In front of Krema III , in Birkenaulägret at Auschwitz, where trains with cattle wagons stopped, there are a number of memory blocks in 20 languages . Including the Norwegian: “Always la dette sted være et shouts of fortvilelse og et notice til menneske unit, Hvor Nazi stene myrdet about half annen million man, kvinner, og children, hovedsaklig Jøder fra several countries in Europe.”
Murder the Norwegian Jews is a painful and often forgotten part of Norway’s occupation history. In autumn 1942 arrested all Norwegian Jews and the German and Norwegian authorities got hold of and put on a boat bound for Auschwitz. Of the 772 deportees survived only 34th
In his book “The biggest crime” goes journalist Marte Michelet in under the surface of this eyesore. Michelet was born in 1975 in Oslo, journalist and editor at Aftenposten. Since 18 months now, she is living in Stockholm. I show her a photo of the Norwegian Auschwitz memorial and asks what thoughts the picture arouses in her. After a moment of silence answers the often-witted debater that it is fine with a plaque at Auschwitz, but that there should be several memorials to the Holocaust in Norway.
– I’m all for Norwegian school children go to Auschwitz, but they could also go to the Norwegian camps so they could see how the Norwegians kept Jews locked up. It is very symptomatic of our management of the Holocaust: it happened over there, not here at home.
Michelet look at the picture again, shudder. She says she visited the camp last January to experience conditions that Norwegian Jews met at their arrival.
– It is the coldest and heinous … As to constantly being slapped in the face. Like getting needles stuck.
Today resting knowledge of the Norwegian Holocaust on the fragile surface, especially among younger Norwegians. Michelet points out that teaching in recent times indeed gotten better.
– In very many years was depicted continental fate as Anne Frank, but that the Holocaust was a Norwegian tale. Many have not understood that there were Jews in Norway at all, much less that they were murdered.
Self Michelet became aware of the Norwegian history of the Jews in their teens. She came across a book on a Norwegian girl her own age, who were deported to Poland. During the reading of the book realized Michelet suddenly that she lived in the girl’s apartment, she sat in the same window niche and looked at the view.
– I remember the shame: how is it possible that I have not heard about this? Why was there not some monuments which spoke of it lived a lot of people here who have been murdered. It created a sense of obligation to this substance.
In Michelet’s book stands out the paltry – and sometimes directly reluctant – the attitude of some parts of the resistance movement and the Norwegian government in exile in all unsolicited clarity . The book has aroused strong feelings in Norway, because it does not create a heroic narrative around them who helped Jews. I wonder if shine the image of the noble Norwegian motvärnet compromised by the de facto were more collaborators than insurgents.
– It is absolutely true, answers Michelet emphatically. Norway glorified as resistors nation. Afterwards it has been painted up like that all Norwegians hid in the woods and killed the Germans and rescued Jews everything they could. Sure committed many Norwegians small acts of resistance, but everyday life during the war … So, most people are opportunists.
However Norwegians in general are not fascist. Michelet says that people’s relationship with Jews as soon as marked by indifference. But when the Germans autumn of 1942, stepping up the violence against the Jews, as a test before the deportation, makes the government in exile in London nothing, despite the fact that through their radio broadcasts had a strong influence on public opinion in Norway. Nor writes the underground papers a word about the Jews.
– So there is a betrayal here. Norwegians had reacted Germans had possibly not implemented deportation. The Germans believed that Norwegians were more Jew-friendly. They were surprised when they saw that it was just to drive on.
While it is possible to turn the optics: the summer of 1942 the Germans had managed to roll up many resistor networks and autumn was very difficult for the homefront military wing Milorg. The situation was under pressure, later in the winter it was done more to help the Jews. Michelet points out, however, that at the time of the Norwegian deportation had become an established fact that a large-scale mass murder took place in Poland. Thus each had confirmation that the Jews were in danger led to very many had fled.
– My accusation is that the Norwegian authorities do not imparted what they knew. It is that simple: the Jews were not warned and the Norwegian public was not mobilized to rescue them.
Today is reiterated mantra that we should not forget the Holocaust – while publicly occur rhetoric against refugees similar to that of the 1930s were directed against Jews who tried to escape the Nazis. Michelet does not want to relativize the uniqueness of the Holocaust – “the worst humanity has done to himself.” But at the same time, we should not ignore the equal signs of our times: she points out that once again we are surrounded by an unstable world situation and what she calls “an extreme genocidal rhetoric.”
The hatred has Michelet myself have experienced at close quarters. Her ex-husband and the father of her child, the Swedish parliamentarian ali esbati, were on Utøya when Anders Behring Breivik carried out his attacks. During Breivikrättegångens first day he pointed out left feminist Michelet as the enemy incarnate; He had planned to decapitate her and put out the execution on Youtube, as his trophy prey.
– For Breivik, I was a traitor in a separate category because I was carrying an offspring of ‘mongrel’. According to him, I hate my country so much that I give birth to a ‘Berber Arab’ children.
Breivik became the catalyst Michelet’s book: she felt a need to zoom out himself out of the picture and examine the continuity of the Norwegian right-wing extremism tradition.
– It is more important than ever to understand the history of anti-Semitism. Both to Jews living in extremely vulnerable existence in Europe today, threatened both by right-wing extremists and jihadists. But also because we see paranoid, hysterical enemy images transmitted to other minorities. It is delusional to believe that the Holocaust has somehow inoculated us against civilization collapse.
Marte Michelet’s debut novel “The biggest crime” (Albert Bonniers) is out now. The book will be reviewed in SvD Saturday, January 30.
Memorial Day for the Holocaust
On January 27, the anniversary of the extermination camp Auschwitz -Birkenaus Liberation in 1945, commemorated the International Remembrance Day for the victims of the Holocaust. Around Sweden, organized rallies and seminars. Among other things, speaks of Culture Alice Bah Kuhnke and Hédi Fried, survivor, author and psychologist in Stockholm’s Great Synagogue.