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Database on Norwegian Holocaust Victims

Bjarte Bruland, head curator and historian at the Jewish Museum in Oslo, spent two days in August at the International Tracing Service (ITS) researching information on Norwegians persecuted under National Socialism. His findings will be included in the museum´s new database which was created last September. “I didn´t expect to find so many interesting references,” said the historian.

The Jewish Museum´s collection contains nearly 800 names, photos, birthplaces, addresses and dates of deportation of Norwegian Holocaust victims. To celebrate the new database, the Jewish Museum will open a library and a documentation center next year. Of the roughly 2100 Jews who lived in Norway during the country´s occupation by German troops in 1940, more than a third were deported from Oslo to Auschwitz by way of Stettin (Szczecin) and murdered.

“It took the Norwegians a long time to deal with the persecution of Jews in their country during the Second World War,” reports Bruland. The topic of resistance was a priority for them so the deportation of the Jewish minority which took place almost without resistance didn´t quite fit into the picture. “I received a lot of information for the database from the public,” said the historian.  Bruland also visited numerous archives in Europe. He checked victims´ names using the extensive Central Name Index at the ITS. “I was able to locate additional information on many victims, such as prisoner numbers or dates of death,” said Bruland, whose goal is to present as complete as possible a picture of individual fates.