The witch-hunt in Norway affected Finnmark in the worst ways. 91 people were given a death sentence and the vast majority of these were burned at bonfires. In Finnmark, and especially in Eastern Finnmark, there were about 3,000 residents, and the number of people executed for witchcraft in Finnmark was very high related to the population. Finnmark´s rates were also high up on the list of areas in Europe, where the most intense witch trials took place. Nordland, Troms and Finnmark have over 40 percent of all death sentences in Norwegian witchcraft cases. A fifth of those convicted were Sami.
In the North
The witch-hunt in Northern Norway were among the most extensive and brutal in the world. There were use of torture to force through confessions during the witch trials in Finnmark.
There is a monument/museum in Vardø that tells the horrible stories about what "witches" were accused of, how they were tortured and confessed, how they were thrown into the sea, to prove if they were witches. If they were floating, they were witches. If they were sinking down and drowned, they were not witches.
It is possible to read the judgements of all the individual victims through the open exhibition and Steilneset Memorial - The Witches Memorial in Vardø. The monument is a truly spectacular architectural building right next to the sea.
In Vardø you can visit the Pomor Museum. Here you will get to know how the traditional pomortrade between the Norwegians and the Russians took place. The Pomortrade kept on for almost 300 years, from around year 1600.
The Russians brought timber gains and grain to the Norwegians and they got fish in return.
Here you can also get to know some history about how Lenin smuggled his messages to the Bolshevik in fishbarrels, and how the rich people smuggled their valuables out of Russia after the revolution in 1917.
In Kiberg you can visit the Partisan Museum and the Partisan bauta from 1947. Two Norwegian kings have visited the bauta. King Olav`s visit in 1983 was a very important start to accept the Partisan`s war efforts. In 1992 King Harald gave the Partisans and their families the final satisfaction and respect for their work during the Second World War.
For several decades, the partisans lived close to hell, always hunted by the Norwegian Intelligence Services, trying to find Soviet spies. None were found in Kiberg, and no partisan from Kiberg were ever linked up to any spy-cases in Norway.
Wall art i Vardø
The Fortress in north
When a lot of Norwegians immigrated to the West or to America, other Norwegians headed to the North of Norway. A young man, Ingebrigt Eriksen, travelled 1.400 km and came to Kiberg from Alstadhaug in Nordland county in the1860s as a young man. He bought the land in 1864 and built a little farm. He built the houses with timber from Russia during the time of the Pomor trade. His grandson, Trygve Eriksen, ran the farm after the Second World War and tore down the old house to build a new one. He built a barn for cows with the timber from the old houses.
Trygve Eriksen escaped from his home with the family when Norway was invaded by the Germans in 1940. They escaped to the Soviet Union in a boat together with three other families from the area. A lot of families escaped to The Soviet Union by boats. All the men came back to Norway to fight against the German army. They became partisans in Norway, operating from the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, many men died during the fight for freedom.
Trygve Eriksen was one of the most famous partisans in the North and he was decorated in the Soviet Union and in Norway for his war efforts.
I am the grandson of Trygve and will together with my daughter make your holiday a dream. We will guide you to the river, the lakes and on fishing, and we will show you the old Sami area in the arctic among other places.
There are three bedrooms for six persons.
You can also stay in a lavvo, in a double bed.
You have access to a bathroom, a kitchen and a livingroom with a TV and wifi during your stay.
Welcome to our house in Kiberg!