“We share a commitment to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and to honour those who stood against it.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg apologized for the role that Norway played in deporting Norwegian Jews during his speech marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January.
"It was Norwegian who carried out the arrests. It was Norwegians who drove the trucks. And it happened in Norway," he said. "Without relieving the Nazis of their responsibility, it is time to for us to acknowledge that Norwegian policemen and other Norwegians took part in the arrest and deportation of Jews. Today I feel it is fitting for me to express our deepest apologies that this could happen on Norwegian soil."
It is the first time a Norwegian leader has apologized for the collusion under Nazi occupation.
In 1998, the Storting (Parliament) approved a settlement of $60 million to Norwegian Jews and Jewish organizations in compensation for the economic liquidation of assets and property seized during World War II. More than one-third of Norway's estimated 2,100 Jews were deported, and many survived by fleeing to Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Prime Minister Stoltenberg delivered his speech at the Oslo dock where 532 Jewish passengers boarded the ship S.S. Donau in 1942, which transported them to Stettin and on to Auschwitz. Only eight of the deportees survived, including 88-year-old Samuel Steinmann, who attended Stoltenberg's speech on Friday and personally thanked him for his remarks.
The full text of Stoltenberg's speech is available here.