Borghild Hammerich

Borghild Hammerich (2 March 1901 – 8 September 1978) was a Norwegian activist most known for her humanitarian efforts during World War II.[1]

Borghild Hammerich
Borghild og Carl Hammerich.jpg
Borghild and Carl Hammerich
Born(1901-03-02)2 March 1901
Bergen, Norway
Died8 September 1978(1978-09-08) (aged 77)
AwardsOrder of St. Olav


Borghild Schmidt was born in Bergen, Norway. She was the daughter of Lauritz Peter Schmidt (1873-1946) and Petra Marie Mortensen (1873-1958). In 1921, she was married to Danish naval officer Carl Hammerich (1888–1945). The couple resided in Copenhagen where he served as an admiral in the Royal Danish Navy.

During World War II, she organized the Danish humanitarian aid to Norway (in Norwegian: Danskehjelpen and in Danish: Norgeshjælpen). This humanitarian effort had been founded on Carl Hammerich's initiative in March 1942. Borghild Hammerich devoted much of her energy and time to Danskehjelp. She also organized shipment of food packs to Norwegian prisoners in German concentration camps.[2][3]

Carl Hammerich also continued his participation in the relief work and was arrested by German officials late in the war. He died when the Royal Air Force bombed the Gestapo building in Copenhagen on 21 March 1945 (Operation Carthage). .[4]

After the liberation of Denmark and Norway at the end of World War II, Borghild Hammerich served as Secretary-General of the Danish-Norwegian Cooperation Fund (Fondet for dansk-norsk samarbeid). She married pianist and music professor Robert Riefling (1911-1988) in 1949.[5][6]

For her humanitarian efforts, Borghild Hammerich was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree (Doctores philosophiae) from the University of Oslo on September 3, 1945. She was also decorated that same year Commander with Star of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav.[7][8]


  1. ^ "Borghild Hammerich". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  2. ^ Ivar Kraglund. "Danskehjelpen". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  3. ^ "Norgeshjælpen". Fondet for Dansk-Norsk Samarbejde. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  4. ^ American-Scandinavian Foundation, « Admiral Carl Hammerich »,The American-Scandinavian review, New York, American-Scandinavian Foundation, Volume 34, 1946, p. 336.
  5. ^ Jon Gunnar Arntzen. "Fondet for dansk-norsk samarbeid". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  6. ^ Idar Karevold. "Robert Riefling". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  7. ^ Nøkleby, Berit. "Borghild Hammerich Riefling". In Helle, Knut (ed.). Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  8. ^ Hjeltnes, Guri (1995). "Hammerich, Borghild". In Dahl; Hjeltnes; Nøkleby; Ringdal; Sørensen (eds.). Norsk krigsleksikon 1940-45 (in Norwegian). Oslo: Cappelen. p. 154. ISBN 82-02-14138-9.

Other sourcesEdit

External linksEdit