Historical archive

A great hero has passed away

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Office of the Prime Minister

“It was with great sorrow that I received the news that one of our country’s greatest heroes, resistance fighter and officer Gunnar Sønsteby has passed away, 94 years old,” said Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

“It was with great sorrow that I received the news that one of our country’s greatest heroes, resistance fighter and officer Gunnar Sønsteby has passed away, 94 years old,” said Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

Mr Stoltenberg emphasised that Gunnar Sønsteby dedicated his life to democracy.

“He played a key role in the resistance movement from 1940 until Norway was liberated in 1945. During the war, he showed an extraordinary determination to win back our freedom, and after the war his capacity for reconciliation touched us deeply,” said Mr Stoltenberg.

As one of the most important witnesses of the wartime years, Gunnar Sønsteby became renowned for the part he played in passing on his experiences to later generations of Norwegians – right up until recent years.

“He taught young people in Norway not to hate. He taught them to differentiate between those who are responsible and those who are not. He taught them the importance of reconciliation,” said Mr Stoltenberg.

Mr Stoltenberg also highlighted Gunnar Sønsteby’s longstanding efforts in support of the war veterans.

“He spent more than 60 years in what could be described as a continuous effort to honour veterans in Norway and abroad,” he said.

“There are many of us who are deeply grateful for all that Gunnar Sønsteby has done. We are grateful for the stories about “Kjakan” (The Chin), No. 24, and the Oslo Gang’s historic actions during the war, and for the stories he told from the war until very recently. Gunnar Sønsteby has earned a proud place in our modern history,” said Mr Stoltenberg.

The Government has decided that Gunnar Sønsteby is to be given a state funeral.