Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn
Quisling (Norwegian: [ˈvidkʉn
ˈkvisliŋ] ( listen); 18 July 1887 – 24 October
1945) was a Norwegian military officer and politician who nominally
headed the government of Norway after the country was occupied by Nazi
Germany during World War II.
Quisling first came to international prominence as a close
collaborator of explorer Fridtjof Nansen, organizing humanitarian
relief during the
Russian famine of 1921
Russian famine of 1921 in Povolzhye. He was posted
as a Norwegian diplomat to the Soviet Union, and for some time also
managed British diplomatic affairs there. He returned to Norway in
1929, and served as Minister of Defence in the governments of Peder
Kolstad (1931–32) and
Jens Hundseid (1932–33), representing the
Quisling left the Farmers' Party and founded the fascist
Nasjonal Samling (National Union). Although he achieved some
popularity after his attacks on the political left, his party failed
to win any seats in the
Storting and by 1940 it was still little more
than peripheral. On 9 April 1940, with the German invasion of Norway
in progress, he attempted to seize power in the world's first
radio-broadcast coup d'état, but failed after the Germans refused to
support his government.
From 1942 to 1945 he served as Prime Minister of Norway, heading the
Norwegian state administration jointly with the German civilian
administrator Josef Terboven. His pro-
Nazi puppet government, known as
Quisling regime, was dominated by ministers from Nasjonal Samling.
The collaborationist government participated in Germany's genocidal
Quisling was put on trial during the legal purge in Norway after World
War II. He was found guilty of charges including embezzlement, murder
and high treason against the Norwegian state, and was sentenced to
death. He was executed by firing squad at Akershus Fortress, Oslo, on
24 October 1945. The word "quisling" subsequently became a byword for
"collaborator" or "traitor" in several languages, reflecting the very
poor light in which Quisling's actions were seen, both at the time and
since his death.
1 Early life
1.2.1 Paris, Eastern Europe and Norway
1.2.2 Russia and the rouble scandal
2 Early political career
2.1 Final return to Norway
2.2 Defence minister
2.3 Popular party leader
2.4 Fører of a party in decline
3 World War II
3.1 Coming of war
3.2 German invasion and coup d'état
3.3 Head of the government
3.4 Minister President
4 Arrest, trial, death, and legacy
6 Religious and philosophical views
9.1 In Norwegian
9.2 Primary sources
10 External links
Quisling (far left) with his family, c. 1915
Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn
Quisling ( Norwegian
pronunciation (help·info)) was born on 18 July 1887 in Fyresdal,
in the Norwegian county of Telemark. He was the son of Church of
Norway pastor and genealogist Jon Lauritz Qvisling (1844–1930) and
his wife Anna Caroline Bang (1860–1941), the daughter of Jørgen
Bang, ship-owner and at the time the richest man of the town Grimstad
in South Norway. The elder
Quisling had lectured in
Grimstad in the
1870s; one of his pupils was Bang, whom he married on 28 May 1886,
following a long engagement. The newly-wed couple promptly moved to
Fyresdal, where Vidkun and his younger siblings were born.
The family name derives from Quislinus, a Latinised name invented by
Quisling's ancestor Lauritz Ibsen Quislin (1634–1703), based on the
village of Kvislemark near Slagelse, Denmark, whence he had
emigrated. Having two brothers and a sister, the young Quisling
was "shy and quiet but also loyal and helpful, always friendly,
occasionally breaking into a warm smile." Private letters later
found by historians also indicate a warm and affectionate relationship
between the family members. From 1893 to 1900, his father was a
chaplain for the
Strømsø borough in Drammen. Here, Vidkun went to
school for the first time. He was bullied by other students at the
school for his
Telemark dialect, but proved a successful student.
In 1900, the family moved to
Skien when his father was appointed
provost of the city.
Quisling proved talented in humanities, particularly
history, and natural sciences; he specialised in mathematics. At this
point, however, his life had no clear direction. In 1905, Quisling
enrolled at the Norwegian Military Academy, having received the
highest entrance examination score of the 250 applicants that year.
Transferring in 1906 to the Norwegian Military College, he graduated
with the highest score since the college's inception in 1817, and was
rewarded by an audience with the King. On
1 November 1911, he joined the army General Staff. Norway
was neutral in the First World War;
Quisling detested the peace
movement, though the high human cost of the war did temper his
views. In March 1918, he was sent to Russia as an attaché at the
Norwegian legation in Petrograd, to take advantage of the five years
he had spent studying the country. Though dismayed at the
living conditions he experienced,
Quisling nonetheless concluded that
"the Bolsheviks have got an extraordinarily strong hold on Russian
society" and marvelled at how
Leon Trotsky had managed to mobilise Red
Army forces so well; by contrast, in granting too many rights to
the people of Russia, the
Russian Provisional Government
Russian Provisional Government under
Alexander Kerensky had brought about its own downfall. When the
legation was recalled in December 1918,
Quisling became the Norwegian
military's expert on Russian affairs.
Quisling replied [that] the Russian people needed wise leadership and
proper training [that they suffered from] indifference, a lack of
clearly defined goals with conviction and a happy-go-lucky attitude
[and that] it is impossible to accomplish anything without willpower,
determination and concentration.
— Alexandra recounts a conversation with her soon-to-be
husband, Yourieff 2007, p. 93
Quisling and his second wife, Maria.
In September 1919,
Quisling departed Norway to become an intelligence
officer with the Norwegian delegation in Helsinki, a post that
combined diplomacy and politics. In the autumn of 1921, Quisling
left Norway once again, this time at the request of explorer and
humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen, and in January 1922 arrived in the
Kharkov to help with the League of Nations
humanitarian relief effort there. Highlighting the massive
mismanagement of the area and the death toll of approximately ten
thousand a day,
Quisling produced a report that attracted aid and
demonstrated his administrative skills, as well as his dogged
determination to get what he wanted. On 21 August, he married
the Russian Alexandra Andreevna ("Asja") Voronina, the daughter of
a peddler. Alexandra wrote in her memoirs that
Quisling declared his
love for her, but based on his letters home and investigations
undertaken by his cousins, it appears that there was never any
question of romantic involvement between the two.
seemed to have wanted to lift the girl out of poverty by providing her
with a Norwegian passport and financial security.
