The Falstad Centre is located in a building which history goes back to the first half of the 1920s.
Falstad Reformative School 1921-1941
Falstad Institution for the Upbringing of Troubled Boys was established in 1895. The expressed aim was to «educate such boys to become honest and useful members of society through a Christian upbringing». Falstad Reformative School was formally dissolved in 1949.
The German Security Police established SS-Strafgefangenenlager Falstad as a prison camp for political prisoners in the autumn of 1941. Falstad functioned as a labour camp, a transit camp and a death camp.
Falstad was a pawn in the political postwar trials against the Nazis. From 1945 until 1949, the prisoners at Falstad included former members of the Norwegian Nazi party and front fighters as well as other prisoners suspected of having supported the Nazis or who had been convicted of this.
From 1951 until 1992, a school was again run from the Falstad building, under several names over the years. In 1951 Ekne State Primary School for the Mentally Impaired opened. This was a residential school for children from all over Norway. Most of the pupils, however, came from the nearby counties of Sør-Trøndelag and Møre og Romsdal. The basis for selecting pupils was a course designed to test the children.
In the period 1942–43, more than 200 prisoners were executed and buried in mass graves in the Falstad Forest. After the war, the bodies were exhumed. We have reason to believe that there are still unregistered graves in the forest.
The Falstad Centre Foundation was established in August 2000 as a «national centre for the education and documentation of the history of imprisonment in the Second World War, humanitarian international law and human rights».