Jewish persecution during World War II
A dark chapter in the history of statistics?
By Espen Søbye
Translated by Lynn Nygaard
"Even though this article is about statistics, we must begin with a letter. We begin with the tenth letter of the alphabet; J." In August 1998, Espen Søbye opened his critical speech at the 21st Nordic Statistical meeting in Lillehammer in 1998 with these words, and because of international interest on the subject of Jewish persecution during World war II, we now publish Søbye´s words in English1.
J is a modern letter. The rich and precise Latin language had no need for it, nor was it not found in the original King James Bible. Shakespeare used the letter J only once. Do we really need a letter that Shakespeare made do without?
Two centimetre high letters were sufficient
Sixty-seven years ago, a man sat drawing in a ministry office; he drew J s on his desk calendar. Such calendars are still around today. Mounted on a small binder of black-painted tin, they have one page for each day. It was on the back of Thursday, 27 November 1941, the eleventh month, the forty-eighth week, days 331-33 of the year, where he drew the J s. He drew three of them: one was four, one was three, and one was two centimetres high. The merits of the various sizes were debated briefly, and eventually the Ministry of Police deemed that a J of two centimetres was sufficient. On 20 December 1941, the Ministry sent a letter to Johs. Krogstie A/S, a company that made rubber stamps, located in downtown Oslo: "We hereby order 700 rubber stamps depicting a two-centimetre-high letter J . We request that the order be filled as soon as possible." i Already by 5 January 1942, the 700 J s were finished and the rubber stamp factory sent a bill for NOK 0.67 per J - a total of NOK 469. On 13 January, the Ministry of Police forwarded the bill to the Ministry of Finance, requesting that funds be allocated from the current budget to cover the cost of the stamp. ii Finally, the payment of NOK 469 was authorised through Norges Bank and transferred to the rubber stamp company. How many people were involved in this order, production, and payment - not to mention the packing and shipping of the rubber stamps through the mail to every single police and sheriff´s department in the country?
On 20 January 1942, the Ministry of Justice ordered all Norwegian Jews iii to report to their nearest police or sheriff´s station and have their passports stamped with this J . In February, all persons with a J in their passport were ordered to fill out the form "Jews in Norway," and after that it snowballed. On 26 October, all male Norwegian Jews were arrested; on 26 November they arrested the elderly, the women, and the children. On the same dark night, D/S Donau disembarked with 530 Norwegian Jews on board. In Stettin, they were loaded onto railroad cars and after two and a half days the train arrived - via Berlin - at Auschwitz, where the elderly, the women, and the children were sent directly to the gas chambers. iv Of the 767 Norwegian Jews who were deported from Norway to Germany during World War II, only 26 returned alive. v In comparison, 853 Norwegian soldiers lost their lives during the war from April to June 1940. vi
According to the last national census carried out before the war (in 1930), the Jewish community in Norway counted 1,359 members. The first national census after the war, in 1946, showed that the Jewish community only had 559 members. According to figures from 1950 and 1960, there were a good 800 members.
Highest share of loss among Norwegian Jews
Of about 1,400 Norwegian Jews, 741 were sent to concentration camps on the continent and killed during World War II. vii In Denmark, 77 out of 5,600 Danish Jews were executed in the camps, while only 11 of Finland's 2,300 Jews were killed in concentration camps. viii Despite a degree of uncertainty about how many Jews were found in Norway and Denmark during the war, it is noteworthy that over 50 per cent of the Norwegian Jews estimated to have been residing in Norway in 1942 were exterminated, while the figures for Denmark and Finland were one and under one-half per cent respectively. The deportation and attempted extermination of the Norwegian Jews is one of the grimmest chapter's in Norway's history - not only because there were so few Norwegian Jews to begin with and half were exterminated, but also because the situation in Norway was so much worse than that in Denmark and Finland. ix The circumstances in Norway were different from those in Denmark and Finland, but there are times when contextual relativity is of no interest. x
Statistics can document injustice
National censuses and population statistics can be used, just as they are now, to help illustrate the attempt to exterminate the Danish, Finnish, and Norwegian Jews - as well as the German, Dutch, French, and Belgian Jews during World War II. Since the Nuremberg trials in 1945-1946, statistics have been used to document the extent of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. In recent years, attempts have also been made to estimate the extent of mass killings in Cambodia, former Yugoslavia, and Rwanda through the help of statistics.
There has nevertheless been some criticism xi levelled at the attempt to arrive at exact numbers of casualties by using national censuses and population statistics. Such a method is very complex, and it is easy to wander into futile discussions about the reliability of the numbers and methods of calculation. The critics have also maintained that it is perhaps more important to study whether and how statistics were integrated into the bureaucracy that was needed to commit mass murders and ethnic cleansing. It is argued xii that by studying the by and large unknown role played by statistics in the attempt to exterminate the European Jewish population during World War II we can develop an awareness among statisticians and demographers that would make it impossible for statistics to again be abused in this way.
Statistics can help assailants
There are few studies that discuss whether, and in what way, the civil administration in Norway - which for the most part continued to function during the years of occupation - worked to the advantage of the occupational powers. xiii Thus, this paper asks: Were the statistics that were produced by what could be classified as the non-Nazified Norwegian authorities employed by the Germans and their Norwegian collaborators in the arrests of the Norwegian Jews?
It is a matter of record that a table was submitted at the Wannsee Conference on 20 January 1942, where the extermination of the Jews was finally planned. This table used figures derived from the official statistics of various countries and showed the number of members of the Jewish community in Europe. The table showed that there were 1,300 Norwegian Jews - the very number arrived at in the 1930 national census. xiv If the Norwegian national census from 1930 had not recorded the number of Jews in Norway, it would have quite certainly not stopped the attempt to exterminate the Jewish population in Europe. Nevertheless, it is impossible to completely divorce oneself from the thought that this official figure made it just a little easier to plan "the final solution." If none of the censuses from any of the countries had shown a single figure for how many members the Jewish community had, the planning of this unique atrocity would have been more difficult and taken more time - and in a context such as this, time is life.
The telegraph service register was useful
We will look at another, also apparently innocent but nevertheless grave, example. Right at the beginning of the war, the German occupiers and Norwegian collaborators used the civil infrastructure in their first serious plot not only against the members of the Jewish community, but against the entire civil population.
On 10 May 1940, the German occupiers issued orders to Oslo's chief of police, Kristian Welhaven, to confiscate radios owned by Jews in the Oslo area. The Germans "had lists of possible Jewish radio owners, but the lists were not nearly as complete as what could be expected from German professionals. The Oslo police, with one of its constables taking the lead, therefore compiled new lists - assisted by the telegraph service, among others." xv The telegraph service was responsible for issuing radio licences, and was thus in possession of a register that was then used to find and confiscate radios owned by Norwegian Jews. When the Norwegian police came and asked to use the licence records, it was naturally no simple matter for the civil servant responsible for the register to refuse the police access. The intention here is not to sit with the benefit of hindsight and pass moral judgment on either the police or the functionaries, but to ask, What can be learned by what happened?
