German gets medal for saving dozens during Oslo massacre

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4 Oct, 2011 Updated Tue 4 Oct 2011 17:17 CEST
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A German man who saved at least 30 people during the massacre in Norway has been awarded one of Germany’s highest honours by the President.

Marcel Gleffe, 32, was on holiday near the island of Utoeya in July when he heard what he initially thought was fireworks on the island – but quickly realised was gunfire.

Anders Behring Breivik had already set off a bomb in nearby Oslo and was walking around the island shooting the participants of a youth camp. A total of 77 people were killed and dozens more injured.

When Gleffe went to the water he could see desperate children trying to swim to safety and jumped into a boat to help them get away. He managed to get around six people in his boat at a time and made several trips, rescuing around 30 people in total.

German President Christian Wulff awarded him the Order of Merit on Tuesday – along with 35 others including scientists, musicians and actors.

“I’m very proud,” Gleffe said at the ceremony. “I couldn’t receive a greater honour.”

Wulff called Gleffe’s exploits “comforting and encouraging,” despite the tragedy.

DPA/The Local/mdm

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2011/10/04 17:17

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