After the war Torbjoern, who was still a young man, continued his education. He qualified as an engineer at Stockholm University. He has had a long and interesting life. Until recently he used to meet other survivors once a month. They had lunch at one of Bergen’s best hotels, and reminisced about the war years. “We are getting too old and decrepid to meet now”, he said. He still has his dear wife by his side, whom he married a few years after coming back home. He seems happy and content with life, but “it is impossible to ever forget those dreadful times”, he admits.
The banner Torbjoern and his friends made in May 1945 was brought back to Norway. It was kept at Kronstad Hovedgård – a sort of museum – for many years. But it January 2009 the banner was presented to Telavåg Museum, some miles from Bergen.
This is Torbjoern (right) with another survivor presenting the banner to the curator of the museum in 2009.
Every ten years, since the war ended, the Norwegians and their Swiss ‘saviours’ have spent time together, either in Norway or Switzerland. A firm and lasting friendship was formed, but they have all become too old to travel these days.
Torbjoern and wife, Liv, on a Rhine cruise in 1985.
Torbjoern and some other ex-prisoners have given extensive interviews to historians from Oslo about the events during that awful period. These records are kept somewhere in the capital Oslo.
I shall soon be able to have a long chat with Torbjoern and his wife because I am going to Norway for a short holiday. I may well have more to tell when I get back to England.
Here is a photo of Torbjoern as he is today – still handsome and alert at 90.