Theodor Abrahamsen

born 1919 in Døbrak, Norway

Theodor Abrahamsen was born in a small town on the coast of the Oslofjord. He lived in Russia until he was nine years old. Later, his family relocated to London. After finishing school, Theodor Abrahamsen began studying philology at Oxford University. At the beginning of the Second World War in 1939, he had to switch to the University of Oslo. The student body there challenged the politics of Nazification the German occupiers attempted to implement there repeatedly since April 1940. Reich Commissioner Terboven ordered over 1,200 students arrested in late 1943. Theodor Abrahamsen was part of a group of those arrested students that was deported via the Stavern camp to the Buchenwald concentration camp on 13 January 1944. There, he had to endure a program of forced reeducation. Professors from the University of Jena gave lectures in the camp. In July, Theodor Abrahamsen and his fellow students were transferred to the Sennhein SS training camp in Alsace. Their return to Buchenwald in December 1944 was followed by a transfer to the Neuengamme concentration camp at the beginning of March. As part of Count Folke Bernadotte's rescue operation, his fellow students returned to Scandinavia in April. Theodor Abrahamsen was seriously ill and was only able to follow them in June 1945.

After the war he completed his studies in Canada and the United States. For many years, he worked as a professor at the British Institute at the University of Oslo. From 1971 to 1978 he was director of the Cathedral School in Hamar, where he still lives today. Theodor Abrahamsen speaks Russian fluently. At the age of 88 he learned to speak Arabic as well.