On Wednesday, 70 years had passed since the convoys of the allied forces in World War II sailed from Hvalfjörður in West Iceland to Russia.
From the center’s website.
To commemorate the anniversary, an information center on the allied occupation of the region, Hernámssetur, will open at the community house Hlaðir in the rural region Hvalfjarðarsveit on Saturday.
“I found the history of Hvalfjörður so exciting along with the occupation and the convoys. I’m a manic collector and get a free rein as such at the information center,” the center’s founder, Guðjón Sigmundsson, told Morgunblaðið.
Guðjón lives at Hlaðir where he runs a campground, swimming pool and community center hosting various events for visitors and the region’s inhabitants.
In the past years he has collected objects and photographs from the history of Hvalfjörður’s occupation from 1940 to 1945.
The information center’s purpose is to commemorate historical heritage and at the same time give travelers the opportunity to learn more about the region’s culture.
“I turn 55 the same day […] so I’m going to throw an ástandsball in the evening to which all are welcome too,” Guðjón said of Saturday’s events, ending with a dance.
During the occupation years, ástand (“situation”), was used to describe the affection Icelandic women had for the allied soldiers, who often took them dancing, much to the dismay of Icelandic men and the older generation.
The opening of Hernámssetrið at Hlaðir begins at 2 pm.