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  NUREMBERG TRIAL TRANSCRIPTS | Nazi Occupation of Norway  





By: Loeb, Leo [appears on same line as previous]

Date: 18 September 1946

Doc. No. NOKW-090

Title and/or general nature: Signed carbon copy of a secret order by the 20th Army Command to the Evacuation Staff concerning the evacuation of Northern Norway. 6 pages photostat.

Date: 25/11/44.

Source (Location of original, etc.):

German Document Center, MID, Room MB 863

The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

65635/10 (Doc. No. WB-249)


General L. Rendulic as Commander of 20th Army.


NOKW - Spoliation

NOKW - Atrocities

SUMMARY (Indicate page nos.):

The document gives detailed instructions about the evacuation of northern Norway and makes clear that the evacuation has to be accomplished by force because the population did not follow voluntarily the orders to evacuate. The order states expressly that the whole territory has to be made empty of human beings in order to prevent the Russians from using the working capacity and local knowledge of the population. All shelters, communications and economic installations have to be destroyed go completely that the enemy cannot find any means for living in this territory. All important goods have to be sent away.

The order then gives details about the extent of the territory and means of transporting goods and people from the territory. It further states that the order to evacuate could only be known to the population by a pamphlet signed by the Commander in Chief of the 20th Army and the Reichs Commissioner for the occupied Norwegian territory. The population could only take along what they could carry because of shortage of transport. Herds of reindeers are to be evacuated through a certain route. Further details of the evacuation are not of interest in this respect.

(Edited by Theo. Felber, OCC,

8 October 1946.)

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(Page 1 of original)

Rubber Stamp

Penciled Note  Secret  Supplement 5

       Army Headquarters, 25 Nov.44

       War Diary

High Command 20 (Mountain Army

O.Qu./Evacuation Staff

No. 31/44 Secret

The Evacuation of Nothern Norway

I. Mission.

The intention to induce the population of Finland and Ostrom to evacuate these territories voluntarily, failed because of the limited willingness to support this demand.

Accordingly, the Fuhrer ordered the forced evacuation of the territory East of the Lyngenfjord, in order to protect the population from Bolshevism. The Fuehrer-order to the Wehrmacht commander, in Chief of North Finland contains the following demands:

1. The territory is to be emptied of human beings so that the enemy cannot rely on the working potential and local knowledge of the population.

2. All quarters, traffic and economic installations are to be destroyed so ruthlessly that the enemy is deprived of every possibility of living in this area.

3. What ever can be evacuated in important goods, is to be salvaged.

The initial time period set for evacuation, Porsanger territory by 9 November, Alta/Hammrfest territory by 12 November, and East Troms by 15 November 44 could be prolonged until 20 November 44 as a result of a Change in the situation.

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2  (Page 1 of original con’t.)

Accordingly a salvaging of economic goods in excess of the first planned amounts was possible.

The territory to be evacuated corresponds to 1 and 1/2 times/the [inserted above line] size of Denmark.

The distances on the single National Highway, the National Highway 50 amount to 1,000 kilometers from Kirkens to Narvik and from Hammerfest to Tromoso, 500 kilometers. Furthermore this highway was occupied by the Marching movement of the Army, so that first of all the sea lane came into the question with regard to deportation.

For the purposes of the execution an evacuation staff was formed with the High Command of the 20th (Mountain) Army, to which a representative of the Reich Commissioner for the occupied Norwegian territories was added.

II. Means.

1. The possibility was merely offered as for as the sea lane was concerned t utilize the unused transport space on ships of the Reich Commissioner for Naval Transport (German Commercial Flag) and on Ships of the Navy (Reich Service Flags and Reich War Flags). Beyond that, Norwegian local ships and numerous cutters were utilized.

2. On land, the population wandered off individually with their own trucks (trucks, omnibusses, and horse drawn vehicles). The Young folk also made use of bicycles frequently for the march to Narvik.

III. Execution:

1. The inadequate records of the Norwegian resident register were the basis for the seizure of the population. According to them, the territory to be evacuated, including the nomadic Lapps has before the war a population, of about 62,000. The [Deleted]

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(Page 2 of original con't.)

The (apparently very restriced) number of those persons who fled the evacuation can accordingly only be estimated.

2. On account of lack of time the order to the population for evacuation could only take place in the form of an appell decreed jointly by the Commander & Chief of the 20 (Mountain) Army and by the Reich Commissioner for the occupied Norwegian territories.

3. Assembly points for the deportation by sea were erected in Billerfjord and Homningsvaag for the area Porsangar and East Finland, in Hammerfest for the Island territories, and in Alta-Sopnes-Burfjord for the territory Alta with Kaugokeino.

(Page 3 of original)

The felder Traffic took place with trucks and omnibusses, from the sea with cutters, or from the Islands and the wastal localities in North Baranger, by units of the Navy.

Deportation from the Porsanger area took place in the main through two mass transports with 1700 and 1,060 persons on the Steamers "Karal A-rp" and "A-dolf Binder" from Billefjord. In Alta, through a mass transport of 750 persons on the supply ship "Dithmarschen". Deportation for the rest, with Norwegian local ships and cutters.

4. Rounding up organizations were set up through civilian offices for quarters and further transport of the deported population in Tromso, Narvik, and Harstad.

Forwarding to Mosjoen and Trondheim took place with ships of the Norwegian "Hurtigrute". Besides them, the following ships were utilized: the steamers "Brabant", "Dronning", "Sigurd Jarl", "Stella Polaris" as well as

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4 (Page 3 of original con’t.)

the hospital transport ships "lofotes", "North Star", and "Polar Ice". This forwarding was finished by 25 Nov. 44, in the main.

