Jonsvannsveien 46


Vidkun Quisling is known for his strong sympathies for Hitler and National Socialism and he will always be associated with treason. Not as famous but equally hated and despised is Henry Rinnan who led the Rinnan gang. This was a band of about 50 – 60 Norwegian citizens who infiltrated the Norwegian resistance movement and revealed its members to the German security services in Trondheim. Until 1943, the main task of the gang was to infiltrate and expose people/groups and hand over the information to the Germans. The Germans then decided whether the people would be arrested. But in 1943, the Germans gave them additional powers to carry out interrogations, beatings and torture themselves in order to force confessions and concessions. Murder was also sanctioned.

Officially, the gang was called Sonderabteilung Lola, the name Rinnan gang came only after the war when the gang became known to the public. During the war, few people knew about them. Between March 1942 and February 1943, the gang had its seat upstairs in a house on Brattorgata 12 in central Trondheim. However, when they were given powers, they moved in September 1943 to a house on Jonsvannsveien 46. In the basement of the house were established both prisoner and torture cells. Themselves called the house the "gang monastery" while the Germans called it House Gitta. Hundreds of people suspected of anti-German activities were brought to the house for questioning. Not infrequently there was abuse and torture, even executions.

During the war, the Rinnan gang is believed to be responsible for the deaths of at least 83 people, at least a thousand people were subjected to torture and ill-treatment, and about 1,000 people were sent to concentration camps. In the spring of 1945, members of the gang tried to flee to Sweden but were arrested. Eleven members plus Henry Rinnan were tried, eleven of them were sentenced to death and executed, including Henry Rinnan, who was executed at Kristiansten fortress in February 1947.

Current status: Preserved (2017).

Address: Jonsvannveien 46, 7491 Trondheim.

Get there: Car.

My comment:

The villa that the gang moved to in 1943 remains and is today a private residence and looks largely as it did during the war. At the Justice Museum in Trondheim there is a more detailed and interesting exhibition about the Rinnanband that is well worth visiting.

Follow up in books: Höhne, Heinz: The Order of the Death’s Head: The story of Hitler’s SS (1969).