Little-known heroism in Norway
Received March 7
As follow-up on my recent commentary, I am reminded of a book I read some years ago, entitled, “We Die Alone.” It comes out of World War II, during the Nazi occupation of Norway and concerns the dramatic events surrounding the escape of a member of the Norwegian “resistance” and takes place where the fjords empty northward into the Arctic Ocean, instead of westward into the Norwegian Sea.
Making it to one of the villages tucked away in that remote region, he was taken in by the villagers, fed and protected until arrangements could be made to get him out and across the border into neutral Sweden.
Injured and nearly incapacitated, he was carried up some 3,000 feet onto the vidda (plateau dissected by fjords) and literally buried in deep snow (nature’s “insulator”) near a formation of rocks, where, for the next two weeks, several men made repeated climbs to check in on his condition and bring him food.
By arrangement, he was found by Lapps, who sequestered him in among reindeer and got him across the border on a sledge to safety, at times within sight of German ski patrols. He was, later, honored by his king. This is one of the little-known incidents that came out of that period, and testifies to the incredible heroism that it produced.
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