During the Second World War, tens of thousands of children were born with a Norwegian mother and a German father. In The Unwanted, five of them tell how brutal life as a war child has been – about how it has been to bear the shame and have to cope with their mothers’ choices and the fathers’ sins. Liv Ullmann’s narrative tells us how German soldiers were encouraged to have children with Norwegian women, who with their heritage from the Viking Age, blue eyes, blonde hair and fair complexions were considered the purest Aryan breed. For these children, the war was not over in 1945.
After losing in all the three judicial levels of court in Norway, a group of war children in 2007 took the Norwegian state to court in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. They wanted redress for a life of discrimination, exclusion and abuse, while highlighting the need for a new convention to protect future children born as offers of war.
Wars Don’t End is directed by Dheeraj Akolkar (Liv & Ingmar (2012)) and produced by UpNorth.