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July 03, 1992 - Image 55

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-07-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

• ***********************************************
* TRAVEL MAX WELCOMES HOME OUR JUNE 8.20, 1992 1:
* "ROYAL PRINCESS" SCANDINAVIA /RUSSIA GROUP

way's Jewish history. One is
the Henrik Wergeland Monu-
ment, located in the Var
Tilser's Cemetery. It was
erected in 1849 by the Jews of
Denmark and Sweden who
wanted to honor Norway's na-

tional poet. He started the
crusade that led the Norwe-
gian parliament to revoke a
ban on Jewish immigration.
Above the stone pedestal of
the monument is a sculpture
of Mr. Wergeland, with two
inscriptions. On one side, Mr.
Wergeland is honored as an
"indefatigable fighter for
freedom and the rights of
man and citizen." On the
other side, the inscription
reads: "Grateful Jews outside
the frontiers of Norway
erected this monument to
him."
On Norway's Independence
Day, May 17, it's a custom for
Jewish youth groups to bring
flowers to the monument as
their way of remembering
and honoring this leader.
Besides this monument, a
life-size statue of Mr.
Wergeland is located in the
Studenterlunden, a park
across from Oslo University
on Karl Johansgate in the
heart of the city.
Another important aspect
of Norway's history that af-
fects its Jews was the Nazi oc-
cupation of the country. There
are several sites that remind
the tourist of that reality.
Inside Oslo's red brick city
hall, the central hall is lined
with murals painted by
Norwegian artists; and along
the east wall is a series of
frescoes showing the under-
ground resistance movement.
They were painted by Alf
Rolfsen, an Auschwitz
survivor.
A different theme — that of
loss — is expressed by the
Jewish War Victims
Memorial at Tvetenvenjen 7
in the Jewish cemetery,
which is part of the municipal
cemetery. The monument is
shaped like a Star of David,
with the names of all 620
Norwegian Jews who perish-

ed during the Holocaust
engraved on its stone panels.
The monument is a
reminder of the tragedy of
Norway's Jews. This was one
of the first countries overun
by the Nazis. The occupation

took a terrible toll on the
country's 1,800 Jews. Almost
half of them were deported to
Auschwitz — and of those, a
mere 24 survived.

Continued on Page 57

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There also was a heroic side
to this grim time. The people
of Norway, often at great risk,
rallied to try to protect the re-
maining Jews. The Bishop of
Norway publicly denounced

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

55

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