Norwegian Jews and their resistane against the Nazis in World War II

The Jews of Norway in the struggle against the Nazis in World War II 
Col. (Res.) Benny Michelson

Sources of Norwegian Jewry
Jewish emigration to Norway began only in 1851, after the Norwegian National Assembly (STORTING) voted for the removal of the clause in the second chapter of the constitution in which Jews were forbidden to enter the country.
Between 1880 and 1920 the number of Jews in Norway increased from 50 to 1,300 and the first community institution was founded in 1890 (according to the census of 1930 - there were 1,359 Jews in Norway at that time). Subsequently, a number of associations were established within the Jewish community. The first was the Mutual Aid Society, followed by the Jewish Women's Association, the Jewish Youth Association, and small groups that were organized for various activities.
But religious life was divided into two factions. In 1920, the MOSAIC RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY established the country's first synagogue. And a year later the second synagogue was opened by the Israeli Association CONGREGATION In 1939, the two associations and the central synagogue in Calmeyers continued to serve the community until it was closed in 1942 by the government of the pro-Nazi Quisling.
Of the 28 Jews who lived in the synagogue building at the time, which was also a community center, 19 were caught, deported to camps in Germany and murdered. During the 1920s and 1930s, and especially after Hitler's rise to power in 1933 in Germany and the annexation of Austria and the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1938, the flow of Jewish emigration to Norway increased, and by the outbreak of World War II their number reached 2,100, most of whom had not received Norwegian citizenship before the outbreak of the war. During the war a total of 772 Jews were deported from Norway, of whom only 21 survived - the rest were murdered in various camps on European soil.

The call to the flag
On April 9, 1940, the German army invaded Norway. After two months of fighting, the Norwegian army surrendered on state soil - but continued to fight outside its borders. During the 1940s, the Jews of Norway, Nablus-Nablus and other citizens fought against Nazi aggression. Some of them even took part in the underground movement in its early days before the prison and the general deportation imposed on the entire community in the autumn of 1942.

In a variety of roles
After the expulsion, Jews naturally participated in the underground struggle in Norway, although there were a number of exceptions. The continuation of the struggle against the Nazi enemy meant leaving Norway and joining the war effort elsewhere. The Norwegian army, naval and air forces were reestablished in Britain and Canada, and neutral Sweden allowed Norway to place a number of infantry units in its territory during the second half of the war, and served in every Norwegian army and army wherever the troops fought. A handful of them have found their way to the military forces of other Allied countries, and Norwegian Jews can be found on the battlefields of World War II in El Alamein, on the Normandy coast, at the Bulge system, at Iwo Jima in Atlantic waters and in the skies of Berlin.

Release and heartbreak
Most of the Norwegian soldiers who returned to their homeland after the liberation in 1945 united with their families, who suffered during the war from anxiety, difficulty in daily life and rationed meals, but were generally unharmed. The condition of the Jewish uniformed men, the soldiers and the soldiers, was very different. For many of them, spring and summer 1945 was the period when their hopes for finding family members or friends who had been deported during the war were completely forgotten.
Their story is almost unknown
More than 140 Jews, with Norwegian citizenship, representing almost 10% of the Jewish population, served in the Norwegian Armed Forces (2). A much higher percentage than that of the general population (not to mention those Norwegians who cooperated with the Nazis, enlisted in the German army and the SS). In fact, the available recruitment population consisted mainly of the 1,100 Jews who had been smuggled through the Norwegian underground "exporters" before the arrest and deportation of the end of 1942 (3).
 The participation of Norwegian Jews in fighting against the Nazis was not published almost because of the attention given first and foremost to the stories of the arrest, deportation and murder of nearly 800 members of the Jewish community. The reference to the Jewish minority in Norway during the Second World War was divided into two, those who were murdered in Auschwitz and those who fled as refugees to Sweden. But this approach is unjustified against those brave people who fought side by side with their own people for the sake of the freedom of Norway and the Nazi oppressor. Here are some examples:

Commando Selo Goldfarb (Pedro Garning)

