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They refused, simply refused.

It was 1942. Norway was in the second year of Nazi occupation with a puppet prime minister in place. New orders arrived - all teachers were to pledge loyalty to the Nazis, join the Nazi national teachers union, and indoctrinate their students accordingly. Parents protested by the thousands, but teachers did something quite remarkable. They refused. Simply refused.

The government responded by closing schools and withholding the salaries of 10,000 teachers. Many teachers responded courageously by teaching in their homes. The Nazi retaliation was brutal. Teachers were arrested and sent in freezing cattle cars to concentration camps. Ignoring the danger, Norwegians gathered along the tracks as they passed, singing and offering gifts of food. The teachers were starved, forced to crawl through snow and endured nighttime marches where they were viciously beaten. Incredibly, months of such treatment did not break their spirits, and they were finally returned to their homes and their newly reopened schools.

What incredible bravery in the face of ultimate evil! Thank you teachers for your incredible example! I salute you.


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