends, in particular Karl Kraus. That year, she met Gottfried Benn. An intense friendship developed between them which found its literary outlet in a large number of love poems dedicated to him. The death of her son in 1927, however, sent her into a deep depression.

In 1944 Lasker-Schüler's health deteriorated. She suffered a heart attack on January 16, and died in Jerusalem on January 22, 1945. She was buried on the Mount of Olives.]]

Influence

The 20th-century Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid included a translation of an extract from Lasker-Schüler's work in his long poem A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle, 1926. (Lines 401–410.)

Commemoration

"Angel for Jerusalem," Else Lasker-Schüler Memorial in Jerusalem Forest, April 2007 There is a memorial plaque to Else Lasker-Schüler at Motzstraße 7, Berlin-Schöneberg, where she lived from 1924 to 1933. Part of this street was renamed Else-Lasker-Schüler-Straße in 1996. In Elberfeld in Wuppertal there is now a school named after her (The "School without Racism"), and a memorial stele was erected on Herzogstrasse, Wuppertal.

In Jerusalem, there is a small street named for Else Lasker-Schuler in the neighborhood of Nayot - Rehov Else. Perched on a ridge in the Jerusalem Forest, very close to the Kennedy Memorial (Yad Kennedy), was a sculpture in her honor resembling a slender tree trunk with wings. It was placed there in 1997, and was stolen, probably by metal thiefs, in July 2007.

In 2007, her final days in Jerusalem were commemorated in the BBC radio play MY BLUE PIANO by the Scottish playwright Marty Ross (Radio 4 2007) which combined the facts of her dying days with the fantasies of her inner life.[This can be heard at http://www.bluesmouse.multiply.com/item/1/Marty_Ross_BBC_plays_available_here My Blue Piano]

Literary career

Lasker-Schüler memorial by [[Stephan Huber in Elberfeld, Wuppertal]] Lasker-Schüler left behind several volumes of poetry and three plays, as well as many short stories, essays and letters. During her lifetime, her poems were published in various magazines, among them the journal Der Sturm edited by her second husband, and Karl Kraus' 'Fackel. She also published many anthologies of poetry, some of which she illustrated herself. Examples are:

Living octopus

Living octopus

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