‘Like a bad horror film’: survivors recall Norway massacre


Young Norwegians injured in Anders Behring Breivik’s Utoeya island massacre last year described to an Oslo court Tuesday their initial disbelief before they grasped the extent of the bloodbath.
“You would think it was a bad horror film,” Eirin Kristin Kjaer testified on the 22nd day of Breivik’s trial for the killing of 77 people on July 22, 2011.
Today aged 20, the young woman explained how she had fled when she heard the first shots and how a bullet had gone through her jumper but missed her.
But as she hid with others among the big boulders on the shore, she agreed to change places with a friend who felt too exposed — something she said she was still glad she had done — and she was shot in the stomach, the arm, the knee and in the ribs.
“I felt like my stomach was exploding. It hurt like hell,” she said. Then she had started running again, shouting: “Please, don’t shoot me! I don’t want to die!” before in the end sitting down, resigned to her fate, not even bothering to try to stop her bleeding.
She was finally evacuated by boat, and has so far had to undergo 11 operations with yet more expected.
“Others will follow,” she said, as Breivik looked on without showing any sign of emotion.
But 69 others who were taking part in the summer camp hosted by the ruling Labour Party’s youth wing on that fateful day in July did not leave Utoeya alive.
Espen Myklebust, a strapping lad of 18, meanwhile told the Oslo district court that he had first thought the shots were part of “a crazy exercise.”
But when he had seen people frantically running in every direction and desperately calling their families, he like many others had thrown himself into the icy water surrounding the small, heart-shaped island.
He was shot in the back but the wound turned out to be fairly superficial.
Not strong enough to cross the lake, he swam alongside the shore and then out to a boat not far from the island.
But the boat was already full with panicked youths, and Myklebust, who was exhausted, was given a life vest and a friend held on to him until police finally turned up and fished them out of the water.
Breivik, today 33, was “cold” and “his face was expressionless,” Myklebust recalled.
“He was as calm as a person can be. He moved around as if nothing was happening,” he said, but added that he had also seen the confessed killer smile.
“A big smile,” he said, adding that he had thought Breivik was a neo-Nazi because of his short, blond hair and the fact that he was targeting the Labour Party.
The right-wing extremist, who earlier on July 22 had also bombed a government building in Oslo, killing eight people, has confessed to the twin attacks but has refused to plead guilty, insisting they were “cruel but necessary” to stop the Labour Party’s “multicultural experiment” and the “Muslim invasion” of Norway and Europe.