Øvre Jernvann


On July 18, 1942, 287 Yugoslavs were massacred at the Beisfjord camp, about a mile southeast of Narvik. The massacre had been preceded by the Germans suspecting a typhoid epidemic among the prisoners. The remaining 588 Yugoslavs were sent about three miles north to a bare place at Lake Upper Jernvann, barely a mile from the Swedish border There, the prisoners had to build primitive barracks using the stones that were available on the mountain and were used as slave workers in a road construction. During the five weeks the camp existed, 242 prisoners died, 168 of them had been executed while the others died of diseases. The prisoners who were still alive were sent back to Beisfjord at the end of August.

Current status: Monument (2017).

Location: 68°30'36,31" N, 17°56'31,76" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

If you ignore the history of the site, it is a beautiful site surrounded by mountains, lakes and streams. In addition, there are quite a lot of ruins left of the stone barracks that were established. In addition to a larger monument, there is also a smaller memorial plaque at the execution site of the 168 Yugoslavs that were shot. I was also surprised that there was so much left of the camp. The place is also a reminder that executions that most often bring to mind Eastern Europe took place only about a mile from the Swedish border, yet it is more or less completely unknown.

Follow up in books: Moore, Bob, Fedorowich, Kent: Prisoners of War and Their Captors in World War II (1996).