LOFOTEN WAR MUSEUM
SVOLVÆR - LOFOTEN

THE BURNING OF FINNMARK
 
LITTLE IS LEFT BY THE GERMANS IN FINNMARK
  















During the retreat of the German forces in Finnmark

to the line of defence, Lyngenfjord-Skibotn, 16718 buildings
became prey to the flames.
9. APRIL
THE LOFOTEN RAID
GESTAPO
OCCUPATION
THE NAVY
MIL.ORG.
RUSSIAN PRISONERS OF WAR
GRINI
BURNING OF FINNMARK
THE MURMANSK FRONT
LIBERTY
MAIN PAGE


MORE

The
TOURCHING

Continues

The
SOLDIERS
Pictures


The burning of Finnmark
Autumn 1944.

The general Lotahr Rendulic was mainly responsible. He also had the responsibility for the retreat of the 20th Mountain Army from Finland which comprised of 170000 men, 13000 lorries, 40000 horses and thousands of Russian prisoners of war.

In Finnmark the Russians launched an attack and 19 army corps was forced to retreat.

For the Wehrmacht, it was important that the military retreat proceed without delays, without being encumbered with an evacuation of a large number of civilians. However, Terboven disagreed and put forward the proposal of forced evacuation.

On the 25th October 1944, the Russian forces took Kirkenes.


The town was nearly obliterated by Russian bomb attacks and approximately 4000 of the population managed to save themselves and seek refuge in the mines belonging to the company A/S Sydvaranger. On the 28th October, Hitler sent out a "Führer befehl" concerning forced evacuation.

Terboven had his wish fullfilled. It was the 6th mountain Division that was to be the German rear guard and the unit had orders to destroy everything in their way. The German troops bringing up the rear did their best to carry out the "der Führer"s order.

They went to work methodically. Houses were lit one after the other, windows were broken in to feed the flames, and cattle and sheep were slaughtered. In many places, the inhabitants had only a short time to prepare themselves for evacuation, and some even refused to be evacuated. In Tana, all the inhabitants of the children's home (26 children) fled to avoid evacuation.

In other parts, people fled to the mountains or to the Finnmark plateau. People took refuge in cabins, caves and turf huts. In Gamvik, 450 inhabitants fled to the mountains and from this vantage point, watched their homes go up in flames. Even though the Germans were leaving one had to be careful. All along the coast German patrol boats were on the look-out for people who had escaped "der Führer"s order.

 


The burning of Finnmark

  
MOORE

10563 HOUSES WERE BURNED TO THE GROUND 



 
EVERY ANIMAL, NOT SLAUGHTHERED,
WERE SHOT




GERMAN AMMO TRANSPORTING SHIP
EXPLODES OUTSIDE THE COAST OF FINNMARK
 




The image
shows how little personal belongings
the population
managed to bring
along driven south by the Germans
LOFOTEN WAR MUSEUM
webdesign: bkh © 2001