Sunday, January 12, 2020


I woke up one morning discovering that my nice neighbour for some years had became one of the most famous  pop art artists in Oslo. Mr. Werner Kling- Congratulation! Some make it all the time even if all odds are against them. The title of the book which was released in 2019 is : « KISS ME MR.KING». What mission has the book, so far? The content of the book is poems connected to paintings contenting issues that might have a provocative impression on some of you – but not all. The paintings and the poems are provocative, colorful and above all: Funny. Werner Kling has done painting for years. He has got inspiration for his poems and paintings during his many travels to cities like London, Barcelona, Paris and Los Angeles. The artist is self taught, so to speak. No formal education in the field of painting and writing. He is pop artist who is combining words and sayings with strong colors. He is aware that some might find his works beautilful but some might dislike his approach to emotions and people.Anyway -the works are entertaining works contenting issues presented as a mixture of metal confusion,chaos, personal aggression, non political,- and a wish to be noticed. It is called Pop art, I think.

Let me quote one poem only:

No one was born to be evil.
We were born to be equal.
Some say we are born as unique originals,
But we die as bad copies. True.
We are equal
Thank you, pop art artist Werner Kling.

Friday, January 10, 2020


An essay has been published titled « THE FORGOTTEN SOLDIERS». The authors are: Esben Mønster-Kjær, Niels-Peter Granzow Bush and Torsten Weper. «HISTORIE.ILLUSTRET VITENSKAP» is the name of the periodical which is published by Bonniers Publications International AS. The main issue dealt with by the authors is the story of those Scandinavian soldiers who fought, died and were buried in Latvia during the Second World War. According Norwegian historians, we do not know where many Norwegians soldiers got buried in Latvia. Geir Brenden began researching the Norwegian volunteers in the Waffen-SS in 1987. He has also taken part in setting up guided tours to the Eastern Front where the Norwegian fought including research in Latvia. The main reason for the new interest in the events of the Eastern Front is the new access to national archives. The official history of Norway and the Second World War are objects for reseach among Norwegian professional historians and of people like Geir Brenden who has no formal degree in military history or education in history.
Geir Brenden to the left of the photo and Tedd Urnes to the right.Oslo 2019.

Members of the  Latvian association» Legenda» began searching for the lost and forgotten soldiers in 1999. The result of the work so far is the finding of 74 soldiers who belonged to the Scandinavian SS-Division Norland. According to the paper mentioned, two Norwegian soldiers have been found. I contacted Geir Brenden to-day about the names of the soldiers but no final information has been published yet.

The Latvian association « Legenda»is collecting all belongings to the soldiers found in order to be forward the items to the Latvian authorities. Public access to the reports of the work done by « Legenda» is given by the association.

We are waiting for further information of two Norwegian soldiers found,- and above all: Information about all of the lost Norwegian soldiers who fought and died for Nazi-Germany and for Latvia, but not for the Norwegian people who were suppressed by the German occupation of Norway. The study of history is not always a pleasant work- facts are facts only.

Source: Historie.Illustrert vitenskap. Nr.1/2020. Page 28- 39. Historie is published by Bonnier Publications A/S for Bonnier Publications International AS.

