August 6, 2011

Norway’s writing on the wall


Letters to the Editor

As the world looks at the recent events in Norway with horror and, yet again, condemns all forms of political violence, it is tragic to note that less than two years ago it was precisely this same Norwegian government and Royal Family that – ignoring all international warnings to refrain from doing so – went ahead with a yearlong celebration of Norwegian Nazism, marking the life and work of one of Norway’s best known Nazis, writer Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Even worse still, while today the Norwegian Royal family is rightly consoling the families and friends of victims of this terrorist outrage, two years back it was precisely the Queen of Norway that presided over the gala launching of the program of commemorations of the 150th anniversary of Hamsun’s birth despite numerous requests, that included letters to the Royal Family, not to do so from the international community and this foundation.
In 2009 the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation pointed out that it was “up to the Norwegian government to put an end to this offensive vindication of Nazism and live up the standards the world has come to expect from it or live with the consequences of such unacceptable behaviour.”
Two years later these words turned out to be tragically prophetic.

Nicholas Tozer
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation