Utoeya Island, Before the Massacre

by Owen James Burke

Utoeya is an island 1,600 feet offshore and about 24 miles northwest of Oslo, Norway in the Tyrifjorden fjord, county of Buskerud. It’s name roughly translates to “outermost island”. It was gifted to the AUF (the Labour Party Youth) by the trade unions in Oslo after WWII, and was the site of 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik’s horrible massacre on Friday, an atrocity which Norway’s Prime Minister is calling the nation’s worst act of violence since WWII.

“It is such a fantastic place! A tiny, picturesque island…” said Frode Berge, AUF leader of the Rogaland region of Norway, who was present on the island during the attack.

Utoeya Island, a place where the Norwegian Prime Minister has spent ever Summer since 1979, has long been an iconic location for the Labour Party Youth–an ideal spot for a summer camp, with small sandy beaches surrounding lush green forest. Every summer for the past several decades, the tiny 26-acre island has hosted hundreds of AUF members to discuss political issues ranging from xenophobia to education and environmental issues; but also to camp, fish, swim, and have all-night bonfires.

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*via bbc, guardiandailymail, wikipedia, lp, and googlemaps*

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