Egil Reksten

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Egil Reksten (3 May 1917 – 2009) was a Norwegian engineer and resistance member during World War II. He is best known as leader of the illegal radio post Skylark B.

World War II[edit]

Reksten hailed from Oslo.[1] He attended the Norwegian Institute of Technology, and graduated in chemistry in 1941.[2] His professor was Leif Tronstad,[3] a well-known resistance member during the German occupation of Norway since April 1940.[4] In September 1940 the Secret Intelligence Service established two stations for radio communication; the so-called Skylark A in Oslo led by Sverre Midtskau and Skylark B in Trondheim led by Erik Welle-Strand. Skylark B was operated by students at the Institute of Technology, and after technical difficulties in the initial phase,[3] they established regular contact with the intelligence in London in January 1941. Leif Tronstad was also affiliated with the group.[5] When Welle-Strand left the country, Reksten took over as leader of Skylark B.[3]

Among others, the group helped spread vital information about German activity at Vemork heavy water plant.[3] The link between heavy water and a German nuclear energy project was established later.[6] After less than a year, however, Gestapo managed to track the Skylark B transmitting activity.[3] Reksten was arrested by the Nazi authorities in September 1941. He was incarcerated at Møllergata 19 from 14 September 1941 to 10 March 1942, then at Akershus Fortress, then at Grini concentration camp from 7 July to 29 July 1943.[1] He was then shipped to Germany with eleven others. Seven of these people died,[7] but after stays in six different Nacht und Nebel camps,[8] Reksten returned to Norway after the war's end.[1] He was decorated for his efforts.[2]

Post-war life[edit]

In 1947 Reksten started his own engineering company, Argo,[2] together with Erik Welle-Strand and other friends.[9] He spent the rest of his professional career there. He was married, and celebrated his diamond wedding in 2007. He resided in Bekkestua.[2] He died in 2009.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Giertsen, Børre R., ed. (1946). Norsk fangeleksikon. Grinifangene (in Norwegian). Oslo: Cappelen. p. 295. 
  2. ^ a b c d "90 år 3. mai: Ingeniør Egil Reksten" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 26 April 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Rørholt, Bjørn (30 April 1998). "Med radio som våpen mot tysk krigsmakt". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 25. 
  4. ^ Uttersrud, Ulf. "Leif Tronstad – Vitenskapsmann, etterretningsoffiser og militær organisator" (in Norwegian). Oslo University College. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  5. ^ Okkenhaug, Knut (14 March 2008). "NTH-professoren som snøt Hitler for atombomben". Adresseavisen (in Norwegian). Retrieved 15 February 2009. 
  6. ^ Uttersrud, Ulf. "Etterretningsoffiser og militær organisator" (in Norwegian). Oslo University College. Retrieved 21 February 2009. 
  7. ^ Ask, Øyvind (23 July 2001). "Litt alvor og litt skjemt". Bergens Tidende (in Norwegian). p. 18. 
  8. ^ a b Dalseg, Olav (9 June 2009). "Egil Reksten (obituary)". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). 
  9. ^ Reksten, Egil; Skeie, Olav (25 July 2001). "Erik Welle-Strand (obituary)". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 13.