lifted from Vårt Land.no, google translate
Does this mean the time has finally come in Norway to examine and address the terrible crimes that were committed against Norwegian Jews? Not only in monetary terms, which took long enough before any settlement was reached, but also what kind of attitudes motivated this despicable crime? Unfortunately, it would seem that since this aspect has been actively hidden away from the public discourse and we have become addicted to a heroic narrative which, under scrutiny, is not always consistent with actual facts. Could this be the reason why classic anti-Semitc traits which were documented in the Holocaust Center Survey, have yet to be addressed in the Norwegian public discourse?
Danish Jews – saved because they were compatriots
While Jews were recorded in both Norway and the Netherlands , Danish Nazis had to literally steal the name lists from the Danish Jewish community, writes Bo Lidegaard , editor in chief of Politiken , the new book .
( Courtesy of Press Publishing renders eg an excerpt from the book Country Men – the rescue of the Danish Jews in 1943. The book is written by Bo Lidegaard , editor in chief of the DABSKA newspaper Politiken . The Norwegian version has a separate epilogue Norwegian readers where the situation of Jews in Norway and Denmark and the Netherlands is compared ) .
Prelude . In April and May 1940, Germany to the surprise attack on the three small neutral countries of Denmark , Norway and the Netherlands. The countries were constitutional monarchies with entrenched democratic governance and with only limited support to the local Nazi parties . They had a functioning central government – and a more or less well-integrated Jewish population element .
In the years before the occupation had also received a number of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany despite the fact that Norway and Denmark led a particularly restrictive refugee policies. Although there were significant differences among the three countries in terms of size , history and population, they also had much in common, and in contrast to the countries and peoples of Eastern Europe were in Germany considered suitable for a ” peaceful ” incorporation in the new European order that the Third Reich envisioned after victory . Moreover belonged to the people of the three countries in different varieties a higher standing race by the Nazi conceptions was destined to lead.
Very different. The size of the Jewish befolkningsislettet was very different in the three countries . While about 2,100 people – or less than 0.1 percent – three million people had Jewish roots, the corresponding figure in Denmark more than 7,000 people , representing just under 0.2 percent of the four million Danish citizens. In the Netherlands, lived significantly more Jews , and around 140,000 citizens of Jewish origin accounted for 1.6 percent of a total population of 9 million .
In all three countries , there was a disposition to anti-Semitism , and especially in 1930 there were forces that tried to breathe these coals . However, we have no comparative historical studies showing differences and similarities between the Jewish position in the three communities . In general we can say that the Jews were well integrated at least in parts of the community in the three countries, but also that there is no direct correlation between befolkningselementets integration and anti-Semitism , the German Jews were known as particularly well integrated. Anti-Semitism did not matter in any of the three countries considered the most radical forms which were known from Germany.
Although it initially being many similarities , given the occupation dramatically different consequences for the Jewish population group in the three countries . In the Netherlands , three out of four Jews killed in Norway more than a third . In stark contrast to these figures made it overwhelmingly majority of Danish Jews to escape and get to safety in Sweden.
Refused entry. In Norway and the Netherlands did not entail the registration requirement and discrimination against Jews any significant ” expense ” of the German occupation , as there was the responsibility of the local authorities , who chose to cooperate on measures that were required .
The situation was diametrically opposite in Denmark , where the Danish government and the Danish government consistently denied any step in this direction . There was also clear from the beginning for Germany at least attempt to move in this direction would lead to a breakdown of cooperation. It was only when the government came back this way was opened for occupation , which lingered many days when the opportunity arose.
Perverse logic. The difference illustrates a perverse logic. The Nazis could produce the first ” modest ” measures which relatively insignificant , as long as it concerned the confiscation of radio equipment , registration of property and stamping with J in identity papers. It made it difficult for local authorities to take any major conflict in refusing to contribute to measures in isolation are not seemed essential.
However, this mechanism also worked the other way . If the initial discrimination could be presented as relatively insignificant, why would the Germans then insist on them , risking cooperation with the local authorities?
Danes’ consistent rejection of the existence of any “Jewish problem” at all , and the Danish government’s repeated warnings that they could not participate in any action against Jewish compatriots , made it difficult for the Germans to get started with the first fatal measures. Therefore the Jews of Denmark never faced the registration requirements of , and they were not getting special stamps in their papers or were required to go with the yellow star , like the Jews in the Netherlands had after the 3rd May the same year .
Differences and explanations. How can we now explain why so many Norwegians and so many of the Dutch civil administration actively participated in the arrests and deportations of their Jewish compatriots , when only a few years earlier was no widespread , and certainly not a militant , anti-Semitism in those countries ? Why were so many who were with ? And why were there so few who said no?
When the difference between the very different course of events in the three occupied countries to be explained , the decisive factor early Nazi seizure of power in Norway and the Netherlands , who from the beginning saw the consequences of a direct Nazi rule , which Denmark was spared . The use of violence and terror against the civilian population had managed to gain a foothold in Norway and the Netherlands , while the Danes still had almost been spared such horrors .
Stealing name lists. While Jews were recorded in both Norway and the Netherlands , Danish Nazis had to literally steal the name lists from the Danish Jewish religious community , because in Denmark already in 1930 had dropped to record religious affiliation matters relating to the census .
Yet it was mainly the seized membership lists and J – stamped which was crucial in the registration of Jews in Norway . Moreover, NRK’s license lists used to look after people with Jewish sounding names . A further difference was that the Danish police and the administration did not participate in the operation in Denmark , while the police played a crucial role in the implementation of actions against the Jews in Norway and the Netherlands.
No moral judgment . So many years later and it does not make any sense to make a moral judgment on people under the worst possible circumstances was forced to make difficult choices between bad options.
We all hope that we would have belonged to those who took the courageous choices , and who rejected the fatal options. But none of us knows how we would have reacted , and we are not able to fully understand each individual’s dilemma in the same way as they found them .
THIS EXCERPT FROM BO LIDEGAARDS BOOK COUNTRY MEN WERE PUBLISHED IN OUR COUNTRY 9 October 2013