About 13 000 were dead
at the end of the war. From Yugoslavia, about 4 200 prisoners
were Serbs. If possible, the nazi-system treated the Serbs
even worse than the Russians.
The prisoners suffered horrible conditions forced to build
and construct roads and railways in North-Norway. The
living conditions of the prisoners could vary from barracks
to pure extinction camps where the prisoners practically
lived in earth caves.
It made a difference whether
the German army (the Wehrmacht) or the SS who ran the
camps. The SS was responsible for the worst of these.
One could mention "Blodveien" (the blood road)
by Rognan, and the horror-camp "Beisfjord" outside
conditions grew so terrible at Beisfjord, even by German
standards, that it was taken away from the SS, and its
prisoners were shipped to another camp (Korgen). By
then, about 180 survived out of some 950 Serbs.
Camps were placed around Lofoten. The treatment of the
prisoners there was somewhat better, but all in all,
it entirely depended on the attitude of the guards and
girl from Svolvær (Marith Robertsen) gave away
her lunchbox to a prisoner. She was spotted by the guard,
and had to spend 3 months in prison. Most of the prisoners
in Lofoten managed, however, to save their lives, but
far from all. In a camp outside Sund, 2 prisoners were
executed after stealing a pistol. Compared to this,
the camp in Steigen was much, much worse. At the end
of the war, there were over 30 000 Russian prisoners
of war situated in North-Norway.