Iceland sees no reason to apologize for deportation of Jews before WWII

The Icelandic government said on Wednesday it did not see the point of apologizing for the country’s deportation of Jews to Nazi Germany in the run-up to World War II.

Nine Jews were deported from Iceland throughout the 1930s until 1939.

Documents in Iceland’s justice ministry also show that it was policy not to admit Jews to Iceland from the early 1930s.

Denmark, another Nordic country, said at the weekend that it was considering an official apology after a new official Danish study revealed that authorities deported at least 19 Jews to Germany during World War II despite warnings that they might be killed.

But Iceland said it did not see why it should do the same.

“To whom should the Icelandic government apologize?,” Prime Minister Halldor Asgrimsson’s press secretary, Steingrimur Olafsson, told AFP.

The Icelandic authorities have recently been embarrassed by openly anti-Semitic remarks made by former chess world champion Bobby Fischer, who became an Icelandic citizen to escape the United States judiciary.

There are no official counts for the number of Jews in Iceland, but the Office of Immigration estimates it to be very low. There are no official groups representing Jews in the country.

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