Stoltenberg apologises for WWII Jews’ deportation / News / The Foreigner

Stoltenberg apologises for WWII Jews’ deportation. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has expressed regret over Norway’s involvement in arresting and deporting Jews during the Second World War. “Without relieving the Nazis of their responsibility, it is time to for us to acknowledge that Norwegian policemen and other Norwegians took part in the arrest and deportation of Jews.”Complicit “Today I feel it is fitting for me to express our deepest apologies that this could happen on Norwegian soil,” he said at today’s UN International Holocaust Rememberance Day ceremony at Oslo’s Akershus Quayside.

norwayinternationalholocaustrememberanceday, norwegianpolicedeportations



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Stoltenberg apologises for WWII Jews’ deportation

Published on Friday, 27th January, 2012 at 20:49 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Lyndsey Smith      .

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has expressed regret over Norway’s involvement in arresting and deporting Jews during the Second World War.

Jens Stoltenberg, Holocaust Day 2012 speech
'It was Norwegians who carried out the arrests and who drove the trucks', says PM StoltenbergJens Stoltenberg, Holocaust Day 2012 speech
Photo: Office of the Prime Minister


“Without relieving the Nazis of their responsibility, it is time to for us to acknowledge that Norwegian policemen and other Norwegians took part in the arrest and deportation of Jews.”

Complicit

“Today I feel it is fitting for me to express our deepest apologies that this could happen on Norwegian soil,” he said at today’s UN International Holocaust Rememberance Day ceremony at Oslo’s Akershus Quayside.

He continued, “This year it is 70 years since the German cargo ship SS Donau set sail from this dock on its shameful mission. Five hundred and thirty-two Jews had been brutally rounded up and stowed on board.”

“Only nine of them were to return. The last of the survivors who is still alive is Samuel Steinmann. I am especially pleased to have you here with us today.”

The Prime Minister also highlighted the fate of Ruth Maier, who was 22 when she was arrested in November 1942. She was killed five days later in a gas chamber in Auschwitz.

He mentioned her story would not have been known if it had not been for writer and Gunvor Hofmo and Jan Erik Vold, a lyric poet, translator, and author.

“The Holocaust came to Norway on Thursday 26 November 1942. Ruth Maier was one of the many who were arrested that day. [...] On 26 November, just as the sky was beginning to lighten, the sound of heavy boots could be heard on the stairs of the boarding house “Englehjemmet” in Oslo,” said PM Stoltenberg.

“A few minutes later, the slight Jewish girl was seen by her friends being led out of the door of Dalsbergstien 3. Ruth Maier was last seen being forced into a black truck by two big Norwegian policemen.”

Present fear

Saying whilst there was no question the Nazis carried out the murders, the PM declared, “but it was Norwegians who carried out the arrests. It was Norwegians who drove the trucks.”

“I regret to say that the ideas that led to the Holocaust are still very much alive today, 70 years later. All over the world we see that individuals and groups are spreading intolerance and fear. They are cultivating violent ideologies that could lead to anti-Semitism and hatred of minorities. Norwegian Jews also tell that they are living in fear.”

“In the newspaper Vårt Land, we read that some of our Jews are afraid to be visible as Jews. We cannot accept this in Norway. No one should have to hide their faith, cultural identity or sexual orientation. All people have equal worth. Everyone has equal rights, and that is how it has to be in Norway.”

Out of the 772 Norwegian Jews and Jewish refugees that were deported during WWII, just 34 survived. A total of six million Jews, 1.5 million of them children, were murdered by the Nazis in the Second World War under Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution”.

To read Prime Minister Stoltenberg’s complete speech, click here (external link).




Published on Friday, 27th January, 2012 at 20:49 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson and Lyndsey Smith      .

This post has the following tags: norwayinternationalholocaustrememberanceday, norwegianpolicedeportations.





  
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