Danish Breivik play sparks fury in Norway

A Danish theatre group has come in for vehement criticism in Norway after it announced plans to stage a monologue based on the manifesto of confessed mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik.

Ragnar Eikelund, the head of a local victim support group whose son Tore was killed in the July attacks, said Café Teatret’s project was “so objectionable that words fail me”, newspaper Bergens Tidende reports.

The theatre’s artistic director, Christian Lollike, told newspaper Politiken the play will feature an actor playing Breivik presenting his manifesto, a document he posted online shortly before setting off a car bomb outside government buildings, killing eight people. Breivik then went on a murderous shooting spree on Utøya island, where he killed a further 69 people at summer camp for young Labour Party followers.

Explaining the rationale behind the play, scheduled to run from August 23rd to September 15th this year, Lollike said understanding Breivik’s mindset was essential in order to avoid a repeat of the tragedy.

In Norway, however, the theatre community was quick to distance itself from the Copenhagen project.

“Breivik’s main aim was to spread the message in his manifesto, and he did that by killing all those people. He actually succeeded in that,” said Erik Ulfsby, head of Det Norska Teatret, a major Oslo theatre.

“Anyone creating more awareness about the manifesto is a useful idiot dancing to Breivik’s tune.”

The proposed play has also come in for criticism in the director’s native Denmark, where politicians from the Liberal and Social Democrat parties expressed serious concerns.

Per Balch Sørensen, a Dane whose daughter Hanne Annette died at Utøya, described the project as “a really bad idea”.

“It comes far too soon after the tragedy, and to me it seems someone is trying to make money off it,” he told newspaper Politiken.  

In the manifesto, which he spent years writing, Behring Breivik describes himself as the "Marxist Hunter."

In the tract , titled "2083 — A European Declaration of Independence," he reveals his admiration for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and calls for adherents to spawn large families of white European 'jihadists.'

"If you are not willing to sacrifice your own life, then I would strongly advise you to make babies and ensure that they will be willing to sacrifice theirs when the time is right," he says at one point.

"I will be labelled as the biggest (Nazi-)monster ever witnessed since WW2," he acknowledged in the document, signed using an anglicisation of his name: Andrew Berwick, with the epithet: Justiciar Knight Commander, Knights Templar Europe, Knights Templar Norway.

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Kongsberg attacker killed victims with ‘sharp object’

Norwegian police said Monday that the five victims of last week's attack were killed by a "sharp object" used by the suspect, not a bow and arrows.

The Kongsberg attacker is said to have killed five people with sharp objects. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident.
The Kongsberg attacker is said to have killed five people with sharp objects. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident. Photo by Søren Storm Hansen on Flickr.

“At some point he discarded or lost his bow and arrows,” police inspector Per Thomas Omholt told reporters.

He said that during the attack on Wednesday the suspect killed “five people with a sharp object both in private addresses and in public spaces”.

Police, who had previously said that the suspect Espen Andersen Brathen was armed with a bow and arrows and two other weapons, did not specify the nature of the sharp weapons, adding that they were still interviewing witnesses.

“Everything points to the victims being selected at random,” Omholt said.

According to the police, more than 10 people were also shot at with arrows at the start of the attack, but none were killed with this weapon.

READ MORE: Norway police query Kongsberg attacker’s Muslim faith

During police questioning, Brathen has confessed to the killings and to wounding three others.

The 37-year-old Danish citizen has announced publicly that he is a convert to Islam and initially police reported that there had been fears of radicalisation.

He is however being kept in a medical facility pending a psychiatric evaluation, which is necessary to determine whether Brathen can be held legally responsible for his actions.

“As far as motive is concerned, illness remains the main hypothesis. And as far as conversion to Islam is concerned, this hypothesis is weakened,” Omholt added.

On Saturday, police announced the identities of the five victims, four women and one man: Andrea Meyer, 52, Hanne Merethe Englund, 56, Liv Berit Borge, 75, Gunnar Erling Sauve, 75 and Gun Marith Madsen, 78.