Peder and the war in Norway

By Trine Tessem Moerkeset

My Grandfather, Peder Tessem was a young boy during the Second World War but recalls what it was like growing up during the German invasion.

“Rationing with lack of food, clothing and other necessities was an area which gave us anxiety for the day and the future. It had been a large amount of import to the country in the last year before the war, and it was stockpiled for a year. The German occupation was going to last for 5 years, and in that time Norway was excluded from their most important trading partners, Great Britain and the USA. There was half a million Germans in the country, they needed food and a fair bit was sent to Germany. We used something called “crisisflour”, it was rough and from bad grains. People said they added chalk to make it heavier. After a while we started receiving replacement products, and the B-soap was the one I remembered the best. It was like a lump of clay, and what it had cleaned of your face was left in a ring in the washing bowl.We received shoes with wooden soles, and it could be leather of fish skins,”

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