Hilde Domin was born in 1909 of Jewish parentage. She studied law, philosophy and politics in Heidelberg. With the advent of the Nazis, she and her husband moved to Florence where she continued her studies and obtained a doctorate. When Jews were beginning to be arrested in Italy she fled with her husband to England. By this time war had broken out, and she was regarded as an enemy alien. Nevertheless, she was given a teaching post before eventually sailing to Santo Domingo, where she and her husband both taught at the University. She adopted the name ‘Domin’ for all her literary writings.
After twenty-two years in exile she returned to Germany and lived in Heidelberg. She died 23 February 2006, aged 96.
Much of Hilde Domin’s work is about exile and survival. ‘Wen es trifft‘ (literally the person who has been targetted by a weapon or by fate) is a good example. Her poems have been translated into sixteen languages. She has won countless literary prizes, and has held several university posts for literature and specifically poetry. She has also written several autobiographical pieces, lectures and essays.
– from Ruth Ingram’s introduction in MPT Series 3/5 Transgressions