Children of War
By Michael Holmboe Meyer
I grew up as a child of a traumatized generation. I came to the world seven years after WW2. My father was a high decorated war veteran from the Royal Norwegian Navy, and my mother suffered also a lot from the nazi occupation.
The silence about their suffering - trying to protect their only son from terrible events that had happened during the war - became a dilemma. I wanted my dad to tell me about the war, but he suffered in silence until he passed away in 1976. My teachers in schools did the same thing. Nobody told me anything. Why? What was the story behind all those war medals that my father always hide. Many of my thoughts and feeling could be reflected in it. I grew in my resolve to live in accordance with to be fair, to believe in rightness and justice.
Was it because Mom and Dad were extremely moral persons. They did not want to hurt anybody - and specially not their own child? They taught me never to hate anyone or anybody.
After the war my father resigned as officer from the Navy, and became a professional firefighter. From being a torpedo commander on submarines and destroyers, he became a lifesaver. A professional lifesaver, braving flaming buildings, or rescuing human lives.
Some years before he was forced to use the most deathly weapons in order to protect his country. December 26, 1943 - it was a matter of `to be or not to be` when he sent the torpedoes that sunk the German battleship "Scharnhorst" in the battle of Nort Cape. Out of the "Scharnhorst" crew, only 36 humans survived in the freezing ocean. On D-Day, June 6th. 1944 he served in the first line during the invasion of Normandy.
My father was a real Viking, a legendary hero. But when I was seventeen he fell down in a rescue-operation, and died from brain cancer some years later.
I never became the successful lawyer my parents always wanted me to be. Instead I became a victim of war. A war victim, like many others with suffering and inner struggle.
Eventually, in 1981 my travels took me to Nazareth in Galilee. I had no particular plan, but I didn't worry. I was loosely following the approach to life-viewing life as a flowing river. I was confident that I would just kind of flow towards my destination, and that is what happened. I stared working in a Bakery. And there I met victims of war and children in the same situation as mine from many places in the world. I was not alone.
Comming from the Land of Midnight sun, a nation that has fewer people than go to work on an ordinary day in Manhattan. A land where "reserve" is a survival characteristic that has come over centuries of living with isolation in a hundred lonely valleys or on the side of mountains. A place on the earth, where inner resources, a genuiness of self-being-enough has been needed when battling the harsh and unfriendly force of nature.
Oh - how I longed for peace and mutual understanding. And my vision is simply: Genuine Peace on Earth:
Lost in swirling mist I fell poised on the edge of the world.
There is no reality but my body;
no east or west,
right or left.
The world is lost and only I am found.
In Memory of my Father, Haakon,
Michael Holmboe Meyer
Stavanger History Guide
Internet 1996 World Exposition -- Gold Medal Winner
Copyright © 1996 Michael Holmboe Meyer