Norway’s War Women: The State of Shame / News / The Foreigner

Norway’s War Women: The State of Shame. There is a chapter in Norway’s post-WWII era that remains locked away in a bureaucratic facility. It is a dark chapter, a story of systematic state-sponsored abuse. Thousands of women who loved and married Nazi soldiers were locked away in Hovedøya’s internment camp outside Oslo. They were looked upon as traitors. “These women had their heads and sometimes genitals shaved by the Resistance, and were the only post-war criminals who never received a lawyer or a trial. They were interrogated, and authorities then took a decision based on how long they had had a relationship with a German, or even for having been too friendly with one,” Lena-Christin Kalle, who is making a historical documentary film about the facility, tells The Foreigner.

hovedoeya, nazi, camps, world, war, second, norwegian, state, internment, resistance, fighters, women, oslohard, labour,



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Norway’s War Women: The State of Shame

Published on Thursday, 23rd December, 2010 at 17:17 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 23rd December 2010 at 17:30.

There is a chapter in Norway’s post-WWII era that remains locked away in a bureaucratic facility. It is a dark chapter, a story of systematic state-sponsored abuse.

Hovedøya
Hovedøya
Photo: Lena-Christin Kalle


Degraded

Thousands of women who loved and married Nazi soldiers were locked away in Hovedøya’s internment camp outside Oslo. They were looked upon as traitors.

“These women had their heads and sometimes genitals shaved by the Resistance, and were the only post-war criminals who never received a lawyer or a trial. They were interrogated, and authorities then took a decision based on how long they had had a relationship with a German, or even for having been too friendly with one,” Lena-Christin Kalle, who is making a historical documentary film about the facility, tells The Foreigner.

Internment was relatively straightforward for authorities, who used temporary decrees issued by the police.

“They alleged the women either suffered from a venereal disease, or they needed protection from street justice,” she says.

Stathelle police report (another camp)
Stathelle police report (another camp)
Lena-Christin Kalle
Hovedøya was run by the Germans during Norway’s occupation and was taken over by the Norwegian state.

“The women were given IQ tests and classified as being less intelligent. There was also a sign that read ‘sterilisation with, or without consent’. They were subjected to detailed interrogations about their sex life.”

Stripped

Their sentences varied between one and six months, and inmates had to endure long days of forced labour.

“They were collected early in the morning and travelled over the fjord by boat with a police escort to work as free labour on farms in and around Oslo, only to return at night. Inmates were promised their release afterwards,” Ms Kalle says.

She claims the Norwegian state was engaged in a systematic witch-hunt.

“After having served their time, they were moved to and confined in a new facility, together with their German partner or husband and children, whilst awaiting deportation. The women were stripped of their [Norwegian] nationality, lost their right to vote, and were never allowed to return to Norway again.”

Hovedøya had approximately 1,200 female inmates, whilst a total of over 14,000 women were interned in camps around the country.

Lena-Christin Kalle claims she is the only journalist ever to have been granted access to the classified documents. Her battle to see them took two years.

“The women were looked upon as the worst traitors possible,” she says.




Published on Thursday, 23rd December, 2010 at 17:17 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 23rd December 2010 at 17:30.

This post has the following tags: hovedoeya, nazi, camps, world, war, second, norwegian, state, internment, resistance, fighters, women, oslohard, labour, .





  
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