Fun Facts Friday: Paul Celan
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / November 23, 2012

Today is the birthday of Romanian poet and translator Paul Celan (23 November 1920 – abt. 20 April 1970) . Born into a Jewish family in Romania (Ukraine) . Celan was awarded the Bremen Literature Prize in 1958 and the Georg Büchner Prize in 1960. 1 ) Celan was born as Paul Antschel but changed his name to Celan (pronounced Chelan). 2 ) Celan’s father was a Zionist and insisted his son learn Hebrew. Celan’s mother loved German literature and insisted that German will be spoken in the house. Paul Celan abandoned Zionism after his Bar-Mitzvah but finished his Hebrew education. 3 ) During World War II Celan and his parents were deported into a ghetto on October 1941. Celan kept busy but translating Shakespeare’s Sonnets and writing his own poetry. In the Ghetto Celan was exposed t traditional Yidish songs and culture. When the ghetto was dissolved Celan was working as a forced laborer clearing debris and destroying Russian books. 4 ) Celan tried to convince his parents to leave Bukovina, but they refused. One night Celan was so mad he slept at a friend’s house. That night, 21 June, his parents were deported to an interment camp in…

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