So, I just came back from 5 days in Narvik, Nordland Fylke in Norway. Living in Sweden I have always had a big interest for world war 2 history in Scandinavia. A few years back I used to collect books and I found an outstanding German propaganda book from 1941, "Narvik Im Bild". Now I had the book for quite some time, I read it and looked at all the excellent pictures many many times. Finally, I decided to go there to see it with my own eyes. To be honest is was a quite weird feeling, recognizing so many places (from a original german ww2 propaganda book!).
Before I went I decided to try to make a little photo project, taking pictures like they are in the book, from the same location that the German photographer stood on as he snaped the photos back in 1940, or as close as possible. I managed to get some really nice ones, I hope that you will like them!
There is also some photos of memorials, other world war 2 locations, Narvik world war 2 museum and also some tales from people I met that lived in Narvik during the war further down. Enjoy!
Photo project "Narvik Im Bild 1940/2012"
World War Two Memorials in Narvik
World War Two Locations in Narvik
German War cemetery. Many soldiers died at the age of 16, which you can see on one of the graves.
German AA positions
Book store with artilerry shells from the war
A fjord where the Germans had a submarine base
Old German barracks (Sub base)
From the inside of a building on the main street, framed photos showing how it looked in the war.
World War Two Museum in Narvik
Tales from people that lived in Narvik during the war
Most people that I met that had lived in Narvik during the war supported the "folksmen", the Norweigan partisans. Although, very many people did not like the German, the French and the English as they killed very many civilians and caused a lot of destruction. Many people think that the Germans "got what they deserved" but are annoyed how it says in Norweigan history books in school that the Germans were responsible for everything, for example all the burning of houses are blamed on the germans but many people told me that it was mainly the french who burned houses and that the English bombed the city.
The mother of my friend were just a little girl during the war but she still has many memories.
She told me about the POW camp where the Germans keept the Soviet Prisoners of War. The Germans "played" with the POW'S and also would let the civilian population come and watch it from the other side of the fences. One time she witnessed how the prisoners were allowed to eat, they got nettle soup but to be able to eat it, they had to run very fast around a little house, without spilling it. If they ran to slow they could not eat it.
She also witnessed how POW's were building roads, they had to work very hard and if someone rested for even 1 second, straighting up their back, they got whipped by the German guards.
I was also told by her that the English and French were no saints. One time her neighbours house were hit by a shell from a Brittish destroyer, in the house her friend and the friends father were eating dinner. The father got hit in the throath with shrapnell and died. Her young friend went in to a small boat and rowed out to the Brittish destroyer, screaming in frenzy at it, for killing her father.
The French used the foreign legion in Narvik. One thing they did was searching houses for people that were hiding German soldiers. The soldiers from the French Legion destroyed many houses from the inside and also stole food and peoples belongings. When they left Narvik they also burned a lot of civilian houses.
After the war, there was a lack of houses for people to live, so my friends mother and her family had to live in German barracks for 7 year. When they moved in to the German barrack only 1 thing remained, a painting haning on the wall. She still owns this painting, which hangs on her wall to this day.