Norway Royals remember Auschwitz / News / The Foreigner

Norway Royals remember Auschwitz. HRH Crown Prince Haakon will travel to Poland to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit will attend a commemorative ceremony in Oslo. Soviet soldiers liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on 27th January 1945. The UN General Assembly designated the day as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in November 2005, some 60 years later. This day was first commemorated in Norway in 2002. Norway deportations

auschwitz, holocaust, wwii, nazis



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Norway Royals remember Auschwitz

Published on Friday, 23rd January, 2015 at 14:49 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 23rd January 2015 at 15:35.

HRH Crown Prince Haakon will travel to Poland to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit will attend a commemorative ceremony in Oslo.

The "Arbeit Macht Frei" gate
The main gate of Auschwitz I camp. The picture was taken after the war.The "Arbeit Macht Frei" gate
Photo: www.auschwitz.org


Soviet soldiers liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on 27th January 1945.

The UN General Assembly designated the day as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in November 2005, some 60 years later. This day was first commemorated in Norway in 2002.

Norway deportations

The Nazis deported 532 Norwegian Jews from Oslo’s Akershus Quay on 26th November 1942 in the cargo hold of the DS ‘Donau’,bound for Stettin, then Auschwitz.

Police inspector Knut Rød led a squad of about 300 Norwegian police officers who participated in the arrest and deportation operation Jens Stoltenberg, Holocaust Day 2012 speech
Jens Stoltenberg, Holocaust Day 2012 speech
Office of the Prime Minister
on orders of the Gestapo.

Other ships subsequently deported Norwegian Jews to the concentration and death camps.

Some 2,100 Jews lived in Norway at the time. 772 Jews were sent to death camps under WWII, 26 survived the war.

On 27th January 2012, then Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg apologised  for Norway’s involvement in arresting and deporting Jews during the Second World War.

70 years to the day of the 1942 deportation, the Norwegian Police also apologised. State railway NSB, whose train wagons were used to bring the Jews to the harbour, apologised three months later.

Exact spot

HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Israeli diplomats will be attending a ceremony on International Holocaust Remembrance Day at Akershus Quay at 15:00, Tuesday, to commemorate the Jews who were deported.

Guri Hjeltnes, Director, Centre for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities, will lead the commemorative ceremony.

The DS 'Donau' in Oslo harbour
The DS 'Donau' in Oslo harbour
Georg W. Fossum / SCANPIX
The programme will start with a torchlight procession by schoolchildren and a song performed by Jewish schoolchildren. Jewish schoolchildren will also light torches and read short texts.

Minister of Local Government and Modernisation Jan Tore Sanner will then hold the main address.

This will be followed by brief speeches by representatives of the Mosaic Faith Community, Roma Community, Roma People, the disabled, travellers, homosexuals, and political prisoners. Mosaic Faith Community Cantor Eli Zylberman will then perform a song.

A topical presentation will be given at the second part of the ceremony, which will be held at Fanehallen, Akershus Fortress. This is scheduled to start at approximately 15:45.

Survivors

HRH Crown Prince Haakon and Prime Minister Erna Solberg will be representing Norway at an official commemorative ceremony at Auschwitz in Poland.

It will be 70 years to the day since Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was liberated by Soviet soldiers.

Pobierz watchtowers, sector BII
Pobierz watchtowers, sector BII
www.auschwitz.org
The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, and the International Auschwitz Council under the honorary patronage of the Polish President Bronisław Komorowski are the organisers of the 70th Anniversary commemorative events.

Former prisoners of Auschwitz will be the most important guests, organisers state, with the main event taking place outside in a tent located in front of the main gate of the Birkenau camp.

HRH Crown Prince Haakon and Prime Minister Solberg will be meeting Auschwitz-Birkenau Survivors at approximately 19:20.

In an interview about the 70th Anniversary, Dr. Piotr M.A. Cywiński, the director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, stated that it “will not be the same as previous big anniversaries. We have to say it clearly: it is the last big anniversary that we can commemorate with a numerous group of survivors.”

“Until now, it has been them who taught us how to look at the tragedy of the victims of the Third Reich and the total destruction of the world of European Jews. Their voices became the most important warning against the human capacity for extreme humiliation, contempt and genocide.”

Witnesses

This year’s events in Poland regarding Auschwitz start the day before the actual anniversary, on 26th January. Journalists will be able to meet former Auschwitz prisoners in the Book Gallery at the Main Library in Auschwitz (Oświęcim).

Liberated prisoners, Pobierz
Liberated prisoners, Pobierz
www.auschwitz.org
Organisers say that “the meetings will provide an opportunity to record short interviews with these witnesses of history”.

27th January’s programme begins at 09:30 with wreath laying and candle lighting. Former prisoners and the management and staff of the Auschwitz Memorial at the so-called Death Wall at Block 11 in Auschwitz I will carry this out.  

A Mass at the Centre of Dialogue and Prayer will follow at 11:00, with the main event scheduled to start at 15:30. Lighting candles at the monument in Birkenau will take place at 17:00.

“An integral part of society”

The Foreigner spoke with Israel’s Ambassador to Norway and Iceland, Raphael Schutz, about International Holocaust Remembrance Day in this 70th Anniversary year.

He said that he believes that “it is very important for the international community to commemorate the Holocaust in the way it has been done in recent years on this day.”

Israeli Ambassador Raphael Schutz
Israeli Ambassador Raphael Schutz
©2015 Michael Sandelson/The Foreigner
“It’s an important day because it is a reminder of a dark age where the international community didn’t know how to defend itself against pure evil. Unfortunately, pure evil hasn’t vanished, but exists perhaps in different forms today.”

2015 has been marred by two deadly attacks in Paris, one on magazine Charlie Hebdo, the other on a kosher supermarket.

Norway’s Jewish community has asked police for increased security outside the synagogue in Oslo following the supermarket attack.

What would you say to the Jewish Community here?

“I firmly believe that Jews in other countries are an integral part of society and that they should enjoy equal rights as everyone else does. I trust, and have all the confidence that the Norwegian authorities are securing Jewish life in Norway as in other democratic countries.”

“However, we cannot pretend it is business as usual following the attacks in Paris,” concluded Ambassador Schutz.



Published on Friday, 23rd January, 2015 at 14:49 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 23rd January 2015 at 15:35.

This post has the following tags: auschwitz, holocaust, wwii, nazis.





  
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