Refugee issues became a main area of work for the legation. The Refugee Office was to relieve the economic and social needs of the refugees. The office was established April 28 1940. As part of the Legation, it was formally under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but administrative under the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. In 1941, a reception center was established for refugees in Öreryd in Småland. The following year the centre was moved to Kjesäter in Södermanland. In the summer of 1943 a reception centre for Sami refugees in Jokkmokk in Norrbotten. The camp was lead by the Swedish until the autumn of 1944, when it became part of the Norwegian exile administration in Sweden.

Norwegian refugees arrive at Kjesäter

Norwegian refugees arrive at Kjesäter. NTB’s war archive, Uc/69

A central part of the archive is the Kjesäterkartoteket (index file). This is organized chronologically by refugee number with an alphabetic index. The examinations of refugees are shown in different reports that describe the refugee’s identities, information about the resistance and traitors. Otherwise there is a lot of health information in the archive, with patient journals, health records, dentist records, etc.

You can find material about the war years in the Legation/Embassy in Stockholm’s archive as well, including a register of prepared and renewed Norwegian passports, and questioning reports in chronological order by refugee number.

For the sake of Swedish authorities, there had to be something “covert” about the Norwegian refugee administration. Reserve police and police troops were terms used to disguise that they really were military personnel.

In 1942 the Police Office was reorganized under a new name: The Legal Office (Rettskontoret). The reason was the need for increased control with the refugees. It included security service, surveillance and counter-intelligence. Another motivation for the name change was to prevent the refugees feeling that they were under “police investigation”.

The Legal Office’s archive contains in- and outgoing correspondence from the Passport Office’s legal department, registering of Norwegian refugees, applications for passports, visa and entry permits to Norway.

To relieve the situation for refugees in Sweden and the needy in Norway, the Norwegian Relief-Central in Sweden was established in 1940. In 1944 the central was incorporated in the Health Director’s Office in Sweden, but right up until the end of the war it created its own archive. It consists of journals of registers and an administrative archive. The latter archive documents the help that was given in the form of medicines, gifts and fund raising. Certain cases deal with help for Norwegian children. Many of them didn’t receive sufficient nutrition, and clothing and shoes could be in poor condition. Some children were transferred to Sweden.

Handing out clothes to new refugees at Kjesäter

Handing out clothes to new refugees at Kjesäter. NTB’s war archive, Uc/69

In the Public Health Directorate’s archive from London you can find documentation regarding the refugee administration in Sweden. The administrative archive is ordered according to themes, such as nutrition, doctors, dentists, and the treatment and vaccination of refugees.

The archive of the General Consulate in Stockholm has a limited amount of material about the war. The administrative archive consists mainly of material related to marriage, divorce, child support issues, inheritance settlements, etc.

Relevant archives in Arkivportalen

S-2080 Sosialdepartementet, Flyktningskontoret i Stockholm (including Kjesäterkartoteket)

S-1725 Utenriksstasjonene, Legasjonen/ Ambassaden i Stockholm, series Da, no. 391-450

S-4815 Legasjonen i Stockholm, Rettskontoret 

S-1409 Handelsdepartementet, Skipsfartsavdelingen/Da/151-152 

S-2073 Den norske Relief-Central i Sverige 

S-3551 Utenriksstasjonene, Generalkonsulatet i Stockholm, Sverige 

S-2910 Sosialdepartementet 1940-1945, Medisinaldirektøren i London