* World War II -- Norway Norwegian refugees in Sweden

World War II Norway: Refugees in Sweden--Patriotic Displays

Norwegian World War II refugees in Sweden
Figure 1.--Here we see Norwegian refugee children in Sweden during World War engaging in a patriotic Norwegian event. We know where and when it too place, in Stockholm during World War II. Earlier such open Norwegian patriotic displys were not allowed, least they upset the Germans. The Swedisj press caption read, Syttende maj firas p� Skansen. Det norska barnt�get sv�nger upp till Orsakullen med en anborg i spetsen." That translates as something like, "Annoying May is celebrated on Skansen. The Norwegian children's train turns up to Orsakullen with a fortune at the forefront." Obviously there are translation problems, but it does tell is where the photograph was taken. Skansen is on Djurg�rden, a small island next to Stockholm. It is the first open-air museum, opened in 1891. It seeks to present five centuries of Swedish history by showing off actual historical buildings and dwellings which have been dismanteled and brought to Skansen. Docents in period dress help to explain the exhibits. There is also a Skansen Zoo with both domestic and wild Scandanavian animals. The photograph is dated May 19, 1944, but was probably taken May 17. This was Norwegian Constitution Day. The Constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll (May 17, 1814) which is why the boys are wearing Napoleonic era uniforms. Today the children dress up in Norwegian folk costumes.

The Finnish children who were evacuated to Sweden basically lost their Finnish identity lving with Swedish families. The Norwegian children commonly came as families and thus maintained their Norwegian identity. There were far fewer Norwegian children than Finnish children as the Germans were in control of the transport and government system. We know that some Noregians crossed as families, but we are not sure about the numbers. Crossing the patrolled border was possible, but not easy, especially with younger children. We do not have much information on the Norwegian children in Sweden. At first the Swedes did not want the Norwegians in Stockholm where they would be noticed by the Germans. They wanted a low profile. There was the possibility of a German invasion and the Swedes did not want to unduly wind up the Germans. We see patriotic displays including the open display of the Norwegian flag, at least by 1944 when it was clear there would be no German invasion of Sweden and that Germany had lost the War. Many Norwegians began to think that they would be going home in a year or so, possibly sooner. A problen for the Norwegins was that Hitler was obsssed with their country. Some 0.5 million German troops were stationed there. Measured in terms of Germans troops to local population, it was the most heavily garisoned occupied country. This actually aided the Allies as it meant that they were not deployed in more important areas like Normandy, but it was rough on the Norwegian people.


Navigate the CIH World War II Section:
[Return to Main World War II Norwegian refugee in Sweden page ]
[Return to Main World War II Swedish refugee page]
[Return to [Return to Main World War II Norwegian page ]
[Return to Main World War II country page ]
[Return to Main World War II displaced children page]
[About Us]
[Aftermath][Biographies][Campaigns][Children][Countries][Deciding factors][Diplomacy][Geo-political crisis][Economics][Home front][Intelligence]
[POWs][Resistance][Race][Refugees][Technology][Totalitarian powers]
[Return to Main World War II page]
[Return to Main war essay page]
[Return to CIH Home page]

Created: 2:30 AM 9/16/2017
Last updated: 2:30 AM 9/16/2017