They fought alone; Norwegian teachers resist Nazis
They fought alone. True stories of men who fought for our freedom turn all. This holds good. This is my life my final opportunity. You'd better keep away though wood with holes filled. Oh watching too. Do you fall off the wall coming this where you want to go home. You get on the ground here sure. The National Association of educational broadcasters and the University of Michigan present
they fought alone. Today's story takes place in Norway during the German occupation of World War 2. Freedom to learn is but one side of the coin. The other side the freedom to teach. To teach the truth and self-respect with a clear conscience. During the occupation every school house in Norway was transformed into a mighty fortress of freedom. That is the story we tell now through the life of the Valar go down an elementary school teacher in Bergen. In the grand old you know you're here oh mighty fortress is our and to think that this piece is a shallow hole me. The men hear him
become a fighting a song a symbol of revolt. Yet that's exactly what happened. Somehow it started in our school and begun the date was April the 9th 1942. That morning Professor your organs and our principal had called a special assembly I had already sent my children down to the auditorium and I was following along a few minutes late when in the corridor I bumped into a young volley. Our history teacher and the principal secretary in Madrid holiday. Come on Mr Goodall you'll be late. Join us Levi I was just checking my skiing equipment. Looks like a good weekend to go to the mountains at a time like this. Well you think obvious skiing. I hope Mr. Carvalho you have other things on your mind. Good old days are good I can Quisling is empowered again Nazi soldiers are swarming all over its own city director of education is not even strong on knowledge you think pot isn't strong. You don't mean that. That chronic drunkard.
He's our educational director not he certainly is if in fact he just went into the auditorium with a couple of his quisling uniformed boys all with guns on them too. Wow. That's too bad really isn't it. However what can I do about this. I rather resented the attitude of Mrs. Holton and of Cali too. After all what could I do about all this about Hitler and quisling and even stronger. I hurried into the auditorium. Professor you're going to start. All over Norway on this day in every school teachers are reading this statement upon which we all agree the government has established a letter somebody. I have resigned from the layers and now I call upon all teachers to resign and to protest against this new form of oppression. I didn't tell you to live.
If I'm charged with the duty of getting all you know with the knowledge necessary to make them free honest citizens we resent that there's some good and will not remain members. Yeah. I can live it. Mr. strum I do not recognize your authority to command. But for the information of our teachers I will tell them what the Lehrer song Bund is it is a new government decreed organisation for teachers the lairs someone has a rule that we must teach Nazi and quisling doctrines perverted history and an incorrect approach to our citizenship. Now I refuse to teach such things. You've spoken your piece Juggins and his meetings tend to junk it is not in your power to adjourn this meeting get off that platform you are going to and I are doing to my teachers. I tell you this I protest wholeheartedly against the letter some go
and its rules and call upon all of you to join me in silence in the room or whatever. Who is stronger than ever clapped their hands over Professor your mouth and drag your principal away. Everyone in the auditorium just sat there frozen. Everybody out. This meeting is all about. No one paid any attention to strum of course except for strands of men and a few Nazi soldiers who had come into the auditorium. There wasn't a movement then. I don't know what possessed me. I got to my feet. I said to myself that devil stron why this this is devil's work. This is monstrous. And a song an old tune came to my mind and over to him and the words that were seldom used with that tune in our church and where the world with the devil's field. Yes they had devils all of them. I can't fight them.
They all have guns but the Devils devils devils. And without thinking of the consequences there on my feet before the entire assembly I started to sing that him with those words were the oh I love it. Oh oh watching followed Oh I fear we know you. They come close to the Red Bridge. Close up loads all over you all over this house to join the venue and suddenly the whole school pupils and faculty all of us all of us together we're singing the
A. Just as we ended our Nazi Captain shouldered even stronger side. He introduced himself to us. I am Captain fun he wished us to have them call. It's funny stuff on my photo service I need I need to thank your sister on all ages and gentleman. At the moment if you please. It was her who started to sing. What is your name sir. Me captain I. Good is my name. Even our good old teacher in the sixth grade a specialist in arithmetic. Thank you Mr Woodall. I want you all to know that I was brought up as a religious man myself a mighty fortress is our God is a hymn on which I was not the torso heard first about all of those words are used not very nice words about devils and all new words for an old melody I do not know said the captain. The very old words almost forgotten words that you don't know
it is not a time for going I will not have it. But of course it its funny that I did not recall those very ancient words Mr. Goodall as indeed very clever of you assert to have thought of those rights you and I will have to discuss the meaning of of things perhaps in private said Mr. Goodall. Would you do me the on the visiting we say this afternoon at my headquarters at two this afternoon. Place. Such vast genius yet I think such beautiful music. Don't you think so Mr. Good. Yes it is beautiful being invited to a region in Germany but tossed together like you in the midst of it all on a different level of course we two could walk together don't you think I don't know what you mean. Oh oh come now but
as you know president of the elementary school association you can help. How did you know that already. I too am awake Mr. Goodall. Yes that's very clever of you. Teachers meeting in the rest of the lunch electing you as temporary president to succeed Professor Adams but it is not temporary not temporary. Oh perhaps I have a shot of the problem. Was it Mr. Goodall has its place like my playing a Greek here to convince you of my respect for a religion culture and like you're saying Mr. Goodell. I would rather not have that religious hymn sung in school again. But I'm not going to be in school captain. I have resigned from someone which means I cannot any longer teach my sixth grade hole but you don't have to teach that grade any longer. Professor yoga may not be back at work for some time so what is your salary now is to get out your druther not say well it doesn't matter.
