Articles and comments to the documentary:
Krigshelt i utakt - compressed DivX version (118 mb) A documentary movie by Ingerid Hagen, Jon Jerstad and Bente Olav.
('War hero out of step')
An astonishing documentary biography of Svein Blindheim, shown on Norway's main national TV channel NRK1. (Shown 5th and 15th June 2006.
Blindheim is a former Major and SOE leader of the Oslo groups of "Kompani Linge". A number of leading war historians are interviewed, such as Francois Kersaudy, Lars Borgersrud, Ole Kristian Grimnes and Lars Erik Vaale.
NRK's description of the documentary:
"Norwegian documentary. The war hero and Kompani Linge-veteran Svein Blindheim confronts our close history, the myths about the Second World War and the national self-image we have created after the war. Only now, more than 60 years after and as he himself is approaching 90, is it possible to tell his story."
Translation published here: http://www.arno.daastol.com/history/OppgjorKrigshistorie.html
Some details on how this documentary was shown, stopped and shown:
The documentary was shown Monday 3 June 2006 in the main Norwegian national TV channel NRK1.
It was announced to be re-shown a short week after, 11 June (at 11.40) , but this broadcast was stopped and no reason was given. None of the national newspapers were informed about the cancellation and listed the broadcast all day just as shown earlier the same week. One can only speculate in the reasons for the cancellation, but political censorship is a likely candidate, due to the sensitive material which confronted national Norwegian war-mythology regarding our heroic performance in the resistance movement. An ongoing strike was later given as the reason.Then, only four days later the documentary was suddenly shown prime time (19.00-20.00) on the main national Norwegian TV channel on Wednesday but without any published program changes. Still, the program achieved a 40 % national viewer share, beating all other programs. This indicates the public interest for 'undoctored' accounts of history, and demonstrates what a market there really is for this kind of information.
Therefore, 1) Publishers do not know their own good when they are reluctant to publish heretic material.2) This documentary may be a door opener for a small mental avalanche in Norway regarding the history of WW I, WW II and the Cold War.
My comment to the documentary:
This is the first somewhat balanced - and therefore honest - documentary shown in Norway on the whole complex from the late 1930s and including the Cold War. On the critical side, there is still some imbalances left: The program let Blindheim too easily off the hook by failing to pose critical questions to his activities. Thereby the program was pure appraisal and cannot be considered a critical documentary. (But on the other hand it played a noteworthy role of airing long suppressed thoughts.)
Firstly, Blindheim seems to have a blindsided relation to the monstrosities of the Soviet-regime through its 70 years: These started already in 1917- including Lenin's attacks on the labour unions and the independent Soviets, Stalin's documented plans for world revolution during the 1930s by attacking westwards (Germany and France etc.) as well as establishing Northern-Norway as an "independent" Soviet-republic- through co-operation with the Norwegian Labour Party, up to the 1930s, and Labour people like Trygve Lie (the first Secretary-General of the United Nations).
Secondly, the program did not investigate the relation between the British SOE and Norwegian authorities and the roles of Blindheim and Linge: Blindheim and Linge were both in the service of another power (Britain, which was not allied to Norway with any written agreement whatsoever, neither before the occupation nor before the capitulation, nor even after the capitulation. Blindheim and Linge followed its order which directly contradicted the orders of the Norwegian General Command (General Ruge) and civilian authorities (the exile 'government' in London) repeatedly had announced clearly: No sabotage (due to fears of reprisals against the civilian population). It is also a worthwhile point that the occupation power regarded the sabotage as terrorism. According to international conventions these were the legal authorities and much more so than the USA in Iraq, since Norway actually capitulated whereas Iraq still has not done so.
Some fragments from the documentary according to my memory:
The British provoked a German attack on Norway. ...
(F. Kersaudy:) Churchill pulled Norway into the war.
The Sovjet Union won the war (not the western powers).
The Nygaardsvold Government (Labour) should have been impeached in 1945, but in stead they introduced a Social-Democratic one-party rule and pushed the blame over to Quisling and his people. Thereby, Labour pulled attention away from the Labour Party's guilt for the occupation 9 April 1940. We should now reconcile ourselves with the Communist resistance saboteurs and the Norwegian Front Fighters (for Germany against the Soviet Union). After the war and to this day, it has been impossible to do honest research on the occupation period and its prehistory (since your would get sacked if you did).