In the context of this question, the term "statistics" refers not only to national censuses and population statistics (figures that were compiled by state statistics bureaus and other national and local government authorities), but also to registers kept by others, for example, by the telegraph service or an insurance company - registers that were simply by-products of another activity. The issue of whether and to what extent the statistics kept by the civil administration were used in the attempt to eradicate the Norwegian Jews can be made more precise. Statistics that could be considered neutral and harmless before the war were no longer so during the occupation. Before the war broke out, who could have conceived that the telegraph service's list of licence-holders would be used to seize radios from Norwegian Jews? It is not the statistics and the registers compiled by the Germans and their Norwegian collaborators that are of interest here, but rather the extent to which these statistics overlapped with the official, and presumably neutral, statistics. Are there cases where the German occupiers and their Norwegian collaborators attempted to access and use the apparently non-Nazified statistics in connection with the arrest of members of the Jewish community?
Just after all the passports of the Norwegian Jews were stamped, everyone with a J stamped in their passport was then required to fill out a form called "Jews in Norway. "It is somewhat unclear who took the initiative, but in this context it matters little whether it was the German occupiers or the Nasjonal Samling 's 2 office of statistics. But what kinds of statistics on Norwegian Jews were kept before the war?
Before this question can be answered, it must be pointed out that the reason so many Norwegian Jews were arrested and deported was, first, that it was "the Germans who gave the direct go-ahead for the actual 'final solution,' the deportations." xvi Second, the Quisling regime and the Nazified Norwegian state police were ready to perform the arrests. But regardless of whose initiative it was, the "Jews in Norway" form meant that at last the German police had obtained a list of members of the Jewish community in Oslo and Trondheim, in addition to a list of everyone with a J stamped in their passport.
Jews and other dissidents
In the Norwegian national censuses from 1866, Jews were listed as a subgroup of dissidents, that is, religious communities outside of the state church. It may seem strange that from 1866 to 1910 it was not members of the Jewish community who were registered, but Jews. Both in 1866 and in 1876 there were 25 Jews registered. In 1891 the total increased to 214, while in 1900 there were 642 Jews living in Norway. In 1910 there were 1,045 registered Jews. From 1920, the Bureau switched to using the term "members of the Jewish community." The shift in terminology, however, was somewhat less than consistent, as the municipal tables specified in the notes how many Jews there were. In 1920, there were 1,457 members of the Jewish community recorded, while the number for 1930 was 1,359. A census should have been held in 1940, but it was cancelled because of the war.
The Norwegian national censuses from 1866 onward accepted without reservation the relevance of splitting the Norwegian population into "Jews" and "non-Jews." Didn' t the Central Bureau of Statistics thus establish a way to register "Jews" that could be used and expanded on by the German occupiers and the Nasjonal Samling ? Did the Bureau's use of the classification "Jew" in the censuses, even though the term was not used in 1930, make it easier for the Nasjonal Samling 's office of statistics to implement its survey? Did the official statistics lend professional and moral legitimacy to the Nasjonal Samling 's office of statistics? Why couldn' t the Nasjonal Samling itself compile statistics of Jews, when the Central Bureau of Statistics used this category in its censuses? It is important to raise these questions. It is difficult to overestimate the normative power of a ten-year census. It is one of the most authoritative documents produced by a state, and it not only sets precedents for a number of other texts and publications, but also functions as a prototype for thinking. It is, in other words, the official "common sense." It sets the standard for all standards, and is the very canon of statistics. It is not enough to simply say that statistics in general, or the individual results, are always vulnerable to abuse: abuse must be anticipated and prevented.
There are more recent examples. A couple of years ago, there were discussions in Norway as to whether we should estimate how much immigrants cost society; "accounts" were to be set up that showed expenses and income. There is no doubt that such an undertaking would be a very complex process, which is why there were so many people who found the task intriguing from a professional standpoint. Moreover, there were some who believed that the effort would demonstrate that the contribution of immigrants to the Norwegian economy was a positive one - a conclusion that would have been none too pleasing to the originators of the idea.
Apart from issues of feasibility or the potential results of this "account," looking at immigrants as a group separate from "Norwegians" raises other questions. It is clearly possible to create a statistical classification defining an immigrant as a person residing in Norway born of two foreign parents. We may also be aware that this is a purely statistical classification; we do not ascribe to this group - or should we say population - any other characteristic than its being distinguished from another population. At the same time, we must acknowledge that the term "immigrant" is not perceived as merely a formal, abstract population definition, but rather as a term for a group with social commonalities - and not just social commonalities, but commonalities that are negative and that are given ethnic or religious explanations. Statisticians cannot pretend that this blurring does not exist. The establishment and use of statistic classifications that can completely unintentionally help create new, or strengthen already existing, stereotypes and prejudices make up an important but little-noticed aspect of the personal privacy issue. It is when a person is wrongly ascribed qualities because he or she belongs to the Jewish community - or is born of foreign parents - that he or she risks becoming a victim of discrimination, racism, or even eradication.
The deaf, the blind, the mentally diseased, the Finns and the Samis
The Norwegian census has a history of distinguishing particular groups that seems strange today: in the inter-war period, the mentally diseased were distinguished from the mentally deficient, the mute from the deaf-mute, the deaf-mute from the blind. The Finns, the Lapps, and the returning Norwegian-Americans were also registered separately. These are labels that no one would dream of including in a census today. In 1930, the census distinguished not only between "purebred" Sami and people of Finnish stock, xvii but there was also a form for "how intermingling of the races" had "developed over the last ten years" with the following first generation mixes: Norwegian-Sami, Norwegian-Finn, Sami-Finn. For the second generation there were seven possibilities. The Bureau complained in the introduction that a severely limited budget had made the presentation of the material scant. One could almost wish that budget allocations were even less. The titles alone of the publications from 1910 and 1930 - "Finns and Lapps, Returning Norwegian-Americans, Dissidents, the Blind, the Deaf, and the Mentally Diseased" and "Sami and Finns. Citizens of other countries, the Blind, the Deaf, the Mentally Deficient, and the Mentally Diseased" - clearly indicate that this is not about "us," it is about "them," that is, those who are different. Thus, in these censuses, the Central Bureau of Statistics promotes a distinction between "us" and "them." Is this the job of a census? If there was so little funding for the 1930 census, was it completely necessary to use what little there was to register that there were 73 Finns and that 40 of them lived in cities and 33 in rural districts?
In 2000, do we have to count immigrants?
In this context, it is difficult to conceive that it should be necessary - as it is currently being proposed - for the Norwegian housing and population census planned for the year 2000 to have nine out of its 23 personal demographic classifications be related to immigration. xviii Shouldn' t the turn of the century be seen instead as the perfect occasion for Statistics Norway 3 to stop registering religion and ethnicity, just as censuses long ago stopped counting the mentally and psychologically disabled, as well as racial mixes between Finns, Sami and Norwegians for two generations?
To understand what happened with Norwegians belonging to the Jewish community during World War II, and the role played by statistics, we have to travel back in time a bit. Most people know that the Norwegian Constitution from 1814 forbade Jews from entering Norway. Although this prohibition was rescinded in 1851, it explains why there were so few Jews in Norway - only 25 as recently as 1876. A certain amount of xenophobia was probably the reason why a religious community with so few members was registered at all in a census.
