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Barbro Alving (Bang)
(January 12, 1909 - January 22, 1987) Sweden<

Barbro Alving

Journalist and writer


Born in Uppsala, Alving moved to Stockholm in her early tenties. Her mother was a writer and her father a teacher. Alving started to work as a journalist in 1928 and continued in this profession for the rest of her life.

During the 1930s she became one of the most famous reporters in Sweden, mainly due to her articles on Spanish Civil War and the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

Alving's daughter Ruffa was born in 1938: Alvig decided to raise the child as a single mother. In the early 1940s she met her partner, Loyse. Alving was quite open about the fact that she lived with another woman, but she never publicly declared herself to be a lesbian or homosexual. They lived together for more than forty years, until Alving's death. With Loyse, Ruffa got a second mother, which was probably a necessary condition permitting Alving's travels around the world with her typewriter.

Alving worked against Swedish nuclear weapons, and she was a radical pacifist. In 1956 she spent a month in gaol for her refusal to take part in the Swedish civil defence. At this time Alving also became more and more interested in religious topics, and later she conerted to Catholicism.



  • Käringen mot strömmen (collection of causeries, 1946)

Source: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, Routledge, London, 2001

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