Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Norwegian Resistance in WWII: Grandmother's Jewelry

Picking up where the October issue of Viking magazine leaves off, here's another great story about a Norwegian family during WWII and the German occupation of Norway.

Christine Meseng sent in this story about something that happened as a child during WWII.

It was Christmas Eve of 1943 and my sister, parents, who were both immigrants from Kristiansand, and I were invited to a friend’s home. The friends had also invited others who had immigrated from Kristiansund and it was to be an old time party where all the furniture was pushed aside and we could dance around the Christmas tree, as they did years ago in Norway.

Our friends, the Linneruds, had invited three young men into their home for the holidays. The young men had escaped from Norway after the invasion and made their way to Toronto, Canada, where the Norwegian government had established an aviation training camp called Little Norway. These boys were training to go back to Norway and fight the Nazi’s.

My sister and I got to talking with the young men as we were the only young people that could speak Norwegian. We talked about many things in this country and eventually one of the men asked my name. When I told him he got very quiet and asked “what is your father’s name?”

I told the boy my father’s name was Christ Nygaard and he then asked where my father was from. I told him my father came from Kvernes, a small island near Kristiansund, and pointed my father out to him. The young man quietly left the room , only to return a few minutes later and walk up to my father. “Kristian Johan Nygaard, dette er fra din Mor,” (Kristian Johan Nygaard, this is from your mother) he said. With that, he handed my father a small package. My dad opened it and there lay my grandmother’s jewelry.

The young man told us that my grandparents had helped him escape from Norway. But, before he left my grandmother had given him this package and told him to give it to my father if was able to get to Chicago.

Everyone was stunned! Can you imagine how small the chances were that he would even get to the U.S., let alone find my father?

Thanks again, Christine, this was a great story of family helping the resistance movement by assisting two young men escape the clutches of Nazi Germany so they could, one day, come back to fight for their homeland's freedom.

Don't forget, if you want to read all the stories we've run so far on the Norwegian Resistance, you can click here to view them.

No comments: