Hitler's stones get Suffolk home

STONES cut to commemorate Hitler's victory in Norway are today arriving at their new home in Suffolk in honour of the soldiers who helped defeat the Nazis.

STONES cut to commemorate Hitler's victory in Norway have arrived at their new home in Suffolk in honour of the soldiers who helped defeat the Nazis.

A new monument is being built by Norwegian architect Leif Johanssen at the Rock Barracks on Woodbridge Airfield, to honour those Royal Engineers who helped liberate his country in 1945.

Rock Barracks is the home of 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault), the Army's airborne Royal Engineers.

Soldiers from their antecedent units were instrumental in the liberation of Norway in 1945 and, once the war was won, were helped by Mr Johanssen, then 18-years-old.

Mr Johanssen, who is now 82, said: “This monument is a gift to say thank you and honour the British soldiers who helped liberate my country.

“The boys who came to Norway in 1945 were from the Airborne Division with the Pegasus badge on their arm and it became a favourite symbol of mine and I'm very proud to have been in contact with these boys.”

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Lieutenant Colonel Dave Wilson MBE, Commanding Officer of 23 Engineer Regt, said: “A number of years ago Mr Johanssen started work on a project to give official thanks to the UK Airborne Engineers for their part in securing Norway's freedom.”

“Over the past two years Mr Johanssen has designed and built a bespoke war memorial in commemoration of the allies, in particular the Airborne Sappers, involvement in the liberation of Norway during World War Two.

“Mr Johanssen also secured agreement from the Norwegian Government to use some of 'Hitler's Stone', quarried on specific orders from Hitler for transportation to Berlin, destined for a monument to celebrate Germany's victory over Norway.

“The Quarry has been a listed Norwegian conservation area since the war with the stones protected by Norwegian law. These same stones will now form the foundation for the memorial.

“Mr Johanssen also gained authority for some of the sheet steel work on the memorial to be cut directly from the side of the Turpiz, a wrecked German Battleship, again with Norwegian Governmental approval.

“The Regiment is very proud and honoured to be the recipients of this commemorative memorial.”

The 5-metre tall memorial will be unveiled in the spring.