Invasion of Jews? No thanks!
In 1933, some 50,000 people escaped from Germany, and many were Jews. In May 1933, the Norwegian legation in Berlin requested instructions for what to say to German Jews who wanted to immigrate to Norway. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded that because of the "rampant unemployment and pressing economic circumstances" xix it would be very difficult to find room for people who wanted to emigrate from Germany. During the same time, an internal memo from the Ministry of Justice stated, "We cannot have an invasion of Jews - even if in our hearts they have all our sympathy." xx Just after Hitler seized power in 1933, it was also difficult for political refugees to enter Norway. After a while it became easier for them, but German Jews were not given the status of political refugees.
The Central Passport Authority under the Ministry of Justice was responsible for investigating foreigners seeking asylum and residence in Norway. From 1929 to 1940, the office was directed by Leif Konstad, who was despised by the radicals for his restrictiveness when it came to granting residence to refugees who were socialists or communists. Two events that helped Konstad earn his reputation were the uproar resulting from when Trotsky was forced to leave Norway in 1935, and the controversy surrounding the question of whether to grant a residence permit to the Austrian psychologist Wilhelm Reich. The refugee register at the Central Passport Authority was naturally of great interest to the German occupiers. However, when Leif Konstad was contacted by the director of the Labour Party's refugee office, Jon Fjalestad, on 9 April, a different side of his personality emerged. xxi Fjalestad asked Konstad to help get rid of the refugee register before it fell into the hands of the Germans, and Konstad immediately turned over the register to Fjalestad, who buried it near Magnor. That act saved a lot of lives. Only a few days later the German police came to Konstad and demanded the files. That April he was interrogated by the Gestapo many times, but never divulged what had happened to the register.
Gunnar Jahn, director of the Central Bureau of Statistics
What happened in the Central Bureau of Statistics during the war? Gunnar Jahn acted as director from 1920 to 1945. A member of the Social-Liberal Party, he took a leave of absence from his position at the Bureau and served as Minister of Finance from 1933 to 1935. He set the tone for the Administration Council, a business-oriented ministry that directed the civil administration in the German-occupied areas of Norway from April 15 to September 1940. In the "Proclamation from the Supreme Court" on 15 April 1940, the establishment of the Administration Council was justified on the grounds of a "pressing need for the civil administration to function" in the occupied areas of the country. In its first appeal to the general population, the Administration Council asked everyone to "display calm and self-control, and do one's part to keep activities and work going." xxii The Nygaardsvold government never acknowledged the Administration Council as "anything other than an ad hoc institution" and specified through a speech by King Haakon on 17 April that the Council "did not have any foundation in Norwegian law." xxiii It is a matter of dispute how much "pressing need" there was for the civil administration to function normally. And it is quite incomprehensible how, for example, the Administration Council on 15 June 1940, could see fit to establish a border zone on the Norwegian-Swedish border and require all persons over the age of 15 to carry border cards to be allowed to reside there. The intention of the decision was clearly to make it more difficult to cross the border into Sweden, which can hardly be seen as an important task for a civil administration.
From the summer of 1941, Gunnar Jahn was a member of Kretsen ("the Ring" ), a civil resistance organisation, along with others including the dean of the University of Oslo, Dikrik Arup Seip, Einar Gerhardsen from the Labour Party, and Supreme Court justice Ferdinand Schjelderup. On 25 October 1944, Gunnar Jahn was arrested for supporting Hjemmefronten ("the Home Front," the main resistance movement) and was jailed at Akershus Fortress until 8 December, when he was transferred to Grini and imprisoned until 5 May 1945. The Ministry of Finance dismissed Gunnar Jahn in December 1944, and Gudbrand Thesen was named as director, although he never actually took over the position.
The Bureau was gagged
The period 1940-1945 was in any case a dark one for the Central Bureau of Statistics. As the war progressed, the Bureau became more and more stifled. After the Administration Council was dismantled, the ministries became Nazified with ministers from the Nasjonal Samling . Next to - or, more correctly, over - the ministries was the Reichskommisariat für die besetzen norwegischen Gebiete , directed by Terboven and established by Hitler to protect German interests. While the ministries were located in their usual offices, Terboven and his staff settled in at the parliament building. The Reichskommisariat had departments that more or less corresponded to the ministry divisions. xxiv The Reichskommisariat supervised and instructed the civil administration, but did not take over administrative duties. In this way, many initiatives appeared to be Norwegian decisions. This was exacerbated by there being no mass dismissals of either civil servants or functionaries after 1940. Most retained their jobs. The Central Bureau of Statistics, then as now, was subordinate to the Ministry of Finance, and Fredrik Prytz acted as the Nasjonal Samling Minister of Finance.
Even though the Central Bureau of Statistics in theory answered to the Ministry of Finance, Reichskommisar Terboven and his staff gradually exerted more and more influence over the daily routines of the Bureau as the war progressed. All new hiring and dismissals were to be approved by the Reichskomissar , and later also by the Nasjonal Samling . All new figures that were to be published had to be submitted to the Reichskommissariat , as were all new reports prior to publication. The Reichskommissar also meddled in and introduced a new way to determine the cost-of-living index, thus resulting in the compilation of two indexes during the war. Each month, the Reichskommissariat decided whether to publish the index based on the old or the new method.
Foreign correspondence also had to go through the Reichskomissariat , so when the Church of Sweden in 1941 wrote to the Central Bureau of Statistics to receive information on its religious communities in Norway, the answer had to be submitted to one of Terboven's civil servants before it could be expedited. And if the statistics showed that things were going badly under the new regime, Terboven simply forbade publication of the figures - or imposed a limitation on the distribution of the results. From 16 March 1943, the Bureau's most important publications were denied publication by the Gestapo - only the wholesale-price index and the cost-of-living index were allowed to be distributed. xxv
Was Terboven the greatest consumer of statistics?
Who actually used statistics during the war? Correspondence records from the time show that one of the largest user groups was lawyers and manufacturers who needed the cost-of-living index. The ministries asked surprisingly few questions. However, the greatest consumer of statistics, to the extent the correspondence records were a measure of this, was the Reichskommisariat . The departments of fisheries, food and agriculture, logging and forestry, not to mention the department of price regulation and price control (which was responsible for developing the new way to calculate the index) were supposed to receive all of the available statistics as they were compiled. Terboven's staff even wanted the monthly countywide statistics of forest fires.
To put it bluntly, in hindsight it appears that the Reichskommisariat used an inordinate number of resources to control and censor statistics of which it was the major, if not only, consumer. In this sense, this is not only a dark, but also an absurd chapter in the history of statistics. The German occupiers could have taken far more sinister action than to exercise full control over who should receive Norges Handel (Norway's Trade) from 1942. However the excessive amount of red tape was probably not a conscious strategy on the part of Gunnar Jahn. It was not particularly heroic to produce figures that Terboven's staff could use, even if they were produced more and more slowly.
