The nightmare begins for real.

Sunday the 10th of May 1942 was another terrible day – never to be forgotten. At 4 am the Ulven prisoners were handed back their civilian clothes, and told to get dressed because they were off on a long trip. They were taken, by lorries, to Midtun Station, which uncannily was located about 500 metres from our house. The train gradually filled up with prisoners from various camps near Bergen, and there the poor men sat for hours, still not knowing where they would be sent. One of our neighbours came running to tell my mother she was sure she had seen my father, looking very distressed, staring out the window. Mother and I ran as fast as we could, looking for him, but I don’t believe she saw him. I can’t remember much about this episode. Maybe I was too upset to comprehend what was going on?

Unbeknown to the men their destination was Germany and three years of pure hell. The train journey over the mountainous part of Norway, between Bergen and Oslo, is one of the most scenic in the world, and it is now a much sought-after holiday for many foreign visitors to Norway. Some of the men had enjoyed skiing and walking holidays in the area and knew it well, but this particular trip was one they could do without. Kristian Stein and some of the leaders of the Stein-organisation were also onboard, but were kept in a separate compartment.

The train arrived in Oslo, after a long and distressing day. Their worst fears were realised when they were brought to the docks and lined up in groups to board The Oldenburg. The ship belonged to the Hamburg/America line and was a passenger/cargo ship. (The Oldenburg was hit by British planes in 1945 and sunk.)  The conditions onboard were awful- the last cargo had been a horse-transport, and the ship had not been cleaned properly. During the two-day journey they were allowed to come on deck in small groups and discovered that they were in the middle of a 9-10 ship convoy which moved in all directions in order to avoid the many mines.   On May 12th at 7 pm The Oldenburg finally dropped anchor and the men told to disembark but they had no idea where in Germany they had arrived.

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