Norway Apologizes to World War II ‘German Girls’ Over Mistreatment

Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg has issued an official government apology to Norwegian women who were mistreated over World War Two-era relationships with German soldiers.

Norway, a neutral country, was invaded by Nazi forces in April 1940.

Up to 50,000 Norwegian women are thought to have had intimate relationships with German soldiers.

The Germans were also encouraged to have children with them by SS leader Heinrich Himmler.

Himmler, one of the most powerful men under Adolf Hitler, favoured Norwegian women, hoping they could help promote the Nazi concept of an Aryan master race.

Many of the Norwegian-German children were born in the German-administered Lebensborn (Fountain of Life) maternity facilities set up from 1941 by the Nazis in the country.

The women who had relationships with the soldiers became known by the nickname the “German Girls”, and were targeted for reprisals in Norway when the war ended – standing accused of betraying the country.

Punishments included being deprived of civil rights, detained or expelled from the country to Germany along with their children.

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SOURCE: BBC News