Partner Karin Boye

Queer Places:
Skeppargatan 102, 115 30 Stockholm, Sweden
Norra begravningsplatsen, 171 64 Solna, Svezia

Image result for Margot HanelMargot Leonie Edman (born Hanel April 7, 1912 [ 4 ] in Berlin , died May 30, 1941 in Stockholm) was the companion of author Karin Boye. The two lived together from 1934 to 1941. Hanel was of Jewish birth and, after the Nazi occupation, received help from Boye to emigrate to Sweden. In Sweden, she trained as bookkeeper and started [ 5 ] studying to become a nurse [ 6 ] . After Boye's death she committed suicide .

Margot Hanel and her four siblings grew up in Berlin. [ 2 ] She had two brothers and two sisters (Gerda and Charlotte), a Christian father and a Jewish mother. [ 7 ] The young Margot Hanel met Karin Boye for the first time in 1932 [ 8 ] at a lesbian party in the city. Boye had for the first time been experimenting her homosexuality [ 9 ] ; According to Boye's friend Kajsa Höglund, who occasionally shared an apartment with her in Berlin, Karin Boye was Margot's first physical love relationship. In addition, she would have been the first to love that Karin Boye had for her own sake and not because she was a famous writer . [ 2 ]

The fact that Boye ended up in Berlin was not entirely unexpected. She had earlier being attracted to Germany since her grandfather was German. In Berlin she also worked with Frida Uhl , previously married to August Strindberg . Boye translated Uhl's work into Swedish. [ 9 ]

Hanel's Jewish background - her mother was Jewish - would have consequences. After the Hitler regime's takeover in 1933 she had to take action to avoid persecution.

Boye eventually arranged for Hanel to move to Sweden. There she had a marriage of convenience with a Swedish man to get Swedish citizenship . Margot Hanel, in fact, lived with Boye for seven years, in the apartment at Skeppargatan 102 at Gärdet in Stockholm. Already in 1934 Karin Boye described his life mate (in a letter to the dramatist Ebbe Linde ) as "my wife" [ 10 ] . She went to nursing education and later learned to be a bookbinder.

The relationship between Karin Boye and Margot Hanel was not completely smooth. Several Karin Boye's historians have testified about the different personalities of the women, which, however, do not detract from the strong links between them. After a conflicted time in the relationship, Margot Hanel traveled to Berlin in September 1934. She was back in Sweden three months later, a time when Boye used to work on her book ( Kris ). Boye later explained in a letter to Ebbe Linde that the crisis in the relationship had settled. She described in the letter how relationships in general and her and Hanel's kind of relationship in particular were like a lottery, but that she had difficulty imagining "something fate that may be worse than being sentenced to eternal loneliness." [ 10 ]

Shortly after Boyes's death, Hanel also committed suicide, by gas poisoning . She was cremated , as instructed in her will , and is buried at the northern burial ground in Solna. [ 2 ]

Although the Boye family seemed to accept the daughter's homosexual orientation, Margot Hanel's burial near her was denied. Among other things, the women's correspondence was burned shortly after Boyes's death. This fact has been noted by Pia Garde , who in 1993 wrote in the journal Parnass that Karin Boyes mother, Signe, was a spiritist and said she had received a directive from Karin to destroy all the letters and poems she wrote to Margot Hanel. [ 2 ]

Even after his death, Margot Hanel has been treated with distance and degradation. [ 11 ] Margit Abenius , whose biography of Boye ( Pillow of Purity ) came in 1950, described Hanel as "not intellectual, neither intelligent, at all, had no spiritual resources that even approached Karin Boye's" and about her family she said she was "born in an unhappy marriage". [ 10 ] Pia Garde explained (1989) that the total of five siblings "grew up in a strict but rather happy home" and that at least three of the siblings lived in "normal conditions" married and had children and grandchildren.

In connection with the 70th anniversary of Karin Boye's death, a sign was placed on the house where she lived the last eight years of her life (since 1934 together with Hanel). The sign is supplemented with the poem "To you", dedicated to Margot Hanel. [ 12 ]


  1. https://sv.wikipedia.org/queerplaces/images/Margot_Hanel#Referenser