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Between Tradition and Politics. Military Music in Occupied Norway (1940–45)

Michael Custodis (*1973) is Professor for Contemporary Music and Systematic Musicology at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (Germany). Main fields of his present research concern interferences between “classical” and “popular” music, 20th century music, and Nazi continuities in post-war German music. From 2017 he has been the leader of the DFG-funded research project The German Dominance of Music in Norway, 1930-45 (for more information visit www.nordicmusicpolitics.net).

Within the vast field of research that still has to be done on Norway's music life during the years of the Nazi occupation, the area of music in military settings is an exception. Because of the sometimes contradictory motives of the different protagonists, this article shows strategies for music among NS and Hird musikkorps, the military resistance movement Milorg, and even inside SS prison camps. Based on extensive archival material, this article gives an overview of official Norwegian and German music units, the newly founded musikkorps for Hird, and military musicians who resisted intense pressure to join these units. It also discusses the importance of singing for resistance fighters and prisoners.

Keywords: musikkorps, Janitsjarorkester, Nasjonal Samling, Gulbrand Lunde, Hirdmusikken, Jim Johannessen, Alfred Evensen, Alf Mostad, Milorg, Grini, Falstad, Songbooks, Stiklestad, Kampsang , Stabsmusik, Thorvald Lammers, Cally Monrad, Per Reidarson, Signe Lund, Willy Johansen, Otto Nielsen, Gunnar Knudsen, Einar Lorang Andresen, Rolf Letting Olsen, Julius Paltiel, Josef Grabowski

Among the close cultural ties that had grown over centuries between Norway and Europe, with Germany in particular, the music units of Norway’s armed forces became an integral part of domestic music life. As far as archival sources can tell, all the main institutional structures, performative manners and repertoire preferences were adopted by Norway from the European continent. Usually the professional tasks of military music are centered on three musical duties: 1. the means to synchronize the moves of individuals to unite them into one collective body of soldiers (traditionally in the habit of marching), 2. to create a religious aura in ceremonies and prayers before and after a battle (to commit the soldiers to collective aims larger than life, and to honor the fallen), and 3. to support the formal representation of a nation state through marches and hymns.1

The industrialization of combat in WWI resulting in the noise of thousands of motor vehicles, of continuous gunfire and roaring cannons had outdated old-fashioned signals of pipers and drums, so that the active participation of musicians in battle became obsolete. Due to Norway’s self-chosen neutrality, the duties of its armed forces at this time had been limited to defensive vigilance for more than a century. In consequence, the civilian duties of representation and public entertainment became the primary concern for its military bands. Until gramophones and public broadcasting reached rural areas in the 1920s, only military bands, sacral music, church concerts and some travelling artists had offered rare chances to enjoy music outside of the handful of Norwegian cities.

Accordingly, this essay will focus on two traditions of military music in Norway: music for military purposes and military music in everyday life. The reason to separate these two aspects (which in fact share numerous connections) is to be found in the singular historic conditions of Norway’s occupation in WWII and its music life in the years 1940 to 1945: Both the German suppressors and their supporting allies around Vidkun Quisling, as well as their antagonists in the military resistance movement (Milorg), used music for their own purposes. At the same time, one has to face a methodological discrepancy of archival records: While the official units of Wehrmacht and Hird (the Norwegian version of the German SA) were run by administrations producing files with public orders, budget plans, and administrative lists, the clandestine nature of the resistance movement had to avoid exactly this kind of paperwork, because any source that could give insights into their structures and personnel was highly dangerous. Nevertheless, their repertoire can be reconstructed in retrospect, from memoirs and songbooks. This includes the music life of Norway’s largest prison camp Grini, where inmates started their own ensembles in the fall of 1944, as well as the Falstad camp near Trondheim. After a few comments on Norway’s history of occupation, this article will feature the official Norwegian music units of the Norwegian Nazi party Nasjonal Samling (NS) and Hird, as well as their counterparts in the German occupation forces. Afterwards, the importance of songs to NS and Milorg will be summarized, before concluding with remarks on music lives in Grini and Falstad. Finally, it has to be mentioned that this essay cannot claim to cover all aspects of music in Norway under military conditions during the years 1940 and 1945 in the sense of a definite report, but instead it can outline the main areas for further research.

I. Norway, 1940–45

The Wehrmacht’s attack against Norway on April 9, 1940 marked the beginning of five years of occupation that came to an end on May 8, 1945. After King Håkon VII had refused the German authorities’ demand to resign, and the Norwegian parliament Storting did not give in to accepting a collaborating government, Reichskommissar Josef Terboven established a provisional administration at first. Terboven, the former Gauleiter of Essen, had been chosen by Hitler himself to take care of Norway, and was under his direct command. In consequence, he could make far-reaching independent decisions, even against his rivals for Nordic supremacy: chief ideologist Alfred Rosenberg, head of the SS Heinrich Himmler, Wehrmacht’s commander for Norway General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst, and Foreign Secretary Joachim von Ribbentrop. In September 1940, a circle of loyal Norwegian NS men were formed into a Statsråd for internal Norwegian affairs, but without promoting the head of NS to Prime Minister. This had to wait more than one year, when Terboven had to accept the Norwegian population’s refusal to have King Håkon abdicate. In an attempt to gain legitimacy for the occupation, Quisling was finally appointed Prime Minister on February 1, 1942. But neither this initiative, nor any cultural propaganda, won over Norwegians. Instead, the accelerating terror against opposition and Jewish inhabitants strengthened the collective aversion to the German suppressors. As a result of the complete Gleichschaltung of all social and cultural areas, carried out by Terboven and Quisling’s puppet regime, all Norwegian musicians had to take a stand. Some of them decided to support the new regime, and some others chose to join active resistance work, while the majority tried to avoid any difficulty just to make it through complicated times, comparable to the overall situation in Norway. While most parts of middle and southern Norway were relatively calm areas during WWII, the polar region of Finnmark was a constant battle zone. After the region witnessed some of the most fiercely fought confrontations between the armies of Hitler and Stalin, the Wehrmacht accompanied their withdrawal from Finnmark in the winter of 1944 with a scorched earth policy. An early end to Norway’s occupation became a realistic hope for its inhabitants. One month after the liberation, and exactly five years after he had to leave the country, on June 7, 1945, King Håkon VII returned to Norway, where he was welcomed enthusiastically.

II. Official Norwegian military music units

Every year, one can still experience Norwegians’ love for the sound of brass instruments, when school bands and professional corps march to patriotic and popular tunes on May 17, the national holiday. Therefore, it made sense for NS to connect with these traditions and incorporate marches, music corps, a party hymn, and collective singing of uplifting melodies in its paramilitary appearance.

It is well documented how the installation of National Socialism in Norway tried to walk in Adolf Hitler’s footsteps. But in sharp contrast to the broad public support for the Führer in Germany, the young Norwegian NS movement mostly had to face public denial. Only few moments of success could be celebrated, such as when Gulbrand Lunde gained twelve percent of the electorate in the 1934 communal elections for his Stavanger area, against the party’s poor result of three percent nationwide.2 Therefore it needed the Wehrmacht’s invasion of Norway in May 1940 and Terboven’s installation as the Reichskommissar für Norwegen to help Vidkun Quisling’s movement finally gain power. Despite many efforts, the new rulers’ attempts to attract new party members and activists for NS mostly failed. Therefore, forced labor duty (Arbeitstjenesten) was turned from a voluntary service into an obligation for Norwegian men in the spring of 1941, which in turn provoked strong public reactions.3 Despite a weak basis of primary sources, one nevertheless knows from photographs that Arbeitstjenesten maintained its own music units for supporting paramilitary parades and other official appearances.4

Illustration 1:

Nasjonal Samling marching during its national party convention 1934 at the legendary historic sites of Stiklestad.5

According to Bodil Wold Johnsen’s study of NS’s early activities in Stavanger, one knows that from 1934 onwards the party kept its own music units for town marches and the musical support at conventions, with fanfares, hymns, anthems and collective singing. In NS’s journal Førerbladet from 1934, we find detailed information about an official marching tune for parades and public gatherings, a separate tune for raising and lowering the flag, and the party hymn called “Kampsang”: “Vær opmerksom på at vår ‘Kampsang’ er den som er skrevet av Kjeld Stub, med melodi av Allan Johansson. Vår ‘Marsj’ er den som er skrevet av Hoff, med musikk af Peaters. (På den siste står der som undertitel i noten ‘Kampsang’. Dette er imidlertid ikke riktig).”6 The N.S. Propaganda-Meddelelser, dated March 23, 1934, headlined Sang og Symboler:

Hvert lag bör ha sitt lagsflagg, hver krets sitt kretsflagg og hvert fylke sitt fylkesflagg. […] På flagginnvielsesfesten holdes en festtale om vårt merke og vårt flagg. Denne tale skal være hovedpunktet på programmet. På sådanne fester bör det dessuten være musikk og sang, evtl. et foredrag för innvielsestalen. Festtalen konkluderer med innvielsen av flagget. Efter innvielsen bör en mann med kraftig stemme og god uttale lese Per Sivles dikt “Tord Foleson”. Fanen innvies ved at en av våre unge, staute medlemmer langsomt ruller flagget ut, mens forsamlingen synger “Flaggsangen”, siste vers med hevet arm. Ved denne innvielse synges fölgende sang: Flaggsang av sogneprest Geelmuyden, Masfjord (Mel.: Kongesangen). […] Av andre sanger som bör synges på möter kan nevnes: “N.S. Kampsang” av Kjeld Stub, de to förste vers av “Jeg vil verge mitt land”. “Ja, vi elsker“ eller “Gud signe vårt dyre fedreland” synges ved særlig höitidelige anledninger. Den gamle norske hilsen brukes under sang bare til siste vers av “Flaggsangen”, siste vers av Kjeld Stubs “Kampsang” og ved siste vers som synges av “Ja, vi elsker”.7

From the year 1940 onwards, when NS had finally come into power, and could utilize the full range of pathetic settings, program notes for party conventions document the importance of music for political representation: Besides marches and party hymns (the lyrics were printed in the party journal), symphonic works of Christian Sinding and Edvard Grieg were also performed.

