Slave labour on Norwegian soil

The Soviet POWs were used as slave labour by the German occupation forces in Norway. Taken prisoner during battles in the Balkans and the Soviet Union, these soldiers were forced to work on the Germans’ huge construction projects.

On Hitler’s orders, the paramilitary Organisation Todt carried out a number of construction projects in Norway and Denmark. In Norway, the Soviet POWs were used to build railways, roads, airstrips and fortresses.

General Falkenhorst, the commander in chief of the German occupation forces in Norway, demanded to be supplied with 145 000 POWs to be able to realise Hitler’s plans for a railway to Kirkenes. These plans did not come to fruition, but the railway project Nordlandsbanen was in part completed by means of POW labour.