lifted from aftenposten.no, poor google translate
Scared to silence
I’m about to do the same as two generations before me did: We kept secret that we are Jewish . We are ashamed .
Chronicle Monica Csango , journalist and director
Published: 27.jan . 2014 11:01 Updated : 27.jan . 2014 11:01
I’m a grown woman who lives in Norway . I was born and raised here , and my loyalty is here . I love living in Norway . But I have something I hide , I am Jewish. And I’ve become very skittish .
When I was six years old , I was on my first big trip abroad . We were in Spain. My parents took me to a small local jewelry shop . My father stood at the counter and pointed Star of David hanging in the store.
– What is it? I said.
– You should have one because you are Jewish, replied my father.
An ugly past
At that time I had no idea what it meant . My parents are non-practicing Jews, and Judaism was as far as I can remember not something that was talked about in our home . I had no concept of what it meant to be Jewish . Until that day been anything related to religion has been kept fairly quiet at home.
When I was a little older I realized why : My parents had needed to think about anything but religion. They needed to think about life and the future.The past was too ugly.
Monica Csango is a journalist and director
My father is Hungarian Jew who has lived in Norway most of his life . But he grew up without a father in the post- Holocaust Hungary. My mother was born in Norway of Hungarian parents of Jewish descent . They very narrowly escaped the Nazis
Much of my father’s family was massacred during the Holocaust. When we visited my grandmother in Hungary were talking in hushed voices about anything related to Judaism.
” Walls have ears ,” my grandmother used to say when I visited her. Her own attempts to convert to Christianity during the war helped little. Both she and her sister ” Ibolya ” was sent off on the death march to Auscwitz .By a miracle, they survived.
A safe childhood
I myself grew happily up in Oslo, Asker and Kristiansand. it was a blissful childhood in peaceful surrounding .In fourth grade I was offered to be exempted from lessons in what was then known as Christian Science , but since both I and my parents agreed that religion was exciting whatever it was called , the offer was declined. Both I and my family were sheltered from what I know is everyday for several Norwegian Jews today .
Therefore, I have been very open about what I’m born . I’m not anymore.
The turning point
A few years ago , something happened that would turn things upside down for me. My son went to the Jewish kindergarten in Oslo. My mother and the child’s father , who is not Jewish , would deliver two year old in kindergarten. As they were handing him stands an adult Norwegian woman on the street . She spits on the ground and says ” yuck ” while she is watching the two , standing there with the boy on her arm. Not long afterwards , I decided to take my son out of kindergarten. Not only because of the lady , but because I experienced as too risky to have my son there. I had in fact every day have to pass a security gate . For both the church and the Police Security Service knows that nursery area is a terrorist target . The Jewish community knows that someone does not like them – and maybe not me.
For an unknown reason . There are only 1,500 Jews in Norway . Thus, there is very few Norwegians who knows a person of Jewish descent .
Scared to silence
If you go past the synagogue on major holidays , the police surveillance there. If it can avert something I do not know , I can only hope that it acts as a deterrent for those who would like to perform a terrorist act against the church .
Later I learned that some Norwegian Jews have been equipped with security alarm due to severe threats.
I read about people on social media agitating aggressively against the few Jews who are in this country .
A comprehensive study of the Holocaust Centre showed that about 12.5 percent of the Norwegian population has distinct prejudice against Jews.
After the study was published , I was even more quiet.
I never participate in debates about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust , because I feel that the debate often makes irrelevant arguments such that “you can not argue with a Jew without pulling up the holocaust card “.
As a journalist , I have on several occasions interviewed Norwegians obvious objections to Jews. Nor did I say the cultural and religious affiliation I have.
I find it difficult to answer when my son asks what it means to be Jewish. I look over my shoulder to see if anyone has heard him say ” j- word “.
I have completely stopped saying that I am Jewish if the topic comes up. I’m too scared. But why should I be afraid ? I was born and raised in Norway . I am not religious . Do I believe in God? I do not know . I believe in Man ? Yes, I do. I don’t support Israels policy in the Palestinian issue. What Israel does is not my business. My affiliation remains crystal clear : I am Norwegian .
But I have a cultural connection to being Jewish.
And right now I see that I am about to do the same as two generations before me did: We kept secret that we were Jewish . We were ashamed .
I’m about to be intimidated into silence . It makes me infinitely sad.