The music units of Hird, the party’s own SA-like uniformed paramilitary organization, are well documented in the archives.8 It seems that the year 1942 was a turning point for Hird for professionalizing its music units. From Aftenposten, which resumed publishing on September 5, 1942, it can be seen that Hird was running thirty-eight different music units at this time (for example see Illustrations 2 and 3). On February 11, 1943, Deutsche Zeitung in Norwegen (the Reichskommissariat’s official newspaper) noted that Hird maintained its own music department, a department for folk music, and one for painters and architects.9

Illustration 2:

A Hird musikkorps at a meeting of Nasjonal Samling at Stiklestad (undated).10

The leader of Hird’s music department was Jim Johannessen, a Kapellmeister from Bergen, who has hardly been considered in historical or musicological literature. Nevertheless his music department left considerable archival traces, in particular when it initiated its own musikkorps for the Oslo region. First sketches go back to the year 1941, when Gulbrand Lunde held the position of Minister of Culture and Enlightenment. In a letter to Stabssjef Orvar Sæther, his administrative consultant (Ekspedisjonssjef) Bjarne Holst affirmed on July 17, 1941 Lunde’s will to support these plans.11 Soon afterwards, Johannessen began to make sketches for Hird’s official unit Divisjonsmusikk (often synonymously called Stabsmusikk or Hirdmusikk). On March 7, 1942, he presented a detailed plan to Lunde with two alternative solutions, and proposed twelve main points, which are summarized here:

  • 1) Hirdmusikken was supposed to be an independent organization within Hird, with its own budget;

  • 2) the musical commanders (Regimentsmusikklederne) should earn a fix annual salary of 6,000 kroner plus travel expenses, Hird music schools should be established within each regiment, and the regiment’s music commanders would function as the responsible school principals;

  • 3) the regiment orchestras would be run by leaders, one each for administrative, economic and propagandistic matters, as well as by an artistic director (Intendant);

  • 4) the formal ranks for Hirdmusikken would be graded hierarchically: Inspektør (Fylklingførers grad), Stedfortredende inspektør (sveitførers grad), Regimentsmusikkmester (sveitførers grad), Nestregimentsmusikkmester (nestsveitførers grad), Musikktroppfører, Musikk-kommandersersjant, Musikkfurer, Musikksersjant, Musiker and Aspirant;

  • 5) the formal ranks within Stabsmusikken would be ranked accordingly: a) Stabsmusikkmester (sveitførers grad), b) Neststabsmusikkmester (nestsveitførers grad), c) Stabsmusikktroppfører, d) Stabsmusikkkommandersersjant, e) Stabsmusikkfurer, f) Stabsmusikksersjant, and g) Stabsmusikkmusiker.

  • (Points 6–9, which followed, explained at length the necessary positions of an Inspektør, several regiment music masters, Nestregiment music masters and musicians.)

  • 10) Hirdmusikkorps (H.R.) should be established in the following places:

    • H.R.1 Moss – Tønsberg

    • H.R.2 Elverum – Gjøvik – Dovre

    • H.R.3 Arendal – Stavanger – Haugesund

    • H.R.4 Bergen – Åndalsnes

    • H.R.5 Trondheim – Stjørdal

    • H.R.6 Tromsø – Vardø – Vadsø – Kirkenes

    • H.R.7 Oslo

  • 11) Because of instruments lacking, orchestras should be established temporarily only in the larger locations

  • 12) Due to the vast distances and difficulties for travelling in the far north, H.R.6 should act independently for a while, undertaking its own propaganda tours within its own region.12

Illustration 3:

A parade of a Hird musikkorps in the center of Levanger (undated).13

For the musical architecture of Hirdmusikken, Johannessen envisioned a small disposition of almost thirty instruments, with two cornets, three trumpets, four horns, four trombones, one baritone trombone, two tubas, two drummers, eight Bb clarinets (four combined with saxophones), one Eb clarinets, two flutes and one oboe.

In the aftermath of Vidkun Quisling’s appointment as Prime Minister on April 1, 1942, the Norwegian cabinet decided the formal installation of Hirdmusikken, on May 1, 1942. The costs for this prestigious new music unit were divided into three equal parts and shared between Oslo municipality, Norwegian Public Radio (NRK), and NS. The party’s necessity for a professional military band for representational matters was obvious, while NRK could use such an ensemble to compensate for the lack of musicians willing to perform radio concerts. According to a blank contract (conserved in Oslo’s Riksarkivet), the musicians were supposed to keep their civilian status and not become state or military employees when joining Hirdmusikken. Neither was mentioned an obligation to join NS or to swear an oath to Quisling and the National Socialist State. The files further offer a list of musicians (dated October 28, 1942) that served in the new unit. Three of them were of fifty years of age or older, while the majority were in their thirties. Some were just in their twenties or even younger, like the fifteen-year-old hornist Johnny Østhagen.

  • Ragnar Birkedal (21.3.1901) Dirigent

  • Jostein Arve Folstad (9.4.1923) 2 trompet

  • Johnny Østhagen (3.9.1927) 4 horn

  • Peder Simon Martnsen (13.2.1893) 1 slagverk

  • Eldar Engen (3.5.1913) 1 B. bass

  • Torbjørn Soli (28.8.1908) 2 Es. bass

  • Asbjørn Mæhlum (16.3.1923) 2 kornett

  • Arne Lie (9.3.1908) 1 baryton

  • Ole Mæhlum (16.5.1917) 2 trompet

  • Bjørn Litsheim (1.12.1924) 2 tenor

  • Ole Eidissen (5.8.1895) 3 klarinett

  • Holger Litsheim (3.2.1922) 2 slagverk

  • Hakon Eriksen (26.7.1912) 1 Es. bass

  • Olaf Wiiger (7.10.1906) 2 saksofon

  • Gunnar E. Andersen (8.9.1922) 2 kornett

  • Arne E. Christensen (7.3.1921) 2 horn

  • Odd Sommerfelt (11.9.1909) 1 fløyte, regsi.

  • Fritz Frøland (7.6.1914) 1 kornett

  • Bjørn Lundbekk (27.8.1914) 2 tenor

  • Harry Jenack (20.11.1905) 1 horn

  • Bjarne Bakke (5.3.1915) 3 trompet

  • Anton Lund (22.8.1878) 2 tenor

  • Terje Litsheim (3.9.1918) 1 tenor

  • Sverre Tranum (23.4.1902) 1 klarinett

  • Ottar Berg (22.7.1914) 3 klarinett

  • Asmund Thoresen (31.8.1904) 2 fløyte

  • Gunnar Nilsen (13.3.1908) 1 klarinett

Motivations to join the music unit could have ranged from ideological motives to the pure need of avoiding unemployment, which was high among musicians at that time. Only in the cases of Edgar Aure and Jon Henrik Mortensen can one be sure about definite political motivations: On March 25, 1942, Aure (born March 19, 1918) applied for the position of Intendant and was listed as a member of NS since 1936, now serving as a Troppfører for Rikshirden.14 On May 12, 1942, Mortensen (born October 11, 1915) applied for the position of Stabsmusikken’s disponent, and was mentioned as a member of NS since March 21, 1941, as well as of Hirden since November 1941.15

The establishment of Stabsmusikken was quite costly. According to a budget plan from March 1942, considerable expenses were set in every detail, for example 500 kroner just for commercial advertisements about Stabsmusikken’s establishment. Personal expenditures were structured in a system of annual salaries with superannuation after three years of service, which added up to the maximum limit of income. The conductor was estimated to have annual costs of 9,000 kroner (superannuation of 900kr), musicians of the first voices with 7,000 kroner (superannuation of 450kr), all other musicians with 6,000 kroner (superannuation 400kr) and the Intendant with 6,000 kroner (superannuation 400kr). To get an idea of the sums that had to be provided for this new unit, including expenses for uniforms, travels, scores, pension funds, administrative spending and other expenditures, the budget for the season 1943/44 was estimated at 243,500 kroner, proportionately divided between Oslo Kommune, NRK and NS, with 81,166.67 kroner each.16

The formation of this new musikkorps was essential, since the previous Divisjonsmusikk had to be dissolved after the Wehrmacht had confiscated all of their instruments. The calculation of service times for the new Stabsmusikk, with thirty-eight hours a week, mirrors this mixture of military and civilian obligations: While the Norwegian Ministry of Propaganda could spend ten hours supporting meetings, propaganda marches, representational tasks and radio broadcasts, NRK was entitled to six hours for concerts and broadcasts.17 Besides representational tasks and radio broadcasts, Oslo municipality would use the remaining eight hours of active service (fourteen hours were reserved for collective rehearsals) for open-air concerts in public parks, which matched their efforts of 20,000 kroner annually to provide the capital with respectable green and handsome entertainment. All national newspapers, including Deutsche Zeitung in Norwegen, regularly noted with pride the numerous concerts of Hird’s music units which were supposedly to the delight of Oslo’s inhabitants. As a report from Hird’s music department to the propaganda ministry from May 7, 1943 notes, Stabsmusikken had practiced approximately 100 marches, 15 overtures, almost 25 waltzes, 28 potpourris and fantasies, as well as roughly 50 other pieces.18 Meanwhile, it had participated in forty different party events and in eleven programs for NRK, and given forty-two concerts in the public parks of Oslo. Further obligations took the unit on forty-seven travelling days to Kristiansand, Bø in the Telemark region, Halden, Fredrikstad, Sarpsborg, Borre, Balestand and Vik in the Sogn region, Notodden, Gjøvik, Hamar, Gausdal and Trondheim for open-air propaganda shows.19

II. Hird’s attempted takeover of former music units

Soon after National Socialism had been implemented in Norway, the new leaders tried to gain control over existing military and administrative structures, both for ideological and pragmatic reasons. Not only did they try to prove their strength and legitimacy, but at the same time – due to the lack of volunteers and instruments – they tried to save resources by maintaining existing entities. The first months, when Reichskommissar Terboven installed a Norwegian administrative council (Administrationsrådet) parallel to his German administration, a mixture of continuity and uncertainty prevailed. Some music units tried to perform concealed opposition, and gave public concerts with tellingly patriotic tunes that triggered Norwegians’ desire for independence. One example can be found in files from the 1st Division’s musikkorps in Halden and its leader Alf Mostad.20 A first attempt to gain clarity about the new circumstances was a report he sent to the Norwegian Army’s Civilian Administration on August 10, 1940. Being required to provide a statement on July 21, 1940 about whether he could still provide rehearsals and public concerts, he stated that his unit consisted of fifteen permanent officers (fastlønte offiserer) and three temporarily hired corporals. It was probably difficult for the military staff to balance their usual habit of following orders with withstanding the new illegitimate Norwegian public holders of power. These had to follow the decisions of the Wehrmacht under Nikolaus von Falkenhorst. One diplomatic way out was a tradition of civilian public concerts; these could not be misunderstood because Alf Mostad dedicated all income from them to the National Fund for the Wounded (krigsherjete). He contacted opera tenor Erling Krogh in Oslo, and asked for his support for an open-air concert on September 1, 1940 in Halden with pieces from Oscar Borg, Franz von Suppé, Johann Strauss, Edvard Grieg, M. A. Brewer, Juan Llossas, H. Kling, Alfred Paulsen, Ole Olsen, Christian Sinding, William Aston and Alf Mostad himself (see Illustration 4). Krogh agreed passionately, and even offered to reduce his usual honorarium by fifty percent.

