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The legacy of Ruth Maier

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Aleksander Huser
Huser is a regular film critic in Ny Tid.
No more everyday
Regissør: Elsa Kvamme
(Norge, 2021)

ANTISEMITTISM / Elsa Kvamme's new documentary No more everyday life tells the story of Jewish Ruth Maier, who in no way has lost its relevance and importance.

"Nazis reportedly do not exist," he wrote Ruth Maier about Norway in her diary, when she, as one of 100 quota refugees in 1939, was granted residence by the Norwegian authorities – on strict conditions.

The young Jewish woman was 19 years old when she came to Norway from Austria, while the rest of her family traveled to England. By 1938, Maier's homeland had been annexed by Nazi Germany. Discrimination and persecution of the Jews in the country became increasingly widespread, and in November of the same year the situation worsened further with the so-called German Crystal Night, which also took place in Austria.

Quisling: The Jewish "Satan empire which is now in full swing, and which threatens the people of Europe – and Norway".

Norwegian anti-Semitism

However, Norway was not at all free of Nazis and their anti-Semitic ideas. Elsa Kvamme's documentary No more everyday emphasizes this by cutting from what Maier wrote (quoted) to an archive clip in which Vidkun Quisling talks about the Jewish "Satan empire which is now in full swing, and which threatens the people of Europe – and Norway". The film emphasizes that the new race theories – with terms such as "race hygiene" and warnings against "mixing races" – were also widespread in Norway. This happened, among other things, through the book The Jewish problem and its solution (1939) by the former skier Halldis Neegaard Østbye (under the pseudonym Irene Sverd).

Ruth Maier was among the 532 Jews deported from Oslo. . .

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