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Crown Prince Haakon to hike Refugee Route

Photo: Jørgen Gomnæs / The Royal Court

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon will walk parts of the Norwegian Refugee Route to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Norway following the German occupation. His Royal Highness will walk parts of the Refugee Route from Oslo to the Swedish border from 26 to 28 August. The trip aims to shed light on the history of the liberation.

The Refugee Route is a route about ten miles long and was used by Jews, couriers and refugees during World War Two to get to freedom in Sweden. The route starts in Oslo and goes through the great forests of eastern Norway to the Norwegian Border-crossing Museum, only a few kilometres from the border to Sweden. A detour also goes to Skillingmark in Värmland, where there was a refugee reception centre during the war.

During the walk, the Crown Prince will meet people who themselves had to flee as children, or are descendants of those who helped the Jews to flee, as well as people who themselves have fled the war in other parts of the world and had come to Norway as refugees.

Norwegian refugees during World War Two cross the 10-meter wide hewn “belt” that marks the entire Norwegian-Swedish border. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Crown Prince will walk with a soldier from the Norwegian Army and a refugee. The tour will be organised by the Norwegian Tourist Association, with Secretary-General Dag Terje Klarp Solvang as a tour guide.

The Norwegian royal family, who themselves had to live in exile during World War Two, want to shed light on the anniversary year of 2020. King Harald and Queen Sonja were joined by Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette Marit in May to attend events commemorating Liberation Day and the National Veterans Day at Akershus Fortress in Oslo.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.