Norway

1 Recognition of the Genocide

1.1 Recognition, official texts

Norway observes 27th January as Holocaust Memorial Day. The date was officially designated as a memorial day in 2000. The first commemoration took place in 2001.

In Norway, the Roma and Sinti genocide is officially commemorated on 27th January. The Genocide has been recognized since the founding of the Centre for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities in 2001. Several official statements have been made by different governmental parties to condemn the Genocide against the Roma during WWII. Every 27 January (International Holocaust Remembrance Day), one of the speeches is hold by governmental representatives. They all mention the Genocide of the Roma. In the governmental report (White Paper) about National Minorities in Norway (St. Meld. No. 15 (2000-2001)) the Norwegian hostility towards Roma in the 1920-1930 is discussed. The responsibility of the Norwegian Government, that denied a group of 68 Roma with Norwegian background to come back to Norway in 1934, is highlighted. Several members of this group were later exterminated in concentration camps.

In 2012, the speech of the Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg mentioned Roma victims while officially regretting the participation of Norwegian officials and citizens in the deportation of Holocaust victims. In 2014, representatives of the Norwegian Government, the Jewish community, the Roma community and former political prisoners attended the commemoration.

The Christian-Democrat former Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik mentioned Samudaripen in his speech at the Centre for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities in 2005.

A former Parliamentary Secretary, Berit Oskal Eira, made a speech at the opening of the Exhibition “The Holocaust against the Roma and Sinti and present day racism in Europe” at the Centre, on 11 September 2007, when she emphasized how little attention the Genocide of the Roma population had in Norwegian collective consciousness and how important it is to underline this fact to fight racism and anti-Gypsyism today.

There is no law provision against the denial of the Genocide in Norway.

1.2 Data (camps locations, Remembrance places, measures etc.)

Of the 772 Jews who were deported from Norway during the war, only 34 survived. Sixty-six Norwegian Roma were also subjected to the Nazi racial extermination policy. By May 1945, only four of them were still alive. They found themselves in liberated Belgium, classified as «stateless Gypsies», and still prohibited from entering Norway by the «Gypsy clause» of 1927.

 

1.3 Specialised institution, commission, research centre etc., dealing with this issue

The Centre for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities (HL-Senteret) contributes with new research, education and information activities, exhibitions and conferences. It presents a modern exhibition on the Holocaust. Images, sounds, film, items and text documents the genocide on the European Jews, as well as the Nazi State’s mass murder and persecution of other peoples and minorities.

In 2007, it held an exhibition called “The Holocaust against Roma and Sinti. Present day racism in Europe”. The exhibition constituted the background for a conference, held on 14 September 2007. Leading researchers presented different aspects of both the historical and contemporary discrimination and persecution of the Roma and Sinti in Europe. The first session was dedicated to the Nazi persecution of Roma and Sinti through European and Scandinavian perspectives.

On 7th September 2013, the Centre held a conference on the “Nazi Genocide of the Roma. Reevaluation and Commemoration” with many experts of the Genocide of the Roma around the world.

Its educational department holds teacher training courses, ranging from basic Holocaust education to specialized courses on themes such as European totalitarianism in the interwar period and the Holocaust in literature. The center also plays an active role in the development of relevant education in Norway and other European countries. Teaching material and web based teaching resources developed by the center are accessed by teachers nationwide through our website. The material covers various themes related to the Holocaust and other genocides. For the time being, these are only avaliable in Norwegian.

Centre for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities
Director: Odd-Bjørn Fure
Po. Box 1168 Blindern
N-0318 Oslo, Norway
Telephone: +47 22 84 21 00
Fax: +47 22 84 21 01

The Glomdal Museum (Glomdalsmuseet) is a local museum that presents the cultural history of Østerdalen and Solør (in the South-Eastern part of Norway). This museum has established a permanent exhibition and a website about the Travellers and their history in Norway called “Latjo Drom” Contact person: Mari Møystad, tel.: +47 62 41 90 91).

The Wergeland Centre is an European resource centre for intercultural education, human rights and democratic citizenship established in the autumn 2008, in cooperation with the Council of Europe. It was named after the writer Henrik Wergeland (1808-1845), considered as the Norwegian champion for human rights, freedom and tolerance. The centre promotes research, offers training for teachers and teacher-trainers, disseminates information and serves as a hub for networks. Its target-groups are teacher-trainers, teachers, researchers, practitioners, policymakers and others.

