Our deepest regret this could happen on Norwegian soil

Finally, the first real step towards acknowledging our own role in the tragedy. Only after accepting responsibility, can the hard work of forgiveness and the arduous task of reconstructing relations begin.

Lifted from Aftenposten (by Elisabeth Rodum and Halvor Hegtun)

PM Jens Stoltenberg (Labour) deeply regretted the deportation of Norwegian Jews at the Holocaust Memorial ceremony in Oslo on friday.

This autumn marks 70 years since, “the Norwegian Holocaust.” During the WWII, 772 Norwegian Jews or refugees were deported from Norway to the Nazi extermination camps. Only 34 survived.

– The murders iare without doubt the work of the Nazi. But it was Norwegians who carried out the arrests. And it was the Norwegians who drove the cars, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said  in his speech.

– Without denying the Nazis’s responsibility, it’s time to acknowledge that the police and other Norwegians participated in the arrests and deportations of Jews.

It is now incumbent upon us, to t to express our deep regret that this could happen on Norwegian soil, said Stoltenberg.

– Many open wounds

50 years after the war, the Parliament established a financial settlement, collectively and individually, for the liquidation of the Norwegian Jews. Just under NOK 200 million was allocated, of which most of what collective contribution to the protection of Jewish culture and future in Norway.

– The result was a moral acceptance of the State’s responsibility for acts committed against Norwegian Jews during the World War II,  the Prime Minister said in his speech.

But despite the financial compensation,  many have felt it was high time for an official apology to the Jews from the Norwegian State.

– There are many wounds that are ope, which absolutely merits an official apology. Most Jews who were arrested in Norway, were Norwegian citizens. When they were arrested, they  lost their citizenship. When the White Buses drove to germany to transport Norwegian prisoners who had survived back to Norway, did not allow the Jews to return,  because they no longer were Norwegian citizens and the government had , after 8 May 1954, decided it  would not fund the repatriation, Kjersti Dybvig to said to NTB before the ceremony. She is a historian at University College in London.

Hans Olav Syversen, the Christian Democratic parliamentary leader, sent earlier this month a letter to Jens Stoltenberg, in which he asked whether the Prime Minister would use this opportunity, 70 years later, to give an official apology for the Norwegian government participation.

– It serves Stoltenberg all honor that he gave that apology. It emphasizes that the tragedy was not just a part of the occupying power’s history, but also part of our history and our responsibility, says Syversen.

The largest Norwegian deportation
The UN international day of remembrance for Holocaust victims is celebrated worldwide and a number of places in Norway. The Prime Minister gave the keynote speech during the ceremony at the quayside in Oslo on Friday afternoon.

It was at the pier that the largest group of Norwegian Jews were deported from Oslo 26 November 1942.

532 Jews were brutally crammed together in a transport ship “Donau” before the race to Germany. Where the journey went by train to Auschwitz in southern Poland. Only nine returned.

Last survivor of the “Danube”
Sammy Steinmann (87) is the only one of those who are still alive, and today he took part in the ceremony.

For nearly 70 years ago, two plainclothes Norwegian men and took Steinmann in the house of a neighbor family in Solveien home Nordstrand. “It is from the Norwegian state police. We have orders to arrest you. “In autumn there 70 years ago, “the Norwegian Holocaust.” During the war, 772 Norwegian Jews or refugees deported from Norway to the Nazi extermination camps. Only 34 survived.

– The killing is without doubt the Nazi work. But it was the Norwegians arrested.And it was the Norwegians who drove the cars, said Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in his speech.

– Without denying the Nazis responsible, it’s time to see the police and other Norwegians participated in the arrests and deportations of Jews.

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Embargo until after the speech is held at. 15: Stoltenberg’s speech at the Holocaust mark
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (Labor) was the keynote speech during the ceremony for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the quayside in Oslo.

– I find that today the right to express our deep regret that this could happen on Norwegian soil, said Stoltenberg.
– Many open wounds
50 years after the war Parliament established a financial settlement, collectively and individually, for the liquidation of the Norwegian Jews were subjected. In just under 200 million was allocated, of which most of what collective contribution to the protection of Jewish culture and future in Norway.

– The result was a moral acceptance of state responsibility for acts committed against Norwegian Jews during the 2 World War II, said the Prime Minister during his speech.

But despite the financial compensation, according to many that it was high time for an official apology to the Jews from the Norwegian state.

– There are many wounds that are open and that one certainly should have an excuse for. Most Jews who were arrested in Norway, Norwegian citizens. When they were arrested, lost their citizenship. And when the white bus went down to pick up prisoners who had survived, had not the Jews be because they no longer were Norwegian citizens and the government after 8 May would not fund the repatriation, said Kjersti Dybvig NTB before the ceremony. She is a historian at University College in London.

Hans Olav Syversen, Christian Democratic parliamentary leader, sent earlier this month a letter to Jens Stoltenberg, in which he asked whether the Prime Minister would use this mark years, 70 years later, to give an official apology for the Norwegian government participation.

– It serves Stoltenberg to honor that he gave that apology. It emphasizes that the tragedy is not just a part of the occupying power’s history, but also part of our history and our responsibility, says Syversen.

The largest Norwegian deportation
UN international day of remembrance for Holocaust victims celebrated worldwide and a number of places in Norway. The Prime Minister gave the keynote speech during the ceremony at the quayside in Oslo on Friday afternoon.

It was from that pier that the largest group of Norwegian Jews were deported from Oslo 26 November 1942.

532 Jews were brutally crammed together on a transport ship “Donau” before being shipped to Germany. There, the journey went by train to Auschwitz in southern Poland. Only nine returned.

Last survivor of the “Danube”
Sammy Steinmann (87) is the only one  who is  still alive, and today he took part in the ceremony.
Nearly 70 years ago, two plainclothes Norwegian men apprehended Steinmann in the house of a neighbor family in Solveien in the neighborhood of Nordstrand. “We are  from the Norwegian state police. We have orders to arrest you. ”

He nearly died several times, but managed to escape the gas chamber. He survived the death march along with 66,000 other Jewish prisoners through the Czech Republic, to Germany and Buchenwald.

– To this day it feels unreal that this really happened, that I experienced it and survived, said Steinmann after last year’s ceremony.

Between 1.1 and 1.5 million people died in Auschwitz.