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“The initial plan was to have the event digitally, but the Crown Prince insisted on making a physical appearance”

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The chair in the foreground represents the Holocaust memorial in Oslo, Norway. (Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, The Royal Court of Norway)

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During the Holocaust, many Norwegian Jews were arrested and deported. Only nine of them survived and returned home.

On International Holocaust Day on Thursday in Oslo, Norway, Crown Prince Haakon honoured the memory of these victims by taking part in a ceremony. “The initial plan was to have the event digitally, but the Crown Prince insisted on making a physical appearance. So, we are grateful to him for his friendship and great leadership” said Ervin Kohn, president of the Jewish Community in Oslo in an exclusive interview with thej.ca

The ceremony was held at The Deportation Memorial, which was commissioned by the Norwegian government in 2000.

Guri Hjeltnes, Director of the Center for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities invited the Crown Prince to light the last of six torches – each torch symbolised a million Jewish lives which were forcibly taken in the Shoah. 

After the Crown Prince finished lighting the last torch, community members went up to read a text that told the tale of individual Jews who were arrested, deported and killed in Auschwitz. Norwegian Minister of Culture, Anette Trettebergstuen, chairwoman from the Jewish Faith Society Ronen Bahar and Oslo’s Mayor Marianne Borgen also said a few words.

Almost 800 Jews live in the Scandinavian nation today. It is estimated that the figure was once over double – close to 2000, in the autumn of 1942. Therefore, 2022 marks 80 years since the first deportations began. Around half of the deportees perished due to the actions of the Nazis.

In addition, on October of 2021, Oslo synagogue celebrated its 100th anniversary as the oldest non-Christian house of worship in the northern European nation – the actual date the building was erected was in 2020, but the commemoration was postponed due to Covid. That event was also attended by Crown Prince Haakon.

Notably during the synagogue’s centenary event, King Harald V (Crown Prince Haakon’s father) was presented with the first Norwegian translation of the Siddur. Norwegian Jews, in the past have used other languages for Siddur translations such as Yiddish or English.

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The Jewish Faith Society sang the prayer El Maleh Rakhamim at the end and Crown Prince Haakon greeted the Holocaust survivors still living in Norway.

“This is not the first time that members of the Norwegian royal family have attended in person to show their respect and give solidarity to the Jewish people of this country,” said Rami Kafarov, “for me personally, as a member of this community, it is very uplifting indeed and we are sincerely grateful!”

Shechita is prohibited in Norway, under animal rights laws and so, Norwegian Jews are compelled to import their kosher meat: Therefore if you’re wondering, there is no kosher reindeer slaughtered in Norway for now!

Avi Kumar is a historian of Sri Lankan descent who lives in New York.

He has a unique spin on current affairs.

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We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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