Norway’s national broadcasting council unleashed some harsh criticism on Wednesday against NRK’s series about the late Crown Princess Märtha’s war years in the US. The council claims NRK and the creators of “Atlantic Crossing” took too many artistic liberties with history, although several members were supportive.
The series has sparked sharp debate in Norway as being an example of national chauvinism that one council member called “embarrasing and provincial.” The crown princess in exile is portrayed as allegedly having more influence on US President Franklin D Roosevelt than she actually did, and glorifying the role of the royals at the expense of elected officials at the time.
Others defended the series as finally highlighting Crown Princess Märtha’s role and giving her long overdue credit for gaining support for occupied Norway during the war. Women in general have long been overlooked for their contributions to help win the war and preserve democracy, noted council member Tove Karoline Knutsen..
As debate over dramatic embellishments to actual history continued, yet another historian claimed there “is no doubt” that the crown princess made an important “political, diplomatic and humanitarian contribution” for Norway while in the US from August 1940 until the country’s liberation in the late spring of 1945. Trond Norén Isaksen cited a long string of sources who commented at the time about her efforts to acquire aircraft for Norway, send food relief for Norwegian children, support Norway’s merchant marine that brought supplies to the UK and open doors in Washington to various Norwegian officials.