Norway Apologizes for Persecuting WWII “German Girls”Breaking News
tags: Norway, WWII
For the “German Girls,” as they came to be called—the approximately 50,000 women in Norway who had consorted, or were rumored to have consorted with Nazi soldiers during the country’s occupation, and were later denied jobs, socially shunned, physically attacked or deported because of it—Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg has issued a formal apology. As the BBC reports, the announcement came at an event this week marking the 70th anniversary of the U.N.’s Declaration of Human Rights.
“[Norwegian authorities] violated the fundamental principle that no citizen can be punished without trial or sentenced without law,” Solberg said on Wednesday. “For many, this was just a teenage love, for some, the love of their lives with an enemy soldier or an innocent flirt that left its mark for the rest of their lives. Today, in the name of the government, I want to offer my apologies.”
As Emily Sullivan at NPR reports, while trysts between locals and occupying armies are not uncommon during wartime, in Norway the situation was different. The Nazis encouraged soldiers occupying the Nordic nation to have children with local women, part of Heinrich Himmler’s designs to engineer an Aryan super race composed of German and Nordic genetics. It’s estimated that about 12,000 children were born to Norwegian mothers and Nazi German soldiers.