Having left Ukraine in September 1922,
Quisling and Asja returned to
Kharkov in February 1923 to prolong aid efforts, with Nansen
describing Quisling's work as "absolutely indispensable."
Quisling found the situation much improved and, with no fresh
challenges, found it a more boring trip than his last. He did however
meet Maria Vasiljevna Pasetchnikova (Russian: Мари́я
Васи́льевна Па́сечникова), a Ukrainian more
than ten years his junior. Her diaries from the time "indicate a
blossoming love affair" during the summer of 1923, despite Quisling's
marriage to Asja the year before. She recalled that she was
impressed by his fluent command of the Russian language, his Aryan
appearance, and his gracious demeanour.
married Pasetchnikova in
Kharkov on 10 September 1923, although no
legal documentation has been discovered. Quisling's biographer, Dahl,
believes that in all likelihood the second marriage was never
official. Regardless, the couple behaved as though they were
married, and celebrated their wedding anniversary. Soon after the
wedding, the aid mission came to an end and the trio left the Ukraine,
and from the summer of 1923 onwards they planned to spend a year in
Paris. Maria wanted to see Western Europe;
Quisling wanted to get some
rest following bouts of stomach pain that had lasted all winter.
Paris, Eastern Europe and Norway
The stay in Paris required a temporary discharge from the army, which
Quisling slowly grew to understand was permanent: army cutbacks meant
that there would be no position available for him when he
Quisling devoted much of his time in the French
capital to study, reading works of political theory and working on his
philosophical project, which he called Universism. On 2 October 1923,
he persuaded the
Oslo daily newspaper
Tidens Tegn to publish an
article he had written calling for diplomatic recognition of the
Soviet government. Quisling's stay in Paris did not last as long
as planned, and in late 1923 he started work on Nansen's new
repatriation project in the Balkans, arriving in
Sofia in November. He
spent the next two months travelling constantly with his wife Maria.
In January she returned to Paris to look after Asja, who took on the
role of the couple's foster-daughter;
Quisling joined them in
In the summer of 1924, the trio returned to Norway where Asja
subsequently left to live with an aunt in Nice and never returned.
Quisling promised to provide for her well-being, his payments
were irregular, and over the coming years he would miss a number of
opportunities to visit. Back in Norway, and to his later
Quisling found himself drawn into the communist
Norwegian labour movement. Among other policies, he fruitlessly
advocated a people's militia to protect the country against
reactionary attacks, and asked members of the movement whether
they would like to know what information the General Staff had on
them, but he got no response. Although this brief attachment to the
extreme left seems unlikely given Quisling's later political
direction, Dahl suggests that, following a conservative childhood, he
was by this time "unemployed and dispirited ... deeply resentful
of the General Staff ... [and] in the process of becoming
politically more radical." Dahl adds that Quisling's political
views at this time could be summarised as "a fusion of socialism and
nationalism," with definite sympathies for the Soviet regime in
Russia and the rouble scandal
The Armenia commission of the League of Nations. 19 June 1925. From
left, sitting, are G. Carle, Fridtjof Nansen, and C.E. Dupuis;
standing are Vidkun Quisling, and Pio Le Savio.
In June 1925, Nansen once again provided
Quisling with employment. The
pair began a tour of Armenia, where they hoped to help repatriate
native Armenians via a number of projects proposed for funding by the
League of Nations. Despite Quisling's substantial efforts, however,
the projects were all rejected. In May 1926,
Quisling found another
job with long-time friend and fellow Norwegian
Frederik Prytz in
Moscow, working as a liaison between Prytz and the Soviet authorities
who owned half of Prytz's firm Onega Wood. He stayed in the job
until Prytz prepared to close down the business in early 1927, when
Quisling found new employment as a diplomat. British diplomatic
affairs in Russia were being managed by Norway, and he became their
new legation secretary; Maria joined him late in 1928. A massive
scandal broke when
Quisling and Prytz were accused of using diplomatic
channels to smuggle millions of roubles onto the black markets, a
much-repeated claim that was later used to support a charge of "moral
bankruptcy," but neither it nor the charge that
Quisling spied for the
British has ever been substantiated.
The harder line now developing in Russian politics led
distance himself from Bolshevism. The
Soviet government had rejected
outright his Armenian proposals, and obstructed an attempt by Nansen
to help with the 1928 Ukrainian famine.
Quisling took these rebuffs as
a personal insult; in 1929, with the British now keen to take back
control of their own diplomatic affairs, he left Russia. He was
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his
services to Britain, an honour revoked by King George VI in
1940. By this time,
Quisling had also been awarded the Romanian
Crown Order and the Yugoslav
Order of St. Sava
Order of St. Sava for his earlier
Early political career
Final return to Norway
Having spent nine of the previous twelve years abroad, but with no
practical experience in party politics outside the Norwegian Army,
Quisling returned to Norway in December 1929, bringing with him a
plan for change he termed Norsk Aktion, meaning "Norwegian
Action." The planned organisation consisted of national, regional
and local units with the intention of recruiting in the style of the
Soviet Communist Party. Like
Action Française of the French right, it
advocated radical constitutional changes. The Parliament of Norway, or
Storting, was to become bicameral with the second chamber made up of
Soviet-style elected representatives from the working population.
Quisling focused more on organisation than the practicalities of
government; for instance, all members of Norsk Aktion were to have
their own designation in a militaristic hierarchy.
Quisling next sold a large number of antiques and works of art that he
had acquired cheaply in post-revolutionary Russia. His collection
stretched to some 200 paintings, including works claimed to be by
Rembrandt, Goya, Cézanne and numerous other masters. The collection,
including "veritable treasures," had been insured for almost 300,000
kroner. In the spring of 1930, he again joined up with Prytz, who
was back in Norway. They participated in regular group meetings that
included middle-aged officers and business people, since described as
"the textbook definition of a Fascist initiative group," through which
Prytz appeared determined to launch
Quisling into politics.
After Nansen died on 13 May 1930,
Quisling used his friendship with
the editor of the
Tidens Tegn newspaper to get his analysis of Nansen
onto the front page. The article was entitled "Politiske tanker ved
Fridtjof Nansens død" ("Political Thoughts on the Death of Fridtjof
Nansen") and was published on 24 May. In the article, he outlined
ten points that would complete Nansen's vision as applied to Norway,
among them "strong and just government" and a "greater emphasis on
race and heredity." This theme was followed up in his new book,
Russia and Ourselves (Norwegian: Russland og vi), which was serialised
Tidens Tegn during the autumn of 1930. Advocating war against
Bolshevism, the openly racist book catapulted
Quisling into the
political limelight. Despite his earlier ambivalence, he took up a
seat on the
Oslo board of the previously Nansen-led Fatherland League.
