Harald Bergstedt

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Harald Bergstedt, ca. 1910.

Harald Bergstedt (Harald Alfred Petersen, Køge, 10 August 1877 - Copenhagen, 19 September 1965) was a Danish writer, novelist, playwright and a poet.

Author of the genre and satire verses (collections: Song of the province / Sange fra provinsen, 1913—1921; Wide Wings, 1919; Songs for all the Winds, 1927).

His social novel Alexandersen (1918) became a satire on a bourgeois culture.

His novel Factory of the Saints (1919, Russian translation 1924) became a prototype for Yakov Protazanov's 1930 film St. Jorgen's Day — a satire on the church and its ministers' hypocrisy.

Before the Second World War, he was a social democrat and was an immensely popular poet. Several still popular Danish children's songs have lyrics by Bergstedt ("Hør den lille stær", "Solen er så rød, mor",[1] "Jeg ved en lærkerede"). In 1942-1945 during the German occupation of Denmark, he worked for a Nazi newspaper in Denmark, "Fædrelandet", and in 1946 was sentenced two years in prison for "cooperation with the Nazis".

In 1948, he published a verse collection named Songs in the Jail with his thoughts on his life and works.


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