The wedding ring of a Stavanger man who survived a WWII concentration camp has been returned to his daughter 70 years later.
Erling Berg Pedersen was arrested in August 1942 for editing the illegal Norwegian-language newspaper 'Patrioten' ('The Patriot'. He was sent to the Grini prison camp in Bærum before arriving at the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp near Strasbourg the following year.
In his memoirs, he wrote about his experiences at Natzweiler, where 245 Norwegians lost their lives, and about the camp’s commandant Josef Kramer.
Kramer, who gassed 80 Jews at Natzweiler, then became commandant of the unsanitary, overcrowded and disease-ridden Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and was branded as ‘The Beast of Belsen’ by its inmates. At least 50,000 died there, mostly Jews.
Erling Berg Pedersen was moved to Dachau following his time at Natzweiler until the Allied forces liberated the camp. He was able to return to Norway via the Neuengammer camp in Hamburg but without his wedding ring, which had been removed by the Nazis.
In March, Erling Berg Pedersen’s daughter Marit Dunseth received a phone call from the Rogaland department of DIS, a genealogy organisation.
Marit told Aftenbladet that her father did not resent Germans for what had happened during the war after he returned home.
“After the war he never felt bitterness towards the ordinary German. I remember that he and his mother had former German soldiers to visit for dinner,” she said.
According to the paper, Mr Pedersen sent a letter to the editor a few months before he died about Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel after seeing an article about her, writing, “When I see a photo of Angela Merkel, I see a German citizen who is ashamed of what happened in Germany during the war.
“And not only that, but she wants to try to make amends for what happened then.”
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