Norwegian Police apologize for deporting Jews to Auschwitz

(JTA) — The Norwegian Police for the first time have apologized for rounding up Jews and sending them to their deaths during the Holocaust. 

“On behalf of the Norwegian police and those involved in the deportation of Norwegian Jews to concentration camps, I wish to express regret,” Norway’s newly appointed police commissioner, Odd Reidar Humlegard, told the newspaper Dagsavisen.

Humlegard said about 300 police officers handled the deportation of 772 Jews to Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp in Poland. Only a handful survived.

His interview with Dagsavisen appeared on the 70th anniversary of the main deportation, when more than 500 Jews were loaded aboard an eastbound ship at the port of Oslo.

The Oslo Jewish Museum opened an exhibition on the deportation at 2:55 p.m. Monday, the ship’s exact time of departure. In total, 40 percent of Norwegian Jewry was deported; only a handful survived, according to the museum. The remaining 60 percent fled to neutral Sweden.

The exhibition focuses on the deportation itself, which was conducted by Norwegian police and militia members, according to Mats Tangestuen, the museum’s historian, and includes video interviews with 21 survivors.

A small part of the exhibition examines the life of about 900 Norwegian Jews who lived in exile in Sweden. 

Earlier this year, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg formally apologized for his country’s role in the Nazi persecution of Jews.

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