Norway responds to Glenn Beck remark

The World

Story by PRI’s The World. Listen to audio above for full report.

Norwegian officials have called off the search for more victims around the island of Utøya. That’s where the youth wing of the Norwegian Labor Party was holding its annual summer camp on Friday, July 22, when a gunman attacked. Dozens of young people died in the shootings on the island.

For the families and friends who lost loved ones on Utøya, the ordeal has been a shock. And comments from American radio talk show host Glenn Beck have only added insult to injury.

On Monday, Beck referred to the youth political camp on Utøya as sounding “a little like the Hitler Youth.”

That offhand comparison did not go down well in Norway. After all, feelings here are still very raw following last week’s attacks. Anders Behring Breivik, the man who’s admitted to the attacks, is an avowed right-wing extremist. And the Hitler Youth comparison especially hurts because Norway lived through Nazi occupation.

But beyond all that, most here are baffled as to how Utøya could possibly be equated with a Hitler Youth group.

“Utøya represents some of the finest qualities in a democracy, a place where youth can meet to celebrate democracy and openness, quite the opposite of what the Nazis stood for,” said Martin Fredriksen, the former leader of Norway’s Youth Labor Party, who now runs the Utøya camp. “Other than that, I do not wish to give Glenn Beck any attention.”

Read more at The World’s website.


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