5. Supplies, including quarters and medical help could not be guaranteed by the civilian sector in this wide area to a full extent. The Wehrmacht helped accordingly on a [inserted above] generous scale:

a) through the provision of rations where supplies could not be managed in such bulk by the civilian sector. In the reception stations on land as well as on board the German ships warm rations were given out from field kitchens.

b) through the provision of barrack camps as quarters at the assembly points, Billefjord and Sopnes.

c) through the help of the unit during transport to the coast, as well as during embarkation, especially by assisting families with children.

(page 4 of original).

d) through large-scale care of sick, injured, pregnant women, and mothers with small children by doctors and medical installations. Admission of women for confinement into hospitals, further transport on hospital ships, provision of small children with milk etc.) [sic]

The transport of sick and injured from outlying Homes for the Aged and Homes for tubercular cases whose evacuation was necessary, in order not to afford the enemy propaganda material, required an especial regulation. The deportation fron Karasjok, Boerselv, Kautokeino, and Talvik and/or Korsfjord took place under the responsible leadership of Oberarzt Dr.Gaebler with medical trucks of the Wehrmacht and our own boats used for this.

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5  (page 4 of original can't.)

6.) The population could only take what baggage they could carry, on a ccount [sic] of the restrictions of the transport space. The cattle had therfore to be taken over by the Wehrmacht against memoranda receipt, as far as it could not, in individual cases, be taken along.

After extension of the evacuation time an extensive salvaging of important economic goods was also ordered for the civilian sector. Here the execution was the responsibility of [inserted above line] the Wehrmacht. Furthermore, a final search was carried out by the Norwegian police detachments on the islands and outlying localities. Destruction will accordingly only be ordered by the subordinate sector commanders (Unterabschnittskommandeure) and/or rear guard officers in agreement with the evacuation commissioners when the salvaging of valuable economic goods (especially fishery equipment) is finished, or impossible.

Salvaging of the reindeer herds took place by an order to the Lapps to drive their herds to the west over Kautokeino-Helligskogen into a reception territory in Tromsfylke. A retreat to the South was prevented by a blockade on the Swedish border, a lock at Helligskogen made possible the driving through of the reindeer herds by the march movements of the unit on to the highway Finland-Skibotn, This action cannot be finished yet,

(page 5 of original)

since on account of the slight snowfall, the expedition of the Lapps, could not be put into operation yet to full extent. Where a herd could not be trans-

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6 (page 5 of original con't.)

mitted farther, part of the animals were taken over against memoranda receipts by the Wehrmacht; the Lapps were nevertheless left the minimum necessary for existence.

IV Results (see appendx [sic])

1.) In the reception organization, including the fisherman already settled on the Lofetes 36914 persons were taken all together. About, 5,000 persons migrated before the start of the evacuation up till October from East Finland. About ll00 persons have migrated by means of self-aid without passing through the reception organization a smaller residue of workers of the Wehrmacht is to be moved off later with the unit.

2.) About 10,000 persons have remained in the area of Kirkenes, as a result of the war events. In West Finland and East Tromso only about 8,500 persons, in the main Lapps, are left behind, whose deportation was only of interest in connection with the finding back of reindeer herds.

The evacuation in the territory between Lyngenfjord and Porsangerfjord could therfore [sic] be carried through almost completely. Even voices of the Swedish press had to admit the success of the action and speak of an almost 100% evacuation of the population.

The success of the action was made possible through the excellent corporation of all participating offices of the Wehrnacht, the Reich Commissioner, and the Norwegian administration.

V. Experiences.

1. Orderly evacuation under the conditions imposed is only possible if an orderly method of

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7 page 5 of original cont'd)

seizure is present in the hands of an administrative medium.

(page 6 of original)

Both were not at hand. The Norwegian citizens (Lensmaenne) were partly the first to leave their realm of their own accord. The administration In Hammerfest and in Talvik worked well.

2.) Even in short periods for evacuation, a frictionless, development is possible, if a calendar is also at hand in civilian offices for the evacuation of important goods. Idleness and avoidable losses of important goods result from improvising.

3.) It contributes in any case to the quieting of the population, if every family can have at their disposal a memorandum with the individual orders for carrying out the evacuation. Such a memorandum was to be issued by Minister Lie according to the suggestion of the Army Hq, but came too late, to have any great affect on the population.

4.) Some untoward events, such as the execution of the "Law concerning hand and span services" with the separation of the men from their families to be deported and with guarding like prisoners, burning down of houses in the presence, of the inhabitants even where an immediate destruction was not necessary and shelling of the locality Kjollefjord by units of the navy, hinder the readiness of the population to follow the officially proscribed way .

(sgd.) Herrmann

Col and Leader of the Evacuation Staff Distribution:

In draft

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(page 9 of original)

Enclosure to High Command of the 20th (Moiuntain) Army

O.Q/Evacuation Staff No. 31/44 secret

Paragraph IV

Table of Evacuation

A_s per: 25.11.44

No. of residents to be evacuated on 9.4.1940:

East Finmark circa 25,000

West Finmark circa 27,000

Truns, eastwards circa 10,000

Lyiigefjord 62,000

Carrying out of the evacuation:

1.) People evacuated:

a) Evacuees included in report

Via Tromso to South 29 ,014

Via Narvik circa 3,400

Via Harstad circa 1,000

On ill a Lofoten

Islands circa 3,500 36,914 1,101




b) Moved to the South without registering

c) Moved from East Finmark
until October circa

d) Workors enployed by the

Werhmacht etc. Transported with the troops.

2.) People not evacuated:

No longer able to leave East

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(page 9 of original con’t.)

Finmark circa 10,000
Laplanders remaining in West
Finmark (mainly Nomads) 8,500

Fugitives who have avoided

evacuation circa 200 18,700



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