During World War II, the Norrmalm district of Stockholm, as well as Östermalm, is where most of the day to day activities of the people who worked at The American Legation seemed to occur, in particular, the southern part closest to Staden.
Today lower Norrmalm is Stockholm’s “City” and is the central part of Stockholm, the business core. During the 1950’s and 1960’s many of the existing buildings were demolished and rebuilt, so many streetscapes will be much different today.
On the 1944 map below from “Stockholm Illustrated Guide,” the numbers indicate various significant locations for Herman and Hedy as well as for all the American internees and the OSS during WWII:
- Staden, or “Old Town” as a reference
- The American Legation (which is in Östermalm, for perspective)
- The Grand Hotel has undergone much renovation but is still as grand as ever. It was a popular spot for many dinners or luncheons on the terrace. Various of the gentlemen who worked at The Legation had apartments there as well as at other hotels including The Strand, The Continental, and the Eden.
- The Strand Hotel where internationals had many occasions to mix is today the Radisson Blu Strand Hotel Stockholm. In January 1945 this was Colonel Bernt Balchen’s official address on the Legation directory.
- The more affordable Continental Hotel at Vasa-Gatan 22, opposite the Central Station. This hotel is where most of the American internees stayed during their weekend in Stockholm. Today it is the Scandic Continental Hotel. The Central Railway Station was an important transportation point.
- Lt. Herman F. Allen’s Stockholm apartment at Garvargatan 5. (Not in Norrmalm but in the adjacent district of Kungsholmen.)
- Hedvig Johnson’s apartment at Bergsgatan 24 (where she lived before she and Herman married and she moved to his on Garvargatan 5. (Also Kungsholmen.)
- Blanche’s Café, approximate location
- The Royal Theater, or “Kungliga Teatern”
- The China Theater or “Chinateatern” was a movie theater during WWII. Here is where Herman and Hedy saw Tallulah Bankhead in “Lifeboat.”