Meanwhile, he and Prytz founded a new political movement, Nordisk
folkereisning i Norge, or "Nordic popular rising in Norway," with a
central committee of 31 and
Quisling as its fører – a one-man
executive committee – though
Quisling seemed to have had no
particular attachment to the term. The first meeting of the league
took place on 17 March 1931, stating the purpose of the movement was
to "eliminate the imported and depraved communist insurgency."
Quisling left Nordisk folkereisning i Norge in May 1931 to serve as
defence minister in the Agrarian government of Peder Kolstad, despite
being neither an Agrarian nor a friend of Kolstad. He had been
suggested to Kolstad for the post by Thorvald Aadahl, editor of the
Agrarian newspaper Nationen, who was in turn influenced by Prytz.
The appointment came as a surprise to many in the Parliament of
Norway. Quisling's first action in the post was to deal with the
aftermath of the Battle of Menstad, an "extremely bitter" labour
dispute, by sending in troops. After narrowly avoiding
criticism by the left wing over his handling of the dispute, and the
revelation of his earlier "militia" plans,
Quisling turned his
attention to the perceived threat posed by communists. He created
a list of the
Revolutionary Trade Union Opposition leadership, who had
been the alleged agitators at Menstad; a number of them were
eventually charged with subversion and violence against the
police. Quisling's policies also resulted in the establishment of
a permanent militia called the Leidang which, unlike the body he had
previously planned, was to be counter-revolutionary. Despite the ready
availability of junior officers in the reserve following defence cuts,
only seven units were established in 1934, and funding restrictions
meant that the enterprise included less than a thousand men before it
faded away. Sometime during the period 1930–33, Quisling's first
wife, Asja, received notice of the annulment of her marriage to
In mid-1932 Nordisk folkereisning i Norge was forced to confirm that
Quisling remained in the cabinet, he would not become a
member of the party. They further stated that the party programme had
no basis in fascism of any kind, including the National Socialism
model. This did not dampen criticism of Quisling, who remained
constantly in the headlines, although he was gradually earning a
reputation as a disciplined and efficient administrator. After he
was attacked in his office by a knife-wielding assailant who threw
ground pepper in his face on 2 February 1932, some newspapers, instead
of focusing on the attack itself, suggested that the assailant had
been the jealous husband of one of Quisling's cleaners; others,
especially those aligned with the Labour Party, posited that the whole
thing had been staged. In November 1932, Labour politician
Johan Nygaardsvold put this theory to Parliament, prompting
suggestions that charges of slander be brought against him. No
charges were brought, and the identity of the assailant has never been
Quisling later indicated it was an attempt to steal
military papers recently left by Swedish Lieutenant Colonel Wilhelm
Kleen.[nb 2] The so-called "pepper affair" served to polarise
opinion about Quisling, and government fears grew concerning
reasonably open Soviet elements in Norway who had been active in
promoting industrial unrest.
Following Kolstad's death in March 1932,
Quisling retained his post as
defence minister in the second Agrarian government under Jens Hundseid
for political reasons, though they remained in bitter opposition
throughout. Just as he had been under Kolstad,
involved in many of the spats that characterised Hundseid's
government. On 8 April that year,
Quisling had a chance to
defend himself over the pepper affair in Parliament, but instead used
the opportunity to attack the Labour and Communist parties, claiming
that named members were criminals and "enemies of our fatherland and
our people." Support for
Quisling from right-wing elements in
Norwegian society rocketed overnight, and 153 distinguished
signatories called for Quisling's claims to be investigated. In the
coming months, tens of thousands of Norwegians followed suit and
Quisling's summer was full of speeches to packed political
rallies. In Parliament, however, Quisling's speech was viewed as
political suicide; not only was his evidence weak, but questions were
raised as to why the information had not been handed over much sooner
if the revolutionary threat were so serious.
Popular party leader
Over the course of 1932 and into 1933, Prytz's influence over Nordisk
folkereisning i Norge weakened and lawyer
Johan Bernhard Hjort
Johan Bernhard Hjort assumed
the leadership role. Hjort was keen to work with
Quisling because of
his new-found popularity, and they devised a new programme of
right-wing policies including proscription of revolutionary parties
including those funded by foreign bodies such as Comintern, the
suspension of the voting rights for people in receipt of social
welfare, agricultural debt relief, and an audit of public
finances. In 1932, during the Kullmann Affair,
Quisling turned on
the prime minister for questioning his hard-line stance over pacifist
agitator Captain Olaf Kullmann. In a memorandum laying out his
proposals for economic and social reform distributed to the entire
Quisling called for the prime minister to stand down. As
the government began to collapse, Quisling's personal popularity
reached new heights; he was referred to as "man of the year," and
there were expectations of forthcoming electoral success.
Despite the new programme, some of Quisling's circle still favoured a
cabinet coup. He later said he had even considered the use of force to
overthrow the government but, in late February, it was the Liberal
Party that brought them down. With the assistance of Hjort and Prytz,
Nordisk folkereisning i Norge quickly became a political party,
Nasjonal Samling, or NS, literally "National Unity," ready to contest
the forthcoming October election.
Quisling was mildly disappointed and
would have preferred to head a national movement, not just one of
seven political parties.
Nasjonal Samling soon afterwards announced it
would support candidates from other parties if they supported its key
aim of "establishing a strong and stable national government
independent of ordinary party politics." Although not an overnight
success in the already crowded political spectrum, the party slowly
gained support. With its Nazi-inspired belief in the central authority
of a strong Führer, as well as its powerful propaganda elements, it
gained support from many among the
Oslo upper classes, and began to
give the impression that "big money" lay behind it.