Gunnar Jahn´s diary
On 9 April, the director of the Central Bureau of Statistics began to keep a personal journal. It was later typed up and much used by historians as a rich source of what rumours were circulating at the time, and what the mood was among academics and high-ranking officials during the war. The diary is known for its withering and sarcastic descriptions of well-known persons. Gunnar Jahn wrote nothing about confiscating radios owned by Jews on 10 and 11 May 1940. He also wrote nothing about how Oslo police chief Kristian Welhaven was later called in and reprimanded by the Administration Council for directly following orders from the Germans instead of contacting the Council first. The Administration Council actually took the matter up with the Germans, albeit without result.
On 29 May 1940, Gunnar Jahn wrote, "I am quite disturbed when I encounter some of these rich people in Oslo. Klaveness [shipowner], for example. He asked whether he should pay his taxes this year because he was worried about taxes for next year. It was as if this tax issue and all the other issues that were relevant before are still his main concern." In June 1940 he noted, "I worked a little at the harbour where everything is drying up. To avoid having to answer phone calls, I wandered around for a couple of hours in Husebyskogen and Ullernåsen. When I got back, Director General Thoresen was at home. All he had on his mind was his being passed over by Frydenberg from the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. It was otherwise an uneventful day." On 3 July 1940: "Rygg [the director of Norges Bank] is difficult these days. He takes it so personally whenever he hears anything even remotely critical of Norges Bank." On 5 July 1940: "I worked a little with the issue of currency regulation, which Norges Bank brought up and negotiated with the Germans on its own volition without consulting with anyone here at home Subordinate authorities confer directly with the Germans, so one's hands are more or less tied." On 14 August 1940: "Kloumann [director of Norsk Hydro] was up here. His idea was to just get the hydropower construction up and going." On 27 October 1942: "The murder of a Norwegian state police officer down by Skjeberg has led to increased Jewish persecution in Oslo. Early Sunday morning a lot of Jews were arrested - how many and who they were I don't know. Today the decision came down to seize the assets of all the Jews." xxvi
The number of Jews in Norway? Just a moment!
Long before the mass arrests of Norwegian Jews began in October 1942, the Central Bureau of Statistics received a letter from the Nasjonal Samling 's office of statistics. The letter, dated 29 January 1941, requested figures on the total number of Jews in Norway and added, "If possible, we would like these figures broken down by 1) the number of Jews in each county, and 2) the number of Jews in each city." xxvii On the following day, 30 January 1941, the Bureau responded, "In answer to your letter of 29 January, we can report that the Central Bureau of Statistics only has figures for the number of members of the Jewish community as registered in the 1 December 1930 census and published in 'Religious Community,' volume two of this census. (N.O.S. VIII, 192). According to these figures, there were 1,359 persons belonging to the Jewish community in 1930, and they are distributed by town and city in the following way," after which followed a table. The table showed that in østfold's towns there was one member of the Jewish community, while østfold's cities had 37 members - and thereafter followed comparable information for all of the other counties like pearls on a string. The Bureau responded immediately to the request from the Nasjonal Samling 's office of statistics, while the Reichskommissariat forbade the Bureau to pass on figures to the Church of Sweden's yearbook. According to the correspondence records, the Bureau received no more requests from the Nasjonal Samling 's office of statistics regarding the Norwegian Jews. The reason for this is that the tables from the national census of 1930 were considered outdated, not least because of the Jewish refugees who arrived in Norway from the continent between 1933 and 1940. This is an important find, which has also been confirmed elsewhere. xxviii
So far it has been argued that, first of all, use of the Norwegian statistics from the 1930 census - including their use at the Wannsee conference in January 1942 - probably aided, but only very indirectly, the attempt to eliminate the Norwegian Jews. It has also been maintained that the division of the Norwegian population into Jews and non-Jews (among other distinctions) in the censuses as early as 1866 lent legitimacy and a self-fulfilling relevance to this distinction, even though this was never the intention of the statistic. However - and this important - a ten-year-old census was far from a useful tool when the Norwegian Jews were to be put under surveillance and arrested. First of all, the material was outdated, and second, it was no simple matter to put together address lists based on the census forms for members of the Jewish community. When the radios owned by Norwegian Jews were to be confiscated, the census material from 1930 was of no use - whereas the licence register of the telegraph service was.
The population register was interesting
On 5 February 1942, the hohere SS- und Pulizeiführer, Befehlshaber der Ordningspolizei took the initiative to establish a mandatory population register in every municipality in the country. Prior to this initiative, there were population registers in 49 cities and 42 townships. xxix Only the most populated municipalities had one, leaving about half the population - in the almost 670 smaller rural districts - living in an area without such a register. The German uniformed police submitted its proposal to establish population registers in every municipality to the Ministry of Police, which sent it to the Ministry of Finance, which sent it to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which in turn sent it to the Central Bureau of Statistics for comment. xxx The chief of the German uniformed police did not attempt to hide what had necessitated the establishment of such a measure: "The current conditions demand an immediate surveillance of movements of persons in Norway." 4 Case documents supporting this argument were sent along with the proposal to the Bureau for comment. Even at the time there were many who were fully aware that the occupational powers were interested in population registers for one reason only: "They would serve as a tool for police search efforts." xxxi In its first response to the proposal, the Central Bureau of Statistics wrote that the new law essentially meant that "each person was obligated to report any change in residence to the population register" and that "records of these changes must be continually updated." xxxii What the Bureau felt was missing, "in addition to this information about movements into, out of, and within the municipality," was all other information that a population register needs "to be able to fulfil its task" - such as "births, deaths, marriages, divorces and separations, legal recognition of children born out of wedlock, adoptions, changes in citizenship, etc." The Bureau also pointed out that the law would have to specify how this information should be reported and registered. And to avoid a delay in updating the statistics, "the registrar of the ecclesiastical and marital status registers [should be] required to [immediately] send to the municipal register all reports of births and deaths received after they are entered into the birth register and the church records, respectively." To keep the records up-to-date, the population registers in the cities were required to submit a report on any changes to the Central Bureau of Statistics every two weeks, while rural districts were only required to submit reports once a month. The Bureau also insisted that it would be necessary to prepare a "very detailed" directive since it would be difficult to obtain "professionally trained personnel" in all of the small municipalities that were now to establish population registers.
In a letter of 24 August 1942, from the Bureau to the Central Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the impact of the new law on statistics was brought up yet again: "As is well known, the marital status registers we keep, as in most other countries, form the basis of our population statistics. Any changes in registration procedures will thus affect this statistic significantly." xxxiii The Bureau felt compelled to write this letter because, in connection with the implementation of the new law, it was "reported in the press that a new procedure for reporting to the registrar was being prepared, as well as new rules for registration," thus making it "urgent" for the Bureau to "ask that statistics be taken into consideration." The Central Bureau of Statistics also requested that the size of the registration districts be small, and could not endorse the use of chief local judges as registrars. Since the work would most certainly lead to "an extraordinary amount of correspondence" it would have to be carried out by someone acting on behalf of the local judge.
Gunnar Jahn and Jule Backer prepared and sent out a directive from the Central Bureau of Statistics to the registrars of the civil registers in November of 1942.
