Bjørn Westlie

Bjørn Westlie. Photo from 2014

Bjørn Petter Westlie (born 23 July 1949) is a Norwegian journalist, historian, university college lecturer and non-fiction writer.

In 1995, as a journalist for the newspaper Dagens Næringsliv, Westlie published a major article about the looting of the Norwegian Jews during the Second World War. In many cases the survivors were not able to reclaim any valuables, businesses or properties.

Together with historian Bjarte Bruland’s research this article started a public settlement process ending with the Government giving financial compensation and issuing a public apology.

In most of his books Westlie has focused on the Second World War. Maktens ansikt (The Face of Power) from 1991 is a portrait of Milorg leader and later politician Jens Chr. Hauge. In 2002 he published Oppgjør: I skyggen av Holocaust (Revisitation - In the Shadow of Holocaust). Fars krig (My Father’s War) from 2008 told the story about his father, who was a SS volunteer. This book received the Brage Prize and is also translated to Ukrainian (2015). His latest book, Fangene som forsvant. NSB og slavearbeiderne på Nordlandsbanen (The disappeared prisoners. NSB (Norwegian State Railways) and the slave labourers on the Nordland Line) came in 2015.[1]


In about ten years, from 1974 and onward, Bjørn Westlie was a member of the Workers' Communist Party. In interviews he has described his activism mainly as a reaction to the Vietnam War. According to himself, Westlie has repeatedly been rethinking his own embracement of extreme political movements when trying to decipher his father’s choices.[2]

Personal life

Bjørn Westlie lives in Oslo. He is married to researcher, journalist, university college lecturer and writer Anne Hege Simonsen. Westlie has two daughters and one grandchild.

See also

Selected works


  1. Svendsen, Trond Olav. "Bjørn Westlie". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-14. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
Preceded by
Frank Rossavik
Recipient of the Brage Prize for prose
Succeeded by
Kjetil Østli
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