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Journalism and antisemitism during and after the Second World War

Bjørn Westlie and Rune Ottosen

Monday 12th of March the MEKK research group held a seminar on journalism and antisemitism during and after the second world war based on the work of Bjørn Westlie and Rune Ottosen. Anne Hege Simonsen was supposed to participate but fell ill and could not participate. Her recent book on Marie Hamsun is highly recommended.

Both Westlie and Ottosen presented work in progress. Westlie with a focus on Norsk Artikkel Tjeneste, NAT (“Norwegian article service”), the press agency of the political party Nasjonal Samling (National Union), the only allowed political party during the German occupation of Norway during the Second World War. NAT produced at least 2000 articles that were published in the Norwegian press as propaganda for the Nazi-regime and with strong anti-Semitic arguments.

Ottosen presented ongoing work on how the Norwegian and Swedish press reported the Holocaust. His article is named «A Genocide foretold?». According to Ottosen, the deportation of 532 Jewish on the 26th of November 1942 from Oslo with the ship Donau was only covered by the Swedish press. The journalist who told the story was later expelled from Norway.

Both work raise several questions about the role of the media during the Second World War and to what extent the press were influences by the Nazi propaganda.


This picture of the ship Donau was taken with a hidden camera by the Georg W. Fossum. The article and picture is from Aftenposten: https://www.aftenposten.no/norge/i/4qWqo/532-joder-ble-fort-om-bord-pa-Donau-Bare-9-kom-tilbake

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