During the war, crossing the North Sea was punishable by death. At the North Sea Traffic Museum you will get an insight into the lives of those who defied this ban.
Most fled over to Great Britain to enlist in the Allied Forces, and many risked their lives to transport weapons, agents and equipment back to the resistance movement in Norway. The resistance campaign in Norway would not have been possible without these secret and dangerous operations. In the exhibition about the North Sea traffic, you will see how many of those involved in the resistance, for example in Telavåg, risked much to run this illegal North Sea traffic. You will also learn about how important the cooperation with Great Britain was for the resistance campaign in Norway.
A well-disguised network of resistance fighters ensured that Norwegian men and children who wished to enlist were able to flee to Great Britain. In the North Sea Traffic exhibition you can get up close to the people who had different roles to play in this traffic. You can read dramatic escape stories, and you will get an insight into the enormous risk it was to defy the Nazis and take on the seas. You will also see that the so-called normal Norwegian women and men undertook an invaluable, but little talked about, effort to organize escapes and meet boats that came from Great Britain.
The Shetland Gang
There is a large focus on the Shetland Gang, one of the most famous groups involved in the North Sea traffic, who in the beginning used fishing boats to transport agents and equipment from Shetland to the Norwegian coast. In the exhibition you will learn more about these dramatic operations.
Unique images and artefacts
In the exhibition you can see authentic photographs of people fleeing, and gain an insight into their dramatic stories. You can see among other things some of Leif Larsen's (Shetlands Larsen) uniforms, weapons, and not least, medals. Leif Larsen is the highest decorated Allied sea officer from the Second World War.
Still-image film, audio guide, and digital library
You can gain an insight into the different stories through different still-image films. There is also an audio guide for the exhibition, through which you can learn more about the artefacts and the stories associated with them. In our digital library, you will find a trove of images of the North Sea traffic. There is a 25 minute film called “Telavågtragedien” (The Telavåg Tragedy), which shows how the events in Telavåg were a result of the North Sea traffic being exposed. The exhibition is appropriate for all ages, but is most suitable for adults and children over the age of 12.