I’ve only managed to translate a portion of the text, once I get my translator of the bulk of it later, I’ll update this post.
Oslo, 1942: Vidkun Quisling sends the Norwegians to the eastern front. Police company of the Norwegian legion is on parade on Palace square before leaving, and Quisling inspects. Photo: Scanpix
‘ The lack of war closure dulls us ‘
The fact that Norway has not taken issue with what the Norwegian front fighters in the 2nd World War II did, has weakened our preparedness against injustice today, feels the philosopher.
-It has dawned on us very slowly what Norwegians have actually been involved in. Therefore, I also think that the emergency response against racism and violence has been relatively low in Norway. We accept too much, “said Espen Søbye.
The focal point of the NRK documentary shown on Tuesday “In Himmler service” was the seriousness of what Norwegian young men, who fought on the German side in the 2nd World War, went through. They were volunteers in the German elite forces Waffen SS, and allowed themselves to enlist to fight the USSR on the infamous Eastern Front. Some war crimes happened there during World War II.
The documentary is based on new research at the Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities (HL center). In the book “Himmler Norway” researchers Terje Emberland and Matthew Kott uncover how Norwegians took part in the genocide.
This research marks a watershed in terms of the story of the war, feels Søbye.
First up. – The earlier literature in this field was written by fighters on the front themselves. There no one had seen anything and no one helped. Front line soldiers were portrayed as idealists who believed in a cause. Now we have the first research-related documentation in which the Norwegians have been and how they actually participated in the war. This is what we need, says Espen Søbye.
– We need to know what the Norwegians have been through.This is necessary to make the closure of the war. Today we tolerate too much injustice in Norway. If we look however to Germany, we see that there are far more aware of the different forms of racism. They know what this has led to earlier. Therefore, they are also more wary of such in our days, says Søbye.
Heroic tale. Professor of history at the University of Oslo, Øystein Sørensen, calls Soby’s reasoning “speculative”:
– I think it is too easy. Germany as the example is in a unique position. Their handling of natural history is for very special reasons, says Sorensen, who works at the University of Oslo.
He says, however, the going Norwegian tale of the war has changed a lot compared with before:
– The usual heroic tale of the Norwegian resistance movement is impaired. There has been more emphasis on the “wrong side”. Including NS children and foreign prisoners who were in prison camps in Norway. And not least for the Jews. After jødeboutvalget and debate about compensation, we clearly saw that the responsibility for that Norwegian Jews who were deported and killed more than lay on the German occupiers and on the condemned treason of the National Assembly.