Wanda Maria Heger
Wanda Maria von der Marwitz Hjort
(1921-03-09)9 March 1921
27 January 2017(2017-01-27) (aged 95)
Helping Norwegian and other Scandinavian prisoners in concentration camps during World War II
Bjørn Heger (1914–1985)
Johan Bernhard Hjort
Johan Hjort (grandfather)
Wanda Maria Heger (née Wanda Maria von der Marwitz Hjort; 9 March 1921 – 27 January 2017) was a Norwegian social worker noted for her efforts to help Norwegian and other prisoners in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
2 Activities in Germany
3 Post-war years
Wanda Hjort was the oldest of Johan Bernhard Hjort’s six children. J. B. Hjort was a noted lawyer who co-founded the Norwegian fascist party Nasjonal Samling with Vidkun Quisling in 1933. Hjort, however, broke with Nasjonal Samling in 1937 and became part of the Norwegian resistance movement upon the German invasion in 1940 and occupation between 1940 and 1945. He was arrested at the personal order of Josef Terboven and detained in Norway at Møllergata 19 and Grini and then sent to a prison in Berlin. Thanks to intervention by German relatives, Hjort was confined to house arrest at a family estate near Brandenburg called Groß Kreutz on the condition that his entire family join him there.
While in Oslo, Wanda had assisted her father’s law practice on behalf of prisoners held by Nazi authorities, and had also taken part in smuggling documents and supplies in and out of prisons there, especially Møllergata 19 and Grini.
Activities in Germany
Wanda reluctantly arrived in Germany where she, through contacts in the Norwegian seaman’s church in Hamburg and the Danish church in Berlin, learned about a growing population of Norwegian prisoners in Sachsenhausen. She and her siblings packed backpacks with some food supplies and travelled by public transportation to the camp gate, telling the camp guards they had packages for the Norwegian prisoners. Among these supplies were two glass jars of potato salad. Since glass jars were in scarce supply, they said they would be back to pick up the empty jars in a week. This started a weekly routine that led to familiarity with the camp guards. Over time Wanda was able to gain access to the package sorting facilit