Sunday, December 29, 2019


The venue was Spain. The Spanish Civil War engaged many celebrities worldwide. The famous actor Errol Flynn( 1909-1959) was one of many who sided with the fight of the Spanish people against the Fascist regime of Franco. The main question asked by many was how dedicaded was Errol Flynn fighting the fascists in Spain? Errol Flynn was a rebel all his life. He hated being dominated by authorities, bosses and above all: His mother. Did he left USA bound for Spain because of his private conflics with his wife actress Lili Damita? The visit to Spain was just one of his many public arrangments to get public attentions- some of his enemies are of the opinion that he did not care much for the fight at all. Let me make a person statement: I disagree with the opinions of his enemies. Errol Flynn loved danger, conflicts, challenges and he was political radical all his life. In 1959 he published his  biography about his life, work and career as an actor. The title of the book is: « My Wicked,Wicked Ways». As a source for his political actions and opinions, like any other biographies the facts presented have to be evaluated in a critical way. Anyway, Spain is mentioned in his book. From page 193 to page 201 he gives the reader a  vivid describtion about this experience and stay in Spain. Errol Flynn went to Spain together with his friend Dr.Herman F. Erben (1897-1985). The Government’s Propaganda Office wanted to make use of his visit for propaganda purposes to get support from the United States. Errol Flynn wrote in his dairy about his experiences in Spain. The result of his travellings resulted in an article for the magazine « Photoplay» published in 1937. He also paid a visit to the International Brigades. Dr. Herman  F. Erben was a close friend of Errol flynn but his friend exploited the friendship to get in contact with Spanish officers fighting the Fasiscts. Without any knowedge of the matter, his friend had promised  the Spanish elected government economic support from Americans. Fake news. He had no money for the Spanish fight. The Spanish government was disappoined and annoyed.Later on when Americans were asked for mony to support the Spainsh Loyalist government, Errol Flynn was not on the list of those who donated money  fighting the Fascists. Even if he was exploited making the world know about the Spanish Civil War, his contribution was not invain. Errol Flynn was one of the most famous actors of the time.
The dairy of Errol Flynn written during his stay in Spain has been found. The content of the diary reveals that he supported the fight against the Fascists.To the left: Errol Flynn on Cuba.

Lord Byron was an English poet, peer, and politician who became a revolutionary in the Greek War of Independence.
Why do I mention the late British poet at all? The main reason is that Errol Flynn and Lord Byron had a lot in common. They were both public known. Both were rebels. Both were political radicals and both got engaged in political matters of the time. The main difference is easy to observe. Errol Flynn did not sell his house and private estates in support for the Spanish government. Not all. But Lord Byron did it. Lord Byron joined the Greek War of Independence fighing the Ottoman Empire in 1824. To raise money for the revolution, he sold his estate Roch Manor in England.Lord Byron took active part in the fighting himself even if he had no military experience – only personal courage. He fell ill and died in Missolonghi on April 19, 1824. The famous Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen resculpted his earlier bust of Byron in Greek marble.

Information about military conflicts and wars is limited during the conflicts. The mission and actions of celebrities  like those of Errol Flynn and Lord Byron in international conflics  must not be underestimated. Private reasons for taking part in the conflicts are not easy to see. But they all put their lives at risk by paying a visit to the sites of conflicts. Thank you, Errol Flynn and Lord Byron. We miss you all. I hope some  can show the same  courage you both showed?

The essay has been published on blog: flynn-in-spain-fighting-for-justice-and-freedom.
The blog is administrated by David De Witt.Adm/the ErrolFlynn/USA.
Up-dated January 13,2020.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019


The former Director of the Norwegian Film Institute, Oslo, Norway,Jan Erik Holst, has edited an interesting book about the close contact between film productions of  Norway and Germany. The foreword is written by famous actress Liv Ullmann who is quoting Czeslaw Milosz: « Those who harm simple people and who laugh at their injuries will not be safe. For poet remembers.» The aim of the book is to focus on film making in Norway and Germany before the Second World War and after the war. The writers of the essays of the book are: Jan Erik Holst, Per Haddal, Gunnar Iversen, Bent Kvalvik, Nils Klevjer Aas, Trond Olav Svendsen, Øivind Hanche, Christian Boe Astrup, Lise Gustavsen, Bjørn Sørensen , Dr. Michael Køtz, Thomas Karlsen and Thomas K. Klinkertz. A biography of the authors is published too. The essays are written in Norwegian but translated into German by Susanne Hiller Giertsen.

For those of you who find the study of film history interesting,you must buy the book. Each writer  is making  references to movies forgotten ,or lost or destroyed. Germany was an important country for the work of many Norwegian actors and film makers before the Second World War and also during the war. Some of those who worked too close to Nazi- Germany got problems later on – but not all of them. The actress Kirsten Heiberg (1907-1976) was working in Nazi-Germany during the war. She returned to Norway in 1951 to go on with her work as an actress in Norwegian theatres and movies. No problems for Kirsten Heiberg getting work in Norway even if she had made many movies in Germany.

