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Thread: r Whitehead on Iceland and the Jews

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    Post r Whitehead on Iceland and the Jews

    This article is from the online version of the Reykjavik Grapevine, an English written magazine about Iceland and our capital. It’s a leftist paper highly critical of the Icelandic people and our government, so obviously this article is written to show Icelandic political policies in the WW2 era as a bad thing, but I fully support them and how our government realised the effect multiculturalism and mass-immigration would have had on our island. - Lundi @ Nordish.net

    Agreed, of course. Hope you dont mind me putting this on Skadi.net


    Friday July 29th 2005

    r Whitehead is a professor of history at the University of Iceland. He is the author of eight books, including Iceland in the Second World War, a survey of Icelandic foreign relations in the early Cold War period entitled The Ally Who Came In From the Cold, and many others. Dr. Whitehead’s work was recently thrust into the public spotlight when Prime Minister Halldr sgrmsson was asked if Iceland should follow Denmark’s lead and consider apologizing for its policies during World War II.

    What led you to study this part of Iceland’s history?
    When I was doing my doctorate in England, I interviewed a senior Icelandic diplomat named Helgi P. Briem, who told me the story of Karl Kroner... Kroner showed up at the Danish embassy one day [in the 1930s], his head shaven, very upset, saying that the Nazis had arrested him and ordered him to leave the country within twenty-four hours. He wanted Briem’s help. Briem had previously met a Nazi named Dietrich von Jagow, who had been bragging at a dinner party that he was the Number Three man in Berlin; that only Goebbels and Hitler were above him. So Briem contacted von Jagow, appealed to his great ego and asked for his help. Von Jagow avoided him and stalled him for a while, then finally agreed to help. But Briem also told me that there was a stream of Jews coming to the Danish embassy, asking for help in getting to Iceland, and Briem had to turn them away because it was Iceland’s policy not to admit any Jews to the country.
    This information led me to the archives of the Ministry of Justice where I discovered that everything that Briem had told be was absolutely true. I then used the material that I had found in the archives as well as some U.S. Documents to publish an article in Lesbk Morgunblasins in 1974 entitled “Iceland’s Racial Policy”.

    Were there any other ethnic groups that Iceland had similar policies towards?
    Yes. Black servicemen. It was in fact one of the stipulations for making a defence agreement with the United States in 1941, that no black servicemen be allowed into Iceland. This condition was secretly repeated when Iceland again made the present defence agreement with the U.S. In 1951. But one has to be careful to bear in mind the smallness of the population and the relatively high number of foreign troops in the country.

    Why did you think Iceland’s racial attitudes were worth investigating and writing about?
    I thought it was an interesting aspect of our history, a sort of taboo. Icelanders, as other small nations, generally regard themselves as morally superior. Self-criticism is not our specialty. People would like to believe that they were never racist instead of attempting to deal with this part of our mentality. At the time I wrote that article for Lesbk, an American naval officer had privately confirmed to me that the racial policy at the Keflavk base had been pursued in some form up to the 1970s. He told me that it had been his task to wait at the airport for new servicemen to arrive. His orders were to tell any black servicemen that came off the plane that their orders had changed; that they were to get back on the plane and go back to the U.S. After the rise of the civil rights movement in the U.S. In the 60s, black Congressmen began to put pressure on the U.S. Government to abolish this racial policy, and by 1970, it was beginning to break-down – but not due to any internal pressure in Iceland.

    What sort of reaction did you get to your article?
    None, whatsoever, which is sad, because there were still a number of people alive who had been active in our government and civil service in the 30s, 40s and 50s, and it would’ve been interesting to get their reaction.
    But… there was a reaction of a kind in 1990, an Icelandic sociologist in Germany, Fririk Hallur Hallson published a doctoral thesis on the Keflavk airbase and Icelandic society. He intimated in a very learned way that my writings about Iceland’s policy towards black people from 1951 was just a conspiracy hatched by the military in Washington in order to undermine the moral fibre and national resistance of the Icelandic people. But by the time this was being published in Iceland, the papers relating to the 1951 defence agreement had already been declassified in Washington, and surely enough, there was a document proving that the Icelandic government had made exactly the same conditions as regards the entry of black servicemen as in 1941. This is what I had maintained in my article in 1974, but at that time the relevant documents were still classified.