Illustration 4:

Program for a concert of Alf Mostad with Divisjonsmusikken in Halden, scheduled for September 1, 1940.21

The overall political changes from Administrasjonsrådet to the official nomination of a Norwegian Statsrådet (State Council) on September 1, 1940 cast a cloud over the concert planning. A note from the Administrative Council and the Army’s Civilian Administration (dated August 31, 1940) explained that all Divisjonsmusikkorps should be pursued only on a preliminary basis, and that bureaucratic responsibility had been transferred to the new district administration. According to reviews that had been documented by Mostad and his staff, the press and the audience gathered appreciated the concert on September 2, 1940 enthusiastically. Certainly they understood the clandestine signs of Mostad’s choice for repertoire, while the critic for Smålenenes Amtstidene even named one specific piece:

Da operasanger Erling Krogh trådte fram ble han mottatt med stormende applaus og hans program var klokt oppsatt. Erling Krogh sang seg mer enn noensinde inn i folkets hjerter og da han begynte på Chr. Sindings: “Vi vil oss ett land” var det åndestille i parken og ikke en finger ble rørt. Da de siste toner av den vakre sang forstummet, brøt det løs en jubel så intens og ekte og så langvarig at sangeren måtte synge da capo. Etter siste nummer av Erling Krogh forlangte folk igjen ved sin applaus at han måtte synge mer og igjen: “Vi vil oss et land”.22

This small example of a popular tune in highly politicized times would justify a separate case study, which once more underlines the amount of necessary research: The phrase “Vi vil oss et land” was derived from a nationalistic poem by Per Sivle (1895), written when Norway’s struggle for national independence intensified; later it was used for many different purposes. It was praised in a communist party journal in 1925, and used as a headline for an agitative film made to support the Liberal Party in 1936; just four weeks after the concert, it served as the title for one of Norway’s first illegal newspapers.23 Its composer, Christian Sinding, a longtime member of the Preußische Akademie der Künste in Berlin, had sympathized with Adolf Hitler’s ideas since the early 1930s, and was one of the most prominent artists in Norway supporting National Socialism.

After their huge success, Mostad, his musicians (see Illustration 5) and Krogh began to plan further charity concerts in early October in Drammen, Skien, Larvik and Tønsberg within days. But now the tide had turned. An internal letter from the 1st Division’s office informed the musikkorps on September 23, 1940 that the Army’s Civilian Administration had forbidden any concerts for Army and Navy music units, itself following an order from the German Oberkommando der Wehrmacht. As sources tell, there was no choice but to cancel all plans, with numerous letters of incomprehension and regret, which strengthened the musicians’ conviction to refuse all the increasingly aggressive attempts to get them to join NS musikkorps over the following months.

Illustration 5:

The personnel of the 1st Division’s musikkorps, dated September 20, 1940.24

After Terboven had replaced the temporary Administrative Council with the Norwegian Statsråd on September 1, 1940 (to give the impression the German control of Norway was legitimized by Norwegian authorities), the Gleichschaltung of state-run institutions accelerated. By 1946, Hans Jørgen Hurum had published his famous book about Norway’s music life during the years of occupation, which he had worked on since 1943. According to him, the former Divisjonsmusikkorps was destined to be transformed into Hird’s music unit in December 1940. These plans encountered strong resistance, and motivated the 1st divisjonsmusikkorps to convene all related military music units for a secret gathering.25 In an undated report, the former member Hans Sommer described in more detail how intensely the pressure on the musicians became.26 The punishment for refractoriness was the order for the complete unit by Thorstein Andersen, head of Arbeidskontoret (the labor department) and Bj. Schau (the major of the musikkorps’s home town Halden) to attend heavy construction work either in Ørlandet or Kristiansand. On July 3, 1942, they began building barracks for the company John Olsson & Larsen. In an accident on September 14, 1942, Sommer lost four fingers and parts of his left hand, for which the National Insurance Company (Rikstrygdeverket) granted a disability grade of fifty percent.

Files from the former 2nd divisjonsmusikkorps give more examples how the turnover was attempted. On February 21, 1941, the Civilian Administration of the Army and Navy, located within the Ministry of the Interior, ordered Music Sergeant Guttorm Johns Larsen to attend the office of Rikshirden’s chief of staff. In case he would refuse to obey this order, this would mean his distinctive decision against future engagements in public service according to the Reichskommissar’s decree of October 4, 1940.27 Another letter to Larsen from March 14, 1941, reacting on his provided declaration, makes clear that the order had been ineffective, although, as the office takes care to explain explicitly, party membership of NS was never required. In return, the administration delayed for years the payment of outstanding wages, and finally in June 1943 it compensated only forty percent.28

The members of the 6th musikkorps in northern Norway refused to serve in the NS-controlled Norwegian Armed Forces, and chose to quit their positions after they had not received their salaries for a long time.29 They communicated their departure through their association Divisjonsmusikernes forening and did not have to face further consequences or punishment, despite being barred from positions in the civil service.

It seems likely that Jim Johannessen’s above-quoted plans from spring 1942 to establish seven musikkorps for Hird nationwide matched the previous structures. Unfortunately the files from Hird’s Stabsmusikken do not provide additional archival sources for evaluating how many of former music units were turned into Hird musikkorps. Some strong reactions against the forced takeover are documented, and sanctions followed quickly. One month after Norway’s liberation, Olav Gurvin, journalist, musician, future founder of the musicological institute at Oslo’s university, and member of the civilian resistance, published an essay with the telling title “Norsk musikkfront under krigen. Etter at alle åpne angrep var slått tilbake, grep nazistene til snikmetoder som også ble nedkjempet til slutt.”30 With a few words he summarized the case of Musikkløytnant Alfred Evensen, who paid with his life for his open resistance to the new rulers. At first Evensen denied commands to give concerts in Oslo’s Studenterlunden park, and when the order came in the fall of 1940 to convert Divisjonsmusikken into Hirdmusikken, Evensen led the refusal of thirty-eight of his forty men. He was soon arrested, and died of the causes from his imprisonment in a solitary cell. According to an orbituary, he had begun his career as a musical instructor for the 6th Division in Harstad, and was the leader of the town’s blooming music life.31 In 1932, he took the position of a conductor for the Divisjonsmusikken in Bergen, where he soon gained largepopularity and the respect of his musicians. After two years, he changed positions and began his service within the 2nd Division in Oslo, where again he won the sympathy of local music lovers very quickly with his popular park concerts. One of his most remarkable successes was the honor to lead the Norwegian military musikkorps at the third festival of military music in Paris in 1935. Significantly, the article could not mention any aspects of his incarceration or give any reason for his death.32

III. German Music Units in Occupied Norway

As in many other areas, the German attack in 1940 brought about severe changes in the orientation of military music in Norway. The strong personal bonds of Norwegian musicians to German teachers, colleagues and compositions survived the years after 1940 with a lasting admiration for classical repertoire from Bach to Beethoven, while the change in political climate drove a wedge between the two nations for decades and the Norwegian public during the years of occupation. The German military music units are a unique symbol of this paradox: Their sound, performance, look and repertoire left no doubt that this was the original that had fascinated generations of Norwegians before 1940 in musical terms. But their uniforms, their drill and the racist, inhuman Nordic ideology Hitler’s Germany represented by means of their presence was everything the majority of the Norwegians rejected and began to actively oppose.

With the divisions of Wehrmacht, Navy and Luftwaffe entering Norway in April 1940, all branches of German arms were present with their own music units. Besides musikkorps from the Wehrmacht (assigned to their propaganda group), the Luftwaffe and the Navy, one also established mixed ensembles, a string quartet, a choir of Nachrichtenhelferinnen des Heeres, and a mixed choir, while the chief in command for the Wehrmacht (Wehrmachtsbefehlshaber) maintained an extra string orchestra and a choir. Further musikkorps were run by the Police, the SS and the separate unit of Norwegian volunteers, the Germanske SS Norge.33 Primary duties comprised the support of official events of the Reichskommissariat’s high representatives, including the Grand Zapfenstreich, which the official newspapers were proud to report on, for example on August 10, 1942, when all music units from the Oslo region filled Bislet Stadium, with 350 musicians.

As long as it did not interfere with military priorities, certain exceptionally trustworthy members of the German music units were allowed to accept other offers to play.34 Without the right to earn extra salary, they supported other orchestras and smaller groups, mostly for radio broadcasts, such as the Rundfunksymphonieorchester, the Rundfunkorchester, the Rundfunkkapelle, the Orchester Wallenborn as well as the Kapelle Kosza and the Kapelle Wehner.35 Performing in uniform was obligatory, mentions of names had to be done – if unavoidable – only with military ranks and all manuscripts and courses for programs had to pass utmost censorship by the Wehrmachtpropagandagruppe.

