Resistance at the University
In the past week we have covered topics related to the resistance during World War II, specifically the White Rose. As I recently wrote my term paper on the resistance in Norway I became intrigued with looking more at resistance at universities in Norway. In Spielvogel’s book, Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History, he stated, “the university environment had not been particularly noticeable for active resistance to the Nazi movement.” So in my search of university resistance I did not expect to find large amount of resistance at the university level in Norway. It had not been a topic I covered in my paper, due to covering larger topics of resistance, but I was interested in learning more about it.
While researching I stumbled upon an article about a woman resistance fighter who was a twenty-year-old student at the University of Oslo when the war broke out. Anne Sofie, Ostvedt studied chemistry when she became involved with the resistance movement. At first by “writing…distributing an underground, illegal newspaper and later by formally joining the resistance.” The newspaper was similar to that of the White Rose.
The Gestapo targeted Anne, but she hid well by changing her appearance completely and cutting off ties to her family to protect them. She continued to protect them by not making her presence known; she once stood “next to her father on a tram car without revealing herself and without him recognizing her.”
In the end she escaped to the United States and “completed her master’s degree in food chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and in 1951 returned to Norway.” Being a university student myself it’s very interesting to read about resistance by students my age. It is fascinating that people so young became so heavily involved in the resistance. They altered their lives for the greater good and took pride in protecting their country from the Nazis anyway they could.
- Jackson J. Spielvogel and David Redles, Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History Seventh Edition (New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2014), 243
- Emily McGranachan, The Untold Story of a Norwegian WWII Resistance Fighter (Washington DC: AAUW, 2013), 1