Embassy Presents Exhibit on Jewish Life in Norway on Capitol Hill

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Starting Monday April 19, 2004, an exhibit about Jewish life and culture in Norway will be open to the public in the Rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. The exhibit is presented by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in cooperation with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA). Reporters are invited to a ceremony and reception with the Norwegian Ambassador on Thursday, April 22.

Starting Monday April 19, 2004, an exhibit about Jewish life and culture in Norway will be open to the public in the Rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. The exhibit is presented by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in cooperation with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA). Reporters are invited to a ceremony and reception with the Norwegian Ambassador on Thursday, April 22.

The exhibition is named "Jewish Life and Culture in Norway 1851 - 1945: Wergeland's Legacy".

At a ceremony and reception on Thursday April 22, Norway’s ambassador to the United States, Knut Vollebaek, will recognize Reverend Hans Christen Mamen (85) for his contributions to saving Jewish lives as a guide for Norwegian refugees across the border to neutral Sweden during WWII. Also present will be Senator Bill Nelson, Congressman Tom Lantos, Norway’s Minister of International Development, Ms. Hilde F. Johnson, and Chief Rabbi of Norway Michael Melchior, who is also a former member of the Israeli government.

Reporters are invited to attend this ceremony and reception, which will take place from 5:30 – 7:30 in the Caucus Room, 2nd floor of the Russell Senate Office Building, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE.

Using photographs from private collections, interviews, and original artifacts owned by Norwegian Jewish families, the exhibit tells the story of the Jewish population of Norway from the first immigration in 1851 through World War II, when nearly half of the Jewish population in the country was deported to Germany by the Nazi occupants. Only a few came back.

The exhibit also reflects the fact that Norway is the first European nation to complete a restitution process and compensate Jews for their loss and suffering during the war. Part of the recent grant of 64 million dollars by the Storting, the Norwegian parliament, is being spent on the promotion of Jewish culture and Jewish presence in Norway. The grant also establishes a fund, chaired by Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, to support Jewish culture worldwide.

The exhibit will be open through Friday, April 23.

The exhibit also features photographs of Trygve Lie. As the first Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Norwegian helped shape the world organization and helped lay the foundation for Norway's deep involvement in the UN and in international Humanitarian efforts.

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Jon-Åge Øyslebø or Trude Paulsson
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