Gathering information about Jewish Oslo, I stumbled upon the fact about the Hurum airplane crash in 1949. Hurum is approximately an hour away from Oslo, and that’s why it was between the last spots in my list of interest places for thorough studies. However, when I learned more about it, I was surprised by the amount of amazing facts that are hidden in the history of this place.
After the foundation of Israel in 1948, Jews from all corners of the world flew there.The Special Children Invigoration and Preparation Program was created. Its aim was to facilitate the North African Jews (Morocco and Tunis) to move back to the historic motherland. Norway helped by hindering for the Jews’ use the former Hirden SS preparation camp (military formation of the Norwegian Nazi Party – Nasjonal Samling) located a couple of hours away from Oslo, where teaching and facilitating staff, consisting of Norwegians, Moroccans and Tunisians, were hired. The first group of children aged between 5-14 were hosted in the beginning of 1949. In general, over 400 people participated in this program, each group staying in Norway for up to 8 months. Many would wonder why exactly Norway, located so far away from the route between North Africa and Israel, became a partner of this project.
The Norwegian “Europahjelpen” was amongst the refugee supporting organisations in post-military years, and “Aliat Hanoar”, involved in Jewish teenagers’ immigration, appealed for its support. Since no appropriate place in the countries close to the travel route was found, there was a suggestion to send the Jewish kids to the Norwegian camp. An interesting fact is that the Europahjelpen was headed by Matilda Oftedal Broch, whose brother occupied one of the leading posts in the Norwegian Nazi Party.
But let’s get back to our story. Two DC-3 aircrafts of the now forgotten “Aero-Holland” started their journey from Tunis to Norway on the 20th of November, 1949.
However, miracles still do happen nowadays. At the rear of the airplane, the sole survivor, twelve-year-old Isaac Allal, was found. As he later explained, he saved his life by simply following the directions of the crew. Just after the plane got into the bad weather zone, all passengers were instructed to fasten their seat belts. Isaac obliged. Kids, many of which never even saw an airplane before, considered flying to be like an amusement ride and kept on having fun. There’s also an unemotional statistic that the back seat passengers have a higher chance of survival after an airplane crash.