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Hilde Domin

(1909- )

DOMIN, HILDE (Hilde Loewenstein; 1909– ), German poet and writer. Domin was born in Cologne, Germany. She studied law and economics, sociology, and philosophy in Heidelberg, Cologne, and Berlin. Among her teachers were Karl Jaspers and Karl Mannheim. In October 1932 she immigrated to Rome together with her future husband, the art historian Erwin Walter Palm. In 1935 she received her doctoral degree in the field of political science in Florence and taught languages in Rome. After the pact between Hitler and Mussolini she escaped with her husband in 1939 to England. In 1940 she settled in the Dominican Republic, where she worked as a translator and architectural photographer. From 1947 to 1952 she taught German at the University of Santo Domingo. After her mother's death, in 1951, she adopted the pseudonym Domin, as a reminder of the Dominican Republic.

In 1954 she moved back to West Germany, and three years later her first poems appeared. From 1961 she worked as a writer. Along with poems, stories, and one novel she wrote literary-scientific essays and worked as a translator and editor.

Her works reflect the emotional worlds of an individual caught between escape, exile, and return, with all the doubts and complexities involved.

Among her works are the poetry collections Nur eine Rose als Stuetze (1959), Rueckkehr der Schiffe (1962), Der Baum blueht trotzdem (1999), the novel Das Zweite Paradies (1968), and the autobiographical Von der Natur nicht vorgesehen: Autobiographie (1974) and Aber die Hoffnung: Autobiographisches aus und ueber Deutschland (1982).

Domin won numerous prizes, including the Droste-Preis der Stadt Meersburg (1971), Rainer-Maria-Rilke-Preis fuer Lyrik (1976), Nelly-Sachs-Preis der Stadt Dortmund (1983), Literaturpreis der Konard-Adenauer-Stiftung (1995), and received the Grosses Bundesverdienstkreuz (1994).

Sources:B. v. Wagenheim (ed.), Heimkehr ins Wort: Materialien zu Hilde Domin (1982); M. Braun, Exil und Engagement (1993); B. Lermen and B.M. Braun, Hilde Domin (1997), incl. bibl.; B. v. Wagenheim (ed.), Vokabular der Erinnerung (1998).'

[Noam Zadoff (2nd ed.)]

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