Arne Hassing’s novel, Church Resistance to Nazism in Norway, 1940-1945, is one that I would not change many aspects of, or rather object to. I believe that Hassing’s research and the topics he chooses to explore are extremely useful when discussing the idea of Second World War education; we often neglect the impact that smaller nations have had on the overall everlasting effects of the War. This is not to say that Norway’s efforts have had no impact, but that the internal struggles of the Church are something to reflect on, as Hassing has so effortlessly done throughout the novel. His exploration of such obscure figures within’ the German and Norwegian Church has done more than a remarkable job of painting the picture of what the lens was like on the inside. His use of archived works and documents helped to ensure that he maintained a credible outlook and input on the topics explored, considering that the research previously done, was little and rather inconclusive. From the discussion of the issue of Nazism reaching Norway and the Church, and how it was then handled, up to the invasion, all the information was concrete and effective.
Hassing’s conclusion discusses the mass liberation throughout Norway’s postwar era, of course, it would take decades for Norway to perhaps thrive the way they once were again, however they made it there. He concludes that the Netherlands and Norway were perhaps the most outstanding examples of, “effective Protestant resistance to Nazism and Nazification in occupied Europe”. This novel did cover some aspects of courses I have taken in the past, specifically the Second World War content I once explored in Secondary 4 and 5 classes; however, this was much more conclusive and rather descriptive, which was also able to give me insider details rather than just the typical surface information.
Previous to reading this book, I did gain some new knowledge regarding the involvement of the Church in Norway, as I was not necessarily aware of what a huge impact they had throughout the Second World War. I would recommend this novel to any educator or student who would like to delve deeper into the Norwegian-German conflict throughout the War. It is conclusive and enticing; a novel that was written with detail and passion for the topic. Overall, Arne Hassing’s novel is a must-read and conversation starter. A marvelous novel.
By: Skye Mackenzie Hunter