Note: Justice is a precondition for a reconciliation, indicating therefore that the the Communist resistance saboteurs and the Norwegian Front Fighters first of all should be justly treated. There were 6.000 (East) Front Fighters out of 10.000 volunteers, whereas only a few hundred Norwegians fought in Allied uniforms and hardly no-one fought at home, - except for waving the national flag after liberation. ;-)
Fra krigshelt til opposisjonell , NRK , 5 June 2006, NRKs introductory article on the documentary
The makers of the documentary wrote this article before it was shown:
Et oppgjør med vår krigshistorie , by Ingerid Hagen and Jon Jerstad, in the liberal newspaper, Dagbladet, 3 June 2006
('A Confrontation With Our War History')
My personal translation of the article and comment to the documentary : A Confrontation With Our War History
Excerpts of my translation (with my highlighting):
... The documentary tells the story of Norway’s failure and intolerance of dissidents, and a culture of suppression that has controlled our country after the war. ..
If these are relevant questions, we as a nation will have to confront our own self-image and re-write history. ... we are brought up with a fairy tale story about the war effort. ... BLINDHEIM'S DESTINY is a good example of how the authorities have managed to curb a critical voice. Concerning the war history, Blindheim's version is professionally documented, but does not fit the official Norwegian version of the war and the resistance fight. Research done in relation to the film projects shows that for decades, it has been problematic for younger researchers to do critical research on war history, if you would like scientific advancement in universities and colleges."
Here is a reply to this article
Gammelt nytt om krigen by Jorunn Sem Fure Dagbladet, 11 June 2006 www.dagbladet.no/kultur/2006/06/11/468587.html
('Old News On The War') (The author is the wife of Prof. Odd-Bjørn Fure, director of the Oslo Holocaust centre)
The writer finds that many issues have been dealt with thoroughly well before this documentary, such as the economic collaboration, the Communist sabotage and finds that Quisling's role before the invasion was sufficiently investigated by Odd Høidahl and Hans Fredrik Dahl. She promotes a wider definition of resistance than what the documentary uses, such as to include civil disobedience. She asks for more biographical stories like Blindheim's but demands that they should create a more nuanced historical picture than simply putting the accepted view on its head (as this documentary purportedly did).
My comment would be that this reply is relatively void of interesting arguments. The comment regarding Quisling's role is better, but the authors she mentions discuss his plans for a coup d'etat (against a non-constitutional government) and do not strictly discuss his role in any German invasion of Norway, which was the issue in the documentary and the article by the makers of the documentary. This distinction between coup d'etat and invasion may, however, be trivial in practice as Høidahl shows, since Quisling asked for German maritime 'moral' support. Høidahl's references are primarily the notes of Alfred Rosenberg.
A few other articles on this extraordinary documentary (in Norwegian) :
Krigsdokumentar knuste TV2, Dagbladet 17 juni 2006
('War doumentary crushed TV2'')The re-broadcast of this war documentary a short week later was first taken off the program, allegedly due to a strike and then after protests, but then only four days later suddenly shown prime time (19.00-20.00) on the main national Norwegian TV channel on Wednesday but without any published program changes. Still, the program achieved a 40 % national viewer share, beating all other programs. This indicates the public interest for 'undoctored' accounts of history, and demonstrates what a market there really is for this kind of information. Therefore,1) Publishers do not know their own good when they are reluctant to publish heretic material.2) This documentary may be a door opener for a mental avalanche in Norway regarding the history of WW I, WW II and the Cold War.
Krigshelt i utakt - By Roald Helgheim, Dag og Tid, 3 June 2006
('War hero out of step')
"Krigshelt i utakt" et viktig bidrag by Ståle S. Skjæveland in Varden 15 June 2006
('War hero out of step - an important contribution')
The writer supports the demand for a re-writing of history and finds the documentary a serious piece of investigation.
Krigshelt i utakt by Olav Eide, Bygstad, 20 June 2006, Bergens Tidende
The writer find the documentary shocking and thanks Blindheim for telling the truth about the war. He furthermore contends that betrayal of the people by the elite is still the rule resulting in a general corruption of the Norwegian society.
Historieskriving in the (Moscow) Communist newspaper Friheten ('Liberty') June 2006
('Writing on History')
The writer supports the demand for a re-writing of history since Communists have been suppressed during the Cold War and after. This is impossible, though, as long as the Capitalist class controls the state.
Wikipedia-Norway on Blindheim: http://nn.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svein_Blindheim