Norway Shooting: German Tourist Hailed a Hero After Saving 30 Lives

A German tourist Marcel Gleffe has been hailed a hero after sailing straight into the line of gunfire to save up to 30 lives during Norway’s brutal massacre.

Marcel Gleffe, a German camper who rescued more than 20 youngsters on Friday. Photo: DPA

German tourist Marcel Gleffe and his family had been hoping for a week of relaxation at a Norwegian campground. But when gunfire started on an island across the water, Gleffe and several others raced to their boats and took to the water immediately after hearing the shots and seeing plumes of smoke on the horizon.. Marcel stated: “It goes without saying.”

As the names of some of the young victims began to emerge, he told how he had bravely rescued scores of teenagers who fled for their lives as Breivik’s bullets rained down.

Marcel said: “I just did it on instinct. You don’t get scared in a situation like that, you just do what it takes.” He continued: “I know the difference between fireworks and gunfire.”

“I knew what it was about, and that it wasn’t just nonsense. Cooperation with the police and rescue crews afterwards was very good, but it all came too late. The first time I was out I was all alone.”

Gleffe said that when he heard the sound of shots from Utoeya between 5pm and 6pm on Friday he and his family were drinking coffee outside their caravan and discussing the Oslo bombing.

He commented: “I recognised the sound of the automatic weapon straight away. Then I saw two youths who swam away from the island.”

“Then smoke grenades came and several bursts from the automatic weapon. I saw through the binoculars that there were more people in the water.”

Gleffe, who lives in Ski (south of Oslo) took the keys to his boat and raced down to the water. He threw life jackets out to the young people.

People shouted:”Are you police, are you police?”. Some told him that the gunman was a police officer as others yelled “terrorist, terrorist, terrorist!”

Marcel plucked as many as he could from the water, steering the boat close to the shore of the island. “I took between four and five trips. After that the police asked me to stop,” he told.

“The youths were good. They supported each other and were organised, and said who needed first aid and who had to be taken into the boat first. ‘You must take him, you must take him’, they said. They were happy to get help, but they were unsure whom they could trust.”

Tore Eikeland, 21-year-old president of the Hordaland branch of the AUF, is among those who lost their lives during Breivik’s rampage.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg described Tore as “one of our most talented youth politicians”. He told mourners at a special memorial service at Oslo’s cathedral: “Now he is dead. Gone forever. It is incomprehensible.”

Erik Dale, a friend and colleague in Norwegian youth politics wrote online: “It is much too soon for you to go, Tore. A great friend with a great heart. A heart that beats for everyone.”

“And a political talent we all envy you. Norway’s next Prime Minister, remember? It is too soon to lose you. We miss you.”

Mr Dale also wrote about his 18-year-old friend Tarald Mjelde, who was missing presumed dead last night. “We still need you, Tarald.,” he said.

“The little big boy with an enthusiasm that infects everyone around you. All the people who wish they had your energy. Your eagerness. If you hadn’t been such a great little politician, I am sure you could have been an athlete.

As the death toll from the island climbed to 86, the names of the missing began to filter out. 19-year-old Simon Saeboe is among them.

Psychologists who visited the camp site said they were amazed by the campers’ rescue effort but explained many had been left with feelings of guilt.

Psychiatrist Kirsti Oscarson said: “They still think about the kids they had to leave in the water because they wouldn’t fit in the boats.”[via The Telegraph, The Independent and Spiegel]

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