How an alien enemy became a bemoaned human
The inhabitants of a Norwegian town bury a young alian aviator and cherish his memory. Nearly 50 years later, the aviator’s daughter finally gets to know about her fathers fate – and an unparalleled dealing with history begins.
This story starts with incidents, that aren’t unusual towards the end of World War II: A young aviator of the German Armed Forces does not come back after an air battle and his widow and his two little daughters won’t know anything about his fate for a long time. In Norway, which is occupied by German forces, the inhabitants of the small town Sæbø find the corpse of an alien soldier, bury him and use parts of the wreck’s metal for everyday commodities.
Up to this point the story is sad, but not unique. It becomes remarkable due to the Norwegians: A woman, who had lost her father in a battle, cares for the grave of the unknown enemy – secretly – for many years. The inhabitants of Sæbø reflect on the aviator’s fate and do not want to part from „their“ German when the Norwegian government unites all the soldier’s graves in their country.
Nearly fifty years later a ambitious Norwegian hobby-historian starts to search for the aviator’s family. He writes letters to possible relatives, using the telephone directory of the Austrian embassy in Oslo to find out the adresses. One letter finds its way to the daughter. 48 years after the plane crash, the aviator’s family learns more about his fate and his last resting-place.
The Norwegians also invite the Austrain family of their former enemy to Sæbø, to visit the grave and to get to know the local people. During the following years, some close friendships develop between the Norwegians and the Austrians. As a result the remains of the wreck are collected, there are ceremonies at the grave and discussions in the local school -amongst others about – how is it possible that minorities suffer from discrimination.
It’s a nearly incredible, astonishing story about generous, engaged persons, who descover the human in a former enemy and who are able to cherish his memory.