The Falstad Centre Foundation was established in August 2000 as a national centre for the education and documentation of the history of imprisonment during the Second World War, humanitarian international law and human rights. The institution also has a rich museum collection, built up from the establishment of the first Falstad museum in 1985. In 2006, the center moved into what was once the main building in the SS camp Falstad. From that time, the institution has also conducted extensive work on the development of the former camp area as a memorial landscape.
The centre’s activities today
The Falstad Center is one of the seven peace and human rights centers in Norway. For more information about our activity, see the sections Education, Research and What’s on.
The history of the museum
The Falstad Center’s collections have grown out of two generations of Falstad Museum. The first Falstad museum opened on May 8, 1985, and was run by volunteers from the local community. The museum had its premises in the old primary school at Ekne.
For the liberation anniversary in 1995, Levanger Museum and the municipality created a new exhibition in the basement of today’s Falstads center. The second museum exhibition was opened by Princess Märtha Louise on May 7, 1995. The exhibition was taken down in 2004, when rehabilitation of the building started.
The debate about Falstad
The process of developing a new permanent Exhibition for the opening of the Falstad Centre, created lengthy and emotional debates in the mediain 2003-2004. The centre’s plans to include all the periods of the building’s history in the exhibition, was met with opposition. The main objection was that the planned exhibition contributed to the atrocities of the Nazis being portrayed as commonplace and ordinary. Cultural historian Leiv Sem analysed the Falstad debate in his doctoral thesis from 2009.
A living place of memory
Discussions on how storytelling and memory processing should take place at Falstad, and what parts of the site’s history are entitled to public attention, are still ongoing.
Through all aspects of the Falstad centre’s activities – teaching, dissemination, research and development of the Falstad landscape as a memory site – visitors are invited to engage in these questions. Falstad is thus an active and living place of memory.