Swedish-American fashion model Nena von Schlebrugge, who was born in Mexico, was raised by her mother, Birgit Holmquist. She was born on March 6, 1911, in Trelleborg, Skane County, Sweden; her parents were Julie Tora and Albert Emil Fredrick Holmquist.

Individual Life

On March 12, 1935, Birgit Holmquist wed Friedrich Karl Johannes von Schlebrugge. The aristocrat Friedrich participated in World War I as a commander. He went into business after the war and was based in Berlin, Germany. Because he refrained from enlisting in the military during World War II, Birgit’s husband was imprisoned for defending the Jews.

When Friedrich was incarcerated, Birgit fell in love with him; she exploited her Swedish citizenship to assist him get out, and the two of them escaped to Mexico. Bjorn and Nena von Schlebrugge, their two children, were a blessing in their marriage.

Her Statue

Birgit was a model and posed for famous sculptor Axel Ebbe while she was in her late teens. Owing to their close collaboration, Axel created the life-size statue of a nude woman in Smygehuk, known as Famntaget. Many people are drawn to the sculpture, which is modeled after Birgit Holmquist, and some of them even pose for photos.

Uma Thurman, the granddaughter of Birgit Holmquist, disclosed in an interview that she had visited Smygehuk and taken a photo with her grandmother’s statue.

When Birgit was nineteen, the statue was placed in Trelleborg; however, it was moved to its present site in the 1970s.

Her Offspring

When Nena was a teenager, she began modeling, and in 1995, Norman Parkinson, a photographer for Vogue, found her. With Norman’s assistance, she relocated to London two years later in order to pursue a career as a fashion model. After Birgit’s daughter achieved modeling success in London, Eileen Ford encouraged her to relocate to New York City so she could represent the Ford Modeling Agency.

When Nena was barely 17 years old, she was a model for Harpers’ Bazaar and Vogue in New York City. Birgit’s daughter attempted acting in addition to modeling, and while most of her sequences were cut from the movie Ciao! Manhattan, she was still there.

Before working as the managing director of Tibet House US from 1991 to 2002, the daughter of Birgit Holmquist spent two years as a program director at the New York Open Center.

In her private life, Nena wed Timothy Leary for the first time in 1964, however their union was short-lived as they separated a year later. Their nuptials were captured on camera for the movie You’re Nobody Until Somebody Loves You. Two years later, Robert Thurman, an ex-monk and Buddhist, was introduced to Birgit’s daughter. Actress Uma Thurman was one of their four lucky children from their marriage.

Robert Thurman and Nena Thurman have been wed for more than 50 years, and there have been no reports of a split. Maya Hawke, an American actress, singer, and model, is one of their many grandchildren.


At the age of sixty-two, Birgit Holmquist passed away in Stockholm, Sweden, on April 10, 1973. She was laid to rest at Trelleborg, Skane County, Sweden. His family never disclosed the reason for her death.

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