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Bergen, Norway - The Jennie Erwick Collection
The Jennie Erwick Collection
Courtesy of Michael Hart

My mother, Jennie Marie Erwick, without whom these pictures would not be possible, lived from 1931 to 1993.  Born in Ketchikan, Alaska she followed her mother, Johanna, to Bergen to care for her aging grandparents in 1933. They were stuck in Norway when the war broke out and returned to the US in 1945.  These pictures she purchased and brought back with her at war's end. They are a small testament to the hell she endured and the determination she needed to survive.

Several of the photos have to do with an explosion that my mother said happened on "Hitler's birthday".  She recounted that she was on a sidewalk and saw a man on the other side of the street.  When the explosion hit she was knocked to the ground and the man vanished.  Carried away by the force of the bomb I assume.  She also told of the gruesome effects those close to the blast experienced, one person literally carrying their eye balls in their hands.

My mother also told me how the explosion happened.  As part of the "celebration" the Germans moored a ship that was on fire next to an ship loaded with ammunition.  It completely obliterated a building close by containing Nazi soldiers/officers who were having a ball or party.

- Micheal Hart


Additional Links:

For the Konigsberg sinking: http://freespace.virgin.net/john.dell/sinking_of_the_konigsberg.htm

For the April 20 1944 explosion: http://www.bergen.kommune.no/byarkivet_/ekstern/20.april_1944.html (site is in Norwegian)

Deutsche-Zeitung with first-hand accounts: http://www.deutsche-zeitung.com/....

Other sites:

http://web.hist.uib.no/delfag-h97/trygve/oppgave/nepex.htm

http://warsailors.com/homefleetsingles/rogaland.html

http://web.hist.uib.no/delfag-h97/tormod/explo.htm

Copyright © 2005 Michael Hart

If you have questions or comments, please contact Michael Hart at: mnmhart1@msn.com

Last update: 03/23/2006.
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