At the end of September 2021 we were visited by the grandson of Mr. František Hejda from South Bohemia. His grandfather was deployed in Trondheim. As a child, he gave him a taste of fried seagull eggs in order to know what he ate in times of need during the war in Norway. He and his friends also caught and ate muskrats.
František Hejda originally from Pohoří was born in 1904, and therefore two decades older than most Czechs in Norway. He allegedly went to forced labor as a substitute for another boy from a wealthier family in the village. He was a carpenter by profession and was based in Sager und Woerner in Trondheim. He also made coffins for the dead.
According to family memories, František did not comment much on the deployment in Norway. However, they still remember the story of how grandpa gave bread to a Russian prisoner behind barbed wire. He told him not to run. However, he ran and the guard shot him. At night, he carried the dead man to the morgue while glowing. He worked with phosphorus. (In Trondheim, there was allegedly a workplace where phosphorus was used to describe devices that were mounted in bombers for night flights).
Mr. Hejda's grandson brought a collection of about 100 photographs. He managed to identify most of his friends from the photos. Here we bring you a selection of them.
We thank Mr. Hejda's grandson for his willingness to share with us his grandfather's story and his photographs.
The photos from Norway mention the following names: