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German expat helped save people fleeing Norway shooting

The Local · 25 Jul 2011, 06:10

Published: 25 Jul 2011 06:10 GMT+02:00

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The 32-year-old has lived in Norway for the last few years and was holidaying on the mainland Friday, directly opposite the island of Utoeya when he heard shots.

“We thought that there was a fireworks display,” he recounted to news agency, DPA. But as he heard volley after volley of automatic gunfire, Gleffe became convinced he was hearing shooting instead.

He found a spot to look at the water and saw desperate people trying to swim to safety. That’s when Gleffe took action, jumping into a boat and racing to help people.

Despite the danger, Gleffe quickly pulled person after persons into his small boat.

“It all worked without speaking very much,” he said.

Managing to rescue around six people at a time, Gleffe made multiple trips – officials say he likely rescued around 30 survivors in all. He kept doing it until police showed up at the island, roughly an hour after the shooting started.

Only then, he said, did he think about himself.

Story continues below…

“I was myself so frozen that I had to first warm myself up. I was turning blue,” he said.

The Local/DPA/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:05 July 25, 2011 by ChrisRea
Bravo! Heroism transcends nationalities.
12:09 July 25, 2011 by Shirazz
Bravery and an urge to do the right thing still exist. God bless Gleffe.
12:13 July 25, 2011 by wood artist
Thank you, for choosing to help when others were in danger.

13:19 July 25, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Bundesverdienstkreuz, I think, regardless of the fact that it was done on foreign soil. This man is a credit to the republic.
15:08 July 25, 2011 by Lachner
It's heartening to know, that despite all the evil in this World, there are still people out there like this brave young German man. He clearly deserves the Bundesverdienstkreuz for his heroism!
17:20 July 25, 2011 by pmrc
Bravo! this shows that humanity still exists....Thanks Marcel for your heroic deeds...God Bless you!
19:11 July 25, 2011 by belladons
Outstanding, and my hat is off to you sir. You my friend are a hero to me. Like someone else posted on this site, "this world needs more like you." God Bless you, and the victims and citizens of Norway.
19:42 July 25, 2011 by Scuba Steve
You're a hero, Man! May ye live a thousand years! Well done!
19:53 July 25, 2011 by whpmgr
All of the posts above are surprising. You act as if this is the only guy in to world like him. There are many. They are around you every day and you don't even know it. They are a bad biker in a train tunnel saving a guy from two people who wish to kick him to death. They are everywhere. While we often don't hear about them or they are not tested by a major event, they are there.

This guy does deserve a great amount of attention and praise, but do not dispair, there are tons like him in every country, they just haven't needed to show who they are, and I hope they never do.
22:37 July 25, 2011 by Freeman
A nice German in Norway. Great !
13:28 July 26, 2011 by ECSNatale
Your heroism is appreciated by grateful people everywhere. Thank you for helping to save some of those people and for being so selfless.
18:32 July 26, 2011 by davidtx2
Mr. Gleffe is are a real hero in the eyes of all people around this world. -David Sepulveda - San Antonio, Texas - USA
05:21 July 28, 2011 by heyheyhey
Marcel Gleffe is certainly an extraordinary human being. He put himself in harm's way in a manner that few would do. He was a sitting duck, and could have have been easily blown to bits by the killer. He should be long remembered and appreciated. I certainly hope that the governments of both Norway and Germany hold a celebration to honor him, his courage and compassion.

@whpmgr........you are petty and pathetic. You sound like a disgruntled old man who would like to be in the heroes chair. Think twice, will you, before you open your sniveling mouth next time. You should be ashamed of your post, but of course, you are too arrogant to feel shame.
07:47 July 28, 2011 by harcourt
He is indeed a very brave man, but in a way I agree with whpmgr #9. If you go back to the middle of June in response to an article here in The Local on the Airship disaster: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20110613-35625.html

There were only FOUR comments praising the Australian guy who KNEW that he would lose his life if he saved the three German journalists. So far there are 12 comments of praise in this article and counting. Some sort of imbalance don't you think !!!
00:53 July 30, 2011 by ChrisRea
I don't think that heroes can or should be compared, not even in term of how many praises they (are entitled to) get. But if you really want to, you can use the number of lives they saved. Mr. Gleffe saved about 10 times more lives than the Australian guy. So I guess there is still room for comments praising the subject of this article.
07:52 July 30, 2011 by harcourt
ChrisRea #15

You may have noticed that I did praise Herr Gleffe, but we are not absolutely sure of the the number he saved from ACTUAL death, and as he was in a boat he did have at least some cover so I imagine that every time he got near the island he didn't think he was going to HIS certain death. This was not the case with the Australian guy. Plus I live quite close to the area of the airship tragedy and I scanned our local weekly newspaper for a couple of weeks after the accident and was shocked that it was NOT covered especially as it was 3 journalists who were saved.
09:46 July 31, 2011 by adnaw
I for one believe the Australian man did a wonderful thing I do not think the number of people in either event is totally relevant both men risked and one man gave his life to rescue others from death. Both instances very honourable. It is really courages when someone does something that is so humanely special.
10:57 August 3, 2011 by HistoryProffessor
Does anyone find it funny that the only brave and heroic german I have seen has lived in a different country for several years.

Ok thats just me being a jerk. I commend this man for doing something great. But i do have a bone to pick with the german people. Do you guys not realize that you have troops in Afghanistan? or do you just not care or support them? Yeah there might not be that many there but they shouldnt go unnoticed and I have never seen one accolade given to a returning German soldier from the german people. It sickens me.
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