Zuza Bohley was born and raised in former East Germany during the Cold War, into a family of Pacifists. Her name was Suse but when she was “sold” as a political prisoner to West Germany at age 14 it was changed to Susanne. She now uses Zuza to make it easier for English speakers to pronounce her name correctly. Zuza explains that “political prisoners” were traded for currency to stimulate the East German economy—she was traded for 50,000 Deutsche Marks. With the help of Amnesty International the family was on the list to be traded and they were transferred to West Berlin.
Zuza received her college degree from the Free University in Berlin, in germanic languages, philosophy, and art history. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study linguistics and anthropology at the University of Texas in Austin. Zuza received a master’s degree in 1988 and moved to Boulder, Colorado in 1990. With her skill in several languages (she studied 16 different languages), she speaks daily German, English and Spanish. Zuza has taught for more than 20 years in private and bilingual schools, while also volunteering in numerous Colorado nonprofits including Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, Intercambio de Comunidades, Friendship City Projects and the Parent Engagement Network. Zuza is interested in community outreach and empowerment, and enjoys working with youth. Zuza joined the UNA Boulder County board in 2011 and in June 2014 she was elected to be the regional representative for the United Nations Association of the Rocky Mountain region.