1.4 Official initiatives (campaigns, actions, projects, commemoration days, museums)

Since 2002, Norway has commemorated the International Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January. In Oslo the annual commemoration takes place at the quayside from where the Norwegian Jews were brutally forced into ships for deportation to Auschwitz and extermination. Members of the Norwegian Government attend and speak at the "Site of Remembrance," a memorial in the shape of empty chairs, created by the British artist Antony Gormley. 27 January is also commemorated at the Falstad Centre close to Trondheim, in Kristiansand and in a number of other towns, schools, museums and memorial sites. Many activities and events take on place on that day throughout Norway, and are listed on the dedicated website Holocastdagen.no.

In 2012, the speech of the Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg mentioned Roma victims while officially regretting the participation of Norwegian officials and citizens in the deportation of Holocaust victims. In 2014, representatives of the Norwegian Government, the Jewish community, the Roma community and former political prisoners attended the commemoration. In the autumn of 2013, HL-senteret was commissioned by the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs to investigate what happened to Norway’s Roma population during World War II. The final report “Å bli dem kvit” (“Getting rid of them”) was presented in February 2015. Members of the Roma population stood behind the initiative.

On 8 April 2015, International Roma Day, the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg officially apologized to the Norwegian Roma for the racist policy of exclusion that was pursued in the decades before and after World War II, and apologized for “the fatal consequences that this policy had for Norwegian Roma during the Holocaust”.

2 Teaching about the Genocide of the Roma

2.1 Inclusion of the topic in the school curriculum

There are no specific texts or competence aims directly related to the topic of the Genocide of the Roma in the National Curriculum. There is, however, a competence aim after year 7 in the Social Science Subject Curriculum, Main subject area – History: The aims for the education are that the pupil shall be able to elaborate on which national minorities exist in Norway, and describe the main characteristics of the history and living conditions of these minorities.
There are several competence aims in a number of subjects in primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education with relevance to the topic.
The National Curriculum, with regulation status, consists of four parts:
- Core Curriculum for primary, secondary and adult education.
- Quality Framework for primary and lower secondary schools, upper secondary schools and apprenticeship work-places.
- Subject curricula.
- Framework Regulating the Distribution of Periods and Hours.
The Ministry emphasises the importance of placing responsibility for didactical interpretation and adaptation with the individual school. Standards and the general framework of teaching are determined centrally, by the Ministry, by means of national curricula which state course objectives and national regulations for conducting examinations. The national curriculum has broad competence-based aims. Municipalities and counties are responsible for the development of local curriculum for/within schools; decision/choice content, methods, organisation and learning resources in order to make the National Curriculum operational.

Core Curriculum for Primary, Secondary and Adult Education
The General Section of the curriculum, the 'Core Curriculum' established in 1993, provides an ideological basis for national curriculum development within primary, secondary and adult education, as well as for local development in schools and municipalities.
Quotations with relevance to the topic:
“Education must be based on the view that all persons are created equal and that human dignity is inviolable. It should confirm the belief that everyone is unique, that each can nourish his own growth and that individual distinctions enrich and enliven our world.”
“Veneration for human equality and the dignity of man is an inducement to persistently safeguard and expand upon the freedoms of faith, thought, speech and action without discrimination by gender, endowment, race, religion, nationality or position. This fundamental belief is a constant source of change to enhance human condition.”
“Education should foster equality between the sexes and solidarity among groups and across borders.”
“Education must convey knowledge about other cultures and take advantage of the potential for enrichment that minority groups and Norwegians with another cultural heritage represent.”
“Education should counteract prejudice and discrimination, and foster mutual respect and tolerance between groups with differing modes of life.”
“Education must convey knowledge about, and foster equal worth and solidarity for those whose skills differ from those of the majority.”
(See http://www.udir.no/templates/udir/TM_Artikkel.aspx?id=1374).

Framework of Quality
The Quality Framework helps to clarify the responsibilities the school owners (in Norwegian public schools/the local and county administration authorities) have in providing education pursuant to the legislation and regulations and the principles of human rights, and adapted to local and individual aptitudes, expectations and needs.
Quotations with relevance to the topic:
“The school and the apprenticeship training shall stimulate pupils and apprentices/trainees in their personal development of identity and ethical, social and cultural competence, and in the ability to understand democracy and democratic participation.” (Section 1-2 of the Education Act and the Core Curriculum).
“Social and cultural competence clear value base and a broad cultural understanding are fundamental elements of an inclusive social community and of a learning community where diversity is acknowledged and respected.”
(See http://www.udir.no/templates/udir/TM_Artikkel.aspx?id=3390).

