Shipped to Norway

The first Soviet prisoners of war were shipped to Norway in August 1941. Many of the soldiers taken as prisoners in the Soviet Union in June of that year were first shipped to Poland or Germany, and then crammed on board cargo ships and sent to Norway.

The prisoners arrived in Norwegian ports utterly exhausted after several days at sea with scant supplies and terrible sanitation on board. They were then forwarded by ship or train to an uncertain fate in prison camps. The Germans had a network of close to 500 prison camps across Norway.

All military Soviet POWs sent to Norway were placed in a collective camp, Stalag, or work battalion, under the German «Wehrmacht». These camps were an overarching institution for the POW system in Norway. In reality, they were controlled by the German army which was in competition with the German air force, navy and Organisation Todt over distribution of the POWs’ forced labour.