Monthly reports listed the main programs, concerts and participants. From all of the five years of occupation, only the reports from the last phase seem to have survived in Oslo’s Riksarkivet in a special folder, in which a member of Georg Wilhelm Müller’s propaganda division, Dr. Habersbrunner, referred to the Wehrmacht’s propaganda branch.36 The group of especially skilled and trustworthy musicians must have been rather small and encompasses, for the seasons 1944–45, the following names:

  • Stabsmusikmeister Oswald Glied (Conductor)

  • Unteroffizier Albert Premcke (Soloist on Harmonika)

  • Unteroffizier von Krones (no instrument listed)

  • Obergefreiter Kaulicke (Violin)

  • Obergefreiter Kellert (Violin)

  • Obergefreiter Körnig (no instrument listed)

  • Obergefreiter Krejci (Violin)

  • Obergefreiter Noack (Viola)

  • Obergefreiter Trampler (2. Flute)

  • Obergefreiter Heinz Walther und Obergefreiter Georg Gatz (Piano-Duo, members of the Wehrmacht Musikkorps)

  • Hauptgefreiter Willi Frömelt (Violin)

  • Hauptgefreiter Müller (Violin)

  • Stabsgefreiter Bruno Graff (1. Horn)

  • Gefreiter Fährmann (Violin)

  • Gefreiter Marik (no instrument listed)

  • Gefreiter Karl Schumm (Violin)

  • Obermaat Günther Decker (2. Horn)

  • Obermaat Espenhain (3. Horn)

  • Obermaat Gromann (Violin)

  • Obermaat Reinhardt (Drums)

  • Obermaat Erich Walther (Double Bass)

  • Obermaat Georg Wanzke (Flute)

  • Obermaat Anton Windheim (Basoon)

  • Maat Dudda (4. Horn)

  • Maat Frind (Trombone)

  • Maat Martini (Viola)

  • Maat Ferdinand Nitsch (Posaune)

  • Maat Steikert (Oboe)

  • Feldwebel Buchholz (Double Bass)

  • Feldwebel Fritze (no instrument listed)

  • Feldwebel Peter Gerhards (Conductor of the Mixed Choir from the Befehlshaber der Wehrmacht in Norwegen)

  • Feldwebel Raue (no instrument listed)

  • Feldwebel Scherenberger (Cello)

  • Stabsfeldwebel Bartels (Conductor of the Large String Orchestra)

  • Stabsfeldwebel Wewior (no instrument listed)

If the participation in radio concerts might have been reserved for some exclusive specialists the public concerts in parks, the concerts for propaganda and charity events (such as the Winterhilfswerk) and the support of German musicians that toured Norway for Kraft durch Freude programs were a weekly routine for the different music units.37

One difficulty in evaluating the quality and success of these events retrospectively is the lack of objective sources, because according to the nature of propaganda, all reviews in official Norwegian and German newspapers offer a similar dgeree of exaggeration. But one file from the German propaganda department offers a rare look behind the scenes, and shows how unsuccessful a propagandistic charity event could become when the Norwegian audience responded with refusal. The occasion was a concert for the benefit of the Red Cross, scheduled for August 7, 1942 at Oslo’s Bislett Stadium.38 The concert was to concentrate 350 musicians from 6 different musikkorps (2 provided by the Army, 1 each by the Luftwaffe, Navy, Police and SS) for a one-of-a-kind event. It was planned as an evening concert, beginning with highlights from classical German and Norwegian composers, before the marching bands would enter the stadium intoning popular marches. For the grand finale, all units were ordered to celebrate the Grand Zapfenstreich. We do not know about the amount of free tickets that could have been given out, or what the sales at the entrance could have been. But despite all advertisements and propagandistic efforts, only 11 of 500 tickets for the price of 2 kroner were sold in advance.39

IV. Popular Songs in Military Settings – NS versus Milorg

For this part, the observational perspective has to be adjusted. On the one hand, one knows from reports and documentaries that soldiers were commanded to sing during marches and muster, and on the other hand that they liked to sing in their free time. But no official files could help us learn about their motivation, or the strength of their ideological belief. At least there remain the means by which they were supposed to be indoctrinated and entertained. Numerous songbooks from various institutions show the variety of tunes that were designed to appeal to fighters on the front, members of Arbeidstjenesten, Hird, the youth organization NSUF, Norwegian SS volunteers, members of NS and many others (see Illustration 6). In particular, the overlap of old traditions and invented rituals can be extracted from this repertoire, so that at least the propagandistic expenditure gives an idea how important singing was for subconscious indoctrination and open moral education.

Illustration 6:

Undated Songbooks, printed by Nasjonal Samling’s Rikstrykker, preserved in the archive of Hjemmefrontmuseet Oslo.

As explicitly as the compulsory labor service (Arbeidstjenesten) was invented for recruiting NS sympathizers, so openly doctrinary was its songbook. In the preface, Thorvald Lammers Jr., composer of many propaganda songs, left no doubt about the purpose of this compendium, which was divided in five: 1) Nasjonalsanger (de forskjellige nasjoners nasjonalsanger), 2) Fedrelandet (land, folk, historie), 3) Arbeidstjenesten (marsj- og leirsanger, ungdomssanger), 4) Religiøse sanger, 5) N. S. sanger.40 The selection of national anthems referred both to new times and lasting bonds of pan-Scandinavian fraternity (setting “Ja, vi elsker” and “Gud signe vårt dyre fedreland for Norway as well as “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles” and the “Horst Wessel-Lied” next to the national songs of Denmark, Finnland, Iceland and Sweden). In general, this songbook, printed only the lyrics without their melodies, and collected in its section for typical NS songs (without naming their authors), such as ”Norge, vårt land”; ”Rekker, på rekker”; ”Taktfast går vår marsj”; ”Kamerat, vi marsjerer”; ”Det drønner i gata”; ”Legionsangen (Budstikken gikk)”; ”Mariann (Den gang da vi pakket)”; ”Igjennom byens gater”; ”Det bryter et lys gjennom skyen”; ”På vikingtog”; ”Sorte kolonner”; ”Under solkorset går våre tropper”; ”NSUF i fylking går”; ”Kvinnehirdsangen”; ”Kvinnehirdens grønne tropp” and ”Heil og Sæl, du norske kvinne”. Many songbooks were rather similar, picking certain tunes out of a set of standards for their target group, such as the collection for the youth organization NSUF which preferred a repertoire that dealt with youngsters and acquainted them with the units that would follow in the NS hierarchy (“Ungdomsfylkingens marsj”; “Igjennom byens gater”; “Guttehirdmarsjen”; “A. T. sangen”; “Vi stevner til kamp”; “Jeg er en fattig hirdmann”; “Får vi hæljern under støvla” and “Rekker på rekker”).

The collection Det nye Norges Sangbok (printed in 1943 as an ideologically revised follow-up to the first version from August 1940) took greater care of musical details and presented each song with their melodies and several verses. Next to a preface from Anne Eline Christie Østring with Kaare Roar Westbye and an emphatic greeting from actress, speaker and theater director Cally Monrad41 Thorvald Lammers even explained the right way to sing a march. This book was also divided into five parts (Nasjonalsanger, Landet og heimen, Folkeviser, Kampsanger and Litt av hvert), and took care of ideological consistency. In contrast to other books, it included numerous tunes with the names of lyricists and composers in an academic fashion. There one can find songs such as “Germanias velduge tidebolk” from propagandistic hardliner Per Reidarson. Marked with the performance indication Maestoso, a chromatic melody and rhythmic accents against the ¾ beat mimic the archaic aura of Kåre Bjørgen’s solemn lyrics, which begin with the words: “Germanias velduge tidebolk, tonar sin inngang for alle folk. Odins og Alariks æter bryt opp frå Brandenburgs sletter til Dovres topp, frå Brandenburgs sletter til Dovres topp.”42

The chapter Kampsanger contains new songs mostly, including a march by Hird Kapellmeister Jim Johannessen “Altid vil vi elske Norge”, with lyrics by Trygve Vrenne, “Du unge Hird (words and music by Knut Vik) and the jubilee march “Fram i fylking by Per Reidarson again (to the words of O. L. Hoff), who pretended ambitious musical dignity with two parallel melodic lines and a fugal intersection. Further typical Kampsanger are “Fram til fronten (words and music by Anders Underdal) and Signe Lund’s “Heil og Sæl, du norske kvinne which is set in Bb major in the style of a simple folk song: “Heil og Sæl du norske kvinne, gamle, unge, kom vær med. Du skal hjelpe oss å vinne Norges frihet, verdens fred. Du har evner, du har krefter, du har vilje, du har mot. Si hva nøler du da efter, har du ei i landet rot.”43 Obvious topics had to be covered, too, such as “Her kommer de kjempende hirdfolk (words by I. B. Engelsen, music by Knut Vik), “Her kommer Vikingeskolen (words and music Kaare Roar Westbye), “Hirdkamerater by Willy Johansen, Per Reidarson’s anthem “Korsbanner, gamle flagg (set for four voices to the words of an anonymous K.G.), Boggen Ibsen’s “Kvinner av Hirden”, Willy Johansen’s anthem “NSUF i fylking går”, Irving Johansen’s “Under Solkorset går våre tropper”, as well as a hymn to Norway’s self-proclaimed Fører, “Heil og Sæl! Vi hilser deg”, again by Per Reidarson to Gerhard Severud’s lyrics.

A different way of singing in military contexts is connected to a topic we know much less about. Despite much general and political literature about resistance movements during the Second World War, much research about the Norwegian military resistance movement, and some inquiries about its civilian counterpart Sivorg, nearly all of the few writings about resistance music in Norway were completed in the early postwar years, including Hans Jørgen Hurum’s legendary monograph Musikken under okkupasjonen.44

In the case of propagandistic songbooks, the printed tunes enable conclusions about the intended ideological content, due to the nature of a dictatorship, trying to control all aspects of public outreach, and this explains the quantity and variety of affirmative NS songbooks. Although like NS Milorg considered itself a military undertaking, their motivation was the opposite concerning the use of tunes and songbooks. The primary motivation was a patriotic one, and dependent on the circumstances. The resistance fighters did not have time or resources to produce their own songbooks. If printing machines were available, and the risk of a broad distribution had to be taken, they reserved their energy for orders (the so-called “paroler”) and clandestine newspapers. Therefore it was very practical to use already available popular music books. The secondary motivation was of musical nature: Milorg was a community of like-minded patriots from different social backgrounds and professions, united in the will to fight Nazism and Norway’s occupation, but mostly it did not involve professional musicians. To them, music was not an important factor for achieving their military and political goals. In sharp contrast to their military opponents in the Wehrmacht, SS, Police and Hird, a musikkorps or other professional formation would not have made sense, simply because any public attention (from for example concerts or parades) would have been a major threat to the essential secrecy of their resistance work. What we can instead learn from songbooks that were more popular among resistance fighters than with other protagonists are insights into the attitude of the singers. It is easy to imagine that people who were living in deadly peril because of their resistance activity chose songbooks for distraction and entertainment. They simply picked songbooks because they felt the desire to sing together. For their alien NS counterparts, in the corresponding propagandistic songbooks one could not be so sure: One might presume a certain identification with propagandistic songbooks for volunteering Norwegian SS and Hird men. However, these NS propaganda songbooks were printed in advance and designed to manipulate. We therefore have no evidence about whether they had been picked by Norwegian soldiers freely, or whether they achieved their ideological goal or not.

