Norway Resistance Museum - History and Facts | History Hit

Norway Resistance Museum

Oslo, Oslo, Norway

The Norway Resistance Museum is dedicated to the country’s national history during World War II.

Peta Stamper

26 Mar 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Norway Resistance Museum

The Norway Resistance Museum (Norges Hjemmefrontmuseum) located in central Oslo, is dedicated to the country’s national history during World War II. Highlighting the period of occupation between late 1930 and 1945, the museum displays exhibits from original items and documents to posters, films and photographs.

Norway Resistance Museum history

Norway Resistance Museum was estbalished as a foundation in 1966, but was opened to the public in 1970 by Crown Prince Harald of Norway to celebrate 25 years since Norwegian liberation. The architecture was planned by Norwegian Otto Torgersen who collaborated with key figures from the different underground forces in order to produce a chronological gallery from the 1930s to 1945.

Norway was invaded by German forces in April 1940, but were unprepared with an underfunded military and little contingency for German invasion. Anticipating German efforts to capture the government including the parliament, or Storting, and the royal family, they left Oslo and eventually reached London in June, having removed any constitutional authority from the remaining right-wing collaborationists led by Vidkun Quisling.

During Occupation the main resistance units were Milorg, sabotaging and gathering intelligence as well as helping refugees to Switzerland, and Company Linge, a Norwegian branch of the British forces performing commando raids in occupied Norway.

The museum was housed in a building forming part of the 14th century Akershus fortress, originally a royal residence for King Haakon V. The fortress was also used by the Nazis during the Norwegian occupation as a prison and place of torture, and was later where Vidkun Quisling was executed for war crimes in 1945.

Norway Resistance Museum today

Entering the museum located at the Akershus fortress, the thick walls and lack of natural light certainly captures the dark side of the history the museum explores. Visitors travel through time from the outbreak of World War II, detailed through newspapers on large wall panels, translated into English on labels below as with other exhibits.

Follow the collection around the museum to view dioramas and artefacts including knitted hats and matchboxes depicting civilian life under occupation, to the treatment of Norwegian Jews during the Holocaust.

After visiting the museum, emerge from the shadow of the Akershus to take in beautiful views of the fjord.

Getting to Norway Resistance Museum

There is car parking nearby the museum at Akershusstranda on the waterfront. If you are using public transport, the Oslo tram number 12 will take you to Kontraskjæret stop, a 500m walk from the museum.