Norway ‘Still Shattered’ as Extremist Goes on Trial
This week, Norwegians will be confronted again with the terrible details and trauma of the worst peacetime attack in country’s history.
Police say last July 22nd, Anders Behring Breivik set off a car bomb in the center of Oslo near government offices. The blast killed eight people and spun residents and police into a state of chaotic alarm and confusion.
The bombing was a deadly diversion that allowed the right-wing extremist to then make his way to the small bucolic Island of Utoya. There, dressed as a police officer, Breivik roamed the island and methodically gunned down 69 people — most of them teenagers attending a summer camp for the ruling Labor Party.
Hoping To Move On
Breivik, who has confessed to killing the 77 people and injuring dozens more, has said the attacks were a bid to stop a “Muslim invasion” of Europe. He goes on trial in Oslo Monday.
Nowadays, the orderly streets and sidewalks of Oslo are lined with blooming spring flowers. Families and safety-helmet wearing cyclists are out enjoying the sun. On the surface, it’s hard to tell that some Norwegians are still deeply shaken by the massacre.
“The magnitude of the crime. So many people killed, so many people injured. The cold blood, everything,” says Frank Rossavik, a commentator for a leading Norwegian weekly paper.
He says many want to move on. They’re tired of hearing Breivik’s name and about the horrific details. But the trial is now bringing it all back on to peoples’ computer screens, to their door steps in the morning paper, and back into their psyches.
“People are still shattered, and when they read about the awful things that went on in Utoya, the sadness comes back, and the shock comes back, to some extent,” Rossavik says.
See how US based hate groups and hate bloggers influenced the terrorist responsible for the children’s massacre at Utoya.