The Falstadsenteret in Levanger is a museum, war memorial and human rights centre.In addition to permanent and temproary exhibitions, there is a huge collection of photos from the from WW II and the initial period after the liberation.
"Face to face" ("Ansikt til ansikt")
The permanent exhibition "face to face" deals with the history of Falstad prison camp (SS Strafgefangenenlager Falstad) during World War II. The story, the fate of the prisoners, and the genocide are conveyed through photographs, texts, interviews, historical artefacts and video clips. It also provides a comprehensive representation of the rise of Nazism, the Holocaust and the Nazi camp system. Furthermore, the exhibition also shows how World War II had implications for the future through the creation of the UN and the emergence of the modern human rights.
On the ground floor, several changing exhibitions are shown annually - borrowed and self-produced exhibitions, art exhibitions and historical exhibitions, with thematic links to Falstad as a place and to the centre’s field of expertice: the history of Prisoners Of War, remembrance culture and human rights.
The Sculpture Re-Remembering
Re-Rembering by artist Tore Reisch is displayed In the courtyard. Through the wooden sculpture, Reisch asks the question if traumatic events and personal experiences from captivity and deprivation of liberty can be transferred to new generations.
In an open directory there are three thousand cards with names of prisoners who sat here at one time or another. These are copies of the actual documents found here (the originals are preserved at the National Archives).
On each card, you can read names, causes of arrest, duration of captivity and what happened to them after they were sent from here - if they made it out of here alive.
DIGITAL "GUIDED" TOUR
Not all the buildings in the historic prison camp exist anymore. That is why Falstadsenteret has made a digital reconstruction of the camp as it looked in 1945. With tablets, the audience can have a unique experience of history by wandering around the former camp landscape.
The virtual tour offers several witness descriptions and other historical material from the war. Available in Norwegian, English, Russian and German.
THE FALSTAD FOREST - WAR MEMORIAL
2 minutes by car from Falstadsenteret you arrive at the Falstad Forest with the memorial "Arkbusering" by Odd Hilt. Odd Hilt himself was a prisoner at Falstad and managed to escape to Sweden. The monument shows 3 prisoners with distinct facial features and distinct individual way of behavious up against the anonymous, unassuming war machine hidden behind helmets and rifles.
It is believed that over 200 people were executed here in the forest, but there is an uncertainty related to the number and identity.
After the war, from the summer of 1945 to 1953, the Norwegian authorities have conducted several excavations here. They have given those who have been found a grave in ordinary cemeteries elsewhere in Norway or in honor cemeteries.