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Sigrid Undset's home – Bjerkebæk

Sigrid Undset

Across the road from the Olympic park in Lillehammer, Norway, there is a museum dedicated to the Norwegian author Sigrid Undset (1882-1949), the Nobel laureate for literature for the year 1928. Undset was a remarkable woman. From early stage she realized the danger posed by Nazism and fought against it with all the power of her voice and writing machine. During the Second World War she was a vocal activist in effort to rescue Jews and to establish the State of Israel.

The museum is located in the home where Undset lived from 1919 until her death in 1949. In 1940-1945 she lived in exile, mostly in the United States. From the outside, all one can see is a wall. However, when stepping inside, a wall of glass reveals the home itself, which is composed of two farm buildings the author purchased and moved to the site from the same valley where Lillehammer is located, and then have them connected. The idea of the present opaque wall at the entrance is to magnify the notion of how much the author wanted to protect her privacy.

Guided tours into the building are conducted with no rigid timetable. The visitor is led through the life of the author and the material things, e.g. beautiful pieces of furniture, she accumulated during her lifetime.


  • The entry in Wikipedia in Hebrew

  • The roar of the 'lioness', written by Adi Schwartz. Published in Haartz: May 2.2008.    The article in Hebrew

  • Lioness of Literature: Sigrid Undset in USA (Sigrun Slapgard)

  • Sigrid Undset. 1940. Finland fights for life – her own and that of Europe. Lies and terror are the Soviet and Nazi weapons. America. March 2, pp. 565-566.

  • Comments on: Sigrid Undset. 1942. Return to the Future (David Landau)

  • Sigrid Undset and the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe (David Landau)

  • Israeli activist Sigrid Undset (Sigrun Slapgard)

  • Maman, Marie. 2000. Sigrid Undset in America. An Annotated Bibliography and Research Guide

  • Great Norwegians

  • Viga-Ljot og Vigdis (Hebrew)

  • Sigrid Undset (Wikipedia)

  • Sigrid Undset's home Bjerkebæk

  • SIGRID UNDSET – YSTÄVÄ. Jedidut, 1/2012 s. 12-13   Hakehila, 3/2012 4/5772, s.11-12   Sigrid Undset – a Friend (David Landau)

  • A letter Sigrid Undset sent to Professor Joseph Klausner in 1943

  • ACTION DEMANDED TO SAVE JEWS NOW. New York Times, November 1, 1943, p.5

  • Sigrid Undset: Danes Resent Nazi action. New York Times, December 23, 1943, p.18 (Letters to the Times)

  • Boycott of Sigrid Undset Urged by Nazi Newspaper. New York Times, November 11, 1936, p. 19

  • Nazis Ban Sigrid Undset's Work. New York Times, September 30, 1940, p. 3

  • MME. UNDSET HERE, WARNS ON HITLER. New York Times, September 4, 1940, p. 28

  • Undset Books Destroyed By the Nazis in Norway. New York Times, October 30, 1940, p. 6

  • TRAITORS ASSAILED BY SIGRID UNDSET. New York Times, April 23, 1940, p. 4

  • Sigrid Undset. 1943. THE BOOKS THAT LAST FOREVER. The New York Times Book Review, December 5, 1943, pp. 1,52

  • Sigrid Undset Appeals to Doctors to end War. The New York Times, April 8, 1940, p. 3

  • MME UNDSET HERE, SADDENED BY WAR. The New York Times, April 27, 1940, p. 19

  • Sigrid Undset Speaks of Writing and War, September 8, 1940, p. 2

  • Sigrid Undset. They Live For Revenge. The New York Times Magazine. December 6, 1942, pp. 20-21

  • Sigrid Undset. How Norway Fights the Nazis. The New York Times Book Review. January 31, 1943, pp. 1,25

  • Sigrid Undset. The Beauties of America. The New York Times Magazine. May 28, 1944. pp. 20,38

  • Sigrid Undset Dies; Norwegian Author. The New York Times. June 11, 1949. p. 17

  • Comments on Kristin Lavransdatter (in Hebrew, David Landau)

  • Pilgrims to Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim (in Hebrew, David Landau)


    A guide in the museum, summer 2011


    Last updated: July 19, 2020

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