THIS IS HOW SOME PEOPLE USE HISTORY

Yesterday, on the metro, two girls were sitting in front of me. They were talking about different things, and suddenly one of them started telling the other about a friend who had been exercising a lot and according to her was very thin.

“It looked like he had just come out of a nazi-camp”.

I sat here, a little too shocked. Some seconds later I walked out of the metro and now I`m regretting that I didn`t say anything. Maybe those two girls will not read this, but who knows? I`m also writing this to those of you that allow yourselves to use historical events in ways like this.

Because the camps was systematic evilness. There were millions of deaths there. People were gassed and murdered. Many never saw the people they loved, ever again. There was hunger, pain, fear, frustration, panic. People were shot because they were who they were.

I have visited some of the camps and these are some of the things that met me:vic8554332_417847461559125_1193596514_n306286_417845308226007_1523155661_n532836_417836118226926_1967008665_n561797_417847528225785_421042842_n574815_417849164892288_258154849_n(In case you don`t know: the last picture shows some of the things they “collected” from the jews and the others that were in the camps. I remember was told they cut off their feet to experiment with them.) 

The way we talk about history and use it, says a lot about our understanding of it. I think it`s sad that people use expressions and words just like that, as if they don`t really mean anything.

And I hope those two girls for their own sake visit some of the camps and learn some history.

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I AM GLAD I WENT

Ah, guys. Today`s been a good day. The reason is pretty much because of an event I went to today, which was in the Holocaust Center  (it`s called that, but it`s a center for studies of Holocaust and Religious minorities) in Oslo. It started 2 o clock in the afternoon, and I wasn`t sure whether to go or not because I usually have a lecture from 12-2 and afterwards a seminar. I changed the seminar and decided to only attend half of the lecture, so I could go to the event. And let`s just say I don`t regret doing that. The author Lena Lindahl just got a book published, and it`s about a girl and how she survived Holocaust during the second world war. I haven`t read it yet (it came out today), but according to what I heard today at the event, it`s about a girl who survived the war by hiding in a wall in a cottage in the Norwegian city Trondheim. Her Christian boyfriend helped her, and she hid in the cottage for more than two years. In that way it`s got a connection to Anne Frank, and honestly; I saw that there was going to be another event about the book somewhere else, and the title said “The girl in the wall – a little known Anne Frank-story from Trondheim”. My head instantly said: “I have to go”.

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It was an awesome event, very informative and very interesting. It`s these kind of stories from the war that interest me. Stories about humanity and love. Imagine having to hide for so long, barely going out and being scared. She didn`t know where her family was, but pretty much all of her family was deported and killed in the camps. Every time someone came over, Betzy Rosenborg (the girl) had to hid in the wall. Sometimes for hours.

Even though I`ve read quite a lot about the war, it still “fascinates” me how the Nazis were able to not only think this way, but also go to the extent they did in order to rid of millions of people. It also fascinates me what extent people would go to, just to survive. And imagine – this all happened less than 75 years ago.

On my way home I talked to this old lady who also had been there. Very nice to talk to her and talk about our lives. We both believe there should be more history books out there that are written for young people. Most of the history books that I`ve read are academic and therefore not that interesting for people who are 15-25 years old. “The girl in the wall” is a book written for the youth – you learn about history, but it`s more “dramatised”. Anyways, I also mentioned I`m going to Maastricht for next semester and she told me a little about her life. All in all, a good day. Excited to read the book, by the way. Unfortunately it`s only on Norwegian, but let me know if you want me to write about it after I`ve finished it! 😃

THE IMPORTANCE OF HISTORY AND A THROWBACK

Hey guys! How are you doing? I hope you`re all doing fine. Today I had a very exciting lecture about the second world war. I love reading about that war, and then especially Holocaust and the stories from people who`ve survived the camp. I`m glad the lecturer talked about the topic and I very well know we barely have time to go into everything in details, but to be honest… either the lecturer should`ve spent an hour on Holocaust, or they could`ve had a lecture at the end of the semester about genocides and racism in the world history. Maybe I`m saying this because I`ve very interested in these things, but Holocaust is so important even till this day. History in general is important. We`re where we are today because of the past – both negative and positive things. I know people who`ve denied Holocaust, who`ve said that what happened was for the good(!!) and who don`t really know much about it. We need to learn why Holocaust happened and the consequences of racism and prejudices. We need to learn about how far humans can go, which Holocaust is a very good example of. Unfortunately the survivors are soon not going to be with us anymore, and therefore it`s important to talk more about this so we don`t repeat the same mistakes. In my opinion they should also organize a trip to Poland or Germany, so we can visit some of the camps, but maaaaaybe that`s too much to ask for (or maybe not).

Some pictures from soon 6 years ago, when I was in Poland, Czech Republic and Germany with my class. Memories and knowledge for life. Thanks to Victoria (she used to be a classmate of mine) for allowing me to use her pictures!

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Maybe I should`ve studied history instead. If only every lecture was that interesting. Well well, I`m off to bed soon. Take care, everyone.

WE MUST REMEMBER

Today`s the Holocaust Memorial Day. This day we should honour the victims, survivors and rescuers of the Holocaust during the Second World War. We should think of them and remind ourselves of what we are capable of doing to other people. We should reflect upon on history and how we want to shape present and the future.

