Nazi concentration camps in Norway
During the German occupation of Norway in World War II the civilian occupying authorities with the Quisling regime and the German Wehrmacht operated a number of camps in Norway, including around 110 prison camps (or 294 camps according to the website "Fangeleirene i Saltdal"). After the fall of 1944 they filled up, as transportation of prisoners to Germany slowed down.
The Wehrmacht camps were largely POW camps and were scattered throughout the country. Some of these had extremely high mortality rates, owing to inhumane conditions and brutality.
Both established and improvised jails and prisons throughout the country were also used for internment by the Nazi authorities. In particular the Sicherheitspolizei and Sicherheitsdienst, headquartered at Victoria Terrasse, were notorious for torture and abuse of prisoners. Also, Arkivet in Kristiansand and Bandeklosteret in Trondheim became synonymous with torture and abuse.
The designated concentration camps were not classified as "KZ-Lager" by the Nazis, but rather as Häftingslager ("Detainee Camps") under the administration of the Nazi "security police," the SS and Gestapo. The Nazi authorities deported over 700 Jews from Norway to Auschwitz, over 500 Nacht und Nebel prisoners to Natzweiler; and thousands more to Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück and other prisons and camps in Germany. Most of these stayed in Norwegian camps during transit.
Although abuse, torture, and murder were commonplace in these camps, none of them was designated or functioned as extermination camps, nor did they reach the scale seen in camps in Germany, Poland, and Austria. It is estimated that between 38,000 and 40,000 individuals passed through this camp system, for a total of 60,000 prisoner years.
The camps served varying purposes, such as:
- Internment of political prisoners, especially socialists and communists, but also religious dissenters.
- Internment of prisoners of war (Stammlager / Stalag) - especially Soviet and Yugoslavian soldiers
- Internment of so-called "bomb hostages" (Geisellager) - prominent Norwegians who would be executed in the event of the resistance movement bombing Nazi targets
- Transit internment of various prisoners bound for camps in Germany and Poland (Durchgangslager / Dulag) - including Jews, prominent political prisoners, and others.
The Nazi authorities destroyed most of the records related to the camps and prisons they ran during the occupation. Some distinction was made between camps and prisons run by Norwegian Nazis and those run by German Nazi organizations, though it is safe to say that all atrocities took place under the authority of a unified command.
Effectively every local prison was used for these purposes by the Nazis, but several full-fledged camps were also established.
- Karasjok had a camp that received around 400 prisoners.
- At Neiden there was a camp for Russian [and other Soviet] POWs.
- Leirpollen. This camp held suspected members of the Persfjord Group—partisans on the Varanger Peninsula.
In 1943 eleven prisoners were bludgeoned to death.
There were concentration camps for teachers at
- Bardufoss concentration camp
- Kvænangen concentration camp ( It consisted of two subcamps, Veidal and Badderen, which was also known as Veiskaret.)
- Sydspissen concentration camp
- Lager I Beisfjord ("No. 1 camp Beisfjord" - in Norwegian Beisfjord fangeleir)
There were other camps:
- In Levanger there was the Falstad concentration camp near the SS-camp Falstad.
- At Oppdal was Stalag 308, supplying forced labor for the construction of the Nordland Line.
- At Orkdal was Fannrem concentration camp where the prisoners were sent to work on the Orkdal Line. (This camp was a utekommando—satellite camp of the Grini concentration camp.)
- In Trondheim was Vollan prison.
- Ulven concentration camp
- Espeland concentration camp
- In Bergen: Storetveit skole had 268 prisoners.
- At Framnes at Norheimsund, a boarding school was turned into a detention camp.
- Berg concentration camp
- On the Bolærne archipelago, there was a death camp for Russians on Mellom Bolæren [present-day Midtre Bolærne ].
- Sergej ble «skutt under flukt» i Finnmark [Sergej was "shot during escape" in Finnmark]
- Fangeleirene i Saltdal
- Følelsesladet møte med Karasjok
- 11 Eitinger-rapporten - del 1
- Halvor Hegtun (2015-02-27). NSB sa ja til slavedrift - Disse russerfangene ble tvunget til å bygge Nordlandsbanen. Så skulle de glemmes. Aftenposten A-magasinet.
- Halvor Hegtun (2015-02-27). NSB said yes to. Aftenposten A-magasinet. p. 27.
- «Takk til det norske folk» - Med utstillingen «Takk til det norske folk» fortelles historien om krigsfangene fra Jugoslavia, og om den norske lokalbefolkningens hjelp og vennskap.
- Halkvor Hegtun (2015-02-27). NSB said yes to. Aftenposten A-magasinet. p. 32.
- Fossum, Anitra (2013-09-02). "Krigsfangeleiren på Mellom Bolæren" (in Norwegian). Vestfold fylkeskommune. Retrieved 2015-03-23.