Increased support also materialised when the Bygdefolkets Krisehjelp,
the Norwegian Farmers' Aid Association, sought financial aid from
Nasjonal Samling, who in turn gained political influence and a useful
existing network of well-trained party officers. Quisling's party
never managed a grand anti-socialist coalition, however, in part
because of competition from the Conservative Party for right-wing
Quisling remained unable to demonstrate any skill as
an orator, his reputation for scandal nonetheless ensured that the
electorate were aware of Nasjonal Samling's existence. As a result,
the party showed only moderate success in the October elections, with
27,850 votes—approximately two per cent of the national vote, and
about three and a half per cent of the vote in constituencies where it
fielded candidates. This made it the fifth largest party in
Norway, out-polling the Communists but not the Conservative, Labour,
Liberal or Agrarian parties, and failing to secure a single seat in
Fører of a party in decline
After the underwhelming election results, Quisling's attitude to
negotiation and compromise hardened. A final attempt to form a
coalition of the right in March 1934 came to nothing, and from late
Nasjonal Samling began to carve out its own form of
national socialism. With no leader in Parliament, however, the party
struggled to introduce the constitutional reform bill needed to
achieve its lofty ambitions. When
Quisling tried to introduce the bill
directly, it was swiftly rejected, and the party went into
decline. In the summer of 1935, headlines quoted
opponents that "heads [would] roll" as soon as he achieved power. The
threat irreparably damaged the image of his party, and over the
following few months several high-ranking members resigned, including
Kai Fjell and Quisling's brother Jørgen.
Quisling began to familiarise himself with the international fascist
movement, attending the
1934 Montreux Fascist conference
1934 Montreux Fascist conference in December.
For his party, the association with
Italian fascism could not have
come at a worse time, so soon after headlines of illegal Italian
incursions into Abyssinia. On his return trip from Montreux, he
Nazi ideologue and foreign policy theorist Alfred Rosenberg, and
though he preferred to see his own policies as a synthesis of Italian
fascism and German Nazism, by the time of the 1936 elections, Quisling
had in part become the "Norwegian Hitler" that his opponents had long
accused him of being. Part of this was due to his hardening
anti-Semitic stance, associating Judaism with Marxism, liberalism and,
increasingly, anything else he found objectionable, and part as a
result of Nasjonal Samling's growing similarity to the German Nazi
Party. Despite receiving an unexpected boost when the Norwegian
government acceded to Soviet demands to arrest Leon Trotsky, the
party's election campaign never gained momentum. Although Quisling
sincerely believed he had the support of around 100,000 voters, and
declared to his party that they would win an absolute minimum of ten
Nasjonal Samling managed to poll just 26,577, fewer than in
1933 when they had fielded candidates in only half the
districts. Under this pressure, the party split in two, with
Hjort leading the breakaway group; although fewer than fifty members
left immediately, many more drifted away during 1937.
Dwindling party membership created many problems for Quisling,
especially financial ones. For years he had been in financial
difficulties and reliant on his inheritance, while increasing numbers
of his paintings were found to be copies when he tried to sell them.
Vidkun and his brother Arne sold one
Frans Hals painting for just four
thousand dollars, believing it to be a copy and not the
fifty-thousand-dollar artwork they had once thought it to be, only to
see it reclassified as an original and revalued at a hundred thousand
dollars. In the difficult circumstances of the Great Depression, even
originals did not raise as much as
Quisling had hoped. His
disillusionment with Norwegian society was furthered by news of the
planned constitutional reform of 1938, which would extend the
parliamentary term from three to four years with immediate effect, a
Quisling bitterly opposed.
World War II
Coming of war
Quisling turned his attention towards Norway's preparations
for the anticipated European war, which he believed involved a drastic
increase in the country's defence spending to guarantee its
Quisling presented lectures entitled "The
Jewish problem in Norway" and supported
Adolf Hitler in what
appeared to be growing future conflict. Despite condemning
Kristallnacht, he sent the German leader a fiftieth-birthday greeting
thanking him for "saving Europe from Bolshevism and Jewish
domination". In 1939,
Quisling contended that, should an
Anglo-Russian alliance make neutrality impossible, Norway would have
"to go with Germany." Invited to the country in the summer of
1939, he began a tour of a number of German and Danish cities. He was
received particularly well in Germany, which promised funds to boost
Nasjonal Samling's standing in Norway, and hence spread pro-Nazi
sentiment. When war broke out on 1 September 1939,
vindicated by both the event and the immediate superiority displayed
by the German army. He remained outwardly confident that, despite its
size, his party would soon become the centre of political
For the next nine months,
Quisling continued to lead a party that was
at best peripheral to Norwegian politics. He was nonetheless
active, and in October 1939 he worked with Prytz on an ultimately
unsuccessful plan for peace between Britain, France and Germany and
their eventual participation in a new economic union.
mused on how Germany ought to go on the offensive against its
then-ally the Soviet Union, and on 9 December travelled to Germany to
present his multi-faceted plans. After impressing German
officials, he won an audience with Hitler himself, scheduled for 14
December, whereupon he received firm advice from his contacts that the
most useful thing he could do would be to ask for Hitler's help with a
pro-German coup in Norway,[nb 3] that would let the Germans use Norway
as a naval base. Thereafter, Norway would maintain official neutrality
as long as possible, and finally the country would fall under German
rather than British control. It is not clear how much Quisling
himself understood about the strategic implications of such a move,
and he instead relied on his future Minister of Domestic Affairs,
Albert Hagelin, who was fluent in German, to put the relevant
arguments to German officials in Berlin during pre-meeting talks, even
though Hagelin was prone to damaging exaggeration at times.
Quisling and his German contacts almost certainly went away with
different views as to whether they had agreed upon the necessity of a
On 14 December 1939,
Quisling met Hitler. The German leader promised
to respond to any British invasion of Norway (Plan R 4), perhaps
pre-emptively, with a German counter-invasion, but found Quisling's
plans for both a Norwegian coup and an Anglo-German peace unduly
Quisling would still receive funds to bolster
Nasjonal Samling.[nb 4] The two men met again four days later, and
Quisling wrote a memorandum that explicitly told Hitler
that he did not consider himself a National Socialist. As German
Quisling was intentionally kept in the dark.
He was also incapacitated by a severe bout of illness, probably
nephritis in both kidneys, for which he refused hospitalisation.
Though he returned to work on 13 March 1940, he remained ill for
several weeks. In the meantime, the
Altmark Incident complicated
Norway's efforts to maintain its neutrality. Hitler himself remained
in two minds over whether an occupation of Norway should require an
invitation from the Norwegian government. Finally,
his summons on 31 March, and reluctantly travelled to
Nazi intelligence officers who asked him for information on
Norwegian defences and defence protocols. He returned to Norway on 6
April and, on 8 April, the British
Operation Wilfred commenced,
bringing Norway into the war. With Allied forces in Norway, Quisling
expected a characteristically swift German response.
