On the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks in Oslo and on the island of Utøya, the former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called for the unabated fight for the values of an open society.
“Ten years ago we met hate with love.
But there is still hatred, ”said today's NATO Secretary General on Thursday at a memorial service in Oslo Cathedral.
In doing so, Stoltenberg recalled other acts committed in Norway for racist and right-wing extremist motives, as well as terrorist attacks in Brussels, Paris, New York, Kabul, Baghdad, Christchurch and other places around the world.
“Again and again we are reminded that democracy will not be won once and for all.
We have to fight for them every single day, ”he said.
"The terrorists can choose to take lives, but we decide that they must not take democracy, our free and open society, from us."
The perpetrator was sentenced to 21 years in prison
The right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed a total of 77 people on July 22, 2011 with a car bomb in Oslo's government district and a massacre among the participants in the annual summer camp of the youth organization of the Social Democratic Workers' Party on Utøya.
Stoltenberg had been Norwegian Prime Minister at the time of the Breivik attacks.
He has been Secretary General of NATO since 2014.
Most of the victims in the attack on Utøya were under 20 years of age, the youngest only 14. The attack, which also injured dozens of people, caused horror in Norway and internationally.
Breivik, who was 32 at the time of the crime, was sentenced to 21 years in prison in 2012, followed by preventive detention.
"We must not leave the hatred unanswered," said the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Thursday at a memorial service in front of survivors and relatives of the victims in Oslo.
Much has been done since the attacks to strengthen the security authorities' fight against all forms of extremism.
Most important, however, is that each and every individual build an inner "bulwark against intolerance and hate speech," said Solberg.
At 12 noon, bells were to ring nationwide in Norway in memory of the victims of the attacks.
In addition to the memorial event in Oslo and a mass in the local cathedral, another memorial ceremony was planned on the island of Utøya.