Norway has made 2009 a year of remembrance of the writer Knut Hamsun. In 1943 he gifted his Nobel medal to Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda chief. Hamsun even had an audience with Hitler.
This is a time of resurgent of global anti-Semitism, with Europe at the central stage. Now there are conflicting signals from Oslo. In 2009 the Norwegian Government marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Knut Hamsun, Norway’s most significant writer outside of Ibsen. Hamsun was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (in 1920). Plans for a multimillion-dollar commemoration include a museum dedicated to his life and series of events under the patronage of the Royal Family.
But there is one problem: Hamsun’s love affair with Nazism. In 1943, during the height of WWII and the Holocaust, he presented his Nobel medal to Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda chief, and even had an audience with Hitler.
How Hamsun’s behavior is portrayed is an extremely sensitive matter in a nation that produced Quisling and other collaborators, including those who participated in the deportation of Jewish citizens to Auschwitz.
A review of official Norwegian websites shows a virtual whitewashing of Hamsun’s Nazi connection, while glorifying his literary career. The National Library’s website makes absolutely no mention of his Nazi links but does state:
«The aim of promoting Hamsun internationally in 2009 is to raise the profile of his writings, as well as to generate interest in Hamsun in a variety of cultural contexts in different parts of the world. An additional objective is to promote modern Norway as a nation presenting and renewing a significant part of its cultural heritage».
Source: Multiple sources, also Jerusalem Post.
Its not nice to be reminded about that Nazism was a reality also in Norway. Knut Hamsun was a Nazi, who even wrote a necrology after the death of Hitler, branding him as a great leader.
That Norway want to to celebrate the 150 year of his birth, is a shame. A shame because, than they should also celebrate another of the «great» sons of Norway, Vidkun Quisling.
I guess Norway would not do that, since the Norwegian Government executed the Nazi traitor.
The marginal difference between Quisling and Hansun, is that Hamsun never faced death penalty for his support of Nazi-Germany. In honor of the 60 million people who did not survive manslaughter, Holocaust and execution during Word War II, a man like Hamsun should be allowed to rest in peace. Without any honor and glory.
Israeli Foreign Minister: «Norway promote anti-semitism»
Avigdor Lieberman is the Foreign Minister of Israel. Yesterday he was quoted by the Israeli daily Haartez saying: «The celebration of the 150 year birthday of Knut Hamsun, is a prof that Norway promotes anti semitic attitudes».
First Published: May 26th, 2009.
Written by Ivar