The aim of the internet resource “Soviet prisoners of war in Norway” is to disseminate knowledge about and give an understanding of an important part of the Second World War history which, to some extent, has been hushed up. By using this internet resource in education, pupils and students gain experience with using sources and of source criticism.
In their work with both primary and secondary sources, the internet resource will stimulate reflection connected to the historical topic and in relation to how history is created through an interpretation of the traces of the past. Working with historical source material also provides an excellent basis for discussions about the significance of this history for people today.
The internet resource contains:
- Historical source material: Documents, photo material and photographs of objects. You can download all sources as image files (jpg).
- Texts about the topic: Forced to Norway, Slave labour on Norwegian soil, Life as a prisoner, Prisoners escaping , Norwegian helpers, Civilian forced labourers, Liberation, Home to the Soviet Union, Soviet war graves in Norway, Tjøtta Memorial, Rules for the treatment of prisoners of war.
- Films and recordings, interviews and historical footage.Films cannot be downloaded.
- Map of prison camps in Norway and an overview map Norway – Soviet Union. You can download the maps as image files (jpg).
- Timeline: Short texts about the years 1939-45.
- Links to other resources about related issues.
The pupils can work with the internet resource both individually and in groups. It is also possible for the teacher to download the content for use in traditional classroom teaching. In addition, we recommend that the internet resource is combined with local resources: libraries, archives, museums, memorials and people.
Since it is possible to download the internet resources, the teacher can give the pupils the task of making their own presentations about the topic:
- Presentations with PowerPoint or similar digital presentation tools
- Exhibitions / posters with pictures and texts produced by pupils
- Written presentations
- Telling the history digitally, using simple film-editing tools such as Movie Maker, Photo Story or Open Shot
- Work with an object in the archive box. a) Describe the object. b) Study pictures and texts in the internet resource, and gain knowledge about Soviet prisoners of war in Norway. c) What can your chosen object tell you about life in prison? d) Is it important to take care of such objects? Why/Why not? e) In your opinion, how important is the history about the prisoners of the Second World War for people today?
- Work with an interview with a former prisoner. a) What does this time witness tell you? b) Study pictures and texts in the internet resource, and gain knowledge about Soviet prisoners of war in Norway. c) Go to your local library, museum or archive and search for other sources about prisoners in the Second World War. d) What different types of sources have you found? Discuss how the sources supplement each other – or are in conflict with each other. e) How have different sources helped us to understand the history of imprisonment during the Second World War?
- Work with one of the prison registration cards and an object in the archive box. a) Study the prison registration card and describe the object. What information can these two sources give? b) Study pictures and texts in the internet resource, and gain knowledge about the camp system and Soviet prisoners of war in Norway. c) The history of the Soviet prisoners of war in Norway can be told from the perspectives of both the system and the individual. Discuss the prison registration card and the object as sources in light of these possible perspectives.
- Work with two interviews carried out with former prisoners. a) What do the interviews tell you about how prisoners were treated? b) Study other texts and sources in the internet resource and gain knowledge about Soviet prisoners of war in Norway. c) Read the text “Rules for the treatment of prisoners of war” and then look for information about rules for prisoners of war today. d) Discuss the significance of international rules in war.
- Work with sources in the archive box. a) Look for sources about relationships between prisoners and local inhabitants. What do the sources tell you? b) Study other texts and sources in the internet resource, and gain knowledge about Soviet prisoners of war in Norway. c) Below, you will find Article 1 of UN’s Declaration of Human Rights from 1948: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”. Discuss the connection between the experiences of the Second World War and modern human rights.