    Are racial attitudes a part of the Icelandic national character?
    I do not think that any nation is free of racial attitudes and prejudices, but I think in the Icelandic case, it was very much a product of 19th century nationalism, which has long been dominant here. We had the image of ourselves as the great, heroic and pure race. The authorities believed they were protecting the purity of our race and culture by their policies towards Jews and blacks. The idea that this was racism simply didn’t sink in. Iceland was very nationalistic even through the 60s and 70s and still today nationalism is a force to be reckoned with in this country. It has its positive and negative sides.
    Anyway, the image was undoubtedly very much a part of a national identity and upbringing, and this is why I hesitate to blame the pursuit of racial policies in this country on one person. Some writers have mainly blamed Hermann Jnasson (who was prime minister and minister of justice at the same time) for these policies in the 30s and 40s. While it is true he was strict, Hermann was pursuing a policy supported by other politicians and probably the great majority of the population. He was reflecting the attitude of the nation as a whole. No protests were heard in this country from any side when a whole family of Jews was to be deported to Nazi Germany in 1937. On the contrary, there were articles in newspapers across party lines supporting the racial policies of the Progressive-Social Democratic government of Hermann Jnasson.

    Like Morgunblai, which at the time compared Jews to vermin.
    There were some pretty ugly articles, some very strong prejudices. You can find out for yourself by looking in the Icelandic dictionary for the synonyms of the noun Jew; it also means a stingy and cruel person.
    Still, I think there is a danger in isolating this issue. Certainly Iceland practised anti-Semitism in its immigration policy in the 30s, but the whole world failed the Jews. It is a fact that an attempt was made in the last century to exterminate the Jewish people and since then the Jews have the strong feeling that they have to take care of their own security. No one will do it for them in the end. This is very much a part of the Middle East dilemma.

    Were the nationalist tendencies the sole reason behind Iceland’s non-inclusion policy towards the Jews?
    Not entirely. I can think of three other reasons.
    The Depression was going on throughout the 1930s. There was a great unemployment here, and the country was supposedly closed to all foreigners. But there were Scandinavians coming here for work, and Germans of “Aryan origins”, too. At the same time, documents show that Jews who wanted to come here – even those who were bringing money with them and would be financially independent – were turned away.
    A second reason is that the government feared that by allowing a handful of Jews into the country, it would start a great and unlimited flood of Jewish immigration. It was common knowledge that hundreds of thousands of Jews wanted to emigrate, not only from Germany, but later also from Austria and Czechoslovakia. If ministers said yes to a few Jews who sought entry, they worried that they would put themselves in a position where saying no would become increasingly difficult. However, the doors were not entirely closed because about 40 Jews and political exiles from Germany had found a refuge in Iceland by 1940.
    The third reason – and mind you, I don’t have any documents to back this up – I think, the Icelandic government was afraid of offending the Nazis. The Nazis not only portrayed Iceland as a pure “Aryan country” – Icelandic students were welcome to study in Germany, and Iceland benefited from trade with Germany.

    Iceland was trading with Nazi Germany during the 30s?
    Yes, even into the start of World War Two. Germany was an important trading partner of Iceland.

    Didn’t Iceland consider increasing trade with Britain or the US?
    Yes, indeed, the Icelandic government did everything it could to expand trade with these countries, but due to the Depression they were restricting imports. We were on the brink of bankruptcy. Then war began, the British soon prevented all trade with Germany and opened up their market for Icelandic fish which they very much needed. This was the beginning of our greatest prosperity: the war made Iceland wealthy.

    But there were some contradictions in the non-inclusion policy, weren’t there?
    I suppose that many Icelanders took the view that the Jews might be an obnoxious people, but they didn’t feel that this gave the Nazis any right to maltreat Jews, let alone kill them. But there was also a sort of contradiction on the immigration issue, because the Progressives curiously criticized the Soviet Union for not accepting more Jews while praising other countries for lifting some of their restrictions on immigration. Again, a typical small nation double-morality.
    One must, of course, try to see the immigration issue in context. This isn’t just a question of black and white – there are shades of grey in it. It’s very easy to denounce the governments of the past for what they did, and we should indeed denounce them for treating helpless people in the way they sometimes did. But one must bear in mind that Icelanders were a population of a hundred and twenty thousand people in the midst of a great depression. Moreover, we have to realize that we have the benefit of hindsight: the mass murder of Jews only started during World War Two.

    Have racist attitudes in Iceland declined?
    I certainly think so. It was a gradual development. Iceland took a somewhat different path from that of other Western European countries in its development after World War Two – in some respects we were quite a closed, heavily socialized society, pursuing for a while economic policies that remind one of the Soviet bloc or the Third World rather than the Western World. Iceland of today has moved much closer towards the integrated, multicultural European community. One only has to walk about in the centre of Reykjavk for five minutes in order to discover that Iceland is very much a part of globalization.
    Source : http://w0w.grapevine.is/?show=article&id=393&issue=28
    Last edited by Thulean Imperial Inquisitor; Monday, November 13th, 2006 at 12:53 PM.
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    Post Re: r Whitehead on Iceland and the Jews

    Aye, don't mind at all

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    Post Re: r Whitehead on Iceland and the Jews

    the war and the way Iceland handled it made Iceland rich...whats with the pessimisstic left whining...I guess thats their job to spread holocaustianity

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    Post Re: r Whitehead on Iceland and the Jews

    What is the Icelandic immigration situation like today?