The editor, Jan Erik Holst, has worked within the Norwegian film society for years. He was Director of the Norwegian Film Institute from 1988 to 2014.Even if he has retired, he is still engaged in projects connected to film education and film production. Each of the writers is presenting information about old and new movies made in cooperation with German production companies and associations.

For my private interest only, I searched in my own film collection after movies mentioned by many of the writers of the essays. Take a look at the result.

Jan Erik Host (Editor): TO LIV- ZWEI LEBEN. Bokbyen Forlag AS. 2019. 230 pages.


The former Director of the Norwegian Film Institute, Jan Erik Host, has edited an interesting book about the contact between Norway and Germany. The book should be read by any who is interesting in filmmaking and above all: Film production in Germany before the Second World War and after. After having read the book, I searched for movies reported in the book among my private collection.
Here is a photo of some of the films mentioned in the book.

Jan Erik Holst (editor): To Liv - Zwei Leben. Bokbyen Forlag AS. 2019.

Monday, December 23, 2019


For years I have been working hard with an important issue: The use of radio transmitted programmes, television transmitted programmes and above all:The use of feature films as an important source for resarchers and for academic work. I do think some individuals have understood the message of making use of more than the written words for academic degrees. Written papers are still important for the work done, but a feature film can add new facts to the work in the academic world-  I think-you agree? Please view photos of movies collected by me year by year for private use only. In this case I am adding facts to the published book: " EKKO FRA SPANIA. DEN SPANSKE BORGERKRIGEN I NORSK OFFENTLIGHET "- Published by Dreyers Forlag Oslo,2019. The writers are: Hans Fredrik Dahl, Bernt Hagtvet and Rolf Werenskjold.

From the movie about Errol Flynn and his visit to Spain where they all believed he could support the fight against Franco.EFs friend Dr. Hermann F. Erben had hoped for support- invain.

Sunday, December 22, 2019



Ageing  is not a topical issue among Norwegian historians. Not at all! An interesting book about the Spanish Civil War has been published in Norway. Two of the authors are retired professors in history: Hans Fredrik Dahl and Bernt Hagtvet. The third author is still in business as professor: Rolf Werenskjold. The political event dealt with in the book: «Ekko fra Spania. Den spanske borgerkrigen i norsk offentlighet» is how the Norwegian newspapers, radio broadcasting and indiviudual writers evaluated the civil war. My main question after having read the book is: Why would we take time to read a book about a war that ended in 1939 in Spain? What is the reason for paying attention to the event at all? The answer is easy to give. We have been informed about the war for years by authers, politicians and published reports, books and movies dealing with the war.

The result of my private research was a surprise.Take a look at the list of movies where the Spanish Civil War is an importantpart of the story presented:
-          BETHUNE. 1990
-          La Casa de las Chivas ( Adaptacion cinematografica de la exitosa obra teatral de Jaime Simon)
-          Tripple Agent.
-          Head in the Clouds.
-          Hemingway & Gellhorn. 2013
-          There Be Dragons. 2011
-          La Guerra Civil Espanola
-          La Mystere Malraux. 2006
-          Offer eller Spion ( About Asbjørn Sunde called «Osvald»).2015 
-          CAMBRIDGE SPIES (The story of four Cambridge students who became communist spies).2003
-          L’Espoir: Sierra de Teruel.1945
The list of those who had written about the Spanish Civil War, is interesting study. The Norwegian Archive and Library for the Norwegian Labour Movement has published a list contenting 161 publications.Let me focus on one of the reporters: Willy Brandt.
The late German politician Willy Brandt went to Spain in 1937 as a reporter. Willy Brandt published the report: « Ein Jahr Krieg und Revolution in Spanien. Referat des Gen. Brandt auf der Sitzung der erweiterten Partei-Leitung der SAP, Anfang Juli 1937, SAP, ( 1937?), 36 s. «.
Willy Brandt came to Norway as German refugee in 1933. He was political active in Germany. Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm was his original name. He was born in Lubeck, Germany , in 1913. He died in 1992.

