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Folklore Fights - The Nazis: Humor in Occupied Norway, 1940-1945

Folklore Fights - The Nazis: Humor in Occupied Norway, 1940-1945

1995 Folklore Fights - The Nazis: Humor in Occupied Norway, 1940-1945 by Kathleen Stokker, © 1995, The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, Soft cover, 273 Pages, 0-299-15444-0, 940.54'12481--dc21.

Book Description

During the German occupation of Norway during World War II, the Norwegians kept spirits high and fostered resistance by humor. The author examines how this seemingly frivolous humor in fact contributed to the development of a resistance mentality in a country stunned by the German invasion.

Publisher Description

Armed with jokes, puns, and cartoons, Norwegians tried to keep their spirits high and foster the Resistance by poking fun at the occupying Germans during World War II. Despite a 1942 ordinance mandating death for the ridicule of Nazi soldiers, Norwegians attacked the occupying Nazis and their Norwegian collaborators by means of anecdotes, quips, insinuating personal ads, children’s stories, Christmas cards, mock postage stamps, and symbolic clothing.

In relating this dramatic story, Kathleen Stokker draws upon her many interviews with survivors of the Occupation and upon the archives of the Norwegian Resistance Museum and the University of Oslo. Central to the book are four “joke notebooks” kept by women ranging in age from eleven to thirty, who found sufficient meaning in this humor to risk recording and preserving it.

Stokker also cites details from wartime diaries of three other women from East, West, and North Norway. Placing the joking in historical, cultural, and psychological context, Stokker demonstrates how this seemingly frivolous humor in fact contributed to the development of a resistance mentality among an initially confused, paralyzed, and dispirited population, stunned by the German invasion of their neutral country.

For this paperback edition, Stokker has added a new preface offering a comparative view of resistance through humor in neighboring Denmark.

About the Author

Kathleen Stokker is professor of Norwegian at Luther College. She is the co-author (with Odd Haddal) of Norsk, Nordmenn og Norge, the most widely used Norwegian-language textbook series in the United States, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press. Her life-long interest in Norway was stimulated by attending the Oslo International Summer School in 1968 and is increased by annual returns to the country.

Library of Congress Catalog Listing

  • LC Control No.: 96037260
  • Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
  • Personal Name: Stokker, Kathleen, 1946-
  • Main Title: Folklore fights the Nazis : humor in occupied Norway, 1940-1945 / Kathleen Stokker.
  • Published/Created: Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, c1997.
  • Description: 273 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
  • ISBN: 0299154440 (pbk. : alk. paper)
  • Notes:
    • Originally published: Madison : Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1995.
    • Includes bibliographical references (p. 255-261) and index.
  • Subjects:
    • World War, 1939-1945 --Norway --Humor.
    • Norwegian wit and humor.
    • Norway --History --German occupation, 1940-1945 --Humor.
  • LC Classification: DL532 .S8 1997
  • Dewey Class No.: 940.54/12481 21
  • Geographic Area Code: e-no---
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