Why did Anders Behring Breivik officially change his name to “Idiot”?

Every now and then, the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik comes up with new ideas to get the press talk about him. Last year he filed a complaint, claiming that he was being tortured by the Norwegian authorities in jail. Now he is changing his name to something quite unexpected. 

For those who need a little reminder, Breivik is the guy who made a bomb explode in the city centre of Oslo on the 22nd of July 2011, and then went on an island to kill teenagers gathered on Utøya island for a summer camp of Norway’s Labour Party Youth Organisation. In total 77 people died and 319 were wounded. This is the deadliest attack on Norwegian soil since World War II, needless to say it was a trauma for the whole country. See here for more information on the attacks.

For many non-Scandinavians like me as a French, but also Russians, Americans and certainly other people on this planet, the Norwegian police officers who found him literally shooting at kids while listening to music did not shoot him on the spot, but actually arrested him and brought him to justice. That thing democracies do.

Alleged torture in Norwegian prison

He also survived the whole trial, although the brother of a victim did try to hit him in the head with his shoe. And he was put in jail, for the maximum time anyone in Norway is allowed to be in jail: 21 years. It did not sound much in the face of what this man had done, so he is in jail for 21 years, with a possibility for a renewal of his time as long as he is considered a threat for society.

The thing is what Breivik likes most is media attention. He wants to spread his Nazi message, but the mean jail is not letting him access the internet, though giving him access to a computer, newspapers and television. But he doesn’t want to read them, he wants to be in them. So he finds all sorts of way to do that. In 2015 he applied to be a student at the University of Oslo to study Political Science, and was accepted.

In 2016, he got really creative and filed a complaint based on the alleged violations of his human rights. He accused the Norwegian state of inhumane and degrading treatment, and torture. Now all these allegations were based on “solid” proof:

  • The use of plastic cups and paper plates
  • Having to eat microwaved meals, such as those made by Norwegian firm Fjordland*
  • Cold coffee
  • Being denied the right to meet fellow Nazi friends and marry one
  • Being prevented from publishing two books, The Breivik Diaries and The Nordic State
  • He had begun to love a reality TV show, Paradise Hotel: “clear evidence of serious brain damage caused by isolation”

Despite the terrible circumstances, there is some humour in this. Unless he really believes that eating ready made meals is worse than waterboarding, and then there is just a lot of stupidity and disrespect. Some might say “bring him to a prison where his rights are actually violated”. But one might also see that whatever he has done he stays Norwegian, believing that he has right and can claim whatever he wants if unhappy with the service. Just to get some insight in how “bad” Norwegian prisons are, here is a short video on Norwegian prisons by Micheal Moore. 

And here a less tabloid version of Norwegian prisons.

Changing his name to “idiot” 

No in 2017, he still could not publish his book, so he decided to change his name in the Norwegian registry, from Anders Behring Breivik to Fjotolf Hansen. 

Note that in Norwegian, “Fjott” means “idiot”. Free joke. Very hard not to write about it for Norwegians around, and for people to comment on it. On “baby names” forums online, Norwegians see this name as a bad choice nowadays as it makes your kid an easy target for mobbing. Nothing to worry about here, as he is already in jail, and is more the mobbing than mobbed type.

Fjotolf is also a traditional and old Norwegian name. Breivik had a lot of choices in old Norwegian male names but he chose this one. Strange, to say the least. Hansen is one of the most common names in Scandinavia. The other strange thing is that this man is probably never getting out of jail, so I don’t see him using that brand new name a lot. But that’s just me.

Now the bets are open. In 2018 he will come with something new. What will be his next move? Maybe he will ask for plastic surgery because he feel like his nose is too big and the Norwegian state owes him a self-confidence in his own body. He has lots of time on his hands, all the news in the world, and no way to influence his audience. Life is tough in Norwegian prisons. I know. He will sue all the papers and television channels of Norway for still calling him Anders Behring Breivik and not Fjotolf Hansen.

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14 thoughts on “Why did Anders Behring Breivik officially change his name to “Idiot”?

  1. Maybe he can serve his sentence in Guantanamo or an American prison. He could be Bubba’s new “girlfriend”. His complaints would not likely get past the prison walls. We are the next worse thing to a third world country with our system of punishment. Rehabilitation rarely enters the discussion.

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    1. Compared…

      Chelsea Manning served under brutal conditions for showing the world some war crimes war criminals wanted to keep hidden.

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  2. Breivik is lower than a piece of shit, but I don’t know why you’re confounding “Fjotolf” (which admittedly I’ve never heard of, and sounds idiotic) with “Fjott”.

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    1. That sounds like a Germanophobic comment, and what’s even the relevance? Breivik did what he did because he wanted to promote “support for Israel” as he summarized his main goal in his manifesto and because he hated Muslims (like the Israeli far-right does). What on earth has having a supposedly German middle name got to do with that?

      Except also, there is no evidence that the middle name is even German. I find lots of farmer-type people with the name Bering or similar as middle name dating back to the 18th century in Norway. The name could be a Norwegian name that merely “looked German” due to the spelling. Some ancestor 200 years ago could also have been named for her local priest etc.

      In addition, there isn’t a Norwegian person alive today who doesn’t have German ancestry if you go back a few centuries. Go back to the first millennium and Norwegians and Germans are exactly the same people. And Norway was in a union with a German-speaking state as late as 1814 (Schleswig-Holstein).

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    2. More ironic is your nickname “bohemianwriter”.When Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939 they rename the country Protectorate of ” Bohemia and Moravia “.

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  3. I could be way off here, but I think he was trying to make his name sound similar to that of Fridtjof Nansen, the unbelievably bada** Norwegian explorer. I wont even try to guess as to what his motives for picking such a name would be. Just a thought; please do not make rude or hateful comments. I am just throwing ideas around, not debating his person or actions.

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  4. Very flawed. You need to try to be more objective/unbiased when describing someone, even ‘Mr. Hansen’. When it comes to mobbing, in fact is has been stated that he himself would go into defence of those beeing bullied in his school, at younger age. Nothing is entirely black or white in this world. Just saying. Even a mass murderer can have performed acts of love and/or compassion. Human beeings can be strange that way. Surely, ‘Mr. Hansen’ believed he was doing the right thing, when he was in fact committing atrocities towards others.

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  5. I know we all should respect life, humans, animals & nature, but honestly I must confess that this planet could do without mental nutcases as e.g Breivik and many other murderers / rapists / terrorists .
    It’s not just about the many lives this sick idiot took ( R.I.P ) but his whole performance to get attention making waves.
    If he really is that brave, he should have ended his own sad life and strange enough many still pray he’ll run into the wrong inmate who finishes him finally….

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