Sons of Norway to show ‘The Heroes of Telemark’

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TEMECULA – Sons of Norway Vinland Lodge invites the community for a showing of the movie “The Heroes of Telemark,” Saturday, Feb. 1. Come share a potluck lunch at 12:30 p.m., followed by the movie showing at the Assistance League of Temecula, 28720 Via Montezuma, Temecula.

Based on true facts and set in German-occupied Norway, the movie is an embellished account of the efforts of the Norwegian resistance to sabotage the German development of the atomic bomb. Resistance fighter Knut Straud, played by Richard Harris, enlists the reluctant physicist Dr. Rolf Pedersen, played by Kirk Douglas, in an effort to destroy the German heavy water production plant near the village of Rjukan in rural Telemark.

In the process, Pedersen discovers that his ex-wife Anna, played by Ulla Jacobsson, and her uncle, played by Sir Michael Redgrave, have also joined the resistance. British commandos dispatched to destroy the plant are killed when their glider hits the mountainside at night. An improvised raid by the resistance ends in the partial destruction of the heavy water canisters, but the contingency plans of Reichskommissar Terboven, played by Eric Porter, enable the Germans to resume production quickly. Pedersen wants to recommend to London that the Allies bomb the plant. Straud opposes him because of the potential death toll on Norwegian civilians and a fight ensues. They send in separate recommendations, and the air raid takes place, but it fails to destroy the heavy water.

A Norwegian traitor gives away the resistance hideout, and Anna’s uncle is killed. The Germans load the canisters onto a ferry for shipment to Germany, and the resistance rig explosives to sink the ferry in the fjord. As the ferry is about to leave, it is boarded by the widow and baby of one of Pedersen’s and Straud’s colleagues. Pedersen boards the ferry and organizes a children’s game of “lifejacket” to minimize civilian deaths. This movie closes with resistance members rescuing passengers as the ferry sinks.

Submitted by Sons of Norway.