More than five years ago, I visited four conzentration camps. It was an amazing, but sad experience. I still remember when I saw the displays with the legs the Nazis had cut off on people they had done experiments on. It was awful to see that “live”, and I can`t imagine what it must have been like for the people who had to go through such horrible times. It`s actually unimagineable and it`s not something I`m able to swallow 100 %. How can humans do something like that to other humans? Did they know what they were doing? I also “met” a survivor during the trip. She told about her experiences in Ravensbruck and I must admit I was too sleepy, so I didn`t listen carefully. But, something she said in the end will forever stay with me. She told about her husband, which she met after the war. He had died some time ago, and she said something along the lines of “all the time we had been married, he had never said a mean word to me”. Not only are the survivors proof that Holocaust happened, but they also remind us of how cruel and beautiful life can be. It was very sad to hear what she had to say, but it also made me feel at least a little good when she shared what happened after the war. Life moved on. The scars and memories are still there, but we humans have been through some of the most horrible things ever and yet survived.

Because imagine being in the camp, knowing you might not ever be able to see the people you love? Imagine saying goodbye to your husband and not knowing it`s goodbye. Imagine walking inside a “bathroom” and not knowing you`re living the last seconds of your life. Damn, writing this is hard, how hard must it not have been for the people who were suffering at this time.

We MUST remember. We NEED to remember the hatred, the actions and the prejudices from that time. We can`t allow ourselves to forget, because forgetting might mean we allow these things to happen again. We can`t accept the unjustice that happened to someone else, just because it didn`t do us (at least not directly= any harm. There`s nothing we can do to change what happened during the 1930s and 1940s, but we can do a lot right now. I`m scared about how the survivors are slowly dying – soon there won`t be any of them left. Soon the people who actually went through these times, won`t be able to tell their own stories. It`s getting even more important that we listen carefully and carry on their stories so people get to know.

I wish I could say we`ve come far, but just a quick search reminds me of how certain people think it`s a joke and how some people even believe Holocaust never happened. We still have a long way to go and it`s SO important that we remember this, educate ourselves and learn history. No books and no movies can make you completely understand what actually happened, but that`s the least we could do. We owe it to those who died and suffered, simply because they were who they are.

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WE NEED MORE OF THAT

Yesterday was a great day. We went to Eidsvoll, which is where our Norwegian Constitution was written in 1814. We listened to a presentation about the background and what happened during that year. Afterwards we went into the building where the men forreal wrote the Constitution more than 200 years ago. Imagine sitting where they were so many years ago? It`s crazy. I just wish they wouldn`t re-construct museums, buildings and places like these – why can`t they just clean them up and make sure they remain the same? I don`t know, I just find it a little too sad, haha… I want to see it the way it used to be. Nevertheless, it was nice to have a short student trip for once and visit a place which is relevant for what we`re learning now. Yes to more of that. 🙂

IMG_1669.jpgIt snowed quite a lot yesterday, but the rain has washed most of it away. Therefore (as you perhaps can tell), this picture is not from today. 

I studied with some girls today for 6 hours, and I think all of us thought we aren`t really that prepared, haha. Especially not for economic anthropology. Tomorrow it`s time for my first exam – I`m so glad it`s a home exam. Not as though as a school exam.

IMAGINE NOT BEING ABLE TO GO OUTSIDE

This is a post I actually posted yesterday, but the 5th of July was the day Margot Frank received a note  to report to a labor camp. They went into hiding on the 6th. Have no idea how I exchanged these two dates. 


Today it`s exactly 75 years ago since Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in “Achterhuis” in Prinsengracht. Four days ago, I was there myself.

Imagine not being able to go outside for more than two years. You`re locked inside day and night, in small rooms. Not only that – you`re helpless with fear every single day. “These people were in prison, a prison with locks on the inside”, Miep Gies (one of the helpers) said. Imagine living in fear of being discovered and taken away to somewhere, which reminds you of something like death. For nearly 25 months, Anne and her family hid in her Dad`s office, with hopes of survival and a great future ahead.

If you know her story, you`ll know she and six of those who hid with her, died. Thinking of that still makes me emotional. Not only because I look so much up to Anne Frank, but also because I think of the millions of humans who suffered and died.

When I was standing where she stood 75 years ago, I felt weird, but amazing and so inspired. I am so lucky to live in Norway and live the life I`m currently living. I have so many opportunities ahead of me, I`m studying whatever I want to and I can go out every day and breathe in some fresh air. Stand in the pouring rain. Meet people. I don`t have to be afraid at nights and lie wide awake due to bombing. Most of us in the West are so fortunate and lucky. We have everything and to me, many of our problems don`t really matter, in the very end. Life`s not always a dance on roses. We can do things kids in war can`t. Being in the “Achterhuis” has once again made me realise how important it is for me to be thankful and thank God for the journey I`m on. Anne`s sister, Margot, died at the age of 19. I`m 19 and I`m still alive. I can do everything she couldn`t and my future doesn`t seem so distant.

I`ve been through a lot in life. I have my mistakes and I`ve made myself proud many times. I`m grateful for that. No matter what I`ve been through and are going through, I need to remember that I`m alive and that one day, the hard times will come to an end. I consider myself blessed, since I can live on and continue to grow as a person and human being, and make the world a better place.

I can do and encounter everything people that lived before us and went through horrible times, couldn`t do.

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