Take a look at some of the names of the writers of reports of the Spanish Civil War: Karsten Alnæs, Geir Bentzen, Willy Brandt, Bertolt Brecht, Kristian Gleditsch, Nina Haslund Gleditsch, Arthur Koestler, Trond Hegna, Nordahl Grieg, Eivind Otto Hjelle, Per Imerslund, Lise Lindbæk, Arve Kvaløy, Jon Olav Myklebust, Ottar Årdal, George Orwell, Martin Andersen Nexø, Sigrun Slapgard, Jan Jabob Tønseth and Yngvar Ustvedt.
Haakon Lie is not on the list of the library.A mistake, I think. He wrote and spoke much in support of fight against the Fasict revolt of Spain. Haakon Lie visited Spain too during the civil war.


-Errol Flynn: My Wicked, Wicked Ways. 1959
-Andre Malraux: L’Espoir (Håpet).1937
-Ernest Hemingway: For Whom the Bell Tolls. 1941
-Jean Lacouture: Andre Malraux. 1975
-Phyllis Auty:TITO. A Biography.1970
-Francois Maspero: L'ombre d'une photographe Gerda Taro.2006
-Elisabeth Vislie:Ved fronten. Gerda Grepp og den spanske borgerkrigen. Pax Forlag
-Dominique Bona: Clara Malraux " Nous avons ete deux".2010
-Hans Olav Lahlum: Haakon Lie.Historien,mytene og mennesket.2009
-Per Imerslund: Videre i passgang.Opplevelser i Mexico og Spania. Kamban Forlag 1944
-Yngvar Ustvedt: Arbeidere under våpen.Norske frivillige i den spanske borgerkrigen.1975
-Willy Brandt: Erindringer (Erinnerungen),1990, Pages 90 -96.


-Who is Capa, Robert Capa?Forgotten already.1.12.2016
-The Osvald Group. A new monument in Oslo.19.05.2015
-Gerda Taro: Too young for Pere Lachaise Cemetery.A fictional story.19.01.2014
-Wanted: 100 000 NOK for Information about Asbjørn Sunde- called " Osvald".17.02.2013
-The Spanish Civil War.(Moy Historia).16.03.2017

The Story of the activities of Josip Broz -Tito-has been told in the biography of Tito written by Phyllis Auty. I do not know if it is common known, but Josip Broz was a communist agent trained in Russia. He was in charge of recruiting volunteers to fight for the Republican Army in the Spanish Civil War. The Spanish war was a fight against Nazism and Fascism in Europe.

Question: Is it possible to make any new reports about the Spanish Civil War at all? The three bold Norwegian historians are of the opinion that the last word about the war is still not written. Information about how the event was dealt with in Norwegian newspapers and above all: The radio is interesting reading. The Norwegian people was well informed about the war. Official meetings, films, radio programmes broadcasted, active politicians and writers were all engaged in fighting against  the fear of a Europe dominated by the Fascism thinking. We have forgotten how much work was done to assist the democratic elected government of Spain against the Fascist regime of Franco. The defeat must have been hard for those who spent days and nights in support of the Republic of Spain. An alarming information is also given in the book about the wiping of radio transmitted programmes of Nrk after the end of the war. To-day no transmitted radio or television programmes  are wiped. Copies of programmes are stored at the National Library at Mo i Rana in Norway.

Why should we spend hours reading the book contenting about 327 pages about a war we lost, forgotten but reminded of  in feature films, televison programmes year by year, you may ask?Is it possible that the event might happened again? I think so. The fight for a democratic society is an ever lasting struggle. The war was not won even if so many did so much to make all know about the danger of Fascism.No. But the Vietnam War was won by the free press. The message given by three bold and active historians is: The fight for a democratic society, for a free press, for free access to information, for free elections, is a fight we all have to join again and again.And above all:Do not wipe transmitted radio or films or television transmitted programmes!
Thank you all for the book.