Asbjorn Halvorsen: Victim of Dictatorship

Jun 23, 2020

Life Stories

Asbjorn Halvorsen

Beginnings

Born in Sarpsborg, Norway in 1898, Asbjorn Halvorsen was a powerful centre-half who remains the youngest-ever captain to win Norway’s cup final (in 1917, aged 18). Halvorsen made his international debut, against Sweden, in 1918.

Great player and Manager

In 1922, Halvorsen moved to Germany to play for Hamburger SV. He was a star player there, winning the national league title in 1923 and 1928. Halvorsen returned to Norway in 1934, after the Nazi dictatorship began, even though he was married to a German citizen. He became secretary of Norway’s Football Association and manager of the national team. Under Halvorsen, Norway won the bronze medal at the 1936 Olympics and qualified for the 1938 World Cup.

Legacy

During the Second World War, Norway came under the German occupation; there was a sports boycott in protest, which Halvorsen supported. He was arrested and spent the rest of the war in concentration camps in Norway and then in Germany. After 1945 he was once again secretary of the Norwegian FA. He died in 1955.

Thinking points

Educators could look at the life story of Asbjorn Halvorsen and work with young people to consider this question:

  1. Asbjorn Halvorsen played for SV Hamburg and was regarded as a footballing hero in Germany. He was married to a German woman. But he spent years of his life as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. Why?

 

Find out more

If you want to find out more about Asbjorn Halvorsen you can read this article (German) by the NDR covering the lives of teammates Asbjorn Halvorsen and Otto Harder. But when war divided Europe in 1939 so did it also divide Friends. Asbjorn spent this time in concentration camps while Harder went to join the SS.

Check out this article for more in-depth information in Norwegian.

COVER Image

HSV President Emil Martens, Asbjørn Halvorsen and the Hamburg official Gaues Nordmark, Arthur Egon Schmidt (from left) 1933 (Copyright HSV archive)

HSV President Emil Martens, Asbjørn Halvorsen and the Hamburg official Gaues Nordmark, Arthur Egon Schmidt (from left) 1933 (Photo: HSV archive).

Life Story

Asbjorn Halvorsen played for SV Hamburg and was regarded as a footballing hero in Germany. Still, he spent time in a German concentration camp.

25

Article Tags:   Lives

Do you wanna know more?

HISTORY CAN BE EXPLORED THROUGH THE LIVES OF INDIVIDUALS

Stories

Browse our collection of stories about football history and inclusion. With the history of football being made up of millions of stories, of individuals and communities, of movements and processes, we offer stories that can inspire our cultural conversations today.

Videos

Get to know untold stories where individuals are making history with football. When faced with insurmountable challenges, individuals past and present can use football as a cultural force to foster positive change in society. We honour these individuals and tell their ‘untold’ stories in short videos.

Educational Resources

Explore our innovative educational resources that use football’s history, heritage and legacy to engage young people. The resources include ready-made lesson plans and historical source collections for school history education as well as toolkit with activities for non-formal settings.

LATEST POST  You may also be interested in

A final painted in contrasts

A final painted in contrasts

On this day, 12 July 2020, Euro2020 would have reached the final. In 1992 Denmark, which hadn’t qualified, won. While Yugoslavia, a favorite, never made it due to UN sanctions.

The last defectors

The last defectors

Today 30 years ago in 1989 three players of the East German football club Wismut Aue were getting ready to escape from the DDR.

Saga of a small nation in a bigger Europe

Saga of a small nation in a bigger Europe

On this day in 2016, Iceland’s football men lost to France at the European Championship. It ended an amazing run for the team which had not yet reached such heights. This is a story of a small nation in a bigger Europe.

Football without frontiers for a Europe without borders

Football without frontiers for a Europe without borders

On this day in the year 2000, the final of the first European Championship co-hosted by two countries was played. The idea to host such an event together is an example of the 1990s momentum in European cooperation. Euro2020, now postponed till 2021, is co-hosted by 12 European cities. This is the story of crossing borders.

Share This