Suzanne Brogger

Born to Jewish refugees in Denmark during the Nazi occupation, Suzanne Brogger made her family’s story the heart of her powerful novels and essays. Although much of her family fled to Sweden in 1943, Brogger’s mother remained behind to run the family business and married a non-Jew for protection, divorcing and remarrying when Brogger was six. Brogger attended an experimental school, Bernadotteskolen, until age fourteen, when her stepfather took a series of posts for the World Health Organization in Sri Lanka and Thailand. Brogger worked briefly as a model in Thailand and Denmark, studied French and Russian at the University of Copenhagen from 1965–1970 and had a brief stint in 1968 as an actress with the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen. While a student, she also worked as a journalist, travelling to Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Israel, and Lebanon. She published her first collection of essays, Deliver Us from Love, in 1973, but rose to fame with Crème Fraiche, the first in a trilogy of autobiographic novels, in 1978. She went on to write several novels and a play about the AIDS crisis, After the Orgy: A Tragedy, which won the Scena Drama Award in 1992. In 1997 she became one of the few female members of the Danish Academy.

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The provocative Danish writer Suzanne Brøgger had only one Jewish grandparent, her mother's father. Yet when Germany occupied her homeland the family was forced to flee. Years later, she wrote: "I don’t believe in ‘identity’ as such, Jewish or otherwise, but as long as there is antisemitism in the world, I will... claim my Jewish heritage." She is shown here on August 1, 1985.

Photographer: Marina Allemano.

Date of Birth
Birthplace

Copenhagen
Denmark

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Suzanne Brogger." (Viewed on July 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/brogger-suzanne>.

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