Two Neo-Nazis have been convicted of murdering Black teenager Benjamin Hermansen. A third defendant has been convicted of being an accessory to the attack. The killing of 15-year-old Benjamin Hermansen while he was meeting a friend near his home in Oslo sparked outrage. Tens of thousands of Norwegians took to the streets a few days after the death to protest against racism and violence. Oslo City Court convicted Joe Erling Jahr, 20, and Ole Nicolai (Kvisler), 22, both linked to the Boot Boys neo-Nazi group, of murder.
Jahr was sentenced to 16 years in prison and (Nicolai) Kvisler 15 years. Veronica Andreassen, 18, was convicted as an accessory to the assault and jailed for three years. The court said the murder was planned, racially motivated and committed by members of a Neo-Nazi group partly to spread fear. It also found that Jahr and (Nicolai) Kvisler had each stabbed Hermansen with different knives. “Benjamin Hermansen would not have been attacked if his skin had been the same colour as the defendants,” the court’s ruling said.
The court said Jahr and (Nicolai) Kvisler had gone out that night with the intention of “getting a foreigner” and had brought knives. It said that while Andreassen did not participate in the attack, she went with them despite knowing they planned violence. Hermansen, who was active in his school and sports, was born and raised in Norway. He also had spoken out against racism on national television a few months before his death after he was assaulted by neo-Nazi youths during a soccer tournament in Denmark. (fare. net)
That was a news article I found on a Norwegian anti-racist website. It happened only a few days ago on January 21st in Norway. This shows the prevalence of racism still going on today. The group responsible for the murder belonged to an organization that calls themselves the Neo-Nazis. One of the questions Ive always asked in my history classes, is Why do we need to know about all this stuff that happened so long ago? Last year, my history teacher, Mr. Slater, gave me an answer. He said we need to learn about history, or we will be doomed to repeat our past mistakes.
With that said, Ill talk about how Nazism started. In the beginning, there was Adolf Hitler. He lived a somewhat uninteresting life as a child. His father was a customs official at the border separating Austria and Germany. He was a dominant and overpowering man. It wasnt until his father died before he began to manifest the hate he would display later in life. When he was nineteen, he wanted to become a painter and even applied to an art school, but was rejected. It was during the years after his rejection that he began to form his ideas of racial supremacy.
Hitler later joined the army and was a soldier until he was wounded from mustard gas. He spent a long time recovering in the hospital. After he recovered, the war was over and Hitler found work as a courier in Munich. During his time as a courier is when he found the German Workers Party and began to become entranced with their beliefs. Hitler did not found the German Workers Party, he only joined it and then later dominated it. At age of thirty, in 1919, Hitler became obsessed with making the party succeed. He was one of seven members of the executive committee of the party.
His first attempt at expanding was a failure. He sent out invitations for other party members to give to friends and family, but few people came. But the party grew slowly as Hitler found he was a master at oratory. By 1920, Hitler became the head of the partys propaganda. The other leaders of the party opposed Hitlers plan to organize a mass meeting, but it did little to hinder the process. It was feared that Marxist revolutionist would show up at the rally and be disruptive, but this is exactly what Hitler wanted.
He suspected that this would only spark the cause of the Workers Party by playing on the fears of the Germans that there would be a communist revolution. He suspected right. By February, Hitler was speaking to a group of over 2000 people. Among the group were a group of Communists waiting to disrupt the meeting. Just a few minutes into Hitlers speech, the communists started yelling, which grew into a full-out brawl. But as Hitler had planned, the communists were outnumbered and soon the shouting was gradually drowned out by applause.
This is where he proceeded to outline his Twenty-Five Points of the German Workers Party. He also introduced the swastika in the same year as the partys official symbol along with a new name, the National Socialist German Workers Party, Nazi for short. By the end of 1920, the partys membership had blossomed to over 3000 people. Hitler soon gained near complete control of the party on July 29th, 1921. By 1923, the party had exploded to fifty-five thousand members and in November of 1923, Hitler tried to overthrow the government of Bavaria and eventually Berlin but was unsuccessful and this action led to his imprisonment.
During his years in prison, the Nazi party continued to grow. After his release, Hitler and his party was given just enough power to quickly overtake the German government and form what they called The Third Reich. Hitler built Germany into a powerful war machine and destroyed the homes, families, and lives of the people he called the unfit races which of course, included Jews. It culminated in the mass murdering of millions of people, Jews, Polish, Christians, and other minoritys and ethnic or religious groups.
Then World War II took place and tore apart many of the major countries including Germany. This was the end of the Hitler Era. Today, the problem still hasnt disappeared. It still exists in a new front of hate called the Neo-Nazis. Although not as prominent or noticeable as the Nazis of the past, the Neo-Nazis are a very present, and very real problem. We see a small portion of the terror they spread in the news article I read before. New Nazism is a growing problem throughout the world, it is something political and religious leaders should be very concerned about.
The US has shown huge increases in activity all happening right under our noses, masked by excuses like hate towards terrorists. Which when it comes down to it, can be seen as purely racial prejudice on some peoples part. In this class, we learn about current world issues. Many of these issues have come up several times in the past, only to be resurfaced again in a modern variation. History is yet to be written, we could be the victims of the next Holocaust. To prevent that, we must heed the words of our history teachers and try not to repeat our mistakes by learning of the past.