I finished reading the history book from Kvalavåg (one of my ancestral homes in Norway) about which I wrote the other day. Most of it is stuff that wouldn’t interest you much, but there was one amazing paragraph in the section on the German occupation during World War II (my translation follows):
One of the leaders of the 14-man German troop was Konrad Grünbaum. He was actually of Jewish origin, and came from the city of Furth. His civil occupation was metal work, and he had been an active member of the Socialist Workers’ Youth. Before the war he himself had been in Dachau concentration camp. He had been accused of illegal work and sentenced to three years’ punishment. Through an error he came to Norway in ̀́41 and was promoted. Grünbaum himself said later that he had had very good relations with the people in Kvalavåg while he was there, up until 1943. People used to call him “the Englishman” because he spoke only English with the people. Others called him “Grandfather.”
What a bizarre story. I can only imagine the terrors he must have suffered, worrying in his bed that somebody in Personnel would notice his ethnicity and denounce him. And after the war, what must he have felt, when he pondered the cosmic lottery win that saved his life when so many others perished?