Salo was born in 1918. He spent his childhood in Bergen with his Jewish parents (who immigrated from Russia a few years earlier) and his two sisters. Salo was a gifted artist. On February 9, 1941, Selo escaped from the Turoy harbor, northwest of Bergen, aboard the fishing boat "Motige 1" which smuggled a number of passengers to the Shetland Islands. There were 12 people aboard the ship, the captain and the organizer of the voyage was LARSEN, known as Shetland-Larsen (for the many trips he made to smuggle people during and after the war to Norway.) Salo was 22 years old when he fled Norway, He chose the name Pedro.
When he arrived in Scotland, Selo joined the Norwegian brigade that was established on its soil and became commander of the rifle division in this brigade. His skill and skills gave him the status of commander of a combat team for special operations of the Norwegian army in the Diaspora. During the war, the British set up the Tax Battalion as part of their commando forces. 10, consisting of 10 Allied combat teams of the Allied armies in the Diaspora (France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Norway) and 10 INTERALLIED COMMANDO under the command of Lt. Col. Leacock (formerly commander of the Leigh Force in the Middle East). These forces were trained in Scotland by the British Commando and became, in effect, annexed to them.
Three years later, after a thorough training and a variety of training, 5 under the command of Rolf Hoag (HAUGE), of whom Szalow was a platoon commander, and who was attached to the commando battalion no. (41) of the British Special Service Division No. 4 under the command of Brigadier Lichster (for an assault on the Netherlands River in Operation INFATUATE 4).
 In World War II, the port of Antwerp was a major strategic target for the Allies. The city was liberated in September 1944 by the British, the port was not damaged by the courageous action of the Belgian underground. Unfortunately, and because of the negligence of the British commanders, the Scheldt estuary, the island of Walcheren in southern Holland, was not released, and the harbor remained closed. Canadian forces and commando units were sent in November 1944 in Operation Temptation to release a long, bloody amphibious operation that opened the river mouth only in December of that year.
 At the beginning of November 1944, during the "Infatuate" operation, Selo caused the surrender of the German garrison of the city of Middelburg, the capital of the island and Walcorn, to its 2,000 soldiers and commander Lieutenant General William Dasser, commander of the Infantry Division. 70, when he leads 11 soldiers and one tank. This operation of Selo was of particular importance as the German surrender to the island allowed the Allies to use the important port of Antwerp, which lies eighty kilometers eastward up the Schaldt River, and the island of Walcern controls the river's entrance by sliding into the North Sea and using the Scudet to finally make the Allies Use of the port near the advanced front north without having to rely exclusively on the Normandy coast more than 1,500 km in the rear. He was decorated with Norwegians, British and Dutch decorations, and was awarded the honorary citizenship of the city of Middelburg.
The war ended with a captain's rank as captain and changed his name to Pedro (named after his war name) GRENNING and became a senior reporter and caricaturist in one of the most important newspapers in Norway, and Selo Goldfarb died in 1986.

