Sunday, 21 November 2010

Norwegian historians on thinner ice than Sonja Hennie after the war

Norwegian historians are complaining that a German exhibition is "romanticizing the occupation". Yet as Helle Aarnes reveals in her book "Tyskerjentene", Norway had more Lebensborn programs than any other occupied nation. Surely these were not all the result of date-rape?

Source: Norway, Israel and the Jews

Two Norwegian historians are claiming that Germany is romanticizing the occupation of Norway, when it is a fact that more Norwegian soldiers fought for Hitler than against him, that it was the Norwegian police who rounded up the Norwegian Jews, and that such a large number of Norwegian women swarmed to the Hugo Boss-dressed German soldiers that Norway ended up with more Lebensborn programs than any other occupied nation.

A current exhibiton in the German Historical Museum in Berlin is named “Hitler und die Deutsche”. It deals primarily with the Führer cult, also as it developed in Norway.

Norwegian historians take offense
Dagbladet tells of how the married couple Ms. Jorunn Sem Fure, professor at Humbolt University in Berlin, and her husband Odd-Björn Fure at the Center for Holocaust studies in Oslo, find that the exhibition “Hitler und die Deutsche” romantizes the occupation of Norway. The couple claims that the exhibit exaggerates the support the occupation found in Norway. Ms.Jorunn Sem Fure says: “Our Norwegian history of occupation is seen with German eyes – without understading for those who had been defeated”.

The Fures have sent a letter of complaint – in Norwegian – to the German Historical Museum. Since it has not yet been translated, the museum has not yet responded. (This brings to mind how Director Bodil Børset of the Hamsun centre, in a letter written in Norwegian and published in a Norwegian newspaper, invited Israeli academics to visit the centre. When the academics read about the invitation in Haaretz, they accepted it. And never heard from Ms. Bodil Børset again.)

The Fures are acting in accordance with how we Norwegians would like to be portrayed – as a people who fought heroically against the German occupiers. This is of course to a large extent also true. But regard the following:

Norwegian soldiers fought for Hitler
More (regular) Norwegian soldiers fought for Germany than against her: 5500 Norwegians donned German uniforms. This goes only for regular soldiers, if you count those who claim to have been resistance fighters during the war you end up with different figures. Some of these soldiers partook in subduing the uprising in Warszaw in 1944. 

Also, it was discovered only last week that some of these Norwegian soldiers served in German concentration camps

Additionally we might have had a Norwegian death camp at Beisfjord except nobody can say for sure since it burned to the ground at the end of the war and nobody is talking.

WWII Norway – more Lebensborn programs than any other occupied nation
Historian Helle Aarnes has written the book “Tyskerjentene” [Sleeping with the enemy] about how up to 100 000 Norwegian women had romantic entanglements with German soldiers. As a result Norway had more Lebensborn programs than any other occupied nation.

Norwegian police sent the Norwegian Jews to their deaths
It was Norwegians who rounded up and transported the Norwegian Jews to their deaths. Not Germans. Germans merely gave the order, the Norwegian Jews were sent to their deaths by fellow Norwegians.

Who is romanticizing the war?
Taking the above into consideration it seems inappropriate for the Fures to complain that the exhibit at the German Historical Museum “romanticizes” the occupation. Perhaps it is the Fures who are doing the romanticizing?
No Hitler-cult in Norway? Above: Norwegian star skater Sonja Hennie saluting the Führer.

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