70-year anniversary of the liberation of Øst-Finnmark

The first town in Norway to be liberated from the Nazi German occupation during the Second World War was Kirkenes. For the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Red Army’s liberation, we were in the front row with hundres of locals to see HM King Harald V lay a wreath at the monument to the mothers and children during the war on the central square of Kirkenes.

Mayor of Sør-Varanger Cecilie Hansen, Governors of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk Oblasts, Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Foreign Minister Børge Brende from Norway and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov from Russia were also present. In the afternoon we trailed the buses heading to Rørbua and the so-called 1944-tunnel, where 3500 people took refuge during the war, refusing to obey the Nazi occupation forces’ orders to evacuate.

While waiting for the festivities to begin we got talking with a gentleman standing next to us who turned out to be one of the liberated Norwegians from 1944. Magne Jakobsen was 6 years old when he fled to the old mining tunnel at Bjørnevatn with his family. We invited ourselves to go back to the tunnell with Magne the day after, to hear more about his experiences at the site.

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Kanskje kommer kongen © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

King Harald approaches the wreath © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

King Harald approaches the wreath © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

1 minute silence © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

1 minute silence © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Royal assistants © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Royal assistants © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Magne Jakobsen 76 years later © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Magne Jakobsen 76 years later © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

The crowds heading to Rørbua at Bjørnevatn © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

The crowds heading to Rørbua at Bjørnevatn © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

 

The tunnel entrance © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

The tunnel entrance © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Keeping it warm © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Keeping it warm © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Some fantastic local fashion on the rocks © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Some fantastic local fashion on the rocks © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

This was an event without borders © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

This was an event without borders © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Miners taking a break to watch Erna Solberg, the Norwegian Foreign Minister

Miners taking a break to watch Erna Solberg, the Norwegian Foreign Minister

Erna on air (Karoline's tele lens wasn't powerful enough, but she got to borrow the Russian cameraman's display © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Erna on air (Karoline’s telelens wasn’t powerful enough, but she got to borrow the Russian cameraman’s display © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

It wasn't so cold, but it was the wind that found its way all the way into your bones, so we followed this gentleman back to warm and cosy Nissan Micra rent-a-wreck © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

It wasn’t so cold, but it was the wind that found its way all the way into your bones, so we followed this gentleman back to warm and cosy Nissan Micra rent-a-wreck © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

One comment

  1. Pingback: Sunday stroll to the 1944 tunnel | Time is a ship that never casts anchor

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