While there are many museums dedicated to World War II, few have the breadth of Nazi artifacts presented in this museum. The institution also houses many items from the Norwegian resistance to Nazi occupation, as well as the toll their rule inflicted on the Norwegian people.
Fueled by widespread unrest after World War I, thousands joined the Nazis. As the Great Depression took hold, the Nazis, led by Adolf Hitler, blamed the Jews, Communists, liberals, and pacifists for Germany’s struggles. They promised to restore Germany’s standing in the world. Many saw the Nazis as an attractive alternative to democracy or communism. As Nazi tyranny spread across Europe, the Germans and their collaborators persecuted and murdered millions of other people seen as biologically inferior or dangerous.
Norway was a neutral country during World War II, and in 1940 was invaded by Nazi forces. Until the end of the war in 1945, the Scandinavian country was occupied by the Wehrmacht, the armed forces of Nazi Germany. This small museum in the Lofoten Islands opened in 1996, and recounts Nazi occupation of northern Norway.
Their collection is large and varied, featuring both military and civilian artifacts. Objects on display include Nazi tree ornaments, dozens of Nazi uniforms, medals, and small arms. It even houses a purse which purportedly belonged to Eva Braun, Adolf Hitler’s partner.
There is also a painting believed to be by Hitler himself, along with several of his drawings that were found in a house in Germany. The drawings are of characters from Disney movies, which were hidden behind the watercolor painting, possibly shortly after America joined the war.
Know Before You Go
The cost is 100kr for adults and 30kr for children. The museum's hours can be somewhat eclectic, so it's best to check before you plan your visit.
The labels and stories are engaging and avoid being too dry, however many of the translations are somewhat variable in quality. Translations are in English, French, and German. While not thoroughly covered, they are enough to not be frustrated.