There are also many examples after this time of the Bureau bringing up the issue, on its own initiative, of what was needed for the municipal population registers to function as well as possible as a basis for the population statistics. For example, a letter to the Ministry of Internal Affairs on 12 November 1942, stated: "If the directive is issued, we request that corrections in line with the Bureau's comments also be issued. Please note that our considerable experience indicates that the regulations must be as precise as possible." xxxiv And again in May 1943: "The Bureau permits itself to inquire when the comprehensive regulations regarding registration at the population registers can be expected to be issued. As pointed out in a previous letter from the Bureau, such a comprehensive guideline is absolutely necessary for the new registrars to be able to carry out their work in a satisfactory manner. The many requests received by the Bureau demonstrate that the registrars are still very much uninformed about the matter." xxxv There was no doubt that it was a purely professional interest in statistics that lay behind the desire to have the population registers function as well as possible. The Bureau was worried that there would be mix-ups when the records were transferred from the parish pastors to the municipal population registers. xxxvi The question is, however, did the Germans and the Norwegian National Socialists take advantage of this professionalism to suit their purposes?
No NS members in the Bureau
In other words: How should we interpret the Bureau's comments to the proposed system for mandatory population registers for all municipalities? The ministries were Nazified at the top levels; civil servants and functionaries working there could say that they were pressured, threatened, and forced to carry out orders against their will. The general public was also aware that this was the situation, which means that a number of laws and decrees were considered to be just pieces of paper and they weren' t taken seriously. The regulations may have been given a polish of judicial legality, but they clearly lacked any kind of legitimacy.
The Central Bureau of Statistics was not under Nazi influence either at the top or the bottom. There was no corruption in the Bureau, no one wanted to take German lessons, no one was a member of the Nasjonal Samling , and none of them were among those Norwegians who were coaxed into fighting alongside the Germans on the Eastern Front. The Bureau was thus not Nazified when a National Socialist leadership was installed. This gave the Bureau a certain amount of room for manoeuvre, which was also used in other contexts. xxxvii For these reasons, the completely professional, salient, and statistics-related comments - not least those related to the issuing of regulations for the registrars - helped lend legitimacy to the 6 August 1942 Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths Act. It must thus be acknowledged that the Bureau contributed to the establishment of the population registers through its comments regarding the formulation of the law and not least through its guidelines for the registrars. Gunnar Jahn knew that the German occupiers wanted to put the Jews under surveillance and needed the population register in all municipalities to be able to do so.
The Bureau in a bad light
Around the same time that the Bureau issued its comments on how the population register should be set up and sent its directive to the registrars, the 19 November 1942 law requiring Jews to report was passed. xxxviii If it wasn' t clear before, there could no longer be any doubt about what the population registers were to be used for. All Jews living in Norway were required, within the next two weeks, to fill out a special form and submit it to the registrar of the nearest population register. The population register would keep one copy of the form, and two others would be sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. This law was passed after the Jewish men were arrested, but before the elderly, the women, and the children were arrested.
I will not draw any conclusions here, but the obligation to report - which is directly linked to the population registers - puts the Bureau's role in the establishment of the additional population registers in a bad light. However at this point we can nevertheless ask, Why did none of the top-ranking civil servants in the Central Bureau of Statistics think like Paul Hartmann, who resigned his position as principal municipal executive in the Municipality of Oslo early in the fall of 1941? Said Hartmann, "I realised that the situation as a whole had become intolerable. I discovered that when I could no longer prevent the deterioration that was occurring in the administration that it would only weaken my position if I remained, in that it would be a kind of tacit approval of the new order." xxxix
In 1941, the Nasjonal Samling 's office of statistics compiled lists of "Jewish businesses" and planned to create a "Jew catalogue." xl Just after the Jews' identification papers had been stamped with a two-centimetre-high J in January 1942, the Nasjonal Samling 's office of statistics took the initiative to register all Jews in Norway and prepared the "Jews in Norway" form. It was to be filled out in triplicate: one copy was to be maintained by the local police force, one was to be sent to the Nasjonal Samling 's office of statistics, and the third was to be sent to the chief of the security police in the Ministry of Police. xli Most of the forms were filled out in the spring of 1942. The Nasjonal Samling then prepared a report entitled "Pure Jews in Norway," xlii which concluded that in the spring of 1942 there were 1,419 Jews in the country.
On 23 October 1942, an order was issued by the Germans through State Police Chief Martinsen that all male Jews with a J in their passport were to be arrested, that their assets were to be seized, their bank accounts frozen, and safety deposit boxes emptied. The arrests were to be carried out the following Monday - 26 October 1942.
The population registers become useful
On Monday, 26 October, one of the largest police actions in Norwegian history took place. Three hundred police officers, 100 taxis, and several buses took part. Based on the information given in the questionnaires submitted to the Nasjonal Samling 's office of statistics, each police patrol received a list with ten names and addresses. One of the participants in the arrests reported on 5 November 1942: "During the course of the action, it became clear that the address lists were very incomplete. The addresses may well have been valid when the forms were originally filled out earlier in the spring, but during the course of the day we had to turn to the population registers, and we used them extensively." xliii
In August 1945, when the Ministry of Justice was no longer under German control, there was an internal discussion about how the ministry should deal with the registration judges who had defended the directive requiring information about all Jewish property in Norway in 1941. The conclusion read: "Furthermore it must be mentioned that as far as I can understand, all of the country's chiefs of police and population registrars played a part in compiling a complete register of Jews in Norway." xliv Another report from just after the War stated: "The forms that were filed out in the spring of 1942 showed a number of inadequacies. Many of the Jews had changed residence since filling out the form, and for that reason the action encountered a number of obstacles. However, by looking into the population register, most of the addresses were tracked down." xlv
Pure Jews, half Jews and quarter Jews
Since the Norwegian Jews who were not arrested in October 1942 were required to report in, the newly-established population register came into use. Head of Division Ragnvald Lassen explained how it worked: "The law requiring Jews to report in was formulated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the basis of a German proposal which was translated and subjected to a legal review by the ministry's general division ... The Jews were to report to the population registers, which were then to send a copy of the forms to the ministry where they were collected. When the pure Jews were arrested, it was only the half-Jewish and quarter-Jewish people who were registered by the population registers." xlvi Secretary General Torleif Dahl from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who was responsible for the population registers, xlvii also explained himself after the War: "The Germans demanded the use of the population registers, which were organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, to compile a register of Norwegian Jews. The Ministry of Internal Affairs was then required to issue a law requiring Jews to report in. Two of the ministry's civil servants were then called into the Reichskommissar, where indeed they received a proposal of the law or a form stating how it must be carried out." xlviii
What knowledge was available in the fall of 1942, and what kind of fate awaited the Norwegian Jews? What did the Norwegian exile authorities know? Finn Koren from the Norwegian legation in Bern reported to Minister of Foreign Affairs Trygve Lie on 17 August 1942 that "The most gruesome reports are arriving from Poland about the treatment that the unfortunate Jews are being subjected to, and as far as what can be understood, they are trying to 'liquidate' the entire race. What is going on in Warsaw's ghettos defies description. About one third of the Jewish population over there is estimated to be dead." With respect to the Jews from the Netherlands, Koren reported: "A larger per cent is known with certainty to have been killed already - either by gas, which is probably the most efficient and quickest way, or by strychnine. Apparently Hitler believes that the Jews must be erased from the face of the earth, or at least from Europe, by any means necessary." xlix
The rich Jews took care of the poor Jews
After the arrests in October 1942, Ambassador Jens Bull from the Norwegian legation in Stockholm was contacted by a delegation of high-ranking clergymen from the Church of Sweden. They planned to visit Swedish foreign minister Günther to "get the Swedish government to tell the Germans that Sweden was willing to accept the approximately 300 Jews who were reported to be still living in Norway." Before the Archbishop approached the foreign minister, however, he wanted a promise from the Norwegian legation that it would "take care of the Jews should they arrive." l On 1 December 1942, Jens Bull replied: "In my opinion, we could probably expect the wealthy Jews over here to take in their fellow Jews at a time like this, since their common background is the cause of their persecution. The state should not have to lend any support unless it is needed, in other words, only if the matter cannot be taken care of in another way." li The Swedish clergymen could thus not receive their guarantee from the legation, but it was added, for the sake of justice, that, "we will do what we can for the Jews who do not receive help in this way." lii
Around the same time, on 27 November 1942, Trygve Lie received a plea from the World Jewish Congress describing the fate that awaited the Jews who were deported to Germany: "We would suggest, therefore, that the radio broadcasts to your country should include repeated appeals to the population to resist by all means in their power the deportation of the Jews for mass slaughter and to protect individual Jews and especially children, against their seizure by the Nazi terrorists." liii The foreign minister responded after only a few days, "Such appeal is not needed in order to urge the population to fulfil their human duty towards the Jews in Norway." liv
It appears to be an incontrovertible fact that the population registers found in the larger cities and the densely populated townships before the war were used during the arrests of the Jews on 26 October 1942 and 26 November 1942. There are a few too many sources that, independently of each other, claim that German and Norwegian police found essentially everything they wanted in the population register offices. It also appears to be an undeniable fact that the population registers established during the war were used in the surveillance of Norwegian Jews who were not arrested immediately. The registers could of course also have been used to monitor other groups and individuals as well. The participation of the Central Bureau of Statistics in the establishment of the population registers in all the municipalities in the country is also indisputable. But it remains important to ascertain whether the information actually used came from the municipal population registers or the Bureau's statistics.
