Ola Kaare Sindre Hofmo 1905 - 1945

16.4.1905 Oslo
23.1.1945 Gusen

Ola Hofmo was a journalist by profession. When, in August 1940, the Arbeideren newspaper for which he worked was banned by the Germans, he continued to work as an editor for the underground press.

From summer 1941 onwards he had to go into hiding. He became a key figure in the resistance movement against the German occupying forces. In August 1942, during a large-scale raid against the resistance movement in Oslo, shooting took place during which he was injured and captured by the Germans. After one year’s imprisonment under very harsh conditions in a prison in Oslo he was deported to the Natzweiler concentration camp as a Nacht-und-Nebel (‘Night and Fog’) prisoner. He arrived there on 10 September 1943, was assigned prisoner number 5068 and remained there until the camp was evacuated in September 1944. After a short time at the Dachau concentration camp, on 16 September 1944 he was transferred to Mauthausen concentration camp, where he was given prisoner number 98246. On 5 November 1944 he was taken on to the Gusen II subcamp.

Ola’s older sister, Solveig Hofmo Smedsrud, had been arrested in April 1942 under suspicion of hiding her brother. Via Grini, Ravensbrück and Auschwitz, she also came to Mauthausen, arriving at the beginning of March 1945. On 17 March, Solveig Hofmo Smedsrud and another Norwegian women, Gudbjørg Kaug, were sent on a transport to the Bergen-Belsen camp. Gudbjørg was registered there but later vanished. Solveig never arrived and was never seen again.

Ola Hofmo was a quiet, thoughtful and helpful person by nature. Under the inhuman conditions in which the prisoners lived, his fellow inmates also benefited from these qualities. One of them later described how Ola tried to make things easier for the weakest inmates. The following quote is taken from a report compiled after the war which tells of this: ‘It is bitter to think that the very person who had saved the lives of so many others should lose his own, for he was one of those whom it is hardest to relinquish.’[1]

Ola died on 23 January 1945 in Gusen II. He left behind a wife and two children.

Per and Inger Hofmo

 

 

Translation into English: Joanna White

 



[1] Report by Mogens Kielland (Archive of the Norges Hjemmefrontmuseum [Norwegian Resistance Museum], 43 C, Box C, Collection Siggen Olsen).