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Interesting lecture

Posted on Monday, September 29, 2014 in Humanities, My life, Other

Today I went to listen to a very interesting lecture about the Norwegian Resistance during WWII, or rather the interactions between the Resistance and Swedish people living close to the Norwegian border.

It was a bit surprising to me that the rather rural, and in my eyes primitive nearby region, the ‘backwoods’, had such a heroic and adventurous past.

The woman who did the lecture had written a book about the interaction with the Resistance, and was apparently behind an exhibition that was the starting point of her book and the lecture we heard today.

Something I had no idea about until today, was that during the war the region (where our little cottage is) was forbidden to any outsider, because of fears of espionage.

One funny story was about a little Finnish ‘war child’ who had been a little too observant in the farm where she lived. She’d found an amazing piece of silk fabric (a parachute) hidden in the barn and had to be kept quiet. So a man, working with the Resistance, who was known to be very eloquent and also kind to children, traveled all the way out into the woods and gave her a big, expensive doll, on the condition that she kept quiet. There was a photo of the girl holding two dolls, one of which was probably the ‘bribe’.

A rather less funny story, was about a Swedish man who for the rest of his life was the target of threats from old Nazis.

Some members of the audience had stories of their own to tell. One of them was really touching and sad. The sister of a man in the Resistance was a journalist. She wasn’t careful enough about her activities and was caught by the Germans and sent to a concentration camp. At the end of the war, she was taken by the famous Swedish White Buses (sent by a Swedish count) to the south of Sweden, but the first night there, she died. Despite what you might think, apparently mother was ‘happy’ that her daughter had died in Sweden (i e not in a gas chamber).

I’m glad I forced myself up at rather an early hour, despite my cold (which isn’t too bad, but still) to go and listen to this lecture. It was fascinating and I learned so much about a time in our history that isn’t very well known to the general public. (For instance, much of this has been classified until recently).

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