Subject curricula
There are no specific subjects, main subject areas or competence aims on the Genocide of the Roma or the Roma population in general.
It is important to understand the role that local interpretation of the national curricula and local curriculum development play in this respect.
Examples from national subject curriculum - subjects, main subject areas and competence aims where national minorities/Roma population can be dealt with/integrated in local curriculum work:
Social Studies Subject Curriculum (primary and secondary education)
1.1. The objectives of the subject
“The purpose of the social studies subject is to help create understanding and belief in fundamental human rights, democratic values and equality, and to encourage the idea of active citizenship and democratic participation. The subject shall stimulate the development of knowledge on cultural diversity in the world in the past and the present and an understanding of the relation between nature and man-made environments.”
Competence aims after Year 7
Main subject area - History
The aims for the education are that the pupil shall be able to:
- elaborate on national minorities existence in Norway and describe the main characteristics of the history and living conditions of these minorities;
- talk about what we mean by identity and culture, recognise cultural symbols and prepare a visual presentation of them.
Competence aims after Year 10
Main subject area - History
The aims for the education are that the pupil shall be able to:
- discuss and elaborate on the value of human life, and place racism and discrimination in a historical and contemporary perspective with pupils from other schools by using digital communication tools.

Main subject area - Sociology
The aims for the education are that the pupil shall be able to:
-    elaborate on fundamental human rights and discuss and elaborate on the value of respecting them.

After Year 1/Year 2 in Upper Secondary Education
Main subject area - Culture
The aims for the education are that the pupil shall be able to:
- define the concept of culture and provide examples showing that culture varies from one place to the next and changes over time;
- describe the main features of some minorities in Norway and discuss and elaborate on the challenges in multicultural societies;
- explain why prejudices arise and discuss how xenophobia and racism can be combated;
- provide examples of how religion influences society and culture.

Norwegian Subject Curriculum (primary and secondary education)
The objectives of the subject
“Norwegian is an important school subject for cultural understanding, communication, education and development of identity.”
“Including international perspectives in the Norwegian subject curriculum can help to develop cultural understanding, tolerance and respect for individuals from other cultures.”

Competence aims after Year 10
Oral texts
The aims for the education are that the pupil shall be able to:
- discuss and elaborate on how language can have discriminatory and injurious effects.

Competence aims after Vg2 –programmes for general studies
The aims for the education are that the pupil shall be able to:
- discuss and elaborate on community and diversity, cultural encounters and cultural conflicts based on a broad selection of Norwegian and foreign contemporary texts in various genres.

Law Subject Curriculum – programme subject in programmes for specialization in general studies
1.3. Family law
The aims of the studies are to enable pupils to:
- apply the rules in the Guardianship Act and the Children Act relating  to the rights and obligations for children and parents and give an account of the most important rules in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1.4. Labour law and equal opportunities
The aims of the studies are to enable pupils to:
- apply the principal rules in the Gender Equality Act and Anti-discrimination Act and analyze their impact on society.

Politics, the Individual and Society Subject Curriculum
Welfare differences
The aims of the studies are to enable pupils to:
-    reflect on the concept of Good Life and discuss whether indigenous populations, ethnic and national minorities might have a different understanding of the concept of Good Life in comparison with that of the majority population
The Sami Curriculum also reflects the situation and history of national minority groups in subjects as Social Science and History.

2.2 Inclusion of the topic in the school textbooks

The Genocide of the Roma is mentioned in textbooks for pupils in secondary schools. The Roma victims are mentioned as “other victims”. In 2013, The Minister of Education requested a review of textbooks related to the presence of the Holocaust in secondary education textbooks. Norwegian textbooks for schools are not subject to government approval.

2.3 Training of teachers and education professionals

The Centre for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities has an educational department which holds teacher training courses, ranging from basic Holocaust education to specialized courses on themes such as European totalitarianism in the interwar period and the Holocaust in literature. The center also plays an active role in the development of relevant education in Norway and other European countries. Teaching material and web based teaching resources developed by the center are accessed by teachers nationwide through our website. The material covers various themes related to the Holocaust and other genocides. For the time being, these are only avaliable in Norwegian.

The University College of Oslo has developed lecture material on the topic of Holocaust, but this specific topic is not integrated in the training of teachers.

2.4 Particular activities undertaken at the level of education institutions

The 27th of January is also commemorated in schools. In addition, there are organized school tours to Auschwitz and other memorial sites on the continent. Annually, several thousand of Norwegian secondary school pupils travel with the organizations White Buses to Auschwitz and Travel for Peace, performing acts of commemoration.

Queen Maud's College of Early Childhood Education (QMC) and “Taternes Landsforening” (National Association for Travellers) carried out the project “Romani-/taterfolket - fra barn til voksen. Tiltak i barnehage og skole” (The Travellers – from child to adult. Measures in kindergarten and school), between years 2003-2009 (project manager: Anne-Mari Larsen), financed by three ministries. Educational materials were published in the autumn of 2008.