German invasion and coup d'état
Quisling regime § 1940 coup
In the early hours of 9 April 1940, Germany invaded Norway by air and
sea, as "Operation Weserübung," or "Operation Weser Exercise,"
intending to capture King Haakon VII and the government of Prime
Minister Johan Nygaardsvold. However, alert to the possibility of
invasion, Conservative President of the Parliament C. J. Hambro
arranged for their evacuation to
Hamar in the east of the country.
The Blücher, a German cruiser which carried most of the personnel
intended to take over Norway's administration, was sunk by cannon fire
and torpedoes from
Oscarsborg Fortress in the Oslofjord.[nb 5] The
Germans had expected the government to surrender and to have its
replacement ready; neither happened, although the invasion itself
continued. After hours of discussion,
Quisling and his German
counterparts decided that an immediate coup was necessary, though this
was not the preferred option of either Germany's ambassador Curt
Bräuer or the German Foreign Ministry.
In the afternoon,
Quisling was told by German liaison Hans Wilhelm
Scheidt that should he set up a government, it would have Hitler's
Quisling drew up a list of ministers and, although
it had merely relocated some 50 kilometres (31 mi) to Elverum,
accused the legitimate government of having "fled."[nb 6]
Meanwhile, the Germans occupied
Oslo and at 17:30 Norwegian radio
ceased broadcasting at the request of the occupying forces. With
German support, at approximately 19:30,
Quisling entered the NRK
Oslo and proclaimed the formation of a new government with
himself as Prime Minister. He also revoked an earlier order to
mobilise against the German invasion. He still lacked
legitimacy. Two orders—the first, to a friend in the military
(Colonel Hans Sommerfeldt Hiorth, the commanding officer of the army
regiment at Elverum) to arrest the government, and the second, to
Oslo chief of police—were both ignored. At 22:00, Quisling
resumed broadcasting, repeating his earlier message and reading out a
list of new ministers. Hitler lent his support as promised, and
recognised the new Norwegian government under
Quisling within 24
hours. Norwegian batteries were still firing on the German
invasion force, and at 03:00 on 10 April,
Quisling acceded to a German
request to halt the resistance of the
Bolærne fortress.[nb 7] As
a result of actions such as these, it was claimed at the time that
Quisling's seizure of power in a puppet government had been part of
the German plan all along.
Quisling now reached the high-water mark of his political power. On 10
April, Bräuer travelled to
Elverum where the legitimate Nygaardsvold
government now sat. On Hitler's orders, he demanded that King Haakon
Quisling head of a new government, thereby securing a peaceful
transition of power. Haakon rejected this demand. He went further
in a meeting with his cabinet, letting it be known that he would
sooner abdicate than appoint any government headed by Quisling.
Hearing this, the government unanimously voted to support the king's
stance, and urged the people to continue their resistance.
With his popular support gone,
Quisling ceased to be of use to Hitler.
Germany retracted its support for his rival government, preferring
instead to build up its own independent governing commission. In this
Quisling was manoeuvred out of power by Bräuer and a coalition
of his former allies, including Hjort, who now saw him as a liability.
Even his political allies, including Prytz, deserted him.
In return, Hitler wrote to
Quisling thanking him for his efforts and
guaranteeing him some sort of position in the new government. The
transfer of power on these terms was duly enacted on 15 April, with
Hitler still confident the Administrative Council would receive the
backing of the king. Quisling's domestic and international
reputation both hit new lows, casting him as both a traitor and a
Head of the government
Once the king had declared the German commission unlawful, it became
clear that he would never be won over. An impatient Hitler appointed a
German, Josef Terboven, as the new Norwegian Reichskommissar, or
Governor-General, on 24 April, reporting directly to him. Despite
Hitler's assurances, Terboven wanted to make sure that there would be
no room in the government for the
Nasjonal Samling nor its leader
Quisling, with whom he did not get along. Terboven eventually
accepted a certain
Nasjonal Samling presence in the government during
June, but remained unconvinced about Quisling. As a result, on 25
June, Terboven forced
Quisling to step down as leader of the Nasjonal
Samling and take a temporary leave of absence in Germany. Quisling
remained there until 20 August, while Rosenberg and Admiral Erich
Raeder, whom he had met on his earlier visit to Berlin, negotiated on
his behalf. In the end,
Quisling returned "in triumph," having won
Hitler over in a meeting on 16 August. The
Reichskommissar would now
have to accommodate
Quisling as leader of the government, then allow
him to rebuild the
Nasjonal Samling and bring more of his men into the
cabinet. Terboven complied and addressed the Norwegian people in a
radio broadcast in which he asserted that the
Nasjonal Samling would
be the only political party allowed.
As a result, by the end of 1940 the monarchy had been suspended
Parliament of Norway
Parliament of Norway and a body resembling a cabinet
remained. The Nasjonal Samling, the only pro-German party, would be
cultivated, but Terboven's Reichskommissariat would keep power in the
Quisling would serve as acting prime minister and ten of the
thirteen "cabinet" ministers were to come from his party. He set
out on a programme of wiping out "the destructive principles of the
French Revolution," including pluralism and parliamentary rule. This
reached into local politics, whereby mayors who switched their
allegiance to the
Nasjonal Samling were rewarded with much greater
powers. Investments were made in heavily censored cultural programmes,
though the press remained theoretically free. To bolster the survival
chances of the Nordic genotype, contraception was severely
restricted. Quisling's party experienced a surge in membership to
a little over 30,000, but despite his optimism it was never to pass
the 40,000 mark.
Heinrich Himmler visited Norway in 1941. Seated (from left to right)
are Quisling, Himmler, Terboven, and General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst,
the commander of the German forces in Norway.