The special methodological value of popular songbooks used by Milorg will be exemplifed here by district 14.2 in the outskirts of Ringerike. Thanks to Bjørn-Geirr Harssen, the author enjoyed the chance to visit a hut of approximately forty square meters, hidden in the woods, which was used by the local Milorg cell as headquarters in the years 1943–45.45 Under the supervision of Ringerike’s Folkemuseum, the hut has been preserved in its former shape, with its original interior. During the visit on July 27, 2017, a songbook was discovered on one of the bookshelves with a handwritten inscription dating it to the year 1944, which offers singular insights into the mentality and the everyday lives of the local freedom fighters. It is a copy of a songbook that Trondheim’s famous student union for engineers Smørekoppen had published in 1943 in its third edition. In its preface, Lars Prytz and O’Kee Stangebye explained that the first volume had been assembled two years earlier to answer the practical demand of engineering students. Meanwhile it had gained such popularity that it was decided that it should be accessible for everyone. Nevertheless the editors were very willing to stand against the new times’ difficulties (“å trosse tidens vanskeligheter”) and get their songbook out, which obviously must have passed censorship. In 170 pages, the volume offered lyrics to more than 200 songs and opened with 6 tunes of high importance: “Ja, vi elsker dette landet”; “Norrønafolket det vil fare”; “Jeg vil verge mitt land”; “Du slægt, hvis hjærte banker”; “Kunnskap skal styra rike og land” and “Å leva, det er å elska”. Subsequently, twelve segments with different topics mirror typical interests of students and the traditions they cherished. Besides tunes in the three Scandinavian languages there are numerous English, German, and some French songs included. To demonstrate a) how much the related student culture owed to old, long lasting connections to Germany and b) how strong this impression must have seemed in times of Norway’s military occupation, all songs of extraordinary relevance are mentioned here in the following listing of the twelve segments:

  1. Skadelig Rum

  2. Under dusken (including the standards “Gaudeamus igitur”, “O, alte Burschenherrlichkeit” and “Hilsningssang til de utenlandske gjester (exceptional with melody and lyrics equally in English, German and French)

  3. Trondhjems(senti)mentalitet (including “Vi har vår egen lille verden”, labeled to be sung to the melody of “Liebe der Matrosen” and “Hemninger rår” to be sung to the melody of “Kamerad, wir sind die Jugend”; this parody-technique of writing new lyrics to existing melodies was also practiced with English templates)

  4. Fladske, oh Fladske (including the German drinking songs “Im tiefen Keller sitz ich hier and “Trink, trink, Brüderlein trink”)

  5. Eros

  6. A la Carte

  7. Bellmann och Glunten

  8. Sing (including Goethe‘s “Heidenröslein” without recommendation of a certain melody; “Der Lindenbaum”; “Oh Tannenbaum”; “Kommt ein Vogel geflogen” and “Wiegenlied (Guten Abend, gut‘ Nacht)”

  9. Shanties

  10. Rundsanger

  11. Stumsanger

  12. Litt av hvert

Cultural artefacts of such a kind demonstrate how the strong the will to protect the Norwegian way of life dominated not only the military aspects of Milorg’s activities. They were an essential part of everyday life in leisure time as well as the lonely or desperate hours. It is well known how important music is for building and keeping up personal and collective identities. Obviously German student songs belonged as naturally to this set of Norwegian musical values as a chorale from Johann Sebastian Bach did in the religious realm, or Beethoven’s symphonies to domestic concert life. After centuries of cultural practice, these musical imports from Germany already had become an integral part of Norwegian habits, so that this cultural heritage now had to be defended against Nazi Germany’s aggression. What might sound like a paradox – to separate one’s own love for German cultural traditions from contemporary German politics – is easy to explain along the romantic idea of artistic autonomy which is especially strong in the field of music: under this concept, politics and music are considered to share hardly any connection, so that even the political mistakes of artists (for example, producing propagandistic works or collaborating with dictatorial regimes) could be outweighed by their artistic brilliance.46 Therefore it was possible for foreign musicians to perform German classical repertoire in protest against a contemporary German dictatorship, as Arturo Toscanini did when he conducted Wagner in New York’s Carnegie Hall with his NBC Symphony Orchestra in 1941. This practice was sometimes controversial but still explicable through the will to defend universal humanistic values against the dictatorial attempt to subordinate music under politics.

V. Changing Sides – Music in Grini and Falstad

Among the topics that demonstrate the controversial interdependencies between the spheres of music and politics most intensely, the concentration camp proves to be exceptional and complicated: On the one hand, a methodological equalization of Norwegian prisoners and their ensembles with the music units of the Wehrmacht, Hird and the like would encounter political and ethical difficulties. On the other hand, and despite all ideological differences, these spheres shared musical features that were rooted in the mutual tradition of civilian brass bands, which in Norway were called Janitsjarorkester. With such a systematic approach, one finds orientation within the international musicological literature, where the music of prisoners in concentration camps are well-described topics.47 The purposes and occasions for creating and performing music covered a wide range of very different people and functions: secret and public events, amateur and professional musicians, performances ordered to please guards and officials or to humiliate musicians and inmates, clandestine performances to entertain and solace comrades, questions of traditional repertoire (including mimicry strategies with hidden messages) and the compositions of new works designed for the special conditions in the camp.

Though prison camps in Norway are described for the years 1940–45 in international historical literature,48 information regarding the music life is limited to a handful pages in specialized memorial books, and a few detailed articles in newspapers and journals from the early postwar years.49 With materials recently discovered in the archives of the camps in Grini and Falstad as well as the National Archives in Oslo, this lack of knowledge and rememberance culture can be reduced significantly.50 Out in the western suburbs of Oslo, the Grini prison was set to be opened as a jail for women right before the beginning of Norway’s occupation, and was soon turned into a camp for political inmates of both sexes. Although the handbooks about Norwegian prisoners as well as the file cards and the original register books enlist several musicians and music teachers right from the beginning, reports about an organized music life do not cover the years before 1943, when Otto Nielsen (1909–1982) arrived. He had been a professional musicial comedian and songwriter since 1930, and became a postwar radio host for NRK. He was the author of several famous Grini tunes and inspired the musical atmosphere in the camp deeply,51 which took place mostly in secrecy in the prisoners’ barracks during evening hours and in the rare spare time during weekends.52

Organized forms of ensemble performances did not start before the winter of 1944–45. A year later, immediately after Norway’s liberation, the journal Norsk Musikerblad summarized the history of two ensembles in Grini – a string orchestra and a brass band – from facts collected from the leading protagonists.53 The authors were well aware of the sensitive nature of their subject, speaking of art and entertainment in contrast to the pain, fear, torture and humiliation the concentration camp was infamous for: “Det kann virke som blasfemi når en vil skrive om musikken på Grini, men den var et faktum. I all den elendighet og terrorisme som rådet der hadde de – ihvertfall de siste månedene – to orkestre.”54

The first ensemble was a string orchestra, founded by Gunnar Knudsen from Stavanger, who came to Grini in the fall of 1944.55 Together with his long-term colleague Harald Kværne (a member of the freemason’s orchestra and in Handelsstanden’s orchestra), he intended to form a string quartet for the Christmas season. Although the camp leader refused this idea at first, one day before Christmas he commanded Knudsen and Kværne to establish a trio instantly to play for himself and his guests from the Sicherheitsdienst (the secret service of the SS) at a christmas celebration; in case they would not submit to his will, he threatened to withdraw his permission for an inmates’ festivity. To help them with their lack of instruments, he confiscated some from other prisoners and forced the musicians to pay themselves for scores that they were allowed to order from Oslo. Wearing civilian clothes takenfrom the camp’s depot and other inmates, as well as black ties from the commander, but without any necessary preparations, they performed their first concert in the commander’s apartment for a pack of cigarettes. During the next days, Grini saw a theater show, a cabaret program and several concerts.

Two weeks later, in the middle of January 1945, an order was spread via the camp loudspeakers to found a string orchestra and a military brass band (Janitsjarkorps). Many volunteers responded immediately, and were allowed to write home and ask for instruments. Notes were provided by Handelsstand’s orchestra, by a Mrs Fagelund, the freemason’s orchestra, and the Norwegian musicians’ league. Rehearsals started soon under most primitive conditions, at first in the carpenter’s workshop, then in a barrack. The subsequent concerts were held in each barrack separately, for average audiences of 300 people. At Easter time, the string orchestra gave 13 concerts for approximately 3,500 listeners. Rehearsals were difficult, due to long and exhausting working days, and could not start before eight p.m., several times interrupted by pack drill. The orchestra had a size of sixteen to twenty-four men, with seven first and six second violins, two violas, four violoncelli, one double bass and a piano, operated by Bergh Olsen, the chairman of Bergen’s philharmonic society Harmonien. According to scores that are preserved by the Grini museum, the repertoire covered popular symphonic tunes, besides pieces from Edvard Grieg that were arranged for the special size of the orchestra. Its final concerts were held in Oslo’s university auditorium soon after the war, with enthusiastic public response.

The Janitsjarkorps started a little later, in early 1945. It had direct connections to the military through its co-founder and conductor Lorang Andresen, a board member of Oslo’s musicians’ league, oboist and member of the military resistance Milorg. Andresen was imprisoned in the fall of 1944 and sent to Grini in January 1945. On the day of his arrival, he got to know Rolf Letting Olsen, who was a long-term member of the famous left-wing Kampen Janitsjarkorkester and a Grini prisoner since November 9, 1943.56 Together with at least seven friends from his former brass orchestra, Olsen had tried unsuccessfully to establish a cabaret band and a Janitsjarkorps for Christmas events. Nevertheless, Andresen gathered a group of thirty like-minded musicians, who wrote home for instruments and scores, while Andresen was even allowed to leave the camp to collect necessary scores.57 Additional material was provided clandestinely by Oslo’s Musikerforening, Carl M. Iversen and William Farre. Soon they started practicing, and gave their first open-air concert a month later in the central assembly place to the huge joy of their comrades. The biggest success was soon to come when the band had the honor of accompanying the official liberation celebrations in Grini and headed the march of Grini’s prisoners on Oslo’s Karl Johan on May 11, 1945.58 Pride and memorial work seems to have been a huge part of the Janitsjarkorps’s legacy, and for all musicians that had been incarcerated in Grini. One example is a “memorial diploma” (Erindringsdiplom for Deltagelse i Grini Janitsjarorkester) that could be found in the Grini Museum for Reidar Nordvald (prisoner number 9,986), signed by Lorang Andersen and Rolf Letting Olsen. Another example is a recording of Otto Nielsen’s Grinimarsjen that was made for the Musica Company (Telefunken, A-8430) on September 17, 1945 by the Grinikvartetten, probably with Nielsen performing himself.

