The Charlotte News
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 1940
FOR THE RECORD
Norway Seeks To Deprive Nazis of Excuse To Attack
Site Editor's Note: The Altmark case involved the violation of Norway's territorial waters by Britain to rescue 326 British merchant seaman imprisoned below decks aboard the German ship, Altmark. In the hope of preserving its own hide, Norway had looked the other way and permitted the German ship to pass through its waters on its way to Hamburg. It did not work. As Cash had predicted the day before this editorial, Hitler issued a familiar back-stab to Norway six weeks later, invading by surprise attack on April 9.
It is an illuminating commentary on the case in Europe that Norway can even threaten to bring England to trial before the League of Nations or some other tribunal for her action in the Altmark case.
Can anybody imagine her doing somewhat the same thing to Germany? Germany, of course, continually violates Norway's rights under international law, as she violates those of all other neutrals on the North Sea--and in the worst possible manner. England is charged with having violated Norwegian territorial waters in order to effect the rescue of several hundred of her seamen from a floating concentration camp. But every week the Nazi submarines sink Norwegian ships without warning, drowned Norwegian sailors.
England's offense, at worst, adds up to a violation of Norway's sovereignty. The German offense adds up, not only to a continual violation of sovereignty but also to vast destruction of Norwegian property and a long and growing list of murdered Norwegian's (about 100 to date).
Yet Norway growls and thunders at England, threatens her with trial and condemnation. And whispers her protest to Germany in the privacy of the green room, carefully abstains from denunciation or any shadow of threat.
But that, of course, is no key to Norway's sympathies. Norway is perfectly well aware that if Germany wins the war, she stands to be taken over by the Nazis, along with all the other Baltic and North Sea neutrals. However much she may be irritated by given instances of English action, she undoubtedly wants the Allies to win as a matter of her own self-interest. At the same time she is desperately anxious not to give the Nazis any shadow of excuse for treating her as Austria, Poland, and Czechoslovakia were treated.
That is the reason for her loud and ostentatious attitude in the Altmark case.
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