While I Am Drawing Breath
Published by Arc Publications
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The experience of living in the Chernivtsi ghetto under the Nazis remains a dark undertow in all Rose Ausländer’s poetry. The hardships of a life in hiding, the constant fear of Nazi terror and concentration camps are all harrowingly present, while other poems speak to the mother for whose sake she endured.
After the war Ausländer’s later poetry brought her prizes and acclaim, establishing her extraordinary simplicity as a distinctive voice in German poetry.
Rose Ausländer was born in Bucovina, on what is now the Romanian/Ukrainian border. Her first book of poems in German, The Rainbow, was published in Bucharest in 1939, with the majority of its print run destroyed during Nazi occupation. In the Chernivtsi ghetto she became friends with Paul Celan; the pair would meet again in Paris in 1957. Her second collection, Blind Summer, appeared in 1965. Rose died in Düsseldorf in 1988.