Asbjørn Halvorsen

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Asbjørn Halvorsen (born December 3, 1898 in Sarpsborg , Østfold Province , † January 16, 1955 in Narvik ) was a Norwegian football player and coach . He won two German championships with Hamburger SV and was coach of the Norwegian national team between 1935 and 1940 .

Player career

Asbjørn "Assi" Halvorsen started playing football back in 1909 at Sarpsborg FK , the leading club in his hometown. As a teenager he was already used in the first team and was already captain at the age of 18. In 1917 he won his first title by winning the Norwegian Cup. In the final Brann Bergen was defeated 4-1, Halvorsen, who acted as a middle runner , contributed one goal.

In 1918 Halvorsen made his debut in the Norwegian national team with a game against Sweden , which was lost 2-0. In 1920 he took part in the Olympic Games with Norway , where he was able to defeat a British amateur selection 3-1 with the Norwegian team.

The Victoria - challenge cup for the German soccer champions from 1903 to 1944 - won the Hamburger SV for the first time in 1923 and again in 1928.

A year later, Halvorsen, who was employed by a ship brokerage company, had to move to Hamburg for professional reasons. There he joined Hamburger SV instead of Altona 93 , contrary to initial plans . As early as 1922, in his first season, he won the North German championship with HSV and, after winning over Titania Stettin (5: 0) and FC Wacker Munich (4: 0), reached the final of the German championship for the first time in the club's history. After two draws (2: 2 and 1: 1) against 1. FC Nürnberg and the referee abandoned the game, the Hamburgers at the green table were awarded the title, which HSV waived. In 1923 Halvorsen was supposed to win his first major German title. After he was again North German champion with HSV, they beat in the final round of the German championship Guts Muts Dresden (2: 0), VfB Königsberg (3: 2) and in the final Union Oberschöneweide (3: 0).

In 1923, after only 19 games, Halvorsen resigned from the national team. The reason was that his stay in Hamburg made it more and more difficult for him to play for the Norwegian national team in distant Oslo in addition to his job (he was now the owner of a ship broker and freight forwarding company) and club football. He played his last international match at Hamburg's Victoria Platz , where his team-mate and direct opponent Tull Harder scored the only goal of the day.

In Germany, Halvorsen was no longer as successful with HSV. After they failed in the final of the German championship in 1924 at Nuremberg, they only won the north German championship in 1925.

It was not until 1928 that the next great success could be achieved. After he was North German champion for the fifth time in the dress of HSV, there was no stopping the final round. They rolled over FC Schalke 04 (4: 2), VfB Königsberg (4: 0), FC Bayern Munich (8: 2) and finally in the final in front of 42,000 spectators at the Altona stadium Hertha BSC (5: 2).

By 1933 he won three more North German titles with HSV before he left Germany a few months after the Nazis came to power and returned to Norway. For Hamburg he played a total of 28 final rounds of the German championship, was one of the most popular HSV players and one of the first foreign stars in German football.

Coaching career

In Norway he first took a coaching position at his old club Sarpsborg FK , in February 1935 he was also hired by the Norwegian Football Association NFF. Just three months later he was the team manager of the Norwegian selection and therefore returned to Germany in 1936 to take part in the Olympic Games with Norway . After the round of 16 against Turkey could be won without any problems, Germany played in the quarter-finals. With a 2-0 win they threw the hosts out of the tournament and in the end achieved bronze with a 3-2 win over Poland, which is still considered the greatest success of a Norwegian team.

He celebrated a second great success with the Norwegian team by participating in the 1938 World Cup in France. There they failed in the first round after a big game with 1: 2 after extra time against eventual world champions Italy . After 39 games on the bench, Germany's declaration of war on Norway in 1940 also ended this career.

Imprisonment and Later Career

In 1940 the German Wehrmacht invaded Norway and remained as the occupying power until the end of the war in 1945. Halvorsen practiced resistance against the German military government. He rejected the reform and integration of Norwegian sport and even denied Reichskommissar Josef Terboven and other Nazis access to the honor box, which was reserved for the royal family, which was already in exile at the cup final in 1940 .

In August 1942 Halvorsen was arrested by the Gestapo and initially locked in a prison, but was soon transferred to the Grini concentration camp near Oslo. In the autumn of 1943 Halvorsen was transferred to the Natzweiler concentration camp , from where he was first transferred to the Neckarelz subcamp and on January 5, 1945 to the Vaihingen concentration camp, also a subcamp of Natzweiler, which at that time served as a sick camp. Here he was employed as district manager, then as district clerk. On April 5, the Norwegian prisoners came to Neuengamme with the help of the Swedish Red Cross.

There it says in a report about Halvorsen: The man who is in the sick camp of the concentration camp in the spring of 1945 is more dead than alive. He weighs no more than 40 kilograms, suffers from typhus, pneumonia, rheumatism, fever and - of course, malnutrition. The camp administration transferred him to death row. This report, however, is offset by the fact that Halvorsen always received privileged treatment during his imprisonment, and the descriptions of fellow inmate Odd Nansen , who described in his diary from Neuengamme that Halvorsen was “still strong as a bear, but battered by typhus, that he just had behind him ".

After brief treatment in Sweden, Halvorsen returned to Norway in June 1945 and was appointed NFF General Secretary, albeit in poor health. During his service, Halvorsen campaigned primarily for the creation of a national league system.

In 1951 he married his wife Sigrid; the marriage remained childless. In January 1955 he was found dead in a hotel in Narvik while on a business trip for the NFF. He was only 56 years old and probably died as a result of his imprisonment in a concentration camp.


as a player:

  • Norwegian Cup Winner: 1917
  • German champion: (1922), 1923, 1928
  • North German master: 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932
  • 19 games for Norway between 1918 and 1923

as a trainer:

  • Bronze medal Olympic Games 1936
  • Participation in the World Cup in 1938


  • Arthur Heinrich: Asbjørn Halvorsen - A HSV star and Norwegian national coach in Neckarelz concentration camp . In: Mosbacher Hefte 17 , Mosbach 2007, pp. 124–144.
  • Arthur Heinrich: Remembering and forgetting, forgetting and remembering. How Germans deal with Asbjørn Halvorsen , in: Diethelm Blecking , Lorenz Peiffer (eds.) Athletes in the “Century of Camps”. Profiteers, resistors and victims. Göttingen: Die Werkstatt, 2012, pp. 194–200

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Kristian Ottosen: Natt og tåke: Historien om Natzweiler-fangene (in Norwegian). Oslo: Aschehoug. ISBN 82-03-16108-1 , p. 382
  2. ^ Kristian Ottosen: Norwegian prisoners in Vaihingen. November 1944 to April 1945 . In: Manfred Scheck (ed.): The concentration camp on the doorstep. Eyewitnesses report on the Vaihingen concentration camp called "Wiesengrund" . Vaihingen, 4th edition 2010, pp. 191–202.
  3. Odd Nansen: From day to day, Hamburg 1949, p. 341 ff.