The German 2016 Nelly Sachs 20 Euro Silver Commemorative Coin honors the 125th anniversary of the legendary Jewish poet’s birth. Born in Berlin on December 10, 1891, Sachs grew up in a wealthy family and enjoyed dancing, studied music, and wrote poetry during her childhood years. While she was gifted in the arts, her literary career began only after fleeing to Sweden in 1940 just a week before she was to be shipped to a concentration camp by the Nazi Third Reich.
It was in Sweden that Sachs’ pursuits in poetry reached new heights. In 1947, In den Wohnungen des Todes (In the House of Death) was published as her first volume of poetry. Within two decades, she published a litany of other iconic works, including Und Niemand Weiss Weiter (And No One Knows How to Go On, 1957) and Flucht und Verwandlung (Flight and Metamorphosis, 1959). She also wrote many plays, such as her masterpiece Eli (1950). Her multitude of works, which address modern social issues with strong metaphors and Old Testament influences, as well as her peaceful leadership in the world’s Jewish community, helped her become the first German-speaking woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1966.
Sachs passed away on May 12, 1970 in Stockholm, Sweden.
The silver 20-euro coin honoring her life echoes tragic themes of the Holocaust and somberly recalls Germany’s first Nobel poet laureate. It is available in Proof and Uncirculated varieties.
For more about Nelly Sachs’ life and work, visit http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/sachs-nelly-leonie.
The obverse of the Nelly Sachs 20-euro German coin is anchored by the Bundesadler, or “federal eagle”, of the German coat of arms. It is surrounded by two columns of six stars, representing the 12 stars of the European Union. Arching over the eagle along the top half of the obverse rim is the phrase BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND, which translates to “GERMAN FEDERAL REPUBLIC.” Above the eagle’s head is the “F” mintmark for the Stuttgart Mint, and below the bird’s feet is the inscription SILBER 925, indicating the coin’s 92.5% sterling silver composition. Along the bottom half of the rim is the date and declaration of the coin’s denomination, which are expressed as 2016 20 EURO.
The poignant reverse design features five rows of barbed wire fencing. A small bird sits on the center right side of the middle wire. Along the bottom half of the reverse rim is the memorial inscription NELLY SACHS 1891-1970. Near the top half of the coin’s rim is the phrase COMMIT EINER VON FERNE, which is the title of one of Sachs’ poems and translates to “Come One from Afar”.
Both sides of the coin were designed by artist Georg Mann.
Incuse edge lettering includes the phrase FRIEDEN DU LEISESTE ALLER GEBURTEN (“Peace, you quietest of all births”), a paraphrase of the last line of from Sach’s poem “There Is One Who Will Snatch The Ball“.
|Year Of Issue:||2016|
|Mint Mark:||F (Stuttgart)|
|Mintage:||Uncirculated: 800,000; Proof: 175,000|
|Alloy:||92.5% Silver, 7.5% Copper|
|Edge:||Incuse Inscribed (FRIEDEN DU LEISESTE ALLER GEBURTEN)|
|OBV Designer||Georg Mann|
|REV Designer||Georg Mann|
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