One of Us | Åsne Seierstad

Summary of: One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway
By: Åsne Seierstad


In this summary of ‘One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway’ by Åsne Seierstad, you will discover the life of Anders Breivik, a man infamously known for carrying out the deadliest terrorist attack in Norway’s history in 2011, killing 77 people in a single day. Explore his unstable and dysfunctional upbringing, his early years of searching for acceptance in various social groups, and his eventual radicalization in the world of far-right and anti-Islamic ideologies. The summary also delves into the gruesome details of his attack and the subsequent trial, exploring the question of his sanity and accountability for his actions.

Anders Breivik’s Troubled Childhood

Anders Behring Breivik, the man behind Norway’s deadliest terrorist attack, had a tumultuous childhood. After his parents’ divorce, his mother struggled to care for him and his sibling due to her psychological issues. Despite the expert’s suggestion to remove him from the family, he remained with his mother. These experiences during his formative years shed light on Breivik’s later actions and behavior.

Breivik’s Struggle for Acceptance

Anders Breivik, the Oslo bomber, struggled to find friends from a young age due to his short-tempered and shy personality. He eventually found his place in the graffiti scene, becoming part of a small group of taggers. However, due to his lack of empathy, Breivik was excluded from the group after breaking an unwritten rule that forbade novices from writing over the tag of a king. This led to him losing respect and becoming an outsider. He was caught multiple times by the police and even lost the support of his father after his third arrest. Breivik’s struggle for acceptance played a significant part in shaping his later actions.

Anders Breivik’s Political Ascent

At 20, Breivik rose in the ranks of the Norwegian Progress Party, becoming a deputy chairmen at just 22. He built a network in the party’s social scene but lost interest when he failed to get nominated for city council elections. Disappointed in the party, he stopped attending social events and paid his last membership dues in 2004.

Andersnordic’s Obsession

Andersnordic, also known as Breivik, found solace in online gaming after failing to find approval in the real world. However, his obsession with becoming the top gamer ultimately led him to far-right websites and islamophobic ideas. In 2009, Breivik was already writing his manifesto, consumed by the idea of a new crusade against Islam.

Breivik’s Hatred and Terror

In 2009, Anders Breivik published a 1518-page manifesto titled “2083: A European Declaration of Independence” on, inspired by online right-wing platforms. Breivik blamed modern society’s moral decline on “cultural marxism,” feminism, and the Islamization of European countries. He prescribed reviving traditional values of the 1950s, including patriarchy, disapproval of same-sex relationships, and the sanctity of marriage. Breivik cited passages from conservative and right-wing authors, without giving credit, to support his views. In his manifesto’s last portion, he recommended armed resistance as a means of preventing the Islamization of Europe, providing guidance on how to conduct a successful terrorist attack, including building a bomb and buying weapons. Breivik even featured a chapter devoted to an interview with himself, boasting of deeds never done and explaining in detail how he planned for the attack.

The Making of a Terrorist’s Bomb

Breivik rented a farm in the Norwegian outback under the pretext of starting sugar-beet production and began building his bomb. He ordered the necessary ingredients online, bought large amounts of fertilizer, and followed instructions obtained from various sources. It took several attempts, but by July 2011, he had a functional bomb ready. He hid his activities well, and no suspicions were raised.

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