Hitler’s attack against Norway on April 9, 1940 brought about a fundamental change in the traditionally close relations between Germany and Norway. All protagonists of the Norwegian cultural life were forced to rethink their position and cooperation. While Norway adjusted to the new circumstances, three major attitudes developed: A large group of resisting citizens, a smaller but very active group of convinced Nazi-collaborators, and a third group of needy compelled to cope with the new situation. Under the German dictatorship, willingly assisted by Vidkun Quisling’s puppet regime, the conditions in the field of music grew tense, for art was a preferred instrument for propaganda as well as a means of the resistance movement. Despite the knowledge gained by historians over the past decades about the political and economical impact of Germany’s occupation of Norway, there has been little research done yet on the consequences on cultural life in general and the arts in particular.
In cooperation of the University in Muenster with the Grieg Research Centre in Bergen the project “Nordic Music”. Resistance, Collaboration, and Reintegration in Norway’s Music Life 1930–1960 combined interdisciplinary methods with systematical and intensive archive research to focus on the blind spots of German-Norwegian music history between 1930 and 1960.