Swastika on memorial

Symbol found on July 22 memorial on the morning of the terror attack anniversary

Pieter Wijnen
Norway Today

Tønsbergs Blad reports that a person was arrested for defacing the memorial marker just before 5 p.m. on July 22.

“The investigation has revealed who this is. The perpetrator was arrested and charged with damage to the memorial. The accused is now in prison. A further investigation is underway to investigate whether there are others involved in this,” Operations Manager of Southeastern Police District, André Kråkenes told NTB.

Passers-by on their way to work discovered the swastika and informed the municipality, which said that by just after 7 a.m., they had been able to remove the worst of the spray paint. The memorial would thus be clean before a remembrance later that day.

The latest information is that another person was apprehended in the case. Both men are supposedly in their 20s.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg told NTB that she believes that the vandalism is horrendous: “It’s absolutely awful. It is difficult to refrain from thinking that this is someone who has a political motive; who is somehow tempted by this mindset,” she said.

“If it’s just a prank, it’s extremely insensitive to do so on a day such as today. Something that contributes to making it even worse for all those who have experienced July 22,” Solberg said.

The leader of the Labor Party, Jonas Gahr Støre, also highlighted the crime in his speech on the summer camp at Utøya.

“We can’t have it like that. When this is allowed to continue, there is something in our society that fails. Have we really managed to live up to the goals Jens Stoltenberg set about more openness and more democracy?” Støre asked.

On July 22, 2011, right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, now Fjotolf Hansen, killed eight people by detonating a van bomb amid Regjeringskvartalet in Oslo, then shot dead 69 participants of a Workers’ Youth League (AUF) summer camp on the island of Utøya.

In July 2012, he was convicted of mass murder, causing a fatal explosion, and terrorism, and sentenced to 21 years in prison with the possibility of one or more extensions as long as he is deemed a danger to society. This is the maximum penalty in Norway. Breivik identifies as a fascist and a Nazi and continues to speak against multiculturalism and support ethno-nationalists.

This article was originally published on Norway Today.

This article originally appeared in the August 9, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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