LOFOTEN WAR MUSEUM
SVOLVÆR - LOFOTEN

GRINI
 
prisoners camp
  















During the war the prisoners camp "Grini" was the largest in Norway
Grini was located at Bærum outside Oslo
and its main building is still in use.
9. APRIL
THE LOFOTEN RAID
GESTAPO
OCCUPATION
THE NAVY
MIL.ORG.
RUSSIAN PRISONERS OF WAR
GRINI
BURNING OF FINNMARK
THE MURMANSK FRONT
LIBERTY
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GRINI 2


handycrafts by norwegian prisoners
at Grini



GRINI

Newly constructed before the war, the main building at Grini was originally designed to be a women's prison, but the German's quickly seized it as a regular prison of war camp, mainly to detain
Norwegian soldiers in 1940.

Most of these prisoners were released after the Norwegian capitulation 10th June 1940.

A lesser known fact is that the first prisoners at Grini actually came from Lofoten due to the Lofoten-raid mars 4th 1941.

The friendly reception the British and 52 Norwegian soldiers got by the locals during the Lofoten-raid, made the German nazis furious. Several hundred were brutally interrogated by SS and Gestapo, using everything from threats to physical abuse.

Those who were arrested, were brought onboard the troop transporting ship the "Bretagne". In person, the "Reich commissar Terboven" himself inspected the prisoners, which led to speculations that the captives were to be lined up and shot in the centre of Svolvær. But a few days later, all 64 prisoners were transferred to another ship "Renøy", and shipped to Trondheim under frightening weather conditions.

Even the German guards were terrified as the ship bounced its way south bound though the storm. Finally arriving in Trondheim, the prisoners continued their travel down south by train where they received a rather harsh welcome by SS gendarmes (police). For hours, several prisoners had to stand with their hands over their heads as the SS verbally abused them. But after a while the SS men got tired of yelling and screaming and the prisoners were sent to the Grini-consentration-camp.

This explains the reason why the first prisoners from nr. 1 to 64 came from Lofoten. They were nicknamed "The Svolvær Hostages".

 




  GRINI

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RED CAPS 1940 - 45.
During the war, red caps were not allowed. Carrying a red cap could get you sent to Grini.


PRISONER SUIT FROM GRINI 
 
KZ-PRISONER (Concentration camp)

A BOOK ABOUT THE PROPER USE OF
THE RED CAP WAS GIVEN OUT IN ALL SECRECY
 



In newspapers you could read: "Warning. Red knitted hats.
As the use of red hats has increased so strongly in later times,
it is considered to be a demonstration. as of Thursday 26th February 1942, the use of red caps is forbidden.

From this day the caps will be confiscated from anyone using them, and legal actions will be taken upon these persons. For children under 14 years, their parents or adults will be held responsible. Police headquarter 23.02.42."


But by banning red hats the
consequences grew to bizarre
and even comic proportions.

And that happened around Christmas time. The Norwegian Santa Claus gleefully sported green and blue knitted headgear. And this was in the nazis view from bad to worse.

A Santa Claus with a green cap was of course demonstration against the "new order". But the following years. Santa claus and his helpers were allowed to wear red caps…..


But it was only around Christmas time!

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