Norway authors group apologizes to members penalized for Nazi collaboration


(JTA) — The Norway Authors’ Union apologized to members punished for collaborating with Nazis, leading a prominent writer to resign in protest.

Kjartan Flogstad, an award-winning novelist, announced during a speech Sunday that he is terminating his 50-year membership with the union over its apology in November, which is being reported in English for the first time. Flogstad said the organization was condoning anti-Semitism.

At its annual conference in Oslo, the union passed a resolution pledging to review the apology issued to 17 union members who had been penalized after being found guilty by a postwar tribunal of their ties or sympathy for Nazi Germany. During World War II, Germany occupied Norway and installed a friendly puppet regime.

“I can hardly stay in an association that apologizes to Jew haters, racists and Holocaust deniers,” Flogstad said at the conference, the Morgen Bladet newspaper reported. He then left the podium and exited the conference and the Bristol Hotel.

Among them was Alf Larsen, a poet who in 2009 was deemed “the worst Jew-hater of Norwegian twentieth-century literature” by the prominent historian Hans Fredrik Dahl.

Norway was the only Nordic country whose police hunted for Jews in the Holocaust.

In 2009, Norway’s government celebrated the legacy of another Nazi sympathizer, writer Knut Hamsun, amid international and local protests. The celebrations occurred while Norway chaired the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education.

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