Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Falstad Fangeleir, WWII Concentration Camp. Ekne. Runner-up function: Lebensborn. Is that so?

Falstad Fangeleir. is (was) a WWII Norwegian detention-concentration camp that has received little publicity, compared to the larger operations elsewhere. Information is mostly in Norwegian.  It is obscurely located, even with a GPS. See it from 1945 at  
  • This place was nearly repurposed for Himmler's Lebensborn program, a pregnancy farm/ house for babies who were orphans and looked right, or who looked right and were removed from Aryan or Aryan-like parent(s), including German military, babes for adoption to the superior Aryan families.
Pay your respects.  Drive north of Trondheim, on the way to Stiklestad, along the bigTrondheimsfjord on the E6 toward Levanger. Then, veer off the big road.  The site, near the small town, Ekne, has preserved grave and building markers, and retains one remaining structure, a substantial administration building.  There is an explanatory walk, with explanatory poster boards and photos outdoors.

1. The site is now the Norwegian Memorial and Human Rights Centre, for conferences and other activities fostering peace and understanding. See

2.  Location.  Falstad Fangeleir is just inland from Trondheimsfjord.  Trondheimsfjord is huge, and each nook and harbor at Ekne invites recreation. And, ease of access for darker purposes.

Ekne, Norway. Near Falstad Fangeleir, Norway. Trondheimsfjord toward Levanger.

3.   Uses.

3.1  The site for Falstad Fangeleir was first used in the early 20th Century for a corrective boarding school for "misguided" boys, a reform school but not a criminal facility. The original building was destroyed.

3.2.  This new complex was built; and

33.  The site was considered for other uses by the Nazis, during WWII German Occupation;  then used as a Nazi concentration and multi-purpose work and transit camp.

How to describe adequately this facility.  It served many purposes, sequentially, and simultaneously.  To some, political prisoners were dealt with more lightly as fellow "Aryans".  To Jews and thers, it was as way station to death in the death camps.  This was also a labor camp.  

Falstad Fangeleir, Ekne, Norway.  Inmates lined up.  Not, apparently in extremis (yet?)

4. An earlier consideration:  Lebensborn WWII

The labor-concentration-transit camp is not the whole story of Falstad Fangeleir.  In WWII, the Nazi Occupation had first explored using it for their Lebensborn program. Lebensborn. A word now largely known. This site was consideration for Lebensborn program, says Norwegian Wikipedia. The WWII places are still in Norway, but seldom so as to get a tourist's attention over other "attractions."

  • Lebensborn:
  • Lebensborn. Noun. Program that induces by ideology or otherwise,  no choice offered in real terms, females to bear children and put them up for adoption for ideological reasons.  Compel? Ask about consent.  What choices did the girls and women have, given the propaganda, the force underlying the recruitment.  Like the Hitler Youth:  compulsory on many levels.
    • The ideological goal of the Lebensborn-arranged coupling, birth and adoption program, was to increase the so-called pure Aryan "race" population. The specific ideology for any Lebensborn does not matter. The force, or induced consent, for ideological reasons does.  
    • Compelling any girl or woman to bear a child for another's ideological reasons:  is that a mutation of the Lebensborn idea.
Lebensborn.  Read its details in Trieste, a novel by Dasa Drndic, 2014, first published in Croatian in 2007, now in English. Ellen Elias-Bursac is the translator. Norway under the Occupation. Find a review at Begin, if you must skip things, at p.293 for the story of one Hans Traube in the novel; or p.312, for procedures.  Back to the WWII prison camp that this former boy's reform school became, the execution places, the graves. Find how the institutional church facilitated the thefts by reporting the babies. 
5.  The ultimate Nazi decision for use of the property, however, was as a prison camp, labor camp, transit camp for Jews.

Clients were varied.  This place housed Norwegian political prisoners; and served as a labor camp and general prison; a transit station for Jews being moved to Auschwitz, and for others being sent to Grini Concentration Camp outside Oslo, or other camps.

6.  Death at The SS Strafgefangenenlager Falstad.

Some 300 people were executed in nearby forests, or died from conditions, see I do not recall execution centers, or facilities such as gas chambers.
Falstad Fangeleir, aerial map of site, WWII, Nazi concentration camp, near Ekne, Norway

7.  Transformation from Nazi death-imprisonment-transit camp, to a higher end, human understanding, cooperation.

How is the center doing? Visit  Find the English button, and go to for a 2013 program.

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