Utoya: The 2011 Assassination: Norway’s National Trauma

Berlin / Oslo.
In July 2011, a right-wing extremist murdered 77 people in Oslo and Utoya. Ten years later, there is still astonishment.

July 22, 2011, Friday, is etched into the nation’s collective memory. It is the day that the land is out of his greenness woke up, that’s what many Norwegians say. A national trauma.

On July 22, 2011 at around 3:30 p.m. it exploded in the government district of Oslo a homemade bomb in a van. The force of the detonation is so enormous that parts of the building are destroyed and eight people die. There is sheer chaos.

Oslo and Utoya: right-wing extremist kills 77 people – including many minors

That is exactly what the right-wing extremist assassin Andres Breivik wanted to achieve. He drives his car to the nearby island Utoya. There, as every year, many young people spend a few days vacation at the summer camp of the social democratic youth organization (AUF).

Breivik, disguised as a police officer, says he wants to inform the young people and their supervisors about the attack in the government district and is taken to the island in a boat. There he begins to kill. He shoots for more than an hour 69 mostly young people, 33 are seriously injured in some cases – until a special command stops him. Read here: The Utoya assassination: “I thought I was going to die”


Unrepentant perpetrators – survivors sought help

The assassin allows himself to be arrested without resistance. He becomes the maximum penalty with Preventive detention condemned, shows no remorse to this day.


Even ten years later, bewilderment and anger reign over that massacre. So many young people – executed by a Norwegian, “one of us” as they say. Some of the survivors have withdrawn, others have sought the help of psychologists or founded self-help groups.

“It is not possible to go back to a normal life,” said Freddy Lie. His daughter Elisabeth died on Utoya, who Right-wing extremist had shot the 16-year-old.

more on the subject: The Utoya massacre does not let go of Ingrid Endrerud


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