This year it is 65 years since the end of the Second World War in Norway. Each year Norwegians mark this day with music corps, flag and flowers placed on local memorials to those who fell in World War II. The liberation in 1945 was a huge relief and joy throughout the people who were finally free after 5 years of Nazi occupation.
Tension had been building since the death of Adolf Hitler April 30, and the people were anxious to find out how the German army would then respond. The evening of the 7th of May General Bøhme got the order to surrender the German forces in Norway, and he complied. The home front’s leadership was finally able to release the famous statement: “Our struggle is crowned with victory, Norway is again free.” As in many other countries the people celebrated in the streets and built bonfires of Nazi propaganda posters and flags.
Throughout the land exhausted Norwegians poured into streets to celebrate the liberation. Those who had been in hiding or exile because of the war began to come home – from abroad, from concentration camps and prison, or from hiding places in the country.
Now each 8th of May from 15 stations around the country there is a 12 shot salute fired at noon commemorating the liberation day 8 May 1945 and all Norwegians fallen under both the Second World War and all later wars.
It is important that awareness of the 8th of May and what it stands for does not gradually fade away in new generations. The fallen gave the maximum sacrifice possible for us survivors to be free. We are overwhelmed mentally every day by news of war and defamation of human rights around the world. It is our job to continue the march for peace and never to forget the atrocities that occurred.
If you would like to learn more about the Norwegian Home Fronts activities in the Second World War, why not take a trip the Home Front Museum at Akeshus Fortress when you join us at Oslo Blog Gathering 2010???