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    Thumbs Up Re: r Whitehead on Iceland and the Jews

    Quote Originally Posted by Frid
    What is the Icelandic immigration situation like today?
    Bad. And it get's worse every year! Equality is the motto of the political parties, and they get more liberal every year. Just recently they upgraded the rights of homosexuals considerably, so now gays can adopt children, wich is very sick.

    The U.S. Airbase is now allowed to have as many negroes as they want. And it shows. In the capital on weekend one street specially is filled with U.S. negroes, they almost all go to the same lowbrow club.

    More and more young girls are having babies with negroes and therefor polluting our small gene pool. Also very many elderly men are buying asian whores and keeping them as their wives. Asian females advertise in the newspaper looking for men to be their husbands, so they dont have to work and can have some 50 year sad old guy take care of them.

    I dont remember many statistics, but I know that more than 1 of every 10 persons in prison is foreign. Immigrants in iceland are more than 10.000 wich is bad for our small country.

    The opinion of the general population seems to be that 60% of it dont mind immigration, but about 40% dont care or are against it. A wide poll with 15 year old school kids showed not so long ago that the majority of 15 year old kids is against immigration. Wich could be explained by that they are at the root, they have to deal with immigrant kids everyday in school, while the politicians can live in their homes without knowing the real situation and cons of immigrants.
    "I have reached these lands but newly
    From an ultimate dim Thule
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    Out of SPACE out of TIME
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    Post Re: r Whitehead on Iceland and the Jews

    The ones in Sweden are mostly from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, but those usually keep to themselves. I heart that, more recently, an increasing amount have from other parts of Africa. The central and west African ones are more into Nordic girls.

    Quote Originally Posted by TII
    More and more young girls are having babies with negroes and therefor polluting our small gene pool.

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    Post Re: r Whitehead on Iceland and the Jews

    Quote Originally Posted by TII
    Bad. And it get's worse every year! Equality is the motto of the political parties, and they get more liberal every year. Just recently they upgraded the rights of homosexuals considerably, so now gays can adopt children, wich is very sick.

    The U.S. Airbase is now allowed to have as many negroes as they want. And it shows. In the capital on weekend one street specially is filled with U.S. negroes, they almost all go to the same lowbrow club.

    More and more young girls are having babies with negroes and therefor polluting our small gene pool. Also very many elderly men are buying asian whores and keeping them as their wives. Asian females advertise in the newspaper looking for men to be their husbands, so they dont have to work and can have some 50 year sad old guy take care of them.

    I dont remember many statistics, but I know that more than 1 of every 10 persons in prison is foreign. Immigrants in iceland are more than 10.000 wich is bad for our small country.

    The opinion of the general population seems to be that 60% of it dont mind immigration, but about 40% dont care or are against it. A wide poll with 15 year old school kids showed not so long ago that the majority of 15 year old kids is against immigration. Wich could be explained by that they are at the root, they have to deal with immigrant kids everyday in school, while the politicians can live in their homes without knowing the real situation and cons of immigrants.
    get those 15 year old kids listening to some Norsk Arsk black metal and the country will at least slowly start to turn a more folkish direction

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    Sv: Re: r Whitehead on Iceland and the Jews

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenlivet
    The ones in Sweden are mostly from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, but those usually keep to themselves. I heart that, more recently, an increasing amount have from other parts of Africa. The central and west African ones are more into Nordic girls.
    Who can blame them, the girls I mean we've grown weak, fat and ugly not literally though. But the fact is germanic men and germanic nations have grown weak throughout the years. And what are us nationalists doing? We'll we're arguing about who has got the purest blood, why jews, why blacks etc. And those nationalists who do act, how do they act? Well they kill a black girl and causes the whole society to have a hatred towwards all nationalists/nationalism.

    Now is the time to act/do something becuase we can still turn around and choose a better way, we have a choice. That later generations won't have they will be forced to live in a sick worlds because we did'nt act. But there is still time, so one all of us ~9000? ?nationalists? takes a cup of coffe today he/she should think, what can I do! And then act.

    Note: Don't missinterpret me I don't mean to upset anyone or critisize any nationalistic movement, I just want to encourage everyone to henceforth try to do more for the nationalistic movement other than argue with friends/online/etc. Because many of us haven't done anything else than that and notice that I speak of myself as well as many of you.

    Best Regards
    inn

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