Monday, April 16, 2012

Emotionally unaccountable

Calling Breivik´s numb face ice cold, would be to say he showed an emotion when he was facing the indictment. Emotions he did not show.

Oslo, early morning, day one of the trial of Anders Behring Breivik: 150 meters from Oslo Courthouse the car I'm sitting in stops for red light. This moment, right on the junction, I see a 6 year old boy on the side walk. He stumbles and falls face down, while his knee hits the ground so I can practically hear it.
I instinctively put my hand on the seat belt and am about to jump out of the car. Then I see another child come running to. This child lifts up the 6-year-old and gives him a hug, puts his arms around him in a warm embrace, and helps him continue down the street with his arm tightly around his shoulder. The 6-year-old welcomes the comfort and limps on. With school bags on their backs they disappear around the corner.

Nothing has changed
This scene in the city center, on my way to the first day of the trial, affects me so strongly that I am about cry.
Of course, it is outrageously provocative that he who caused a hell for so many people on July 22, appears in court neatly dressed, without a hair curled on his head. He sits there and says exactly the same as he did before 22 July.

Are we dealing with a person without feelings? No, the world held its breath as the indifferent face burst into tears.
Breivik let tears fall, the lower lip trembled and strong emotions distorted his face to resemble a man who suffered.
Breivik's tears did not come suddenly out of the blue. The image that sparked his crying was a video, an extreme dystopian, anti-human litany of ethnic groups, wrapped in hatred based on demographics.

Gave himself permission to kill
In short: The birth rate in Europe decreases. The birth rate among Muslims increases. In Breivik's image of reality, the monomanic repetition of this information, among other, led him to give himself permission to kill his own countrymen. Bomb us. And shoot innocent, defenseless teenagers.

It was this video that the prosecution, after careful consideration, chose to show as part of the prosecutor´s opening argument. Breivik wept over his sacrifice to his great cause, and became sentimental.
Were we witnessing a man crying over something sacred in his eyes? Breivik's sentimental moment may also have occurred because it was the first time in the trial he shared his vision with others. For a man who has been isolated for so long, this was the straw.
Maybe he will burst again, as the trial continues with new moments that involves his ideology?

Yes, in court Monday, Breivik appeared as a person who possesses strong emotions, but he did not express them at the same time as all of us. Therefore, his passion was in fact a proof of his lack of empathy.
Breivik showed in court that he is emotionally unaccountable.
The scene and Breivik´s behavior was fiction-like. But the victims were not in any fiction, when the cruelty they were exposed to was presented.

We will meet the child in Breivik
Today we were told where the dead were found. Who they were together with when they died. We were presented to the deadly route of the perpetrator, drawn on graphical map of the city center and Utøya. We heard the recordings of the shots that killed. The pain and grief over what these people were exposed to stopped our ability to think.
In Courtroom 250, there was no memorial, no rose parade with people who ran out and filled the streets with tears, flowers and pictures. No ceremonies of love. Today we were faced with the victims without any of this.
It was a simple clinical description, an anatomical account of the fatal encounters between the perpetrator and those who were killed. The formal soberness of it all made it even harder to endure.

Nevertheless, the picture of the heart-shaped Utøya bathed in sunshine and the name “Trail of love” on the map fo the island was like a stem that kept us in touch with the warmth of the roses.
It felt as if the 77 dead were present in courtroom 250, and it is because of them we go through this trial.
We should know exactly what happened each and every one of them and what caused this horrible act that led to the loss of so many lives.

The perpetrator´s testimony starts on Tuesday. Breivik's way of explaining and recollecting the events is also part of the evidence. It will the give the court a picture of his accountability. Which is at the core of this trial.

The child I saw helping another child at the junction in the city center early Monday morning, showed compassion. Instinctively. We will eventually meet Breivik as a child in this trial.

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