Your salary is as of this moment and you will know the principle. I m would be to print what your tenses pleased or not you will be. You are now principal. It must have been an hour later. Yes it was exactly at three o'clock. The captain was still trying to convince me that I should accept the principal ship and that I should be forbidden the singing of religious hymns in school because as he said no Mr. Goodall the hymns you can sing all you want to in church on Sundays. I do respect your deep convictions and great faith but I'm not. Let's just loss the teachers were gathered outside the captain's own house there singing seem to anger him. He leaped up threw open the window. Home home he was almost out of luck because he should not be satisfied in God. This man asked us to have a stand for such a demonstration I confront a man I have
been hearing that I feel unclean for even listening to him most of his proposition. I rushed out of the captain's house joined them at the very had already done the street singing in the home. Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa normal shallow Homo was you high being deported tonight. Where do you suppose you would take Mr. Knox. Are you going with this in principle. I told you in private. Principle. Oh my god what the Quislings have their quisling John said to just go on singing it with the rest of you I guess the kids
who all over from up on the bridge loaded or unloaded. Oh if it was the did it. CAPTAIN. With his squad we. Came to see me and I am giving you one more opportunity. Thank you but I cannot accept the principle shift with this let us number one policy. I am the one who developed a policy on it I have staked my reputation my career my life who don't really think you with your silly insistence. You are hiding behind the religious am but the shoe can defeat the German military machine.
Of course I couldn't do that. A sixth grade school teaches us just a little too fast you are training us how from martyrdom. Being considered a hero you will go along with to be right. Dynamite that most of us. By dawn that day we had all been loaded into the hold of a ship. We were at sea. Packed in so that most of us could not even lie down. There we stood in our city clothes wet cold hungry. For five miserable days and nights. My closest friend Johan Cavalli seemed to be ready to crash out right there in front of my eyes.
I had a little soup left over. 200. Yuan here some soup. It's only 2. But please drink. On. Top. Someone's pounding on the hatch. What do they want with us. If you know your last name that's merely one of company most all sort of a school here. Still obsessed with us. Come back. OK I'll have to go you. Drink some some people ha. I stumbled up as fast as I could. They took me to him a. Comfortable cabin. If I didn't my might look so much strain got up what you said down to be used. Yeah I I dare say you could use a cup of coffee. Thank you Captain. It's cool down there in that hole. Yes I suppose
it is not very pleasant business being a hero is no it isn't. Captain Couldn't you send some hot coffee down to the men below. Maybe some food. They're sick they're dying. Maybe maybe you know where your people are going. I know you'll tell me only what you think you should tell me good though you are going to confess. Kirk and his wife. That's way up in the Arctic. What are we going to do there. My friend we have a marine supply servicing based on 18 hours a day 6 a.m. to midnight. Unless unless unless you I've got you my pet hero. They said otherwise. What do you want me to do. Sample.
We joined a lot of them. Stop all this foolishness defying us with this religious am of yours. Those men down there who are sick and dying and and going crazy if you want to save them oh yes god yes please Captain please what can I do for them. Oh you are talking sense now good although you are being realistic. And and so so this is your way out especially for those who are sick. No. Not. On the one side. Don't you want to move you on your one column. Please don't strain what little strength you have left men. The captain promises definitely that everyone who signs will be released at the next port. The six will be taken to hospitals and return home. Who will sun.
So priests in the church will bring me and overjoyed all of us. Well they were too sick to write their names but they nodded yes when I talked to them. Oh I thought I'm through with you off with you too good oh pretty signatures you know what happened to your dreams. What was it. Where is Professor your concern. What did you do to him. I I did nothing. Everett stron has charge of your defense. I'm not a crude man. I do not allow my men to pierce a person's ear drum or to go. Hard to break away but God help him and me.
Life was good. Work. Starvation freezing. Within a few months. Less than half of us were laid to rest and were dying right in front of us every day. Sometimes we got through the underground letters smuggled from home I got along once in good health she wrote him and stuff came back here after taking you all to Kirk and us. We're making things as difficult for him as possible. A Mighty Fortress is sung on all occasions by everyone with your words. We call them your words now a thought. Well he even blasted to ah pester yes to tell you that trough no cloth I will have to come out of the bed that I am but your orders Captain. You told me you have orders not to interfere with religious services. That's wrong now it is treason that's what it is. Please at.
