Murder, Crimea | 80 years since the deportation of Jews: – Important to remember

Murder, Crimea | 80 years since the deportation of Jews: – Important to remember
Murder, Crimea | 80 years since the deportation of Jews: – Important to remember

– It is important that society at large marks the biggest crime of the last century. It is significant for the minority and for the individual Jew as an acknowledgment of the tragedy. But also for society at large, which gets to see what you stand for – that you are an open and inclusive society, says Irene Levin to NTB.

The 79-year-old, who is Jewish himself, is professor emerita at Oslo Met and has, among other things, written the book “We didn’t talk about the holocaust – mother, me and the silence”.

Her mother and father fled the apartment in Oslo and across the border to Sweden shortly before the deportation, while the mother was pregnant with Levin.

She was born in Sweden a few months later, and the small family lived there for the rest of the war before moving back home after liberation.

Little attention after the war

At home in Norway, everyday life continued, while as many as 32 members of Levin’s extended family had been killed, including the grandfather.

Levin tells of a silence in the family in the post-war period about what had happened. It was a topic that was rarely discussed. And so it was also in society at large.

It was to take a very long time before Norwegian society came to grips with what had happened to the Jews. The deportation of Jews was not given a significant place in the great national betrayal settlement in the years after the war.

And in the very first books that were supposed to tell the story of the war in Norway, the deportation of Jews was almost absent. In the third volume of the “Norwegian War” book series in 1950, what happened to the Jews was only discussed on half a page. More than 30 years later, the magnum opus “Norway at War” came out, and here 18 pages were devoted to the deportation of Jews.

– Then time passed, and more books came out. But the story of the Jews was like an appendix to the war story. They talked about the war, and then there was the Jews, says Levin.

A turning point

But in the 1990s, a number of things happened that were to become a turning point.

– In the 1990s, everyone was aware that it was 50 years since liberation. People realized that those who had experienced all this had grown old and that they would eventually disappear. The situation changed, she says.

At the same time, unresolved conversations began to surface more in Levin’s family, and people began to talk about them to a greater extent.

An important element for the collective process was also the government committee which in the 1990s dealt with a financial settlement for the deportation with all the property and values ​​that had been lost among the Norwegian Jews. And Levin points out that for the Jews this was not about money at all, but about visibility and recognition.

This was a historic and moral settlement, she explains.

– The place that the minority has in society at large is defined by society at large, she says.

– We stand together

It was not until 2012 that an apology came from the government by then Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who regretted that the deportation took place on Norwegian soil. The police also issued their first official apology later that year.

A total of 773 Jews were deported from Norway. Only 35 of them survived.

On Thursday, the 80th anniversary of the deportation will therefore take place in Oslo City Hall. It occurs two days before the actual 80th birthday as the date falls on Saturday, which is reserved for the Sabbath.

The program in Oslo City Hall consists of cultural elements, speeches and a panel discussion. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Ap) and Rabbi Michael Melchior speak. The program is otherwise a mixture of cultural elements, speeches and conversation.

– It will be as if society at large is saying that “we stand together in memory of this”, says Levin.

(© NTB)

The article is in Norwegian

Tags: Murder Crimea years deportation Jews Important remember

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