Next Live@Lanier to feature presentation on Norway’s role in stopping Hitler’s atomic bomb

Published 12:25 pm Tuesday, November 14, 2023

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The next ‘Live@Lanier’ will take place at Lanier Library on Thursday, November 30, at 1 p.m.

Timothy J. Boyce, editor of Norwegian Odd Nansen’s holocaust diary, “From Day to Day,” and frequent speaker about Norwegian history, will be presenting a little-known pivotal story of Norway in World War II.

The race for the atom bomb began in 1938 when German scientists took a commanding lead by splitting the uranium atom and releasing explosive energy. Heavy water (D2O) was necessary to turn this discovery into a decisive weapon for Hitler. A fertilizer plant in Norway was already processing D2O and the Nazis ordered all in stock and demanded increased production. 

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This is the start of the story told by Boyce about science and scientists, forgotten heroes, failed commando-style raids, and an air attack of 700 bombs that missed the target. In 1944, the home stretch of the race, Nazis were ferrying 4,000 gallons of D2O from Norway to the perceived safety of Germany. 

“The Heavy Water War: Stopping Hitler’s Atomic Bomb” could be a movie rivaling “Oppenheimer” and “The Guns of Navarone.”

The program is free to the public. Lanier Library is located at 72 Chestnut St. in Tryon. For more information, call 828-859-9535 or visit


Submitted by Vincent Verrecchio