On 5 December 1940,
Quisling flew to Berlin to negotiate the future of
Norway's independence. By the time he returned on 13 December, he
had agreed to raise volunteers to fight with the German Schutzstaffel
(SS). In January, SS head
Heinrich Himmler travelled to Norway to
Quisling clearly believed that if Norway
Nazi Germany on the battlefield, there would be no reason
for Germany to annex her. To this end, he opposed plans to have a
German SS brigade loyal only to Hitler installed in Norway. In
the process, he also toughened his attitude to the country harbouring
the exiled king, the United Kingdom, which he no longer saw as a
Nordic ally. Finally,
Quisling aligned Norwegian policy on Jews with
that of Germany, giving a speech in Frankfurt on 26 March 1941 in
which he argued for compulsory exile, but warned against
Quisling was shattered by the death of his mother Anna, as the
two had been particularly close. At the same time, the political
crisis over Norwegian independence deepened, with
Terboven with his resignation over the issue of finance. In the end,
Reichskommissar agreed to compromise on the issue, but Quisling
had to concede on the SS issue: A brigade was formed, but as a branch
of the Nasjonal Samling.
Quisling (left) and
Josef Terboven (center)
inspects an honorary partnership of
Statspolitiet (State Police)
officers in 1942.
Quisling (left) and Terboven (right) in front of an honorary
partnership of the paramilitary Hirden.
Meanwhile, the government line hardened, with Communist Party leaders
arrested and trade unionists intimidated. On 10 September 1941, Viggo
Rolf Wickstrøm were executed and many more imprisoned
following the milk strike in Oslo. Hansteen's execution was later seen
as a watershed moment, dividing the occupation into its more innocent
and more deadly phases. The same year the
Police"), abolished in 1937, was reestablished to assist the Gestapo
in Norway, and radio sets were confiscated across the country. Though
these were all Terboven's decisions,
Quisling agreed with them and
went on to denounce the government-in-exile as "traitors." As a result
of the toughened stance, an informal "ice front" emerged, with
Nasjonal Samling supporters ostracised from society. Quisling
remained convinced this was an anti-German sentiment that would fade
away once Berlin had handed power over to the Nasjonal Samling.
However, the only concessions he won in 1941 were having the heads of
ministries promoted to official ministers of the government and
independence for the party secretariat.
In January 1942, Terboven announced the German administration would be
wound down. Soon afterwards he told
Quisling that Hitler had approved
the transfer of power, scheduled for 30 January.
doubtful it would happen since Germany and Norway were in the midst of
complex peace negotiations that could not be completed until peace had
been reached on the Eastern Front, while Terboven insisted that the
Reichskommissariat would remain in power until such peace came
Quisling could nevertheless be reasonably confident that
his position within the party and with Berlin was unassailable, even
if he was unpopular within Norway, something of which he was well
After a brief postponement, an announcement was made on 1 February
1942, detailing how the cabinet had elected
Quisling to the post of
Minister-President of the national government. The
appointment was accompanied by a banquet, rallying and other
celebrations by the
Nasjonal Samling members. In his first speech,
Quisling committed the government to closer ties with Germany. The
only change to the Constitution was the reinstatement of the ban on
Jewish entry into Norway, which had been abolished in 1851.
Quisling's office at the Royal Palace, into which he moved in February
His new position gave
Quisling a security of tenure he had not
previously enjoyed, although the Reichskommissariat remained outside
his control. A month later, in February 1942,
Quisling made his first
state visit to Berlin. It was a productive trip, in which all key
issues of Norwegian independence were discussed—but Joseph Goebbels
in particular remained unconvinced of Quisling's credentials, noting
that it was "unlikely" he would "... ever make a great
Back at home,
Quisling was now less concerned about Nasjonal Samling's
membership and even wanted action to clean up the membership list,
including purging it of drunkards. On 12 March, Norway officially
became a one-party state. In time, criticism of, and resistance to,
the party was criminalised, though
Quisling expressed regret for
having to take this step, hoping that every Norwegian would freely
come around to accept his government.
This optimism was short-lived. In the course of the summer of 1942,
Quisling lost any ability he might have had to sway public opinion by
attempting to force children into the Nasjonal Samlings Ungdomsfylking
youth organisation, which was modelled on the Hitler Youth. This move
prompted a mass resignation of teachers from their professional body
and churchmen from their posts, along with large-scale civil unrest.
His attempted indictment of Bishop
Eivind Berggrav proved similarly
controversial, even amongst his German allies.
Quisling now toughened
his stance, telling Norwegians that they would have the new regime
forced upon them "whether they like it or not." On 1 May, the German
High Command noted that "organised resistance to
Quisling has started"
and Norway's peace talks with Germany stalled as a result. On 11
August, Hitler postponed any further peace negotiations until the war
Quisling was admonished and learned that Norway would not get
the independence he so greatly yearned for. As an added insult, for
the first time he was forbidden to write letters directly to
Quisling had earlier pushed for a corporate alternative to the
Parliament of Norway, the Storting, which he called a Riksting. It
would comprise two chambers, the Næringsting (Economic Chamber) and
Kulturting (Cultural Chamber). Now, in advance of Nasjonal Samling's
eighth and last national convention on 25 September and becoming
increasingly distrustful of professional bodies, he changed his mind.
The Riksting became an advisory body while the Førerting, or Fører
Council, and parliamentary chambers were now to be independent bodies
subordinate to their respective ministries.[nb 8]
After the convention, support for Nasjonal Samling, and Quisling
personally, ebbed away. Increased factionalism and personal losses,
including the accidental death of fellow politician Gulbrand Lunde,
were compounded by heavy-handed German tactics, such as the shooting
of ten well-known residents of
Trøndelag and its environs in October
1942. In addition, the lex Eilifsen ex-post facto law of August 1943,
which led to the first death sentence passed by the regime, was widely
seen as a blatant violation of the Constitution and a sign of Norway's
increasing role in the Final Solution, would destroy everything the
convention had achieved in terms of boosting party morale.
Quisling signing an autograph, 1943.
With government abatement and Quisling's personal engagement, Jews
were registered in a German initiative of January 1942. On 26 October,
German forces, with help from the Norwegian police, arrested 300
registered male Jews in Norway and sent them to concentration camps,
most in Berg and manned by Hirden, the paramilitary wing of Nasjonal
Samling. Over-65s were quickly released by the Norwegian
government. Most controversially, the Jews' property was confiscated
by the state.[nb 9]
On 26 November, the detainees were deported, along with their
families. Although this was an entirely German initiative—Quisling
himself was left unaware of it, although government assistance was
Quisling led the Norwegian public to believe that the first
deportation of Jews, to camps in Poland, was his idea. A further
250 were deported in February 1943, and it remains unclear what the
party's official position was on the eventual fate of the 759
Norwegian deportees. There is evidence to suggest that Quisling
honestly believed the official line throughout 1943 and 1944, that
they were awaiting repatriation to a new Jewish homeland.[nb 10]
At the same time,
Quisling believed that the only way he could win
back Hitler's respect would be to raise volunteers for the
now-faltering German war effort, and he committed Norway
wholeheartedly to German plans to wage total war. For him at
least, after the German defeat at Stalingrad in February 1943, Norway
now had a part to play in keeping the German empire strong. In April
Quisling delivered a scathing speech attacking Germany's refusal
to outline its plans for post-war Europe. When he put this to Hitler
in person, the
Nazi leader remained unmoved despite Norway's
contributions to the war effort.
