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Paul Celan (1920-1970), writer, poet, and translator, was born Paul Antschel in Czernovitz, Romania. After studying medicine briefly in Paris, he returned to Romania at the outbreak of World War II, when his parents were deported; they later died in Nazi labor camps. Celan survived an eighteen-month internment before escaping to the Red Army and moving to Bucharest in 1945. There he befriended leading Romanian writers and worked as a translator. By 1947, Celan had moved to Paris, married, and published his first book. His second book, Poppy and Memory (1952), garnered critical acclaim and solidified his reputation.
In the 1960s Celan received the Georg Buchner Prize (1960) and published more than six books of poetry, while continuing to translate work by Henri Michaux, Paul Valéry, Fernando Pessoa, and others. He served as a reader in German Language and Literature at l'École Normal Superieure of the University of Paris from 1959 until his death in 1970.