The Rescue

Grønsund, 11th february 1937

Mr. O. Lindemann

Mr. Hudtwalcker have asked me to provide a summary of Nesch’s rescue. – I had already written everything down with the purpose of undertaking something in that direction, and enclosed I send you my report.Regarding an attestation or a supplement to the report, it would be preferable if you contacted the guard of the bridge, Nils Pettersen, or the fisherman Halvorsen, and Dr. Murstad, Slependen.

Enclosed are also a couple of photos from the site where the accident happened.

I hope you succeed in achieving something.

With regards,
Liv Dahl

The father of the saved boy is:
Industrialist Solli, Nesøen.

On the 29th December 1936, a German artist, Rolf Nesch, resident of Nesöen at Slependen, saved a boy from drowning.

Some boys went skating and Nesch, who was working in his studio, ran out with a ladder when he heard cries for help from the ice. – All together 3 boys had by then fallen through the ice in the middle of the Nesöy-strait. Arvid Solli was the first to fall into the water, his brother Bjarne had tried to save him, and Ragnvald Petersen tried to save both of them, but all of them had fallen into the water. Arvid went under a couple of seconds before Nesch reached the scene, Ragnvald was saved by a plank his brother Karl Emil fetched from the shore on the other side of the strait, – while Bjarne remained in the water.

Nesch, who had pushed himself about 150 meters outward on the ladder, also went through the ice when Bjarne, encouraged by Nesch, took hold of the ladder in an effort to be dragged out of the water. Nesch then gave the boy the ladder to keep him afloat, shouted to the younger boys on the other side of the strait they should put out a boat which lay at the pier – and swam against the ice to make way for the boat. However, Bjarne was about to sink, and Nesch swam to get the plank left behind after the rescue of Ragnvald, turned back to Bjarne with the plank, and managed to arrange placing the stiff frozen boy so that it would be impossible for him to go under. He then continued breaking the ice apart to enable the boat to get through until further help was coming.

One man, Kongshavn, had meanwhile come running from the same side of the strait as Nesch had come from, but he went through the ice about 15 metres from the site of the accident. –

When Nesch and Bjarne had been in the water for about 20 minutes, the guard of the bridge, Nils Pettersen, and a fisherman, Ludvig Halvorsen, arrived to help. They took over the boat – the younger boys had strived bravely, but it was diffcult to make way for the boat through the ice – and they managed to rescue both, and also Kongshavn.

Bjarne later lost his consciousness and after a couple of minutes Nesch got heart cramps and came close to dying. He was immediately treated by Dr. Murstad who was present.


The translation is as close to the original text in Norwegian as possible. The original punctuation has been maintained. A few words and expressions in the original text has been slightly modified to conform to the present English language.


The Hudtwalcker Family Archive

Rescue 2014