Quisling felt betrayed over this
postponement of Norwegian freedom, an attitude that waned only
when Hitler eventually committed to a free post-war Norway in
Quisling tired during the final years of the war. In 1942 he passed
231 laws, 166 in 1943, and 139 in 1944. Social policy was the one area
that still received significant attention. By that autumn, Quisling
and Mussert in the Netherlands could be satisfied they had at least
survived. In 1944, the weight problems
Quisling had been having
during the preceding two years also eased.
Despite the increasingly dire military outlook, Nasjonal Samling's
position at the head of the government, albeit with its ambiguous
relationship to the Reichskommissariat, remained unassailable.
Nevertheless, the Germans exerted increasing control over law and
order in Norway. Following the deportation of the Jews, Germany
deported Norwegian officers and finally attempted to deport students
from the University of Oslo. Even Hitler was incensed by the scale of
Quisling became entangled in a similar debacle in
early 1944 when he forced compulsory military service on elements of
the Hird, causing a number of members to resign to avoid being
On 20 January 1945,
Quisling made what would be his final trip to
visit Hitler. He promised Norwegian support in the final phase of the
war if Germany agreed to a peace deal that would remove Norway's
affairs from German intervention. This proposal grew out of a fear
that as German forces retreated southwards through Norway, the
occupation government would have to struggle to keep control in
northern Norway. To the horror of the
Quisling regime, the Nazis
instead decided on a scorched earth policy in northern Norway, going
so far as to shoot Norwegian civilians who refused to evacuate the
region. The period was also marked by increasing civilian
casualties from Allied air raids, and mounting resistance to the
government within occupied Norway. The meeting with the German leader
proved unsuccessful and upon being asked to sign the execution order
of thousands of Norwegian "saboteurs,"
Quisling refused, an act of
defiance that so enraged Terboven, acting on Hitler's orders, that he
stormed out of the negotiations. On recounting the events of the
trip to a friend,
Quisling broke down in tears, convinced the Nazi
refusal to sign a peace agreement would seal his reputation as a
Quisling spent the last months of the war trying to prevent Norwegian
deaths in the showdown that was developing between German and Allied
forces in Norway. The regime worked for the safe repatriation of
Norwegians held in German prisoner-of-war camps. Privately, Quisling
had long accepted that National Socialism would be defeated. Hitler's
suicide on 30 April 1945 left him free to pursue publicly his chosen
end-game, a naïve offer of a transition to a power-sharing government
with the government-in-exile.
On 7 May,
Quisling ordered police not to offer armed resistance to the
Allied advance except in self-defence or against overt members of the
Norwegian resistance movement. The same day, Germany announced it
would surrender unconditionally, making Quisling's position
untenable. A realist,
Quisling met military leaders of the
resistance on the following day to discuss how he would be arrested.
Quisling declared whilst he did not want to be treated as a common
criminal, he did not want preferential treatment compared to his
Nasjonal Samling colleagues. He argued he could have kept his forces
fighting until the end, but had chosen not to so as to avoid turning
"Norway into a battlefield." Instead, he tried to ensure a peaceful
transition. In return, the resistance offered full trials for all
Nasjonal Samling members after the war, and its leadership
agreed he could be incarcerated in a house rather than a prison
Arrest, trial, death, and legacy
See also: Legal purge in Norway after World War II
The civil leadership of the resistance, represented by lawyer Sven
Quisling be treated like any other murder suspect
and, on 9 May,
Quisling and his ministers turned themselves in to
Quisling was transferred to Cell 12 in Møllergata 19,
the main police station in Oslo. The cell was equipped with a tiny
table, a basin, and a hole in the wall for a toilet bucket.
After ten weeks being constantly watched to prevent suicide attempts
in police custody, he was transferred to
Akershus Fortress and awaited
trial as part of the legal purge. Despite initially losing weight
and suffering from polyneuritis, his strong constitution meant that he
soon started working hard on his case with Henrik Bergh, a lawyer with
a good track record but largely unsympathetic, at least initially, to
Quisling's plight. Bergh did, however, believe Quisling's testimony
that he tried to act in the best interests of Norway and decided to
use this as a starting point for the defence.
Initially, Quisling's charges related to the coup, including his
revocation of the mobilisation order, to his time as Nasjonal Samling
leader and to his actions as Minister President, such as assisting the
enemy and illegally attempting to alter the constitution. Finally, he
was accused of Gunnar Eilifsen's murder. Whilst not contesting the key
facts, he denied all charges on the grounds that he had always worked
for a free and prosperous Norway, and submitted a sixty-page
response. On 11 July, a further indictment was brought, adding a
raft of new charges, including more murders, theft, embezzlement and,
most worrying of all for Quisling, the charge of conspiring with
Hitler over the 9 April occupation of Norway.
I know that the Norwegian people have sentenced me to death, and that
the easiest course for me would be to take my own life. But I want to
let history reach its own verdict. Believe me, in ten years' time I
will have become another Saint Olav.
Quisling to Bjørn Foss, 8 May 1945, Dahl 1999, p. 367
The trial opened on 20 August 1945. Quisling's defence rested on
downplaying his unity with Germany and stressing that he had fought
for total independence, something that seemed completely contrary to
the recollections of many Norwegians. From that point on, wrote
Quisling had to tread a "fine line between truth and
falsehood," and emerged from it "an elusive and often pitiful
figure." He misrepresented the truth on several occasions and the
entirely truthful majority of his statements won him few advocates in
the country at large, where he remained almost universally despised.
In the later days of the trial, Quisling's health suffered, largely as
a result of the number of medical tests to which he was
subjected, and his defence faltered. The prosecution's
powerful final speech placed responsibility for the Final Solution
being carried out in Norway at the feet of Quisling, using the
testimony of German officials. The prosecutor
Annæus Schjødt called
for the death penalty, using laws introduced by the
government-in-exile in October 1941 and January 1942.
