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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 6. May 28, 1947

Germans Close University

Germans Close University

In this way the Gestapo laid their hands on 1,200 male students and more than 80 professors and university teachers. They were all taken into the Aula, the scene of the fire, where they had to listen to a violent speech by the German Gestapo chief, Redies. He declared that ever since the autumn of 1940, the Oslo University students had formed a centre of resistance to the occupation authorities and the national (quisling) government. The University would therefore be closed until further notice, and the male students would be transferred to a special camp in Germany. In the following two weeks the Germans succeeded in arresting between two and three hundred students in addition. The rest of the male students escaped to Sweden or went into hiding in Norway.

About 400 students and forty University teachers were released soon after. Some few of the students and the rest of the teachers were sent to the Norwegian concentration camp. But about 650 students were deported to Germany where they remained until April, 1945, when they were taken to Sweden by the Swedish Red Cross. The University was closed, but the Germans attained nothing with this fierce strike. It made people still more obstinate and hateful, and the students stood firmer than ever on the basis of intellectual liberalism; and no one forgot the ideas and ideals of the University.

This is in short the story of the Norwegian University during the occupation. It has been much discussed in Norway about the students' attitude 1940-1943, whether they did right or wrong in continuing their studies after the arrest of Rector Seip, etc. But, as it is difficult for foreign students to follow or understand this discussion, I will stop here.

Grethe Authen,

Member of the Students' Committee at the Historical-Philosophical Faculty, Oslo.