Day 8 - June 19 - OSLO

This morning I received a very interesting email from an archivist at the Trondheim city archive, who forwarded me quite a bit of information and I learned I have some work cut out for me at the archive in Tromsø. Check out the last sentence...

Located Storage:
The State Archives in Tromsø Archive:
Norges Bank, Hammerfest Department Affiliated actors Archives:
Norges Bank, Hammerfest DepartmentOther actors:
Contents The archive is organized by Norges Bank, which has picked up daily mail, notes and messages from the headquarters. The Hammerfest department was responsible for Banknote Settlements and the Riksinnskudd for Finnmark. Despite the fact that the material for District Development Funds could be shredded according to notice No. 32 - 1996, it has been selected. For government guaranteed loans in time before approx. In 1943 it was originally filed under State-guaranteed fishing loans, while recently it was organized by company name.

The archive is made up of 22 shelves.

 

Day 6 - June 17 - OSLO

Last night I was reading my Eyewitness Travel Guide to Norway to try to help me fall asleep (it's light out until almost midnight so it's hard to sleep). I read about the Museum for Samtidkunst (Museum of Contemporary Art), and realized I had been sitting on a bench there two days earlier resting after visiting the Resistance Museum.  I had decided to not go in at the time but kept staring at the building not realizing its significance.

Museum of Contemporary Art facade

Museum of Contemporary Art facade

It turns out that the museum is in the former Norges Bank building, the building where Thor worked while living in Oslo during the 1920s and 30s. If you look underneath the letters of the museum name, you can still see the Norges Bank letters, something that I had missed two days ago.

Norges Bank letters undeneath the current museum letters on the facade

Norges Bank letters undeneath the current museum letters on the facade

I had to wait 1 1/2 hours for the museum to open so I could be the first one in the building. I wanted to experience what it was like for Thor to go to work here each day. I was hoping to get a sense of his environment by looking carefully at the interior architecture and design. I have to say I was lucky to read the guide book last night (not sure why I missed this before I got to Norway), and also lucky because the museum is closing soon in order to move to a new location with its partner museums in 2020. 

There was no one working there today (Saturday) to talk to about the building and Monday is closed. I will be emailing them to hopefully arrange another visit during my last week in the area, the first week of July, to get a tour of other floors where additional offices might be that are currently off limits to the public.

Left photo is of the bank in 1906, courtesy of Riksantikvaren

(The other three photographs are mine - shot today)

Second floor hallway

Second floor hallway

Day 5 - June 16 - OSLO

Today's forecast called for rain, so plans changed and I headed indoors; first to visit the museum closest to me, the Munch Museum, a 5-minute walk from my Airbnb, and then with after a brief T-bahn ride, ended up at the National Gallery. Since Thor was an amateur artist, I wanted to see the kind of art he would have been influenced by during his life. Edvard Munch, Norway's most famous artist, was prolific during Thor's lifetime, and died only a few years after Thor, in 1944 at the age of 80.

Since Thor lived in Oslo, he would have seen the work of the Norwegian Romantic painters, like the one below.

Johan Christian Dahl, View from Stalheim, 1842 (Photo: Nasjonalmuseet, Billedkunstsamlingene)  For more information and art work see:  http://www.nasjonalmuseet.no/en/

Johan Christian Dahl, View from Stalheim, 1842 (Photo: Nasjonalmuseet, Billedkunstsamlingene)

For more information and art work see: http://www.nasjonalmuseet.no/en/

He of course, would also have seen work by Edvard Munch, like this painting, completed in 1932. These artists would have influenced his own work, which is more in-line with Dutch still-life painting and the more traditional painters like Dahl.

Edvard Munch, Apple Tree in the Garden (Photo: Munchmuseet, Oslo) For more information see:  http://munchmuseet.no/en/

Edvard Munch, Apple Tree in the Garden (Photo: Munchmuseet, Oslo) For more information see: http://munchmuseet.no/en/

Pen and ink drawing of horses and oil on canvas still-life painting - both by Thor Jensen

Day 4 - June 15 - OSLO

Made quite a bit of headway today - thanks to the archivist at the Norwegian Resistance Museum (Hjemmefrontmuseet - http://www.forsvaretsmuseer.no/Hjemmefrontmuseet/Om-museet/Information-in-English). He took me to the library and showed my 6 books that I should read (all in Norwegian). I was able to purchase two books in English about the war, in particular, one about the Resistance Movement. Spent about 3 hours here working my way through the exhibits and talking with the archivist.

Spy stuff - film and other weird things...

Spy stuff - film and other weird things...

Resistance Museum circled - next to the fortress - next to a giant cruise ship

Resistance Museum circled - next to the fortress - next to a giant cruise ship

Day 3 - June 14 - OSLO

Interesting developments - no information about Thor from the Norwegian Resistance Museum, but I wasn't expecting anything about him from them. I will go there tomorrow to review books/documents in their library, and to hopefully speak to a librarian about other bankers who might have been recruited to work for the resistance.

I did manage to walk to the Palace and found Oscarsgt., northeast of the Palace, where I located the apartment building that my great-grandmother Hilda lived in after her husband died in 1911. Thor lived with his mother here for a few years before his fateful move to Hammerfest in 1940-41.

Oscarsgt. 2, Oslo

Oscarsgt. 2, Oslo

Thor's mother, Hilda, and Thor, 1938

Thor's mother, Hilda, and Thor, 1938

Day 2 - June 13 - OSLO

I had planned to go to the Hjemmefront Museum today but it was the perfect temperature to head to Vigeland Park and then to Vestre Gravlund which is the cemetery where my great-grandfather Conrad Jensen, my great-grandmother Hilda and my great-uncle Thor were buried. It took some digging and looking through old records but the effort was worth it.

Conrad Hjalmar Jensen (died 1911) and Thor Jensen (died 1941). The gravesite is no longer there as it was taken over by another family, but they helped me locate the site at least.

Conrad Hjalmar Jensen (died 1911) and Thor Jensen (died 1941). The gravesite is no longer there as it was taken over by another family, but they helped me locate the site at least.

Day 1 - June 12 - OSLO

I arrived in Oslo mid-afternoon and have settled into Sigrid and Henrik's great Airbnb apartment in Oslo. Tomorrow I will head downtown to begin research at the Hjemmefront Museum (Norway's Resistance Museum).

Arrived!

Arrived!

The journey begins here

My great-uncle Thor Einar Jensen died in October 1941. 

The story within the family is that he committed suicide.

I do not believe this.

This is the story of my journey searching for the truth.

Thor Einar Jensen

1904-1941