|Norway Ambassador clarifies
Reference is made to the Editorial in "The Island" Monday 25 March ("Tigers wooing Neo Nazis"). In one of the last paragraphs it is said ". . . it should be borne in mind that not all nations were opposed to Hitler, who found considerable support in Scandinavia, which is involved in evolving a solution to Sri Lankas problem. In these countries Neo Nazis are emerging strong and the LTTE enjoys strong support there."
"The Island" is giving an unfortunate picture of the Scandinavian countries that has no basis in reality. From the Norwegian Embassy it is natural to provide accurate information as far as Norway is concerned.
During Second World War, Norway was occupied by the Nazis from 1940-45. At a time there were 400,000 troops in Norway, which at that time had a population of barely 4 million. Per capita, Norway was actually the country, which had most German Nazi occupiers on its territory. The occupation led to Nazi exploitation of Norwegian economy, and the Nazi reign of terror included executions and mass exterminations. To indicate some sort of popular support to the German Nazi occupation of Norway 1940-45 is absolutely not correct. The fact is that the Norwegian Government and the King rejected to accept the terms of the Nazis, and had to flee the country to England. The Nazi occupants put Quisling in the place of the democratically elected Government. Quisling never obtained confidence among Norwegians beyond his narrow inner circle, and his name in Norway as well as internationally has forever since become synonymous with a Traitor.
The civil and military resistance in Norway was met with an escalating of the Nazi machinery of oppression. Already in 1940, the first Norwegians were sentenced to death in German courts of war and execution squads were active from 1941 onwards. Starting in 1942, more and more Norwegians were shot in reprisal. Thousands were jailed in Norway or sent to concentration camps in Germany, Poland and France.
Teachers, students, officers were arrested in huge numbers for their resistance to the occupation and for anti-Nazi activities. A sizeable number were sent to the Nazi concentration camps where they perished. The Nazis imprisoned a total of 40,000 Norwegians.
The persecution of Jews began in May 1940 and they were arrested in large numbers. About half of the 1800 Jews who lived in Norway when the war broke out managed to find refuge in Sweden. So did many other Norwegians. At the wars end, 92,000 Norwegians were living abroad and 46,000 of them were in Sweden.
Unfortunately, one finds elements of Neo Nazism in several countries in the world
today, including Norway. This is a problem one should look at with great concern. When
reading the Editorial in "The Island" one can get the impression that Neo Nazism
has a strong support in Norway. This is absolutely not correct. There are some few
extremists who call themselves Neo Nazis and they have been greatly opposed by the
Norwegian people and strongly condemned. To indicate any sort of support to the Nazis by
Norway is not only false it is an affront to all self-respecting Norwegians.
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