Norway apologises to women punished for relationships with German soldiers
Norway Norway apologises to women punished for relationships with German soldiers
âGerman girlsâ were subject to reprisals after 1945 for relations with the soldiers
Norwayâs government has officially apologised to Norwegian women targeted for reprisals by the authorities for having relationships with members of the German occupying forces during the second world w ar.
Between 30,000 to 50,000 Norwegians, labelled âGerman girlsâ, had sexual relations with German soldiers during the occupation, according to conservative estimates from Norwayâs Centre for Holocaust and Minorities Studies.
Many of the woman were subject to reprisals by officials after the 1945 liberation of Norway, including illegal arrests and detentions, job dismissals and even being stripped of their nationality.
âYoung Norwegian girls and woman who had relations with German soldiers or were suspected of having them, were victims of undignified treatment,â Norwayâs prime minister, Erna Solberg, said.
âToday, in the name of the government, I want to offer my apologies,â Solberg said at an event to mark the 70th anniversary of the UNâs universal declaration of human rights.
More than 70 years after the end of the second world war, very few of the women are still alive and the official apology is unlikely to open the way for fi nancial reparations for their families.
During the war, more than 300,000 German soldiers occupied Norway, a neutral country the Nazis invaded on 9 April 1940.Norway's abused war children move step closer to compensation Read more
âWe cannot say women who had personal relations with German soldiers were helping the German war effort,â said Guri Hjeltnes, historian and director of the Centre for Holocaust and Minorities Studies. âTheir crime was breaking unwritten rules and moral standards. They were punished even more harshly than the war profiteers.â
None of the estimated 28 Norwegian men married to German women during the war were expelled or had their nationality taken away from them, Hjeltnes said.
In 2000, Oslo formally apologised to the 10,000 to 12,000 children born to Norwegian mothers and German soldiers, who also suffered reprisals.Topics
- Second world war
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