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
Norwegian soldiers in 1940.
Most of these prisoners were released after the Norwegian
capitulation 10th June 1940.
lesser known fact is that the first prisoners at Grini
actually came from Lofoten due to the Lofoten-raid mars
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.
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
CAPS 1940 - 45.
During the war, red caps were not allowed. Carrying
a red cap could get you sent to Grini.