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Britain and France, standing by their guarantee of Poland's border, had declared war on Germany on September 3, The Soviet Union invaded eastern Poland on September 17, The last resistance ended on October 6. The demarcation line for the partition of German- and Soviet-occupied Poland was along the Bug River. The remainder of German-occupied Poland including the cities of Warsaw, Krakow , Radom, and Lublin was organized as the so-called Generalgouvernement General Government under a civilian governor general, the Nazi Party lawyer Hans Frank. Poland remained under German occupation until January Record, Jeffrey.

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Brooke recorded that "We sat up til 2. Brooke was mistaken and later wrote: "From then on, we would continually be in trouble riding him [Churchill] off mad plans to go back to Norway. Why he wanted to go back and what he was going to do there, even if he did succeed in capturing Trondheim, we never found out". Churchill complained that it was not a plan but a "masterly treatise" on the difficulties of the venture. According to one account but not mentioned by Brooke Brooke suddenly relented and agreed to mount the expedition on the condition that the navy could take the fleet into Trondheim Fjord in support, but the elderly Pound merely shook his head and ended the discussion.

Code named Operation Marrow, the project was abandoned in the following month, when the Soviets withdrew their support on the grounds that the Finnish intelligence service had discovered the details of it. Churchill with the Chiefs of Staff, who had strongly resisted the Norwegian invasion plans from the outset. Not deterred by his earlier rebuttal, Churchill set out his "constructive plan" in a memorandum headed Operation Jupiter dated 1 May , addressed to Major General Hastings "Pug" Ismay , the Secretary of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

In that document, Churchill explained his objectives for the proposed operation, which he considered was of "high strategic and political importance" and should be considered as an alternative to Operation Sledgehammer , the US proposal for an invasion of France, which was scheduled for later that year. Churchill wrote: "If we could gain possession of these airfields [in northern Norway] and establish an equal force there, not only would the northern sea route to Russia be kept open, but we should have set up a second front on a small scale from which it would be most difficult to eject us.

If the going was good we could advance slowly southward, unrolling the Nazi map of Europe from the top". As a preliminary, six squadrons of British fighters would be based at Murmansk in Russia. Abandoning the idea of taking Trondheim, Petsamo area on the north coast of Finland would be the site of an initial seaborne assault by a division -sized force, while a brigade would capture the airfield at Porsanger Fjord. He claimed that careful planning could avoid an "undue strain" being put upon the Home Fleet.

In a memo dated 8 June , they restated their objections based mainly on insufficient air cover, this time compounded by the autumn and winter weather in which the operation was expected to be carried out. A brief look into the files of the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm suffices to see that there had been extensive correspondence between the Swedish foundation and the Norwegian Nobel Institute before 9 April.

Then it stopped for a couple of weeks, and when correspondence was resumed by the end of the month, the letters were brought by Swedish diplomatic courier. The first letters concerned the need for money to keep up activities in Oslo, and the danger that the Germans might take over the Nobel Institute building, conveniently located in the centre of Oslo. The chairman of the Nobel Committee of the Storting, professor Stang, in a phone call this afternoon, told me that he had just been visited by a German officer who — in company with some other Germans — had had a look at the premises of the Norwegian Nobel Institute.


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  5. British Policy and Strategy towards Norway, 1941-45?

They expressed their intention to take over the building. The German occupation authorities required offices and housing in Oslo, and took possession of several buildings, primarily buildings owned by the State or local authorities. However, when he visited the committee chairman, professor Stang, he was told that the Nobel Institute building belonged to the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, and consequently was Swedish property.

Operation Jupiter (Norway)

Throughout the war, the argument that the Nobel Institute and everything concerned with the Nobel Peace Prize belonged, in legal terms, to the Nobel Foundation, was used to guard the institution against interference from German or Norwegian Nazi authorities. We do not know whether, at any point, the German representatives in Norway actually considered closing down the Nobel Institute or deposing the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Storting. Such a course would no doubt in any case have required the explicit approval of Berlin.

In May , the Swedish envoy to Oslo wrote to his superiors in Stockholm that he considered it unlikely that the Germans would venture to provoke world opinion by such an action. Six months later, however, it became clear that there were people in the NS party who did want to take over the Nobel Committee and depose its present members elected by the pre-war Storting, against which the NS harboured much bitterness. He argued that the latest appointment of committee members by the Storting in had not been in accordance with the statutes, and that the members who had left the country had lost their membership.

Harris Aall, who only recently had been appointed professor of law by Vidkun Quisling, recommended that the Nobel Committee should be deposed and its tasks provisionally transferred to the Ministry of Church and Cultural affairs. If nothing was done within the next few days, he warned, one might risk that the remaining committee members would meet and thereby establish a precedent for continued operation. He believed that a more lasting solution for the Nobel Committee had to be reached through negotiations with the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, and that such negotiations should be carried out by the German envoy to the Swedish capital.

Furthermore, he thought that one should consider taking control of the entire Nobel Foundation — as part of the future ideological reorganisation of Europe. In November , German victory in the war seemed likely — to those who wished it, and also to those for whom it was a nightmare. To many people at the time, resisting a Nazi revolution seemed futile. But the Nobel Committee in Oslo and the board of the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm had already made important decisions and taken a definite stand.

Neither of them had any intention of negotiating with German representatives or the Quisling authorities. On 25 September, the chairman of the committee had informed the Nobel Foundation that the committee had decided not to make any award that year. The precedent that Harris Aall wanted to avoid had already taken place.

Norway during WW2 1941-1945

More importantly, on the very day when the latter wrote his letter to the German Reichskommissar, Ragnar Sohlman, the director of the Nobel Foundation, arrived on a visit to Oslo. The three Norwegians made it clear that if this was going to happen, they would protest and, if necessary, resign from the committee. Sohlman then stated that, in his opinion, the board of the Nobel Foundation could scarcely accept such a replacement.

Paal Berg. At the Nobel Institute, Sohlman also met Mr. It is quite clear, both from notes Sohlman took during his visits and from other sources, that he did not go to Oslo in only to discuss matters related to the Nobel Committee. At the time there was much bitterness among Norwegians after insistent rumours later verified that the Swedish government had let German supplies and soldiers pass through Sweden. Then it looks as though many people are putting the Swedes in third place and the English as No.

Photo: Knut Thyberg Courtesy of Sohlman family Gunnar Jahn, who was soon to become one of the leaders of the national resistance in Norway, gave Ragnar Sohlman some information about developments in Norway, e. Ragnar Sohlman paid new visits to Oslo in , and , each time writing comprehensive reports to the board of the Nobel Foundation. We do not know whether he also reported to another body, e. Given the fact that the Nobel Foundation was dependent on assistance from the Swedish Foreign Office, it would not be surprising if he did.

In the following months, the Swedish consulate did not become further involved, although the Reichskommissariat actually seemed to have decided that matters related to the Nobel Institute should be handled by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture. An assistant secretary of the Ministry of the Interior in the Quisling government presented himself at the Nobel Institute to inform Director Moe about this decision in March , but he received no hearty welcome. In July , the Ministry of the Interior asked the Ministry of Church and Education why nothing had been done about the Nobel Committee, and Professor Harris Aall drafted an answer on behalf of the latter ministry.


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  • Committee chairman Fredrik Stang died in late , and Gunnar Jahn became his successor. Although the committee members and the institute director had heard no more from the NS authorities or the Reichskommissariat, the continued function of the committee or the institute was far from secure. As mentioned earlier, Ragnar Sohlman came back to Oslo in , and