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Selma Lagerlöf (1858 –1940) was a Swedish author.  She is most widely known for her children's book Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige (The Wonderful Adventures of Nils).


Selma Lagerlöf had close personal ties to Jerusalem. She made her first of two trips to Jerusalem in 1900 when she visited the American Colony. Selma Lagerlöf's novel Jerusalem made the colony famous. This was to become the inspiration for Lagerlöf's book called Jerusalem. She won the Nobel Literature prize in 1909 for her book, published in 1901-1902 She was also the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. This work was her first immediate success. Her books were translated into 34 languages..


During the Holocaust Selma Lagerlöf took a very clear position against Nazism. Selma Lagerlöf rescued almost singlehandedly the German-Jewish author, and later brought Nobel Prize winner, Nelly Sachs, to Stockholm. Nelly Sachs was a big fan of Selma Lagerlöf and the two had long been corresponding with each other. Sachs came to stay in Stockholm, where the majority of her works were written


Shortly after Jerusalem became the capital of the newly independent state of Israel, Selma Lagerlöf was honored with a street named after her in the city. So important has this Swedish writer been for both Israel and the Jewish people.


According to Jewish tradition, it is said that whoever saves a life, saves an entire world. Selma Lagerlöf should not only be remembered for her great literary works, but also for her great humanitarian commitment


·        Jerusalem (1902)

·        Jerusalem  The Holy City : Jerusalem II (1918)



Selma Lagerlöf  is very popular in Israel, and was very popular in Jewish circles in Europe during the interwar period.


Her books have been translated into both Yiddish and Hebrew, and there is also a classic comic strip in Hebrew based on Nils Holgersson.



"Det finns stråk av sorg här, över pappans orealiserade drömmar, över mammans sjukdom, men innan molnen hopar sig är det den bästa av världar Leif Zern beskriver, en lycklig barndom full av släktingar vars stora snälla ansikten lutas över Barnet, en östjudisk värld där man aldrig gjorde ”klassresan från jiddisch till hebreiska”.


Släkten härstammade från Ryssland och dess medlemmar arbetade alla på traditionellt vis inom textilbranschen, från herrekiperingen där Simon var expedit till de finska släktingarnas eleganta aftonklänningsateljé."



Svenska Dagbladet




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