FDR: "Look to Norway"


Not long after the Nazi invasion of Norway in April of 1940, an American journalist, Leland Stowe, wrote an article for TIME magazine about the events in Norway. Stowe was in Oslo when German soldiers marched into the city.

The reporter observed what he interpreted as indifference, instead of shock, on the part of Oslo's citizens. His scathing article did little to convince Americans they should help the Norwegians.

Princess Martha, the wife of Crown Prince Olav (and mother of Norway's current King, Harald V), did much to convince President Franklin D. Roosevelt that the people of Norway were resisting the Nazis and had not accepted them, or were indifferent about the 1940 invasion.

By 1942, America was helping Norway by, among other things, providing a new vessel which would help the Norwegians "hunt U-Boats."

On 16 September 1942, with Princess Märtha at his side, FDR gave a speech about the events in Norway (and the launch of the new ship).

Known as the "Look to Norway" speech, its most-famous words are these:

If there is anyone who still wonders why this war is being fought, let him look to Norway.

If there is anyone who has any delusions that this war could have been averted, let him look to Norway; and if there is anyone who doubts the democratic will to win, again I say, let him look to Norway.

Click on the image for a better view.

EDITOR'S Note. The narrator, of the 1942 newsreel video, mispronounces the name of Norway's King Haakon.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 10, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

Media Credits

Image, by Scanpix, online via the Royal House of Norway website.


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"FDR: "Look to Norway"" AwesomeStories.com. Mar 10, 2015. Feb 19, 2020.
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