Norway Prime Minister Apologizes to Roma People

Solberg believes it is high time for “a moral reckoning with a dark part of Norwegian history.”

– On behalf of the Norwegian government, I apologize to Norwegian Roma people: I regret the racist exclusion policy applied in the decades before and after World War II. I regret also the fatal consequences this policy caused for Roma people during the Holocaust, said Erna Solberg in her speech at the celebration of International Roma Day in Oslo.

She noted that the government carried out a policy to deprive the Norwegian Roma population of Norwegian citizenship  and expel them from the country from the beginning of the 1900s.

She also pointed out that the so-called gypsy clause from 1927 led that Norwegian Roma people were denied entry into Norway and this caused tragedies for those who tried to escape from Hitler’s Germany in 1934.

– They were left alone in an increasingly dangerous Europe. As a result of the Norwegian ban, Norwegian Roma people in German-occupied Europe were deported to concentration camps during WWII, said Solberg.

“Gypsy clause” was repealed in 1956, and the Norwegian Romas could reclaim their citizenship around 1970s.

– The government must acknowledge its responsibility for the mistakes that were committed, and the injustice that Norwegian Romas experienced, said Solberg.

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