Judith Herzberg

Judith Herzberg has been hailed as one of the greatest living Dutch poets for her ability to imbue everyday objects with unexpected meaning. Herzberg was five years old when the Nazis invaded Amsterdam in 1940 and for the next five years she was passed from one Christian family to another, separated from her parents and siblings. When her parents were released from Bergen-Belsen after the war, they reclaimed her and returned to Amsterdam, where she studied at the Montessori Lyceum. She began publishing poetry in the weekly paper Vrij Nederland in 1961 and her first collection, Zeepost, in 1963. As of 2017 she has published sixteen collections of poetry, several books of essays, and numerous plays and teleplays, the most famous of which was Leedvermaak (1997), which has been translated into several languages and turned into a film. She has taught at the Amsterdam Film School from 1980–1997 and at the Sam Spiegel Film School in Jerusalem from 1990–1994. Among her many honors, she received the Constantjin Huygens Prize in 1994 and the PC Hooft Prize in 1997.


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Photo of poet Judith Herzberg in 1988 by Rob Bogaerts, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Date of Birth


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Judith Herzberg." (Viewed on April 11, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/herzberg-judith>.


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