{ succession }


Succession (from the Latin successio: “succession, inheritance”) constitutes a consistent, mostly irreversible change from one biocenosis (plant, animal, or microbial group) to another within a given area, due to internal and/or external factors. These factors change the species’ composition, the diversity of organism groups, the trophic structure, and the productivity of the territory. Succession is observed as the result of a complex interaction of natural and anthropogenic factors. Groupings of plants create a succession series where each previous group creates the conditions for the development of the next one. A number of successive transformations end with a climax – a relatively stable group.[1]

Succession is also used in the context of inheritance, to describe the order in which or the conditions under which one person after another succeeds to own a property. The modernization that marked Norway’s transition into a modern capitalist society was largely planned or constructed by the Nazi occupation during the Second World War. The extensive infrastructure projects the occupiers undertook in Norway range from hydropower and roads to a breeding program for “Aryan” babies. Infrastructure in all its forms was vitally important in the Nazis’ determination to connect the peripheries of Europe to Berlin, the intended political and economic heart of their global empire. The traces of their vision for a Nordic colony, though often overlooked, are still present in Norway today – and many of the occupier’s projects have been uncritically continued into the present. Norway is well on the way to becoming the “green battery of Europe”. However, this green colonialism is threatening the Sámi right to cultural practice, exemplified by the Fosen Supreme Court case in 2021, during which licencing for the Storheia and Roan wind farms was revoked due to its impact on Sámi reindeer herders’ human rights.[2]

This is not a new development but builds upon layered injustices throughout history. The colonial dispossession of indigenous people by the nation state; the fascist developments during the occupation; and the modernization following the end of the Second World War all formed the basis for current, now normalized, ecocidal practices. What does it mean that the roads that formed the welfare society were built by Nazis and paved with forced labor? Why are contemporary visions for Norwegian society still so closely aligned with the imperial modernism envisioned by Hitler?


[1] Nick Axel, Nicholas Korody, Babyn Yar: Past, Present, Future (Leipzig: Spector Books, 2021)
[2] “Norwegian Government apologises to Sámi reindeer herders on the Fosen peninsula”, Regjeringen, February 4, 2023, accessed March 19 2023, https://www.regjeringen.no/en/aktuelt/norwegian-government-apologises-to-sami-reindeer-herders-on-the-fosen-peninsula/id2965357/


Herman Hjorth Berge