Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 2:30 p.m.
Speaker: Author/storyteller Olav Richard Crone-Aamot, author of The Norwegian Paperclip
The meeting started with the lodge's Norwegian language class members singing several songs in Norwegian. This was a requirement toward their Cultural Skills medal.
Author/storyteller Olav Richard Crone-Aamot was only 11 years old when the Nazis arrived on the outskirts of Oslo in 1940 but his age didn’t prevent him from causing a number of problems for the invaders. His book The Norwegian Paperclip is a collection of stories about his escapades during World War II and immediately afterwards.
Approximately 50 minutes. Please note the video is split into several segments which will play consecutively.
Crone-Aamot was born in Manhattan, New York City, NY, 22 Jan 1929, the son of Olav and Gunhild Crone-Aamot, of Eidanger and Sarpsborg, Norway, respectively. His father was a metallurgical research engineer employed by Guggenheim Brothers. The family came to the United States in 1922, moved back to Norway in 1936 and settled in Ramstad, Baerum, and now part of Oslo. He attended primary and middle schools and Gymnasium in Norway, going from one Gymnasium to another as they were closed by the Nazis when the teachers refused to teach what the authorities wanted.
From the first day of the invasion of Norway by the Germans, Richard became obsessed with trying to make life difficult for the invaders. He searched for ways to join a resistance cell and finally succeeded when he became a member of an official First Aid Unit.
Early on during the occupation attempts were made to organize a resistance movement for all of Norway. Various groups were started up but were often betrayed and rolled up by the joint efforts of German and Norwegian police agencies. However, by the fall of 1942 a general outline of a national resistance movement had been agreed upon with the Norwegian Government in Exile in England. For security reasons, the original outline was updated and changed as members were arrested or changed out. The First Aid Unit that Richard belonged to was not incorporated into the new MILORG movement until early l945. By then Norway had been divided into some 40 districts with Oslo being District 13. Thus, his unit became known as District 13320 SAN and he was #134.
After a brief period serving in the Royal Norwegian Army, and an even shorter stint with the British Occupation Forces (as an interpreter/translator), Crone-Aamot joined the U.S. Army as a European enlistee and served as a Military Intelligence Officer for the next 36 years, retiring as a Lt. Colonel in 1974.
(Olav) Richard lives with his wife Carolyn in West Virginia.
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