Norway initially proclaimed neutrality during the world wars. But due to its strategic location, ie, with the ice-free port of Narvik deemed important for the transportation of iron ore from Sweden, along with its other resources, the Scandinavian country was attacked and occupied by the German troops in 1940. All this and more about the war I learned first in the Narvik War Museum. I was at peace about Norway and Sweden’s neutrality during the wars, but then, I was wrong. Only Sweden managed to keep itself neutral, although they continued to sell iron to Nazi Germany to generate income.
Many war artefacts, weapons, vehicles and aircrafts, and photographs are exhibited in the museum, providing a comprehensive presentation of the history of warfare in the northern part of the country. Norway was invaded by Germany for 5 years, and based on what I saw on the museum, it was a terrible time for Norwegians, as they were forced to leave their homes and volunteer. I also saw some films about resistance forces like Max Manus, so without doubt, the country was deeply affected by the wars just like the Philippines under Japanede occupation.
The photos above shows the Norwegian government’s effort to build good infrastructure not just in the big cities, but also in the countryside. This is to maintain balance between the two sectors of society, such that people living in the rural areas would no longer want to leave.
Back to the museum, it is located in the new Narvik city center. For information about visiting hours and rates, click here. Here are some shots taken from the museum:
And here are some of the interesting war memorabilias and artefacts that I saw at the museum:
As I’ve said, I learned a great deal about Norway’s involvement in the world wars at the museum. Some presentations were actually funny, like how Germany spread the news of the British forces coming to invade Norway, and thus, Norway needed Germany for protection. When in reality, it was the other way around. The British forces came to help Norway against the Nazis eventually.
I also had the time to look around the main square, where some statues by Trygve Thorsen gave life to the plaza. Trygve came from Arendal, a town in the south which inspired the Kingdom of Arendelle in the animated film, Frozen.
This is all for now. The museum is a must-see in the city of Narvik, to fully understand the city, the people, and the history. It provides a little bit of contrast from the beautiful nature surrounding it. 🙂 Cheers to more understanding of the human nature and the world we live in! #spreadlove