Beneath the institutional and biographical surface of both ensembles, a few details give insight into how subversively their work was carried out, and how important this might have been for the inmates’ self-esteem. Several music manuscripts which were discovered in the Grini Museum bear titles that either were kept a secret or at least were not announced if these pieces were performed. It might be possible that the handwritten piano parts for the Norwegian Kongesangen, called “Gud sign vår Konge god”, could have been written for the occasion of Grini’s liberation. As with many other anthems in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Kongesangen is based on the melody of the UK national anthem. As the piano parts in Grini show no lyrics but only bear the Norwegian title, and as no indication was given if the anthem was to be sung or only performed as an instrumental, it could also be understood as a hidden greeting towards the UK to the exiled King Håkon VII who was an important symbol for Norway’s proud resistance against Nazi Germany. According to Norges Fangeleksikon, several British inmates were imprisoned in Grini, which could support such an interpretation. The same applies to a tune called “Dansk Sabotør Sangen”, which is conserved with different instrumental voices and a setting for piano without lyrics. If the melody was familiar to the prisoners, a performance must have had a huge symbolic impact, but this would be true even if only the musicians had known about the ironic, barefaced nature of such a performance in the presence of the German occupation forces; it must have been a great subversive joy to them.

The last of these examples from Grini is extra-special and probably was an inside joke among the musicians (see Illustration 7): On a sheet for Otto Nielsen’s Grini-marsj, arranged for Grini’s string orchestra by Kjell Ruud, one finds a short note on the bottom of the page. In ink, the writer of this sheet gave a warning to the violinists and other authorized readers, which speaks for itself: “Obs! Dette er skrevet med tysk penn! Bruk allierte varer!!”.59

Though the knowledge about the music life in Grini is limited, it is still rather comprehensive compared to other camps in Norway. Recently discovered material from camp Falstad (a so-called Strafgefangenenlager, located 70 km north of Trondheim) helps us to learn about the importance of music under even extremer conditions, when military and civilian musical tasks merged. In two long interviews from 1997, stored in Falstadsenteret’s archive,60 Auschwitz survivor Julius Paltiel described how difficult it was for him and the other thirty to forty Jewish Falstad prisoners to be detained in their Norwegian homeland: Here they were a small and visible minority among a large group of politically persecuted countrymen and prisoners with other nationalities, while later in Auschwitz they became a part of a unimaginably large crowd of other Jewish inmates. The often very young German SS guards carried out the racial hierarchy of humiliation regularly, and treated the Jewish inmates automatically as prime targets blamed for transgressions. Accordingly, they had to wait until all other prisoners had finished their meals before they were allowed to enter the public hall. There they never had a chance to finish eating, but instead had to hurry to line up with the other prisoners for muster.

Illustration 7:

Undated sheet from Kjell Ruud’s arrangement of Otto Nielsen’s Grini-marsj, preserved at Grini museet.

To specify this atmosphere of pain and brutality, Paltiel told a story where music was the explicit cause for severe punishment, triggered by the singing of the Jewish Kantor Josef Grabowski.61 Born in Posen on May 11, 1911, Grabowski later had moved to Gleiwitz in Poland, where he was arrested during the events of 9 November 1938, when synagogues were burnt down and secular Jewish facilities were attacked all over Germany in the Reichskristallnacht. After three weeks of imprisonment in KZ Buchenwald, Grabowski left for Norway in early 1939, where he was accepted as an immigrant, but not approved as a political refugee. He settled in Trondheim, where the small Jewish community offered him the position of cantor. He soon became an important person both for local music life and as the founder of a choir to support the liturgical ceremonies. His personal situation deteriorated when his proposal to extend his residence permit was turned down by the new Norwegian NS authorities on January 25, 1941. After the Wannsee conference in January 1942 had decided upon the total extermination of all Jews, the Reichskommissariat Norwegen began systematically to persecute and incarcerate all Jewish inhabitants of Norway, while Trondheim’s synagogue had already been commandeered in spring 1941. Grabowski was sent to Falstad on October 9, 1942, and stayed there for six weeks. On November 25, 1942, he was sent abroad and died in Auschwitz-Birkenau in consequence of hard compulsory labor on March 3, 1943.

As historical research has discovered, forced singing (both for the guards’ pleasure and the prisoners’ indignity) was a common procedure in concentration camps. When the guards learned that Grabowski could sing in German, he was ordered to perform in public. On a cold and clear November night in 1942, he stood in front of all the prisoners and watchmen that had gathered outside in the inner court of the square main building. When he raised his beautiful voice for about fifteen minutes, an impressive silence spread and united all listeners to become one audience, so that (according to Paltiel) everybody felt human for just this very moment. After Grabowski had ended, the beauty of the moment was broken by a howling watchdog, and the guards blamed the Jewish prisoners, as they usually would. Immediately, the Jewish prisoners only were told to stand still, take the last leaves off from a tree nearby, and pile them up, all without using their hands. Then they had to lay down and clear the ground by taking one leaf at a time between their lips from this pile, and creep for a distance of seventy or eighty meters to pile them up again in a different place, still without using their hands.

Similar to other concentration camps, forced singing was a regular phenomenon in Falstad, with little space for individuality. Nevertheless there are a few counterexamples to this rule. Former inmate Arnold Aures notated the lyrics to a Falstadmarsjen which was written by some prisoners who could not stand singing German tunes any longer while they had to walk in a circle on the mustering ground.62 Therefore they composed their own march and got the permission to sing it instead of German songs.

Besides such notes about certain incidents, a general lack of primary sources has to be considered for Falstad camp so far. One only knows for example through a few photographs that at least one of the camp commanders ran an elite musikkorps of prisoners, who were probably forced to play for his entertainment and at public events.63 Former inmate Per Hjort Albertsen further stated in an interview the existence of a choir, which at first was conducted by a man named Petersen (brother to opera singer Egil Norsjø), who was succeeded by himself after Petersen’s undated transfer to a different camp.64 Even more miraculous is a drawing by Thorleiv Sellæg, preserved in Falstad’s archive, entitled Faldstad-Jazz. It shows three musicians with guitar, violin and violoncello.65 The only sources that have been conserved in large numbers are songs, which by the nature of this small and functional musical form are easy to perform, document, distribute, hide if nessary, and remember.66

Illustration 8:

Program for the christmas celebration in Falstad 1944, Falstadsenteret, Sig. F‑00265-003-001.

Rare exceptions of preserved historical material are connected to situations that had to be approved by the official bureaucracy, including administrative offices in concentration camps. Such an event in Falstad was the Christmas celebration in 1944 uniting the spheres of commanded and voluntary performance, demonstrating once more the variety of music under military conditions. The official program was written in German (probably by a Norwegian according to some slight and telling grammatical mistakes, see Illustration 8). It listed the order of events on seven pages in every detail, including decoration, the marching in and out of the prisoners in two separate groups (one in the afternoon and one in the evening), concerts by a string quartet and a horn orchestra, and the musicians’ names: Dagfinn Flem, Hans Mittet, Kåre Pettersen and Jon Lund-Hansen forming the string quartet, and Knut Arnesen, Erlin Larsen, Kaare Storaas, Ole Devik, Jacob Bakke, Adolf Barkved and Aasmund Knotten forming a double quartet of male voices.

Concluding these remarks of music in the times of Germany’s military occupation of Norway it is the dialectical specifics of music – as an art form and at the same time as a part of our daily lives – that brings together spheres of reality that usually would not be compared: perpetrators and victims, professional brass units and amateur singing, propagandistic indoctrination and musical mourning, tightening communities or segregating groups, representing legal institutions or glorifying clandestine partisan groups, singing marching tunes by order or joining in with a sentimental student song, humiliating or entertaining listeners. As contradictory or enigmatic, this enumeration might look like it simply happened to be that music was an integral part of all social and military activities in the years 1940 to 1945, either by will, fate, order, strategic logic or natural demand.


Aftenposten, September 5, 1942 Norsk Folkemusikerforbund

Willy Brandt, Norwegens Freiheitskampf 1940–1945, Hamburg 1948

Gunnar Bratlie, “Det har vi”. Griniskisser, Oslo 1980

Bjarte Bruland, Holocaust i Norge. Registrering, Deportasjon, Tilintetgjørelse, Oslo 2017

Michael Custodis and Friedrich Geiger, Netzwerke der Entnazifizierung. Kontinuitäten im deutschen Musikleben am Beispiel von Werner Egk, Hilde und Heinrich Strobel, Münster 2013; chapter Musik und Entnazifizierung

Michael Custodis and Arnulf Mattes, Zur Kategorie des “Nordischen” in der norwegischen Musikgeschichte 1930–45, in: Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 73 (2016), nr. 3, p. 166–184

Hans Fredrik Dahl, Vidkun Quisling. En fører blir til, Oslo (3. edit.) 1991

Deutsche Zeitung in Norwegen, Februar 11, 1943 Nr. 35 Meldungen: Hird-Kulturabend mit Kapellmeister Jim Johannessen

Guido Fackler, Lied und Gesang im KZ, in: Lied und populäre Kultur 46 (2001), p. 1141–198

Sophie Fetthauer, Musik im DP-Camp Bergen-Belsen und ihre Rolle bei der Identitätsfindung der jüdischen Displaced Persons, in: Musikwelten – Lebenswelten. Jüdische Identitätssuche in der deutschen Musikkultur, edit. by Beatrix Borchard, Heidy Zimmermann, Köln, Weimar, Wien 2009, p. 365–379

Dikt og sanger fra fengsler, tukthus og konsentrasjonsleire, edit. by Foreningen av politiske fanger 1940–1945, Oslo 1997

Friedrich Geiger, Deutsche Musik und deutsche Gewalt: Zweiter Weltkrieg und Holocaust, in: Geschichte der Musik im 20. Jahrhundert, vol. 2 1925–1945, edit. by Albrecht Riethmüller, Laaber 2006, p. 243–68

Shirli Gilbert, Songs Confront the past. Music in KZ Sachsenhausen 1936–1945, in: Contemporary European History 13 (2004), nr. 3 August, p. 281–304

Tore Gjelsvik, Hjemmefronten. Den sivile motstand under okkupasjonen 1940–1945, Oslo 1977 (2nd edit.)

