LOFOTEN WAR MUSEUM
SVOLVÆR - LOFOTEN

THE LIBERATION
 
IN SVOLVÆR, AS IN THE REST OF THE WORLD, THE JOY OF FREEDOM WAS OWERWHELMING
  















"Closed because of happiness"
May 1945, saw the liberation of Norway .
The liberation is commonly marked 8th of May, but already in the
eve of 7th of May Norway new found freedom was a common fact.
9. APRIL
THE LOFOTEN RAID
GESTAPO
OCCUPATION
THE NAVY
MIL.ORG.
RUSSIAN PRISONERS OF WAR
GRINI
BURNING OF FINNMARK
THE MURMANSK FRONT
LIBERTY
MAIN PAGE


MORE

LIBERATION



THE LIBERATION
A 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.

In 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 at large.

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.

This 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.

In 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.

The 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 excavated.

The 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.


 
  The LIBERATION

  
MORE

LOFOTPOSTEN 8th. MAI 1945
URHL IS ARRESTED
 
WELL GUARDED

UHRL IS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY

THE HAPPINES OF LIBERATION LASTED A FEW WEEKS WHILE THE GERMANS HAD TO
SWEEP FOR MINES

 



DRUGSTOREWINDOW WITH A NORWEGIAN FLAG, AND SOME EMPTY BOXES



THE OBSTRUCTIONS ARE TORN APART



GERMAN CANNON, TAKEN CARE OFF AT VESTVÅGØYA 1945


During the war, some german genious
learned that the word "eksplosjon"
was led from the english word "explosion"

So the Germans replaced the word with the more German sounding "zerknallgefahr", meaning danger of "things blowing up".

This were found in the trash
together with lots of other stuff
in the spring of1945.


The germans doesn`t need this bike anymore,
so now it belonges to me.


THE FIRST SOLDIERS ARRAWING AFTER THE CAPITULATION WAS BRITISH
LOFOTEN WAR MUSEUM
webdesign: bkh © 2001