Falstad Centre

Falstad Centre
(Museum Partner)


THE FALSTAD CENTRE – Norwegian Memorial and Human Rights Centre
The Falstad centre is a national education- and documentation centre. Education, documentation and communication concerning the history of imprisonment during World War II and Human Rights constitute the core activities of the centre. The Falstad Centre is situated in the building that, in the period 1941–45, served as SS Stafgefangenenlager.Read more about Falstad’s history.The Falstad Centre is located in the municipality Levanger in central Norway, 80 km north of Trondheim.



The Falstad Centre’s permanent museum exhibition, situated in the cellar area of the Falstad building, has the history of war imprisonment 1940–45 and human rights issues as focal points. Read more about the exhibition.


Falstad’s history

The Falstad building was erected by Norwegian public authorities in 1921 as a reformative school.In 1941 the German occupiers seized the school and established a prison camp at the premises. “SS Strafgefangenenlager Falstad” became the second largest prison camp in Norway. About 4500 people from 13 nations were imprisoned here in the period 1941–45. The majority were Norwegian political prisoners.To a great number of them, Falstad served as a station “en route” to Grini prison camp outside Oslo or to concentration camps in Germany. In 1942 Norwegian Jews were imprisoned here before being deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau.After the liberation, Falstad served as a labour camp and prison during the post war trials. This camp was closed in 1949, and in the period 1951–92 the building housed a special school.

The Falstad Forest, situated one kilometre south of the Falstad Building, is today a national cultural memorial and a war grave site. About 300 prisoners were executed in this forest during 1942–43.

Falstad Forest

“My husband had to leave his home and his country in hunger, he died in hunger.
I never had the opportunity to bring him food and clothes when he needed it most.
Thus I lay this bread and shirt upon his grave here in Falstad Forest”.

Nada Grozdanovic, Falstad Forest 1978.

The execution site, Falstad Forest, lies one kilometre south of the Falstad Building. Approximately 300 prisoners were executed here in the period 1942-43. Before liberation on the 8th of May 1945, an unknown number of remains of the executed were sunk in the Trondheim Fjord. Presumably Falstad Forest still conceals unknown graves. During the summer of 1945 known graves were opened and the remains identified. In the years 1945-52, a total number of 49 graves were found in Falstad Forest. The burial places are today marked with stone pyramids. Names of the executed are carved on a cenotaph in the forest. For prisoners of Yugoslav or Soviet Russian origin, Falstad served as a death camp.

A monument in Falstad Forest was unveiled by HRH Crown Prince Olav in 1947. Falstad Forest is today a national cultural monument and a war grave site.



The Falstad Centre’s research activities are related to three main topics:

  • The history of prisoners of war in Norway during WW2, with emphasis on both Norwegian and foreign prisoners, forced laborers and slave laborers from Eastern Europe.
  • Post-war uses of (pedagogical, religious, political) of former concentration camps as sites of remembrance.
  • Historical culture and cultural heritage related to the Holocaust and the camp system.



Tone Jørstad
  Jon Reitan