In war and love – «tyskerjenter» in the Agder-counties.

By Terje Nomeland

The so-called «tyskerjenter» (with the meaning «German girls», or «sluts») were Norwegian women who fraternized with German soldiers during the Second World War. This article is about this group in two neighbouring counties, Aust-Agder and Vest-Agder, in the south of Norway. Most of these women were in their late teens or early twenties and were employed as maids for the occupying power. In total there were about 600 «tyskerjenter» in Aust- and Vest-Agder, who came from all parts of those counties, but the numbers were higher in the biggest cities and in areas with a high German presence. Many of these women were interned in camps shortly after the end of the German occupation. The detention was in many ways legally questionable. Some were exposed to the so-called «cutting actions», in which the women had their hair, partially or completely, cut off. They were also exposed to cruel insults and condemnation, for example in newspaper columns. Few people made a case for the women who fraternized. It seems that some principles of the rule of law were put aside when it came to how these women were treated in the weeks and months after the end of the German occupation.