2.5 Remembrance day

In Norway, the Genocide of the Roma during WWII is commemorated every 27th of January (International Holocaust Remembrance Day).

3 Official contacts and resource persons

3.1 Responsible person in the Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education and Research

Torbjørn Røe Isaksen ( Conservative Party )
Postboks 8119
Dep 0032 Oslo
E-mail postmottak@kd.dep.no
Telephone: +47 22 24 74 03
Fax: +47 22 24 27 64

3.2 Resource persons - list of experts and historians

Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities
P.O. Box 1168 Blindern
0318 Oslo
Telephone: +47 22 84 21 00
Contact person: Maria Rosvoll
 
Jahn Otto Johansen (journalist)
Vækerøveien 135 D
0383 Oslo
Telephone: +47 979 54 026
 
Torbjørg Bay
Holmestrandgata 5
0468 Oslo
Telephone: +47 22 18 31 93
Senior Researcher Ada Engebrigtsen, NOVA
 
Pr. Anton Weiss-Wendt
Centre for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities
anton.weiss-wendt@hlsenteret.no
Telephone: 22 84 21 23
Mobil telephone: 414 48 107
 
Johanne Bergkvist (Oslo City Archives, minority historian, Norway)
Johanne Bergkvist is a historian at the Oslo City Archives and the editor of the Oslo history journal Tobias. She has published several articles on Roma and Romani history.
 
Kai-Samuel Vigardt (Oslo City Archives, minority historian, Norway)
He is a minority historian specializing in genealogical research among Norwegian Roma and Romani. Vigardt is part of the research group Le Norveganongi Romengi historia, and he is currently leading the documentation project Romanimanus rakrar avri! The Romani People´s Own Stories.
 
Natalina Jansen (Le Norveganongi Romengi historia research group, Norway)
Natalina Jansen is the leader of the research group Le Norveganongi Romengi historia, which aims to document the untold history of the Norwegian Roma. Jansen is a grandchild of of the Norwegian Holocaust survivors Milos Karoli and Tjugurka Karoli. She is currently working as a teaching assistant at Romtiltaket (The Roma Initiative) adult education in Oslo and writing her autobiography.
4 Initiatives of the civil society

4.1 Relevant projects having a real impact on the people and/or the wide public

EEA Grants and Norway Grants support the project “Providing justice for Roma Holocaust victims” in Romania. Despite the fact that Romanian authorities have officially recognised the Roma, alongside the Jews, as victims of the Holocaust in Romania, many Roma survivors are unaware of their rights and have not received any compensation for the horrors they went through. This is one of the reasons why the Community Resource Centre Association is working to identity Roma survivors so they can receive the compensation they are entitled to. The project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the NGO fund in Romania. The project also includes establishing a database with an overview of Roma Holocaust victims in Romania and the creation of an archive with pictures and audio and video testimonials. The project started April 2014 and ended November 2014. It receives €31 480 from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the NGO fund in Romania.

5 Point of view of the Roma community - including survivors' testimonies

Sixty-six Norwegian Roma were among those deported from Belgium between November 1943 and May 1944. While Dika Zikali had died by then, her sons Karl and Oskar Bo Josef were deported and murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Of the other family heads, Karl Modis and Josef Karoli suffered the same fate. At least 21 members of the Modis family, 19 members of the Josef family, and 17 members of the Karoli family were deported to the «Gypsy camp» in Auschwitz-Birkenau. The only Norwegian Roma to survive their time in Auschwitz were Jeanne Galut-Modis, Klara Karoli (né Josef) and brothers Stevo and Milos Karoli. Milos was the only one of these four to return to Norway, though not until 1956 after Norway had repealed the «Gypsy clause». The descendants of the deported Norwegian Roma stood behind the initiative to investigate what had happened to their family members before, during and after World War II. They also requested an official apology and collective compensation for the way they had been treated by Norwegian authorities. On 8 April 2015, International Roma Day, Prime Minister Erna Solberg apologised on behalf of the Norwegian government for «the racist exclusion policy applied in the decades before and after World War II».

Peder Skogaas and Kåre Lilleholt “En for hverandre. Sigøynerne Milos Karoli og Frans Josef forteller”, Gyldendal norsk forlag, 1978.

Svein Dybing and Terje Gammelsrud: Raya. Født med englevakt. 1983.

Solomia Karoli: ”Sigøynerkongens datter”, Aschehoug, 2009.