July 28, 2011

Norway’s writing on the wall


Sir, – It is tragic to note that less than two years ago it was precisely this same Norwegian government and royal family that went ahead with a year-long celebration marking the life and work of one of the country’s best-known Nazis, writer Knut Hamsun (1859-1952), on the 150th anniversary of his birth.

Worse still, while today the Norwegian royal family is rightly consoling the families and friends of the victims of the recent terrorist outrage, two years back it was precisely the queen who presided over the gala launching of the program commemorating Hamsun – despite numerous requests not to do so from the international community and the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation.

In 2009, the 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 behavior.”

Two years later these words have turned out to be tragically prophetic.

New York