The air navigator Hermann, Hirsch Becker 

Herman Becker was born in Stevanger, Norway, in 1916 to Jewish parents who had emigrated to the country two years earlier than Smolensk in Russia. After the German conquest of Norway, Hermann managed to escape to England in August 1941. After his basic training he was sent to an aviation course but he did not finish as a pilot because of problems he had He chose to be a pilot and was sent to the Norwegian Naval Flight Course II and graduated cum laude from the British-Canadian Joint Airborne Course in February 1943.
At first, he was visited by the Norwegian Naval Squadron. In the British Air Force, he was assigned to her as a navigator. The squadron, which was equipped with "Catalina" aircraft, was mainly engaged in anti-submarine missions. Its activities were exhausting and included long, 20-hour long patrols over the Atlantic Ocean. Tess visited 18 such sorties in the squadron and was promoted to the position of pilot-pilot. Then he was posted to the Australian squadron 464, and you continued to fly later in the war. When Becker discovered that in England, when his family had been deported to Germany, he decided to volunteer for especially difficult and difficult missions.
In the middle of 1944, Hermann visited a two-seat Mosquito-combat aircraft. Becker's last mission was on March 21, 1945. At that time a request by the Danish underground to bomb the Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, in which many of its leaders were imprisoned, arrived in Britain to allow them to escape from captivity. To accomplish this task volunteers were asked and Herman visited them. Air Wing was organized for special tax specials. Which included 20 Mosquito planes. To carry out the mission they left East England, accompanied by 31 Mustang fighter planes.
The planes flew only 15 meters above sea level to avoid the German radar, and at 1130 they reached their destination and entered the building, the weather was bad and the visibility was problematic, the attack was carried out in three waves: the first wave dropped the bombs on the target. Was hit and crashed into a nearby garage when a cloud of black smoke rose to cover the target, and the second wave, led by Becker, also dropped his bombs on the target, but one of the planes missed and hit a nearby school. Of the first wave and dropped all his bombs on the school and the residential neighborhood nearby.
86 children and 17 adults were killed in the attack. Five planes were shot down and nine air crew members were killed in the operation. However, this operation was considered a success as 26 members of the Norwegian underground managed to escape from the Gestapo headquarters, and another eight were killed. The Germans killed 151 people, including 23 Danish citizens who worked at German headquarters (7).
Herman's plane was shot down by German anti-aircraft fire on its way back to the base and its plane crashed in the sea. His body was swept to the shore of an uninhabited island and he was buried in the yard of the TREEIBERG church on the Danish island of SAMSO.
 His grave reads: "Here lies an anonymous British pilot who fell to the sea on 26 March 1945". It was only in 2000 that the memorial service of Norway was able to identify the body of Hermann Beker and the inscription on his tombstone was changed. In 2009, the Magen David was added to this monument. Hermann Becker was decorated with the "Excellent Flight Cross" (DFC), the highest award given to air-crews for exceptional flight performance. The body of the Australian pilot, Becker's partner on the Mosquito plane, was never found.
On May 29, 1945, three weeks after the end of World War II, the Norwegian Air Force sent a letter to Herman's family, visiting Stevanger informing them that their son had been missing after the attack on the Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen. However, there was no one left to receive this letter because the entire family of Becker was among the deportees from Norway and perished in Auschwitz (8).

Arnold Zelikovich - a dentist in the Arctic Circle 

Arnold was born in Bergen in 1912. In 1933, when Hitler came to power in Germany, he was a student of dentistry in the city of Leipzig and could see Nazi Germany's fiction first-hand. Twelve years later, in November 1944, the dentist, Zelikowicz, joined one of the most demanding tasks available and volunteered to serve at the northernmost end of Europe. In December 1944, Zelikowicz sailed aboard the British aircraft carrier, VINDEX, together with a Norwegian military force.
During the voyage, Zelikowicz was appointed to the ship's dentist (who lacked such a professional) and treated the entire crew and passengers during the voyage for more than a week. On January 7, 1945, Zykowicz (JW-63), the 38-year-old sailor, set sail for the Russian port of Murmansk, and for the next few months Zelikowicz became the only dentist At this point in the world, he carried out many treatments in unforeseen conditions and often in combat zones, endangering his life (in this area the Russians and the Norwegian and Finnish armies were still fighting the Germans.) After the liberation of the northeasternmost part of Norway, Zelikowicz received a settlement order in the northern city of Kirk- Zelikowicz received decorations and letters of appreciation from three countries: Nu Russia, the United Kingdom and Britain.


1. Bjarte Bruland, The Restitution of Jewish Property in Norway, YadVashem, 2003.

2. Oslo Jewish Museum - Exhibition 2008/2009

3. Tore Gjelsvic, Norwegian Resistance, 1940-1945, Hurst & Company, London, 1979, p. 70.

4. "Walcheren - Operation Infatuate - 1 to 8 NOV 1944" The battle for Walcheren,


6. /Lt. Herman Hirsch Becker DFC

7. Bomber Command 60th Anniversary.htm, Attack on Gestapo Headquaters, Copenhagen, 21 March 1945

[1][1] 1. Bjarte Bruland, The Restitution of Jewish property in Norway, Yad Vashem, 2003.
[1][2]  2Oslo Jewish Museum – Exhibition 2008   /  2009
[1][3] Tore Gjelsvic, Norwegian Resistance, 1940-1945, Hurst & Company, London, 1979, p. 70.
[1][4] "Walcheren - Operation Infatuate - 1 to 8 NOV 1944" The battle for Walcheren,

 [1][6], Sub/Lt. Herman Hirsch Becker DFC.
[1][7] Bomber Command 60th Anniversary.mht, Attack on Gestapo Headquaters, Copenhagen, 21 March 1945.
[1][8]Oslo Jewish Museum, Ibid.