Thanks to the Alliance of Serbian Associations in Norway, the Association of Serbs and friends of Serbia - Bergen, and the Serbian Academic Society in Oslo, as well as support of the Serbian Office for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region, Theatre Oslo is preparing “Sent to Norway to Die” to hit theatres in Oslo, Bergen, Belgrade etc. early next year.
The Thoresen’s book “Sent to Norway to Die” is about Yugoslav prisoners of war in Norway focusing on brutal behaviour of Norwegian guards, hired by the Germans, in detention camps during the Second World War.
The book follows Nikola Rokic who was one of those lucky men who escaped death by Germans in Yugoslavia, as he was sent to detention camp in the north of Norway in 1942. However, it turned out he was often heavily beaten and tortured in the camp also by Norwegian prison guards. After the war, he left the camp very ill and with only 45kg.
Rokic was one of 4,060 prisoners sent from the former Yugoslavia to Norway for forced labor, says the book “Til Norge for å dø” (Sent to Norway to die). As many as 2,398 of them died, the book added. Through Rokic’s story, the Norwegian historian aimed to show that not only Germans, but some Norwegians also treated prisoners badly.
The book had its promotion at the Belgrade’s Book Fair in 2015 so you can still find a copy before the play is ready.
The theatre team comprises prominent Serbian actors including Branislav Lecic, Irena Popovic, Jovana Gospavic, Janko Cekic and and many others who will be selected on casting for the play at the end of October. The author and director of the play is Dejan Jankovic.