Based on the source material available, it is not possible to determine exactly in what way inquiries from the police to the population registers were handled. Nor is it possible to precisely determine at what time the new population registers were operative. The intention of the Germans was that they should have been operative from the third quarter of 1942, but they don' t appear to have been functional before the fourth quarter in 1942. It is therefore also not possible - and for entirely different reasons quite absurd - to begin to estimate how many Norwegian Jews could have reached Sweden had the population registers not existed.
With respect to the question of to what extent official statistics were used when the Norwegian Jews were arrested, information from the available sources is ambiguous. For example, we can' t rule out that the Bureau's seemingly over-zealous and professionally correct comments may have simply been designed to drag out the process and delay the implementation of the mandatory population register. A large number of sources from the German occupation years are kept in the Landssvikarkivet (Treason Archives). Landssviksarkivet has produced many of the most important sources of information about the occupation years. However the arrest and deportation of the Norwegian Jews was not a main concern of the treason and war-crime trials in Norway, lv and therefore there were few documents produced that show and address the establishment of the population register and in what way it was used in surveillance and the arrests. We don' t know when the mandatory population register began to work, and in what way the German and Norwegian police used the register for surveillance and arrests. A glaring example of this is the charge of treason against the director of Nasjonal Samling 's office of statistics. The charge does not include the fact that he furnished the Germans with lists of Jewish businesses and most probably took the initiative to implement the questionnaire in the spring of 1942, but it does report that he turned in a woman who lived in the same building because he believed that she had a radio.
How can we be sure that the Norwegian and German police weren' t misled when they approached the registrars? It most likely did happen, but in terms of actual evidence there is not one report about the police suspecting registrars for withholding information. It was not every place that the police were permitted to enter. One police officer who also participated in the arrests in the fall of 1942 reported in December 1942 that he had spoken with municipal executive A. Meyer-Dahl, who also was in charge of Ullevål Hospital. The officer believed that many Jews had managed to escape from Ullevål Hospital and out of the country, and continued: "The municipal executive had no knowledge of this. I told him how the situation was now, that Ullevål Hospital was considered by the Jews to be a kind of hiding place ... so they could then leave the country permanently. When asked, he could not answer how many Jews were in the hospital at the time, he had no overview, but he gave me free rein to look through the main office's catalogue." lvi This main catalogue of patients consisted of about 4,000 cards, so the police officer found it more expedient to look through the patient files for each ward. "I looked through the seventh ward. This ward had its own office, and after a great deal of hesitation and procrastination, I was given access to the ward's catalogue. Despite a strong suspicion that there were many female Jewish patients on this ward, there was not one Jewish name to be found in the catalogue." lvii
Not everyone was intimidated
A report was also written on local tax officer Trætteberg in Bergen. He was subjected to threats when he would not release "copies of the arrested Jews' income tax reports for the last year to be used for seizing their assets." lviii Trætteberg refused on the basis of § 121 of the Municipal Tax Act, and a directive from the Ministry of Finance. The state police in Oslo issued orders that if the tax officer did not "immediately comply with the state police's orders regarding information about the Jews' assets, the state police in Bergen would immediately place the tax officer under arrest." lix The tax officer was not intimidated and was thus arrested, but after half an hour he was released because someone else at the office had given the state police what they were after.
There are fortunately other examples of civil courage on the part of the bureaucracy that continued to function more or less untouched by the war and was only Nazified to a lesser degree. There does not appear to be a single report from policemen who did not get what they wanted, or had the feeling that they were being misled by the population registers. What is important in this context is that when the Norwegian Jews were to be arrested and deported, the ten-year-old census was not applicable. On the other hand, it turned out that the population registers in the larger cities where most of the Jews lived were especially well suited for this purpose. There was a much higher risk associated with the registers than with the old-fashioned, ten-year, form-based census. There is reason to believe that this is probably still the case.
Gunnar Jahn was appointed Minister of Finance in the Einar Gerhardsen coalition government in the summer of 1945 because of the outstanding and significant role he played during the war. He was director of Norges Bank from 1946, and chairman of the Norwegian parliament's Nobel Committee up until 1966. In the most recent edition of the Norwegian encyclopaedia, he is described as "one of the most prominent leaders of the resistance."
The intention here has not been to draw conclusions or re-evaluate the contributions of individual people or institutions during World War II, but rather to raise a new, albeit small, but important question: To what extent did statistics play a role when the Norwegian Jews were arrested and deported? We now know that it happened, but we do not quite know how. It is strange that this was not looked into a long time ago, now that more and more statistics are based on registers. How would we react to a nuclear power plant in our midst that was operated without regard to accidents, even though accidents like those at Three Mile Island or Chernobyl are exceedingly rare? lx I have no doubt that we would shut it down!
1 Unless otherwise indicated, all translation of Norwegian documents in this article is the responsibility of the author.
2 Nasjonal Samling , or the National Union Party, was established by Nazi collaborator Vidkun Quisling, and quickly became the only legal political party during the occupation.
