• April 2017 Holocaust Remembrance Day. More about the Untold Story of Norway’s Jews

    by  • April 18, 2017 • 0 Comments

    On this Holocaust Remembrance Day,  I call to your attention Irene Levin Berman’s 2016 book, NORWAY WASN’T TOO SMALL: A FACT-BASED NOVEL ABOUT DARKNESS AND SURVIVAL.  This story follows up Irene’s powerful 2010 memoir “WE ARE GOING TO PICK POTATOES,” NORWAY AND THE HOLOCAUST: THE UNTOLD STORY.  (The subject of my April 18, 2012...

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    by  • March 23, 2013 • 0 Comments

    The Kennedy Center’s fabulous month of Nordic Cool has come to an end, leaving those of us who were able to experience it, inspired by the exhibits and other displays of Nordic talent in art, music, dance, and literature. One of the exhibits that inspired me was Icelandic photographer/artist Rúrí’s “Archive-Endangered Waters.”  This brilliant...

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    by  • February 20, 2013 • 1 Comment

    Finland’s Kaarina Kaikkonen’s wonderfully colorful, flowing and floating ship of shirts fills the Kennedy Center’s Hall of States. Viewable from many angles this sculpture gives a whole new meaning to recycling and staying afloat. As the accompanying sign explains, Kaikkonen used 1000 shirts which symbolize people working together.   Check out the photos!

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    Scandinavia comes to Washington, DC

    by  • February 17, 2013 • 0 Comments

    “Nordic Cool,” a month-long festival opening on Tuesday evening, February 19, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, celebrates the cultures of the Nordic countries: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland through music, theater, dance, literature, design, sculpture, film, and cuisine.  The website http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/festivals/12-13/nordic  lists the smörgåsbord of events being presented and the sumptuous...

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    In Washington, DC, A Norwegian Christmas Tree, and a Love Story with a Sheep’s Head

    by  • December 5, 2012 • 0 Comments

    Norway  continued its tradition of annually gifting a Christmas/Jul tree to Washington, DC, and the people of the United States with a tree-lighting ceremony at Union Station on December 4. The preparations gave Washington Post columnist John Kelly an opportunity to meet Urd Milbury from the Royal Norwegian Embassy’s Culture and Information Department. And...

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    by  • November 28, 2012 • 0 Comments

    In my previous post, I spoke about the November 14 program at George Washington University with Irene Levin Berman, author of “We are going to pick potatoes”: Norway and the Holocaust, the Untold Story. After my welcome, I introduced Linken Nymann Berryman, Counselor for Press and Culture, at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, DC. The text of her talk follows:

    On behalf of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, thank you all for joining us for this very important event. As we will learn this evening, the story of Norway and the Holocaust marks a very dark and very difficult chapter in our nation’s history. The Nazis confiscated all property owned by Jewish people in Norway. During the course of the war, 772 Norwegian Jews and Jewish refugees were arrested and deported. Only 34 survived.

    This is a subject that Ambassador, Wegger Strommen, cares passionately about. In the late 1990s, Ambassador Strommen played a key role in the Norwegian government’s decision to pay restitution collectively and individually, for the economic liquidation of Jewish assets. By so doing Norway accepted moral responsibility for the crimes committed against Norwegian Jews during the Second World War.

    Ambassador Strommen regrets that he is unable to join us as he is traveling with visiting [Norwegian Government] Ministers in Texas, but he has, with the help of Dr. Walter Reich, prepared a video in which he shares his thoughts regarding both the Holocaust in Norway and the state of anti-Semitism in Europe today.

    Dr. Reich is the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Professor of International Affairs, Ethics and Human Behavior, and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, here at The George Washington University. He is also a former Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and has written and lectured widely on the Holocaust and genocide. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the topic, and recently edited the forthcoming title, Escape from the Holocaust: The Fate of Jews in Finland During World War II.

    Here to properly introduce the video message, please allow me, and help me, welcome Dr. Walter Reich.

    Regrettably I don’t have Dr. Reich’s remarks, but I can say he is a “mensch.”  He volunteered to interview the Ambassador because he is a long admirer  and because of his deep interest in the subject.  The video interview speaks for itself:    Interview with Ambassador Wegger Chr. Strommen and Dr. Walter Reich    OR TRY THIS




    by  • November 25, 2012 • 0 Comments

    I have written in other blog posts about author Irene Levin Berman and her book, “We are going to pick potatoes”: Norway and the Holocaust, the Untold Story. Irene’s book is “not only a narrative about the Holocaust but a remembrance of growing up Jewish in Norway during and after World War II.” Irene...

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