Tøger silk thread

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Tøger Seidenfaden (born April 28, 1957 in Copenhagen ; † January 27, 2011 ) was a Danish journalist and non-fiction author . From 1993 until his death he was editor-in-chief of the daily Politiken . Tøger , as he was mostly just called, was a distinctive voice and a public figure in Denmark.


Seidenfaden came from a middle-class family who were deeply rooted in the cultural, intellectual and political milieu of the capital Copenhagen. His ancestors emigrated from Germany to Denmark in the 18th century. The father Erik Seidenfaden, who worked in the resistance during the German occupation of Denmark , was a well-known journalist and from 1946 to 1965 editor-in-chief of the newspaper Dagbladet Information . Lone Knutzon's mother was a housewife. She was a loving, but also spiritually stimulating mother to Tøger. Lone was the daughter of the well-known theater actors Per Knutzon and Jenny Sara Goldschmidt Larsen, whose father Edouard Larsen founded the political party Det Radliche Venstre . From Lone Knutzon's first marriage to the industrialist Jens Kaastrup-Olsen, Seidenfaden's half-brother David, who was ten years his senior, and Judith Kaastrup-Olsen's half-sister, who was eight years old, were born. Judith and Tøger in particular had a close relationship. The father's half-sisters Annelise (born 1937) and Ebba Merethe , called Snu (1940), emerged from an earlier marriage . Their mother, Jytte, was Jens Kaastrup-Olsen's older sister, so that the later married couple Erik and Lone were related by marriage. This unusual constellation caused a scandal.

Seidenfaden was already inquisitive as a child, he read a lot and was encouraged in many ways by his parents. In the family circle he was called, half jokingly, "child prodigy". After attending kindergarten, six-year-old Tøger started school at Bernadotteskole in Hellerup , which he only attended for a year and a half. In 1965, Erik Seidenfaden left the information and the family moved to Paris, where Tøger's father took the post of director of Danske Studenterhus ( La Fondation Danois ). Seidenfaden attended an international private school for the first four years, and later a state lycée . He quickly overcame the initial language difficulties. Thanks to his quick perception and his insatiable thirst for knowledge, he showed exceptional academic performance and was way ahead of most of his classmates. Even as a child he read Danish and French newspapers and was soon able to conduct political debates on an equal footing with adults.

In 1973, after finishing ninth grade, Seidenfaden returned to Denmark at the urging of his mother, where he continued his education at Ingrid Jespersens Gymnasium in Copenhagen. He later returned to Paris to study at the Grande école Institut d'études politiques de Paris , where he obtained the Diplôme d'études approfondies (DEA) in international politics in 1981 . 1983 to 1984 followed the Cand.scient.pol degrees. from Aarhus Universitet , Master of Arts and Master of Philosophy from Yale University .

Seidenfaden was married to journalist Tine Eiby from 1989 until his death. The three sons Emil, Lucas and Johan emerged from the marriage. Seidenfaden died at the age of 53 of cancer that was first diagnosed in 2003. He rests in the family crypt on Ordrup Kirkegård near Copenhagen.


From 1984 to 1985 Seidenfaden worked in the secretariat of the Det Sikkerheds- og Nedrustningspolitiske Udvalg commission initiated by the Danish government , which dealt with security and disarmament issues. From 1985 to 1987 he was foreign editor, from 1987 to 1992 editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper Weekendavisen . From 1992 to 1993 Seidenfaden was managing director of the Danish television company TV 2 . The short interlude at the station was marked by worsening conflicts, not least due to Seidenfadens enormous self-confidence. In 1993 he replaced Herbert Pundik, the long-time editor-in-chief of the influential Copenhagen daily Politiken . Seidenfaden held the position of editor-in-chief of Politiken - arguably the most prestigious position in Danish journalism - until his death in 2011. Just like his predecessor Pundik, Seidenfaden was influential in the development of the newspaper, even though he could not prevent the steady decline in circulation, which, like most newspapers, also affected politics . Seidenfadens success at Politiken was also personally significant in that his father Erik Seidenfaden had lost the fight for the newspaper's editor-in-chief immediately after the end of the war, so that Tøger's success could also be seen as a satisfaction for him and the family.

Seidenfaden gained notoriety during his time as editor-in-chief of Politiken and became one of the most prominent voices in the Danish public. Due to its high level of popularity, he was often only called by his first name, which is relatively rare in Denmark. He repeatedly got involved in the public debate, and it was not uncommon for him to initiate important debates himself. Bo Lidegaard, Seidenfaden's successor as editor-in-chief of Politiken , described Seidenfaden in 2011 as Denmark's most important newspaper editor, debate participant and democrat for the past 25 years and as a “front fighter for democracy”.

An essential feature of Seidenfadens work was the resistance to positions that he perceived as extreme right or left. His own political standpoint was often difficult to classify, so that he was repeatedly attacked from both the right and the left. If he felt it necessary, he could also take unpopular positions. He was considered a sharp critic of the Soviet dictatorship. He defended the first Iraq war of 1991 as necessary and "beneficial" ( velsignelsesrig ). In 1989, against considerable opposition, Seidenfaden published excerpts from Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses in the Weekendavisen . In the course of the crisis surrounding the Mohammed caricatures , Seidenfaden criticized the journalists responsible for the Jyllands-Posten as well as the Danish government's crisis management.


  • 1989: Publicist prizes, awarded by Den Danske Publicistklub , the oldest Danish journalists' association
  • 1993: Knight of the Dannebrog Order
  • 2010: Ebbe Muncks Hæderspris
  • 2010: Årets Blæksprutte

Authorship and co-authorship (selection)

  • 10 nye bud på Europa , Dansk Industri Verlag, 1996, ISBN 8773532215 .
  • Når du strammer garnet , Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 2003, ISBN 8779340954 .
  • The cultural radical udfordring: kulturradikalismen gennem 130 år: en antologi , 2nd edition, Verlag Tiderne Skifter, 2005, ISBN 8779730469 .
  • Cartoon crises : en undersøgelse af baggrund og ansvar , Gyldendal Verlag, 2006, ISBN 8702051664 . (with rune Engelbreth Larsen)
  • Truet av islamister , 2nd edition, Genesis Publishing, 2006, ISBN 8247603322 . (with Vebjørn K. Selbekk)
  • Absolut Tøger: holdninger til tiden , Rosinante Verlag, 2007, ISBN 8763806770 .


Individual evidence

  1. Stig Andersen: Tøger, People's Press 2011.
  2. Stig Andersen: Tøger, People's Press 2011.
  3. Stig Andersen: Tøger, People's Press 2011.
  4. Stig Andersen: Tøger, People's Press 2011.
  5. http://www.dr.dk/nyheder/kultur/toeger-seidenfaden-er-doed
  6. Stig Andersen: Tøger, People's Press 2011.
  7. http://politiken.dk/kultur/boger/ECE1311311/toeger-var-demokratiets-frontkaemper/
  8. http://politiken.dk/debat/ECE1071963/toeger-tegningerne-var-usympatiske-og-ubegavede/
  9. http://www.bt.dk/danmark/toeger-kaemper-sit-liv-mod-kraeften