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The Kvithell Cave

This cave is located about 6 km from the village Hasvik. There is a marked path to the cave which starts at a sign easily seen from the road (see picture), it takes approximately 10 minutes to go down to the cave.

Kvithellan - Copyright © 2003, Anne Olsen-Ryum
35 people lived in this small cave during the war in the winter of 1944/45 for a period of 99 days. Women and children barely left the cave, while the men left in search for provisions and to hear radio. They had a small rowing boat nearby, so cooked fish was part of their diet.

The cave is rather shallow and offers only little protection from the elements. The children were placed in the inner part of the cave, protected by the adults from waves, tide and wind. The mood inside the cave was good, even if smaller conflicts could not always be avoided.

On July 10th , 1994 the oldest of the former inhabitants of the cave, Gudrun Nilsen from Breivikbotn, unveiled a memorial plate (see picture) which the Hasvik history group had erected in the cave.

Each year, during the "Sørøydagene" festival in July, Hasvik history group arranges a concert in the cave. The cave and its surroundings are popular places to visit when the midnight sun warms up the long summer nights.

In summer, it is somewhat difficult to imagine how the 35 people experienced Christmas Eve back in 1944. Anyway, Christmas carols were sung in the cave as well, while adults and children danced around the "Christmas tree" - a broomstick decorated with juniper branches….