3 In 1994, the Central Bureau of Statistics was renamed Statistics Norway.
4 Die augenblichlichen Zeitverhältnisse erfordern dringend eine genaue Überwachung der personenverkehrs in Norwegen.
i National Archives of Norway, Ministry of Justice 1940-45, Letter from the head of the dept. of criminal investigations, "Jews in Norway", registered journal no. 5289/41A, Ministry of Police, chief of the security police to Johs. Krogstie A/S, Dec. 20, 1941.
ii Ibid. Journal no. 182/42 A. Ministry of Police. Chief of the security police to the Ministry of Finance, Oslo, January 13, 1942.
iii The term as used in this article covers all Jews residing in Norway at the outbreak of the War.
vi Norwegian National Archives, Ministry of Justice, 1st Civil Office, B. Directive from the Royal Ministry of Justice and Police, May 20, 1947, regarding legal statements made by returning Norwegian Jews, p. 2ff.
v Kristian Ottosen, I slik en natt, Historien om deportasjonen av jøder fra Norge. (On Such a Night: The History of Deportation of Jews from Norway.) Oslo, 1994, pp. 334 and 364. Julie Backer reports in "Statistisk oversikt over krigsdødsfallene 1940-1945" ("Statistical Overview of War Casualties 1940-1945"), Statistiske Meddelelser (Statistical Reports), no.10-12, 1948, pg. 456, that 610 Norwegian Jews were killed in captivity overseas. The main reason Ottosen uses a higher number is that he also takes into account the persons who did not have Norwegian citizenship, or were stateless, but who were deported from Norway.
vi Backer, op. cit. Over 3,000 sailors were killed overseas 1939-45, while 730 other Norwegians were killed in POW camps abroad.
vii Minority report in NOU 1997:22. Inndragning av jødisk eiendom i Norge under den 2. verdenskrig (Seizure of Jewish property in Norway during World War II). Page 77 states that the total number of Jews who had their assets liquidated was 2,173. Oskar Mendelsohn writes in Jødenes historie i Norge gjennom 300 år (The history of Jews in Norway over 300 years), Volume 2, 1940-1985, 2nd edition, Oslo 1987, p. 210, that the number of Jews in Norway at the outbreak of the war is estimated at about 1,800. The number 1,400 is used in this article because it was the number that the German police and the Nasjonal Samling´s office of statistics arrived at just before the Jews were arrested in the fall of 1942.
viii These figures are taken from Ronnie S. Landau, Studying the Holocaust: Issues, Readings and Documents, London 1998, pp. 71f and 90. In Danmark i Hitler´s hånd (Denmark in Hitler´s Hand. Rigsbefuldmmægtiget Werner Best´s account of Hitler´s occupation policy in Denmark, with portraits of Hitler, Göring, Ribbentrop, Himmler, Heydrich, Scavenius, and Quisling. Published by Siegfried Matlok, Viborg 1989, p. 202), it is argued that only 477 of the approx. 6,000 Danish Jews were arrested and deported. While Frantz Wendt in Danmarks Historie (History of Denmark), Volume 14, "Besættelse og Atomtid" ("Occupation and the Nuclear Era"), p. 182, writes that 472 of the Danish Jews were deported, 52 were killed, and the total number of Danish Jews exceeded 7,000.
ix According to Mendelsohn, op. cit., pg. 210, a total of 925 Jews escaped to Sweden during the war. According to "Sveriges förhållande till Danmark och Norge under krigsåren, Redogörelser avgivna til den svenska utrikesnämden av ministeren för utrikes ärendena." ("Sweden´s relationship to Denmark and Norway during the war: Statements made to the Swedish Foreign Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs") 1941-1945, Stockholm 1945, p. 149, there were 700 persons of Jewish descent who emigrated from Norway and that around 500 of these people held Norwegian citizenship. One must also take into account that most of those who crossed the border in 1942 were assisted by the resistance movement.
x Nils Johan Ringdal, Mellom barken og veden, Politiet under okkupasjonen (Between a rock and a hard place: The police during the occupation), Oslo, 1987, described the Nazification of the police, pp. 29-42, and the role of the police in the arrest and deportation of the Norwegian Jews, pp. 227-251.
xi William Seltzer, "Population Statistics, the Holocaust, and the Nuremberg Trials." Paper presented at the 1998 meeting of the Population Association of America, session on "Morality Associated with Political Violence, War, and Refugee Movements," Chicago, April 2-4, 1998. Pg. 2f.
xii Seltzer, op. cit.
xiii See, e.g., Ringdal, op. cit., Bjarte Bruland, Forsøket på å tilintetgjøre de norske jødene (The attempt to eliminate the Norwegian Jews), Master´s thesis, Bergen 1995, which provides an analysis of the Norwegian bureaucracy´s significance and role in the arrest and deportation of the Norwegian Jews. See also Per Ole Johansen, Oss selv nærmest, Norge og Jødene 1914-1943 (Those closest to us: Norway and the Jews, 1914-1943), Oslo 1984. Oskar Mendelsohn, op. cit., provides a detailed, source-based analysis of how the civil bureaucracy participated in the arrests and deportation of the Norwegian Jews. The same applies to Samuel Abrahamsen, Norway´s response to the Holocaust: A historical perspective. New York 1991. Ole Kolsrud has the deportation of the Norwegian Jews in Dagbladet (a liberal Norwegian daily newspaper), October 16, 1982.
ixiv Landau, op. cit. p. 70ff.
xv Johanesen, op. cit. p. 137
xvi Mendelsohn, op. cit.. p. 214, and the entire chapter 12. "Tyskerne og NS´ ansvar" ("The Germans and Responsibility of the Nasjonal Samling").
xvii N.O.S. IX.17. Folketelling i Norge. (The National Census in Norway). Dec. 1, 1930. Vol. 4. "Samer og Kvener. - Andre lands statsborgere. Blinde, Døvstumme, åndssvake og Sinnsyke." ("Sami and Finns. - Citizens of other countries. The blind, the deaf, the mentally retarded, and the insane") Oslo 1933. p. 3*.
xviii FoB2000. "Folke- og boligtellingen 2000" ("Population and Residence Census 2000"). Hearing notes regarding content. Notes 98/30, Central Bureau of Statistics. Department of personal statistics/ Section for population and residence census, p. 44
xix Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Norwegian Legation in Berlin. Sept. 12, 1933. Here, translated from a quote by Johansen, op. cit., p. 91.
xx Note. Ministry of Justice. Aug. 1, 1933. Here, translated from a quote by Johansen, op. cit., p. 92.
xxi Riksadvokatens Meddelelsesblad (The public prosecutor´s report journal) Vol. 3, January 1947, no. 27, pgs 80 and 90.
xxii "Bestemmelser av Administrasjonsrådet". ("Decisions made by the Administration Council") Published in accordance with a public initiative. 1940. Publisher: Head of Division C. Lampe. No. 1, 1940, p. 1f.
xxiii Hans Fredrik Dahl, et al. Norsk Krigsleksikon 1940-1945. (The Norwegian Encyclopeadia of War, 1940-1945), Oslo 1995, p. 15.
