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My family and World War II

Bombing in Finnmark in wwIITo my knowledge, Skjervøy was the island furthest north that the Germans did not burn at the end of WWII. On Arnøya, where my family comes from, almost all houses were burned down, to make the Soviets unable to find shelter and food. The Soviets liberated Norway from the east and forced the Germans to retreat west and south.

It was not written much about the evacuation of people and burning buildings in northern Norway in schoolbooks when I was young. And it's still not so much talked about. Many school children on Arnøya had not heard about the burning of the island, until they had two weeks in 2006, where the school focused on northern Norway and the war.

Now there are a lot of Internet sites about WWII and the German withdrawal from northern Norway, but few of them tell much about what really happened in Troms and Finnmark. It's written a lot more about the war in Norway's southern parts. One site I found, which had a bit more than one sentence, is an Icelandic site, look here. None tell that there was no compensation given to all those people who lost their homes to the flames.

My father and his family lived in Honningsvåg, in North Cape county. According the evacuation order, they had appx. 6 hours to pack and leave - in October, at 71º N (further north than Alaska). My mother and family got a whole week's notice. My kin has no object older than from 1945, except a few photographs. I have none of them available here as I sit and write this. So I borrowed a picture from the county authority of Finnmark. Photographer is not given.

- Siw

Last changed March 23. 2009