Born December 10, 1891 in Berlin, to an assimilated Jewish family. In 1929 he published his first poems, romantic inspiration. In 1940 at the last moment get to escape to Sweden with her mother, settling in Stockholm. Always leading a precarious existence in exile developed his poetic maturity, a lament and a charge flow from the condition of the Jewish people. Only in the late fifties, after a stubborn isolation begins to be published and read in German-speaking countries. Come after the recognition, among others, the Droste Prize Meersburg (1960), the Peace Prize of the German Booksellers and Publishers (1965) and the Nobel Prize (1966). He died on May 12, 1970 in Stockholm.