Meanwhile at Kirkus we worked we froze. We died month after month went. Then came the day. It was in November when the soldiers rounded us up. There were only 300 left. By that time. And just as we were in our working clothes we were loaded onto a train. The train was sealed. Even the windows were boarded up. We had no idea where we were going. We were. Locked in like animals were being led to slaughter. I'm not sure how long we've been writing. It seemed like forever. All I could do was lie on the hard bench and wonder why are we being taken to the Russian front to be slaughtered. To some concentration camp perhaps. Even worse than
carcass. Maybe to one of those places where they have gas chambers. In him most of us. Thought he was too much going on. Surprised to see me. Where are we captain. What happens to us know what I know you. Can list so many Minutemen are cheering Why where are we what happens no. But as to your own home home. Home back in Bergen. Yeah show me those your people out there cheering. They think they want. You you don't mean we're being freed in a way that's just exactly what I do me. Dog my daughter some bomb policy is couple of my plan. It's my life's work to
understand my career my life got collapsed your goods and gave his life. Well he is dead and Gustavsson in Cleveland Dr. Fossum told hime. Yes yes and down knocked me on. So no you couldn't. Now I cock my gun and good dog this time mind you once I did myself on being a civilized man. I who invented this letter someone policy. I must use this good cutting will you at least let me let me see let me take one look at my home city first let me let me talk to one friend who says you want to meet me. Goodall Oh if I let you go out. Promise at least this don't continue with the revolt. Go back to.
Teach without teaching our doctrine if you must but not soon now clear. May I step out of this car just a moment Captain. Yes yes I won't I have no intention of never my oh my god my mind still sat call on God. The law was hot. Yeah I'm going. We didn't know what to believe I'm a hawk. They said it was a change in German policy for the teachers that you would come back but we didn't know what to believe. The captain and is there some talk he's been like a man out of his mind ever since the change was that we're free again free to teach free to sing O watching the bowl. I'll do I and we have the ball he's drawing you've got it. Coming.
Right here from oh yeah oh yeah. A good shot himself. God lets us. He was mad. That is because he has just been great. Somehow the first place I want to see is our school.
This is Professor Claude Egerton to round out this story of Nazi occupation. Here is Preston W. Slosson professor of history at the University of Michigan. They play a you of just heard it was a very dramatic incident of the German occupation of Norway in the second world war. Norway had remained as a neutral in the First World War and asked nothing better then to be let alone in the second. Norway had given offense to no nation. Admittedly Germany included that it was part of Germany is wider strategy. By the conquest of Europe. That nor our way should be under German military occupation. In order to seize the country it was necessary that gate should be open from within. And among the
millions of patriotic. Devoted heroic liberty loving Norwegians there was unfortunately one traitor did gun quisling the Judas of Norway whose name has become a synonym for traitor. Ever since. He and a few others. Opened the way for the German invasion already based on Denmark and the military occupation of Norway the British sent some aid to the hard pressed Norwegians. But it was too little and too late and for a long period of years more than four years. Norway passed entirely under German control and indeed was under German control to the very end of the Second World War. And
then came liberation. But although Norway had not the strength herself. To overthrow the invader she had not the weakness to make submission to the invader. There was a resistance movement throughout the entire period of occupation. And a resistance movement not only on the part of armed partisans but of such heroes as are mentioned in this play. The heroes of a true start of academic freedom. The freedom to teach as God gives the knowledge of the truth. And the freedom to learn the freedom of the student. To hear the truth spoken independently of political pressures whether they come from the foreign invader has in the case of Norway during the war or whether they come from oppressors within the
- They fought alone
- Norwegian teachers resist Nazis
- Producing Organization
- University of Michigan
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- Norwegian teachers rebel against the Nazi Laerersamband.
- Other Description
- Drama series on pioneering individuals produced at University of Michigan
- Broadcast Date
- Social Issues
- World War, 1939-1945--Norway--Bergen.
- Media type
Actor: Nelson, Stephen
Actor: Jones, Todd
Composer: Bassett, Anita
Performer: Barton, Robert
Producing Organization: University of Michigan
Speaker: Slosson, Preston W. (Preston William), 1892-1984
Speaker: Eggertsen, Claude A. (Claude Andrew), 1909-
Writer: Carson, Saul
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 54-3-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “They fought alone; Norwegian teachers resist Nazis,” 1954-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 23, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-hq3s0341.
- MLA: “They fought alone; Norwegian teachers resist Nazis.” 1954-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 23, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-hq3s0341>.
- APA: They fought alone; Norwegian teachers resist Nazis. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-hq3s0341