dam of feelings bust, and the population was overwhelmed,
almost to ecstasy by happiness and joy. One shop even
posted a sign that said, "closed because of joy"
on its door.
those times of relief, a certain amount of caution
was necessary. Over 350 000 heavily armed German troops
were still in the country, fully equipped.
Apart from "the Wehrmacht", about 10 000
NS and battle hardened front fighters, were still
Taking this into consideration, everything went incredibly
smooth. There were no regular confrontations.
The Germans and their Wehrmacht capitulated unconditionally
to a, by comparison, much smaller allied military
delegation, supported by an even smaller armed Milorg.
could only be possible due to the harsh German discipline,
which was ingrained deep in the spine of every German
soldier, and the fact that many were tired, and relieved
that the war finally was over.
Svolvär, the German soldiers who were stationed
at the fortress located at Svinøya, sang as
they, for their last time marched away from their
post, which they had been constructing and working
on literally "day and night". Voluntary,
the German soldiers began tearing down roadblocks
and other hindrances various places around Svolvär.
When the local brass band came playing (some claimed
they did around the clock), the work with the deconstruction
stopped politely as not to disturb the music.
The sheer joy of freedom lasted some weeks while the
Germans were busy removing mines around the area.
A dangerous task that claimed the lives of two German
soldiers. When areas were declared mine-free, the
Germans troops (pioneers) had to march arm in arm
over the fields just to prove it was so. Another German
soldier was killed while he burned some flamethrower
oil and gunpowder in "Nybyen" in Svolvär.
It blew up with a terrible force, blowing in one of
the walls of a hospital barrack, killing one of the
male nurses inside. Windows were shattered as far
as 800 meters away.
German handed over the keys to their liquor supply
with some vengeance. But, it turned out better than
the Germans had hoped for. (and some of us feared).
In Kabelvåg, however. The Germans burieed their
whole supply of liquor. Someone building a garage
recovered it in 2001. Several hundred bottles were
night before 17th. Of May 45, the Germans had a big
party, celebrating the Wehrmacht leaving Svolvär
on the old Norwegian battleship "Tordenskjold".
Among its passengers was a rather unruly German submarine
crew, making all kinds of trouble for the domestic
forces. The home front was thrilled and relieved when
the ship with its crew and 180 prisoners set out the
harbour towards Bogen. But the home-front relief was
brief because the "Tordenskjold" ran itself
aground some 10 km. outside Svolvär, resulting
in the whole bunch returning to town.
They did not receive a warm welcome, and after a few
days they were firmly in place at their new surroundings
at Bogen. (a place between Svolvär and Narvik).
The painstaking work to rebuild war ridden Norway
could commence. Many believed, during the days of
celebrating, that the stores would fill up with goods,
and that the dark days with ration- cards would be
history. But the whole of Europe was far too devastated.
There was shortage of almost everything. The last
ration-cards didn't disappear until 1953-54. but there
were golden times for labour.
One could work as many hours as one wished. The plumbers
in Bodø were in for golden times as they drove
around in the former Wehrmachts BMW motorcycles where
pipes and plumbing-equipment stood out in every direction.
One of them even had got his hands on some pep pills
used by Luftwaffe pilots at the end of the war, so
they would not fall to sleep. With the aid of these
pills, he managed to work double shifts, but after
a year, he gave them up, as he became dizzy.