By Fabrizio Bensch
A lot has been written about Andres Behring Breivik, the 33 year-old Norwegian man who a year ago was unknown.
He lived completely withdrawn on a small farm far from Oslo, alone to work on his diabolical plan. He built bombs to explode in central Oslo, and in the following chaos drove to Utoeya island and shot as many teenagers as possible. In all, he killed 77 people that day.
Today, for the first time, I looked directly into the eyes of this man – the eyes of a mass murderer.
Back on the afternoon of July 22nd, I heard the first news about what was happening in downtown Oslo and on the island of Utoeya. Of course at that time, no one knew the full dimension of these two attacks. I took the very first flight from Berlin to Oslo, then drove straight through the night to Utoeya island. The first photographs I took were of survivors. As the number of victims on the island grew, clues emerged as to what terrible tragedy was hitting this country.
It was early the next morning when a colleague and I rented a boat to go to the island. Red Cross boats were everywhere, as were police searching for bodies in the Tyrifjorden lake. As we approached the island I looked through my telephoto lens at the white sheets on the shore. The closer we got, the more and more precise the details became. Shoes, jeans and feet. The bodies of the victims were still laying on the shore.