Bay Ridge

British writer to speak in Bay Ridge on Nazis’ scorched earth policy in Norway

Brooklyn Bookbeat

October 16, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Image courtesy of Vince Hunt
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Award-winning British journalist Vince Hunt will be giving a series of talks in the U.S. later this month on the writing of his book about the scorched earth destruction of Finnmark in World War II.

One of the talks will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26. — the 71st anniversary of Hitler’s orders to burn the north — at the First Free Church on 66th Street and Sixth Avenue in Bay Ridge.

The writing of ‘‘Fire and Ice — the Nazis’ Scorched Earth Campaign in Norway” took BBC documentary maker Hunt across the Arctic north of Norway, interviewing people who lived through or grew up with the consequences of the burning of Finnmark in October 1944 by German troops retreating from the Red Army.

In a journey from Kirkenes west to Tromso, he uncovered tales never before told in English about life in the occupied north, of families traumatized by relentless bombing, of Soviet prisoners who were starved so badly they were reduced to cannibalism and of a POW death camp alongside the fabled Lyngen Line, where fanatical Nazis planned a glorious last stand in the event of an Allied invasion.

As many as 50,000 Norwegians were forcibly evacuated south so they would not help Soviet troops pursuing the Nazis — and once they left, their houses were doused in gasoline and torched.

The talk at the First Free Church will be sponsored by the Scandinavian East Coast Museum and Leif Eriksson Society. Contact [email protected] to reserve a space.

‘Fire and Ice’ is published in the U.S. by Trafalgar Square Publishing of Chicago (

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