xxiv Hele Paulsen discusses the relationships between Quisling and his ministers, the ministries, and the Reichskommissariat in "Litt om forholdet mellom NS og Reichskommissariatet I Norge 1940-45," in Rold Danielsen and Stein Uglevik Larsen, eds, Fra idé til dom. Noen trekk fra utviklingen av Nasjonal Samling, (From Idea to Judgment. Some Characteristics of the Development of the National Union.) Oslo 1976, pp. 196-214.
xxv Gunnar Jahn in the foreword of Statistiske meddelelser (Statistical Reports), 1944, Vol. 62. May 14, 1945.
xxvi University of Oslo library, handwritten sources collection. Gunnar Jahn´s diary. Ms 4° 2579: 1-6.
xxvii National Archives. Central Bureau of Statistics. Letter archives. Organized by code. Box number 165, 1941.
xxviii Seltzer, op. cit. pp. 23-26, argues that the risk of census abuse is less than that for population registers. Selzer supports this by referring to the high death rate for the Dutch Jews during World War II and to the attempt to exterminate the Tutsis from Rwanda.
xxix Recommendation from the Committee on the Effectivisation of Population Registration, etc., appointed by the Ministry of Finance in December 1953. (Population Registration Committee of 1953). p. 4.
xxx National Archives, Central Bureau of Statistics. Letter archives. Organized by code. Box number 168, 1942.
xxxi Recommendation from the Committee on the Effectivisation of Population Registration, etc., appointed by the Ministry of Finance in December 1953. (Population Registration Committee of 1953). p. 7.
xxxii National Archives, Central Bureau of Statistics. Letter archives. Organized by code. Box number 168, 1942. Central Bureau of Statistics to the Ministry of Finance. February 5, 1942.
xxxv Ibid. Box no. 171, 1943.
xxxvi It also appeared that the marital status register "was brought into great disarray" and that "the reports that the population register sent in to the Bureau for statistical use were ... in most cases incomplete." The most noteworthy result of the disarray is that there were no figures for marriages in 1942. See Folkemengdens bevegelse (Movement of population, vital and migration statistics) 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, and summarized tables 1941-45, 36 NOS X.172, Oslo 1947, Foreword.
xxxvii This room for manoeuvre was taken advantage of by Gunnar Jahn when the Nasjonal Samling minister of finance Fredrik Prytz asked the Central Bureau of Statistics to take over the work the Ministry of Finance had begun but hadn´t completed: calculating the value of what had been destroyed during the war in order to send a bill to the UK. Gunnar Jahn immediately agreed to take over the work, thus giving the Bureau an official reason to obtain economic statistics that otherwise would have been difficult to get a hold of. When the material arrived from the ministries, the correspondence records also show that it was received special treatment: It either went right into the iron safe or right to the director. The work of finding out how much the war cost Norway was also used in the attempt to get political prisoners released. After a meeting between Head of Division Skøien of the Central Bureau of Statistics and the director general of the finance department in the Ministry of Finance, principal municipal executive von Hirsh on Feb. 8, 1944, this letter to State Police Chief Martinsen: "The signatory of this letter has in a phone call on Dec. 4 again appealed to the State Police Chief that candidate Erichsen must be released as soon as possible so as to be able to continue his work at the Bureau, where he is responsible for a very important financial statistical study that the Ministry of Finance has given top priority to finishing as soon as possible." National Archives, Central Bureau of Statistics, Letter archives. Organized by code. Box no. 173. 1944. It also appears in a number of passages in Gunnar Jahn´s diary that his office was a key source of information.
xxxviii Cited here from the National Archives, Ministry of Police 1940-45. Head of criminal investigations, "Jews in Norway" - reg. I.D. J. no. 3064/43 J. 2 PH/KN, Ministry of Internal Affairs, general division. Administration office of the Ministry of Police, chief of security police. June 23, 1943.
xxxix Paul Hartmann Bak fronten, Fra Oslo og London 1939-1945 (Behind the front lines: From Oslo and London, 1939-1945). Oslo, 1955, p. 33.
xl National Archives, treason case, Oslo police force, Dropped cases, charge no. 3549. Letter from the Nasjonal Samling, national leadership, Office of Statistics of Axel Aas, county recorder. Oslo, January 16, 1942.
xli National Archives. Ministry of Police 1940-1945. Head of the department of criminal investigations, "Jews in Norway" - reg. Directive from the chief of the security police. J. no. 00746/42 A. February 6, 1942.
xliii National Archives. State police 1940-45. Files on Jews. Box 16. Oslo, November 5, 1942, "Jødeaksjonen" (Jewish Action).
xliv National Archives. Ministry of Justice, Note, 15.8.1945. Minister´s office (M).
xlv National Archives. Treason case 4094, Oslo, October 4, 1946, Report to the Oslo Police Department. Department of Treason. Statement by criminal investigations officers Thorbjørn Frøberg and Knut Ebeling. p. 2. The Oslo population register nevertheless states that during the War, employees took registration cards home with them so they would not be misused-but from which point in time and to what extent is unclear.
xlvi National Archives. Treason sentence. Oslo police department. No. 4095/49. Doc. no. 30. Statement by Ragnvald Lassen, interrogated by officer Fliflet, Oslo, June 18, 1946.
xlvii The following directives were issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in connection with the establishment of the population registers in all municipalities: October 27, 1942, "Om sivil registrering ov fødsler, vigsler og dødsfall" ("Regarding the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths"); November 12, 1942, "Om kartoteksap og kort til folkeregister" ("Regarding cataloguing and cards for the population register"); November 27, 1942: "Om kommunale folkeregistre" ("Regarding municipal population registers"); February 20, 1942, "Om kommunale folkeregistre" ("Regarding municipal population registers").
xlviii National Archives, Treason sentence, Oslo police department. No. 4088/49. Doc. 40, pg. 13.
xlix UD.25 1/5 "Jødespørsmålet" (The Jewish Question), Vol. 1. Minister Finn Koren to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, London, August 17, 1942. Quoted from Ole Kolsrud "Eksil-Norge og jødene under 2. verdenskrig." ("Exile Norway and the Jews during World War II"). Historisk Tidsskrift, Vol. 73, no. 3, 1994, p. 303.
l Kolsrud, op. cit., p. 305.
li National Archives, Legation in Stockholm, Office for Refugees, box 3208, here quoted from Kolsrud, op. cit., p. 305.
liv Ibid. Trygve Lie to the World Jewish Congress. December 1, 1942.
lv See, e.g., Knut Sveri, "Landssvikoppgjørets merkeligste rettsak" ("The most unusual case of the treason hearings") in Anders Bratholm, Nils Christie, and Torkel Opsahl, eds. Lov og frihet. (Laws and freedom). Writing to Johs. Andenæs on his 70th birthday, September 7, 1982, Oslo 1982. Also Kolsrud in an article Dagbladet, October 18, 1982, pointed out that the "actions against the Jews ... to some degree fell outside the justice system´s jurisdiction during the treason hearings."
lvi National Archives. State police 1940-1945, Files on Jews, Box 16, Report to the chief of the state police given by police officer Stian Bech, Oslo and Aker dept. Regarding: Jews at Ullevål Hospital. Oslo, December 14, 1942.
lviii National Archives, Treason sentence, no. 3325, Oslo Police Department, Doc. 67, no. 2.
lx Analogy drawn by Seltzer, op. cit., p. 21.