Cornelia Pieper, Minister of State and Coordinator of German-Polish Intersocietal and Cross-Border Cooperation at the Federal Foreign Office today (3 February) issued the following statement in Berlin on the death of Polish Nobel literature laureate Wisława Szymborska on 1 February 2012:
“I was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Polish Nobel literature laureate Wisława Szymborska in Krakow. For decades Mrs Szymborska was a superb representative of Polish literature who exerted a great influence on her country’s art, culture and society. Poland and Europe have lost a great poet who, against the background of her own experience of totalitarian systems, combined resistance against any kind of ideological oppression with a fundamental belief in human nature and made this a focus of her writing. I would like to express my sincere condolences to the Polish people.”
Wisława Szymborska was born near Poznań in 1923 and six years later moved with her family to Krakow where the poet lived and worked for the rest of her life. Thanks to her German translator Karl Dedecius, Wisława Szymborska’s works also became known to a broad public in the Federal Republic of Germany, and the extremely high esteem in which her work is held here led to her being awarded the Goethe Prize (1991), the Herder Prize (1995) and the Samuel Bogumił Linde Prize (1996). In 1979 her poetry was published for the first time in the GDR in the translation by Jutta Janke. Wisława Szymborska was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature for poetry that with “ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality”.