Gerd Stray Gordon, The Norwegian Resistance During the German Occupation 1940–1945: Repression, Terror, and Resistance: The West Country of Norway, University of Pittsburgh, Ph.D. 1978

Olav Gurvin, Norsk musikkfront under krigen, in: Aftenposten June 16, 1945 and Kulturfronten Holdt I Norge, in: Dagbladet May 18, 1945

Bjørn Geirr Harsson, Med Milorg D 14.2 på skauen, 1944–45: Ringerike, Hadeland og Hallingdal, Hønefoss 1995

Bjørn Geirr Harsson og Per Christian Hurum, De kom om natten. Fallskjermslipp til Milorg D 14.2 I 1942–1945, Hønefoss 2004

Harald Herresthal, Min mor valgte meg. Et krigsbarns familiehistorie, Oslo 2017

Hans Jørgen Hurum, Musikken under okkupasjonen, Oslo 1946

Eckhard John, Musik und Konzentrationslager. Eine Annäherung, in: Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 48 (1991), p. 1–36

Ragnvald Jørgensen, Med blyant på Grini. De siste 8 måneder, Bergen 1946

Sverre Kjeldstadli, Hjemmestyrkene. Hovedtrekk av den militære motstanden under okkupasjonen, Oslo 1959

Gabriele Knapp, „Befohlene Musik“. Musik und Musikmíßbrauch im Frauenlager von Auschwitz-Birkenau, in: Acta Musicologica 68 (1996), 2nd vol., p. 149–166

Nina Drolsum Kroglund, Hitlers norske hjelpere, Oslo 2010

Reimund Kvideland, Singen als Widerstand in Norwegen während des Zweiten Weltkriegs, in: Musikalische Volkskultur und die politische Macht, edit. by Günther Noll, Essen 1994, S. 369–381

August Lange and Johan Schreiber (edit.), Griniboken, Oslo 1946

Grete Letting and Terje Knudsen, Frau Kampen til New Orleans. Kampen Janitsjarorkester gjennom 75 år, Oslo 2004

Erik Lørdahl, Polizeihäftlingslager Grini 1941–1945 and the Prisoner Mail, Tårnåsen 2004

Trond Risto Nielssen and Jon Reitan, Falstad. Nazileir og landssvikfengsel, Trondheim 2008

Kristian Ottosen, Arbeits- und Konzentrationslager in Norwegen 1940–1945, in: Neutralität und totalitäre Aggression. Nordeuropa und die Großmächte im Zweiten Weltkrieg, edit. by Robert Bohn, Jürgen Elvert, Hain Rebas and Michael Salewski, Stuttgart 1991, pp. 355–368

Kristian Ottosen (ed.), Nordmenn i fangenskap 1940–1945, Oslo 1995

Niels K. Persen, Militærmusikken i Norge, in: Norske Musikkorps, vol. 2, ed. by Eddie A. Ingskog, Oslo 1990

Dirk Riedel, chapter Norwegen, in: Der Ort des Terrors. Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager, vol. 9, edit. by Wolfgang Benz and Barbara Distel, Munich 2009, p. 430–448

Riksarkivet (ed.), Nasjonal Samling. Møteprotokoll 1934–1945, Oslo 2011

Jon Reitan, Strafgefangenenlager Falstad 1941–45, in: Falstad. Nazileir og landssvikfengsel, edit. by Jon Reitan and Trond Risto Nilssen, Trondheim 2008, pp. 11–105

Grini, edit. by Alf Rønning, Leif Blichfeldt and Bjarne Thorud, Oslo 1946

Marianne Neerland Soleim and Ingeborg Hjorth, Sin egen lykkes smed. Falstad skolehjem 1895–1945, Ekne 1998

Sigurd Sørlie, Solkors eller Hakekors. Nordmenn i Waffen-SS 1941–1945, Oslo 2015

Eirik Veum, Nådeløse Nordmenn. Hirden 1933–1945, Oslo 2013

Per Vollestad, Christian Sinding, Oslo 2005

Nikolaus Wachsmann, Die Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager, München 2015

Jan Helge Østlund, Krigen på Ringerike. Bind II Okkupasjon, motstand og frigjøring, Hønefoss 1997, chapter Et blodig år and Det går mot fred!

Førerbladet. Praktisk og teoretisk tidsskrift for N.S. tillidsmenn. Utgift av N.S. Presse og Propaganda. Nr. 3, Oslo Januar 1934, 2. årg.

Musikkløytnant Alfred Evensen, in: Norsk Musikerblad 30 (1942), no. 5–6, May–June

Musikken på Grini, in: Norsk Musikerblad 33 (1945), Nr. 5–7 Mai–Juli, p. 5–7

Sangbok for Arbeidstjenesten, I Kommisjon hos Gunnar Stenersens Forlag, Oslo 1941

