Letter From Aslak

Current work in progress Stahr & Skappel: 

A one act Monologue Musical about a Norwegian, female resistance fighter during WWII

 

The American Association of University Women prepared for the end of World War II by raising funds before Victory in Europe Day on May 8, 1945, to bring students from formerly occupied European countries to study in the United States under International Fellowships. By September 1945, just in time for the start of the American school year, six women were brought to the United States with the help of AAUW.

One of these first International Fellows was Anne Sofie Østvedt of Norway. Her life seems like legend or heart-pounding fiction. But every bit of it is true, from commanding thousands of underground resistance members to running from the Gestapo — from disguises to a love story.

Østvedt was born on January 2, 1920, in Norway. When German forces invaded in 1940, she was a 20-year-old chemistry student at the University of Oslo. Østvedt wasted no time in becoming involved in the Norwegian resistance, first by writing, editing, and distributing an underground, illegal newspaper and later by formally joining the resistance. In her application to AAUW, Østvedt explained that she continued with her studies until 1942 when she “had to stop when chased by the Gestapo.”

Østvedt quickly rose through the ranks to become the deputy commander of the underground intelligence-gathering resistance group XU. According to the top-secret document in her AAUW file, “As from the summer of 1943, she functioned as the proxy of the chief and in that capacity had contacts with the leading underground organizations. During the stays abroad and inspection trips of her chief, she was the acting leader of the whole system, comprising that whole of south Norway (about 3,000 men).” The chief mentioned was Øistein Strømnæs, Østvedt’s future husband, whom she married in 1946 while they were both graduate students in California.

Read more here: http://www.aauw.org/2013/05/08/norwegian-resistance-fighter/

ANNE-SOFIE // ASLAK

To: The American Association of University Women (AAUW)

My name is Anne-Sofie Østvedt.  I am Norwegian. And I may be woman, but more so, I am a human being. I am a realist and a humanist. And for the past five years, I have been a resistance fighter. I write to you today to apply for The International Fellowship to continue my studies at Berkley, California. I began my chemistry studies at the University of Oslo in 1939. One year later, the Germans occupied our country. I was 20 years old. 

Hilde SkappelComment