In April, the focus of the 2022 Scandinavian Reading Challenge is books that take place in the 1940s. Below you’ll find some highlights of the time period along with book suggestions.
Do you have any Scandinavian books that take place during this time period that you recommend or know of? Leave a comment or email me any suggestions. I’d love to hear them.
Some highlights from this decade:
- 9 April 1940 – Norway invaded by German forces, the royal family escaped to London
- Norwegians built a resistance movement which fought the German occupation forces with both civil disobedience and armed resistance.
- February 1943 – Operation Gunnerside: Sabotage of Norsk Hydro’s heavy water plant and stockpile of heavy water at Vemork, which crippled the German nuclear program (1943: The Heroes of Telemark)
- Fall 1944 – Scorched Earth Campaign: As Nazis withdrew from Northern Norway, they forcibly evacuated more than 70,000 people, including children, young people, the elderly and sick, and destroyed everything to delay the advance of the Russian forces (Norsk Folkemuseum: Scorched Earth)
- 8 May 1945 – Nazi Germany forces withdrew from Norway and World War II came to an end
Books to consider:
- Almost Autumn by Marianne Kaurin, translated from the Norwegian by Rosie Hedger (Young adult novel, Oslo, October 1942)
- Eyes of the Rigel (The Barrøy Chronicles, Book 3) by Roy Jacobsen, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw (Northern Norway, postwar)
- Meeting at the Milestone by Sigurd Hoel, translated from the Norwegian by Sverre Lyngstad (Nazi occupation years, originally published in Norway 1947)
- Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson, translated from the Norwegian by Anne Born (Eastern Norway, 1948)
- The Historians: A Novel of WWII by Cecilia Ekbäck (Sweden, 1940s)
- The Last Pilgrim (Tommy Bergmann Book 1) by Gard Sveen, translated from the Norwegian by Steven T. Murray (Norway & Sweden, 2000s & 1940s)
- The Path to Follow by Herbjørg Wassmo, translated from the Norwegian by Roland & Edith Thorstensson (Documentary novel, Northern Norway, 1944)
- The Saboteur: A Novel by Andrew Gross (Based on the true story of Operation Gunnerside, sabotage of heavy water plant in 1943)
- White Shadow (The Barrøy Chronicles, Book 2) by Roy Jacobsen, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw (Northern Norway during the last year of WWII)
- Countrymen: The Untold Story of How Denmark’s Jews Escaped the Nazis, of the Courage of Their Fellow Danes – and of the Extraordinary Role of the SS by Bo Lidegaard, translated from the Danish by Robert Maass
- Fire and Ice: The Nazis’ Scorched Earth Campaign in Norway by Vincent Hunt
- The 12th Man: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance by Astrid Karlsen Scott & Tore Haug
- We Die Alone: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance by David Howarth
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