1Sincere thanks for generous research support to Niels Persen (Forsvarsmuseet Oslo), Ivar Kraglund and Frode Færøy (Hjemmefrontmuseet Oslo), Bodil Wold Johnsen, Cecilie Øien, Kari Amundsen and Camilla Hedvig Maartmann (Grini Museet) and Arne Langås (Falstadsenteret).
2Nina Drolsum Kroglund, Hitlers norske hjelpere, Oslo 2010, p. 171.
3Willy Brandt, Norwegens Freiheitskampf 1940–1945, Hamburg 1948, chapter Volksfront gegen Quisling; Sverre Kjeldstadli, Hjemmestyrkene. Hovedtrekk av den militære motstanden under okkupasjonen, Oslo 1959, p. 290–308; Tore Gjelsvik, Hjemmefronten. Den sivile motstand under okkupasjonen 1940–1945, Oslo 1977 (2nd edit.), p. 104–112, 145–49; Gerd Stray Gordon, The Norwegian Resistance During the German Occupation 1940–1945: Repression, Terror, and Resistance: The West Country of Norway, University of Pittsburgh, Ph.D. 1978, p. 53–55; Hans Fredrik Dahl, Vidkun Quisling. En fører blir til, Oslo (3. edit.) 1991, p. 434, Kristian Ottosen (ed.), Nordmenn i fangenskap 1940–1945, Oslo 1995, p. 25–27; Sigurd Sørlie, Solkors eller Hakekors. Nordmenn i Waffen-SS 1941–1945, Oslo 2015, chapter 2 Nasjonal Samling og de frivillige.
4See for example related pictures at digitalmuseum.no.
5 https://digitaltmuseum.no/021015797028/fra-nasjonals-samlings-riksmote-pa-stiklestad-i-1934-marsjen-fra-verdal (December 12, 2017).
6 Førerbladet. Praktisk og teoretisk tidsskrift for N.S. tillidsmenn. Utgitt av N.S. Presse og Propaganda. Nr. 3, Oslo Januar 1934, 2. årg. p. 7. In: Riskarkivet Oslo, Sig. RA-PA-1193-F-FC-L0001-0008 NS-Presse- og Propagandaavdeling. See additionally: Riksarkivet (ed.), Nasjonal Samling. Møteprotokoll 1934–1945, Oslo 2011, p. 27 and 108.
7N.S. Propaganda-Meddelelser, 23 March 1934, Nr. 2, p. 1–2. In: Riskarkivet Oslo, Sig. RA-PA-1193-F-FC-L0001-0008 NS-Presse- og Propagandaavdeling.
8Eirik Veum, Nådeløse Nordmenn. Hirden 1933–1945, Oslo 2013, p. 206.
9Article in Aftenposten, September 5, 1942 about the Norsk Folkemusikerforbund: “Landslederen for hirdsmusikker, kapellmester Jim Johannessen er for tiden på gjennomreise i Skien og Skiensfjordens Presse har nyttet høve til en samtale med ham. [...] I dag har vi i Norge 38 forskjellige musikkorps bestående av hirdfolk. Disse får en solid musikalsk utdannelse. [...] Det musikalske liv i Norge vil dermed være sikret en god framtid.” Deutsche Zeitung in Norwegen, Februar 11, 1943 Nr. 35 Meldungen: Hird-Kulturabend mit Kapellmeister Jim Johannessen: “Der Hird besitzt seine eigene Musikabteilung und Musikkorps im ganzen Lande, ausserdem eine Kulturabteilung zur Förderung der Volksmusik und eine Abteilung für Maler und Baukunst. “See for the context of his aggressive careerism and his rivalry with the official musical state advisers Geirr Tveitt and David Monrad Johansen: Michael Custodis and Arnulf Mattes, Zur Kategorie des Nordischen” in der norwegischen Musikgeschichte 1930–45, in: Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 73 (2016), nr. 3, p. 173–4.
10 https://digitaltmuseum.no/021015789130/fra-nasjonal-samlings-stevne-pa-stiklestad-hirden-sta-oppmasjert-med-flag (December 21, 2017).
11Riskarkivet Oslo, Sig. RA-S-6010-D-Da-Dab-L0007-0001 Stabsmusikken.
12Ibid., Undated draft of Jim Johannessen, presumably February or March 1942.
13 https://digitaltmuseum.no/021016132803/hirdens-musikkkorps-marsjerer-i-levanger-sentrum?aq=text%3A%22musikk%22%2C%22okkupasjon%22&i=3 (December 21, 2017).
14See his letter to Jim Johannessen, dated March 25, 1942, in: Riksarkivet Oslo, Sig. RA-S-6010-D-Da-Dab-L0007-0001 Stabsmusikken.
15See his letter to Jim Johannessen, dated May 12, 1942, ibid.
16Calculation of Økonomikontoret by R. Pauss Pausett in Fuglesang‘s administration, dated August 27, 1943, Riskarkivet Oslo, Sig. RA-S-6010-E-Eb-L0007.
17Quoted from an early draft from Jim Johannessen to the Ministry of Culture and Enlightenment, dated October 8, 1941, RA-S-6010-D-Da-Dab-L0007-0001. Later listings show similar numbers but differentiate between thirty-two hours for the winter season (September 1 to May 31) and thirty-eight hours the summer season (June 1 to August 31).
18Report from Jim Johannessen to the Ministry of Culture and Enlightenment, May 7, 1943, ibid.
19Letter of Thorvald Thronsen and Jim Johannessen for Hird’s music department to Kultur- og folkeoppysningsdepartementet, May 7, 1943, ibid.
20Statsarkivet Oslo, SAO-A-11306-L-L0001; Niels K. Persen, Militærmusikken I Norge, in: Norske Musikkorps, vol. 2, ed. by Eddie A. Ingskog, Oslo 1990, p. 59.
21Statsarkivet Oslo, Sig. SAO-A-11306-L-L0001.
22Quoted after a collection of transcribed reviews, in: ibid.
23Per Vollestad, Christian Sinding, Oslo 2005, p. 233.
24Statsarkivet Oslo, Sig. SAO-A-11306-L-L0001. On October 11, 1940, Mostad sent a similar list to the district office.
25Hans Jørgen Hurum, Musikken under okkupasjonen, Oslo 1946, p. 29.
26The mentioning of his job in a saw mill narrows the origin of this rapport to the period of summer 1942. Statsarkivet Oslo, Sig. SAO-A-11306-L-L0001.
28Letter from E. Hunnes, Innenriksdepartementet, Sivilforvaltningen for hær og marine, to G. Johns Larsen on June 15, 1943, in. Statsarkivet Oslo, Sig. SAO-A-11306-L-L0001.
29The files in Oslo’s Riksarkivet do not specify this span, RA-RAFA-3494-D-Da-L0008 6. Musikkorps Nord-Norge under okkupasjonstiden.
30Olav Gurvin, Norsk musikkfront under krigen, in: Aftenposten June 16, 1945. See also his radio talk Musikkforholdene i okkupasjonstiden, broadcasted on NRK on May 21, 1945 and the article Kulturfronten Holdt I Norge, in: Dagbladet May 18, 1945.
31Article (without author) Musikkløytnant Alfred Evensen, in: Norsk Musikerblad 30 (1942), no. 5–6, May–June, p. 8.
32Olav Gurvin, Norsk musikkfront under krigen. Etter at alle åpne angrep var slått tilbake, grep nazistene til snikmetoder som også ble nedkjempet til slutt, 16 June 1945, found in Hans Jacob Ustvedt’s papers: Riksarkivet Oslo, Sig. RA-PA-1248-E-Ee-L0031, folder Krigen – kultur- og musikkliv 1940–42.
33Riksarkivet Oslo, Sig. RA-PA-1193-F-Fc-L0001-0007 NS Rikspropagandaavdeling.
34Riksarkivet Oslo, Sig. RA_RAFA-2174-E-Ee-Eea-L0020-0001 Musikkorps, Folder Monatsberichte für Dr. Habersbrunner 1944–45.
35Harald Herresthal, Min mor valgte meg. Et krigsbarns familiehistorie, Oslo 2017, p. 239.
36See the regular reports from Dr. Habersbrunner to Leutnant Vielhaber, for example on November 5, 1944, Riksarkivet Oslo, Sig. RA-RAFA-2174-E-Ee-Eea-L0020-0001 Musikkorps, Folder Monatsberichte für Dr. Habersbrunner 1944–45.
37See numerous notes and articles in newspapers and journals such as Fritt Folk and Deutsche Zeitung in Norwegen.
38Riksarkivet Oslo, Sig. RA-RAFA-2174-E-Ed-L0103, folder Konzert der Einheiten der Wehrmacht, SS, Polizei. Bislett-Stadion, 7. August 1942 zu Gunsten des Roten Kreuzes.
39Billing dated on the day of the concert, August 7, 1942, ibid.
40 Sangbok for Arbeidstjenesten, I Kommisjon hos Gunnar Stenersens Forlag, Oslo 1941. "Godkjennes til bruk i Arbeidstjenesten, Departementet for Arbeidstjenesten og Idrett, Oslo 28. Mai 1941. Axel Stang.” The titles in translation: 1) National anthems (the different nation’s national anthems), 2) fatherland (country, people, history), 3) labor service (marching and camp songs, youth songs), 4) religions songs, 5) NS songs.
41Cally Monrad was deeply involed in numerous propaganda events during the years 1940–45. See for a biographical overview Vidar Vanberg’s article in Norsk biografisk leksikon, https://nbl.snl.no/Cally_Monrad. (December 21, 2017).
42“Germania’s mighty epoch sounds its entrance to all the people. Odin and Alarik's tribes from Brandenburg's plains to Dovre’s peaks.”
43“Heil og S.l, you Norwegian woman, old, young, come and join. You shall help us to win Norway’s freedom, the world’s peace. You have got talents, you have got power, you have got will, you have got courage. Should you hesitate, you will no longer stand on the nation’s soil.”
44Per Vollestad revives songs from the resistance movement’s legacy. The only portray of music in Norway’s everyday life as means of opposition was deliverey by Reimund Kvideland, Singen als Widerstand in Norwegen während des Zweiten Weltkriegs, in: Musikalische Volkskultur und die politische Macht, hg. von Günther Noll, Essen 1994, S. 369–381. As part of the research project The German Dominance of Music in Norway 1930–45, located at University of Münster, Michael Custodis currently is working on a monography Music and Resistance. Cultural Defence against the German Occupation of Norway, 1940–45.
45Bjørn Geirr Harsson, Med Milorg D 14.2 på skauen, 1944–45: Ringerike, Hadeland og Hallingdal, Hønefoss 1995; Jan Helge Østlund, Krigen på Ringerike. Bind II Okkupasjon, motstand og frigjøring, Hønefoss 1997, chapter Et blodig år and Det går mot fred!; Bjørn Geirr Harsson og Per Christian Hurum, De kom om natten. Fallskjermslipp til Milorg D 14.2 I 1942–1945, Hønefoss 2004.
46See for further details the introductory chapter Musik und Entnazifizierung, in: Michael Custodis and Friedrich Geiger, Netzwerke der Entnazifizierung. Kontinuitäten im deutschen Musikleben am Beispiel von Werner Egk, Hilde und Heinrich Strobel, Münster 2013.
47Eckhard John, Musik und Konzentrationslager. Eine Annäherung, in: Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 48 (1991), p. 1–36; Gabriele Knapp, „Befohlene Musik“. Musik und Musikmíßbrauch im Frauenlager von Auschwitz-Birkenau, in: Acta Musicologica 68 (1996), 2nd vol., p. 149–166; Shirli Gilbert, Songs Confront the past. Music in KZ Sachsenhausen 1936–1945, in: Contemporary European History 13 (2004), nr. 3 August, p. 281–304; Friedrich Geiger, Deutsche Musik und deutsche Gewalt: Zweiter Weltkrieg und Holocaust, in: Geschichte der Musik im 20. Jahrhundert, vol. 2 1925–1945, edit. by Albrecht Riethmüller, Laaber 2006, p. 243–68; Sophie Fetthauer, Musik im DP-Camp Bergen-Belsen und ihre Rolle bei der Identitätsfindung der jüdischen Displaced Persons, in: Musikwelten – Lebenswelten. Jüdische Identitätssuche in der deutschen Musikkultur, edit. by Beatrix Borchard, Heidy Zimmermann, Köln, Weimar, Wien 2009, p. 365–379; Guido Fackler, Lied und Gesang im KZ, in: Lied und populäre Kultur 46 (2001), p. 1141–198.
48For a general overview see the latest, very profound study by Nikolaus Wachsmann, Die Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager, München 2015; additionally see Kristian Ottosen, Arbeits- und Konzentrationslager in Norwegen 1940–1945, in: Neutralität und totalitäre Aggression. Nordeuropa und die Großmächte im Zweiten Weltkrieg, edit. by Robert Bohn, Jürgen Elvert, Hain Rebas and Michael Salewski, Stuttgart 1991, pp. 355–368; Erik Lørdahl, Polizeihäftlingslager Grini 1941–1945 and the Prisoner Mail, Tårnåsen 2004; Jon Reitan, Strafgefangenenlager Falstad 1941–45, in: Falstad. Nazileir og landssvikfengsel, edit. by Jon Reitan and Trond Risto Nilssen, Trondheim 2008, pp. 11–105; Dirk Riedel, chapter Norwegen, in: Der Ort des Terrors. Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager, vol. 9, edit. by Wolfgang Benz and Barbara Distel, Munich 2009, p. 430–448.
49See for example Ragnvald Jørgensen, Med blyant på Grini. De siste 8 måneder, Bergen 1946; August Lange and Johan Schreiber (edit.), Griniboken, Oslo 1946; Gunnar Bratlie, ”Det har vi”. Griniskisser, Oslo 1980; Marianne Neerland Soleim and Ingeborg Hjorth, Sin egen lykkes smed. Falstad skolehjem 1895–1945, Ekne 1998; Trond Risto Nielssen and Jon Reitan, Falstad. Nazileir og landssvikfengsel, Trondheim 2008; Dikt og sanger fra fengsler, tukthus og konsentrasjonsleire, edit. by Foreningen av politiske fanger 1940–1945, Oslo 1997.
50Meanwhile this topic has been researched by the author in much greater detail for a lecture at Agder Akademi, Kristiansand, on August 31, 2018, entitled “Sorg – Tvang – Motstand. Musikk i leirene: Norge 1940–45”. The manuscript will be published in the academy’s year book in 2019.
51See songbooks such as Rom 8 sanger (Samling av dikter og sang fra Otto Nielsen), published without year or publishing company, preserved in the Grini-Museet with nr. 103 of 150; Gunnar Bratlie, „Det har vi“. Griniskisser, Oslo 1980.
52See for drawings, sketches, secret photographs and memoirs Ragnvald Jørgensen, Med blyant på Grini. De siste 8 måneder, Bergen 1946; Griniboken, ed. by August Lange and Johan Schreiner, Oslo 1946. Grini, edit. by Alf Rønning, Leif Blichfeldt and Bjarne Thorud, Oslo 1946.
53Editorial Musikken på Grini, in: Norsk Musikerblad 33 (1945), Nr. 5–7 Mai–Juli, p. 5–7.
54Ibid., p. 5. In translation: ”It could seem like blasphemy ot write about music in Grini, but it was a fact. Among all unhappiness and terror which took place there have been – at least during the last months – two orchestras.”
55 Nordmen i fangenskap. Alfabetisk register med innledning av Kristian Ottosen, Oslo 1995, p. 372. The orchestra’s papers in Statsarkivet Stavanger do not cover Knudsen’s imprisonment.
56Ibid., p. 501.
57Grete Letting and Terje Knudsen, Fra Kampen til New Orleans. Kampen Janitsjarorkester gjennom 75 år, Oslo 2004, p. 45–47.
58The liberation and solemn way of prisoners leaving Grini was documented on film, including scenes from the string orchestra, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=merU-MBlaQI (December 21, 2017).
59In translation: “Watch out! This was written with a German pen! Use allied products!!!”
60 http://falstadsenteret.no/forskning/.
61See for the few biographical facts http://falstadsenteret.no/wp-content/uploads/prisoner-number-424.pdf (December 19, 2017) and for the general context Bjarte Bruland, Holocaust i Norge. Registrering, Deportasjon, Tilintetgjørelse, Oslo 2017.
62Falstadsenteret, Sig. Y-00001-001-011 Falstadmarsjen.
63Nielssen and Reitan, Falstad, p. 33; Falstadsenteret, Sig. F-00193-002-001 Interview by Dag Skogheim with Arvild Alstad, September 30, 1996, p. 15.
64Falstadsenteret, Sig. F-00189-001-001 Interview with Per Hjort Albertsen, May 19, 2003, p. 10.
65Falstadsenteret, Sig. F-00366-001-011, drawing by Thorleiv Sellæg.
66Frank Storm Johansen left a note book with addresses and notes in Falstad’s archive, where he documented his oddyssey through various concentration camps in Norway and Germany and collected songs along the way, beginning with Festsanger from the christmas season 1943. Signatur F-00153-012-001. See additionally a Falstad-Sangen, marked by the note ”Skrevet av en norsk krigsfange på Falstad under krigen 1940–45”, Sig. Y-00001-001-001.

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