A Couple of Thoughts

March 3, 2006

Tomorrow we are making a trip down to Oslo for the weekend. We are making a trip to the Resistance Museum so our professor (who is coming with us) thought he would take a day to tell us all about Norway’s role in the Second World War. Although all of what we were learning was really interesting, what really stuck with me was his personal experience with the war. Birger was 6 when the war started. He was telling us the specific things he remembers as being some of the most traumatic to him during the war.

1. Birger told us about how one time late at night his father was out of town and he was sitting with his mother and little brother and without knocking 8 SS officers barged into their home and started going through all their rooms and belongings to see if they could find anything that didn’t belong. Nothing was found so they left.

2. Birger was out playing with a friend and two German fighter plans started flying right towards them. He said that he conceited to dying right then and there. They didn’t die but he recalls one of the pilots waving at him and laughing as if he knew that he had scared him.

3. A while into the war Birger and his family had to leave their home. They moved into a home with three other families. Birger was down in the basement with his mom and some of the other women doing laundry when a German soldier walked down and started touching his mother and trying to kiss her. She kept trying to push him off and he kept fighting back. She was able to reach for a broom and started hitting him until he left.

He had so many more stories for us. Radios weren’t allowed because they weren’t allowed to know what was going on but his father had a hidden one that Birger would sometimes listen in on when his father would listen to the news from London; his father never knew that he knew it was in the house. The Germans completely took over the country. There were 430,000 German soldiers in Norway for the 3 million people that lived here. Everything was written in German and the public had to speak Germen when out in public.

One of the things Birger is really interested in is the role children had in the war. More children died after the war than during the war. There was lots of ammunition left around and kids would get into it and try and set it off as “rockets”. Birger had friends suffer all kinds of accidents. Many lost limbs or received burns. Birger himself got third degree burns all over his chest and face.

One funny thing he remembers is an older boy in the neighborhood would tell all the little kids to go steal the sugar rations from their mothers and they would put the sugar into the gas tanks of German military vehicles.

We got another snow last night. It has gotten really cold again. I don’t really mind all that much but sometimes my toes really just want to be in sandals.

Sending hugs across the ocean.

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One Response to “A Couple of Thoughts”

  1. Eric Says:

    I didn’t know one of your professors was that old. Norway had a really interesting role during World War II, so you’ll have to tell me all about the resistance museum.


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