Quisling's residence, Villa Grande, in 1945, which he called "Gimlé",
a name taken from Norse mythology.
Erudite speeches by both Bergh and
Quisling himself could not change
the outcome. When the verdict was announced on 10 September, Quisling
was convicted on all but a handful of minor charges and sentenced to
An October appeal to the Supreme Court was rejected. The court
process was judged to be "a model of fairness" in a commentary by
author Maynard Cohen. After giving testimony in a number of other
Nasjonal Samling members,
Quisling was executed by firing
Akershus Fortress at 02:40 on 24 October 1945. His
last words before being shot were, "I'm convicted unfairly and I die
innocent." After his death his body was cremated, leaving the
ashes to be interred in Fyresdal.
His widow Maria lived in
Oslo until her death in 1980. They had
no children. Upon her death, she donated all their Russian antiques to
a charitable fund that still operated in
Oslo as of August 2017.
For most of his later political career,
Quisling lived in a mansion on
Oslo that he called "Gimle," after the place in Norse
mythology where survivors of the great battle of
Ragnarök were to
live. The house, later renamed Villa Grande, in time became a
Holocaust museum. The
Nasjonal Samling movement was wiped out as
a political force in Norway, though
Quisling himself has become one of
the most written about Norwegians of all time. The word quisling
itself became synonymous with traitor. The term was coined by the
The Times in its lead of 15 April 1940, titled
"Quislings everywhere." The noun survived, and for a while during
and after World War II, the back-formed verb to quisle /ˈkwɪzəl/
was used. One who was quisling was in the act of committing
To his supporters,
Quisling was regarded as a conscientious
administrator of the highest order, knowledgeable and with an eye for
detail. Balanced and gentle to a fault, they believed he cared deeply
about his people and maintained high moral standards throughout.
To his opponents,
Quisling was unstable and undisciplined, abrupt,
even threatening. Quite possibly he was both, at ease among friends
and under pressure when confronted with his political opponents, and
generally shy and retiring with both. During formal dinners he often
said nothing at all except for the occasional cascade of dramatic
rhetoric. Indeed, he did not react well to pressure and would often
let slip over-dramatic sentiments when put on the spot. Normally open
to criticism, he was prone to assuming larger groups were
Post-war interpretations of Quisling's character are similarly mixed.
After the war collaborationist behaviour was popularly viewed as a
result of mental deficiency, leaving the personality of the clearly
Quisling an "enigma." He was instead seen as weak,
paranoid, intellectually sterile and power-hungry: ultimately "muddled
rather than thoroughly corrupted."
The Norwegian sociologist
Johan Galtung described
Quisling as a
mini-Hitler with a CMT (chosenness-myth-trauma) complex, or
alternatively, megalo-paranoia, more often diagnosed in modern times
as narcissistic personality disorder. He was "well installed in his
personality," but unable to gain a following among his own people as
the population did not provide a mirror for Quisling's ideology. In
short, he was "a dictator and a clown on the wrong stage with the
wrong script." As quoted by Dahl, psychiatrist Professor Gabriel
Langfeldt stated Quisling's ultimate philosophical goals "fitted the
classic description of the paranoid megalomaniac more exactly than any
other case [he had] ever encountered."
During his time in office,
Quisling rose early, often having completed
several hours of work before arriving at the office between 9:30 and
10:00. He liked to intervene in virtually all government matters,
reading all letters addressed to him or his chancellery personally and
marking a surprising number for action.
independently minded, made several key decisions on the spot and,
unlike his German counterpart, he liked to follow procedure to ensure
that government remained "a dignified and civilised" affair
throughout. He took a personal interest in the administration of
Fyresdal, where he was born.
He rejected German racial supremacy and instead saw the Norwegian race
as the progenitor of northern Europe, tracing his own family tree in
his spare time. Party members did not receive preferential
Quisling did not himself share in the wartime
hardships of his fellow Norwegians. Nevertheless, many gifts went
unused and he did not live extravagantly.
Religious and philosophical views 
Quisling's library included the works of a number of eminent
Quisling was interested in science, Eastern religions and metaphysics,
eventually building up a library that included the works of Spinoza,
Kant, Hegel, and Schopenhauer. He kept up with developments in the
realm of quantum physics, but did not keep up with more current
philosophical ideas. He blended philosophy and science into a new
religion he called Universism, or Universalism, which was a unified
explanation of everything. His original writings stretched to a
claimed two thousand pages. He rejected the basic teachings of
orthodox Christianity and established a new theory of life, which he
called Universism, a term borrowed from a textbook which Jan Jakob
Maria de Groot had written on Chinese philosophy. De Groot's book
argued that Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism were all part of a world
religion that De Groot called Universism.
Quisling described how his
philosophy "... followed from the universal theory of relativity, of
which the specific and general theories of relativity are special
Quisling wanted universism to be the official state
religion of his new Norway, and he said "the positing of such a system
depends on the progress of science."
His magnum opus was divided into four parts: an introduction; a
description of mankind's apparent progression from individual to
increasing complex consciousnesses; a section on his tenets of
morality and law; and a final section on science, art, politics,
history, race and religion. The conclusion was to be titled The
World's Organic Classification and Organisation, but the work remained
Quisling worked on it infrequently during his
time in politics. The biographer
Hans Fredrik Dahl describes this as
Quisling would "never have won recognition" as a
During his trial and particularly after being sentenced, Quisling
became interested once more in Universism. He saw the events of the
war as part of the move towards the establishment of God's kingdom on
earth and justified his actions in those terms. During the first week
of October, he wrote a fifty-page document titled Universistic
Aphorisms, which represented "... an almost ecstatic revelation of
truth and the light to come, which bore the mark of nothing less than
a prophet." The document was also notable for its attack on the
materialism of National Socialism. In addition, he simultaneously
worked on a sermon, Eternal Justice, which reiterated his key beliefs,
^ Increasingly bitter over the treatment he had received from the
military, he eventually took up a post in the reserves on the reduced
salary of a captain, and received a promotion to major in 1930.
^ Attempts to establish exactly what the
Oslo authorities managed to
achieve in trying to find the assailant have been hampered by the loss
of the original case file.
Quisling himself seemed to have rejected
the idea that the plot had been masterminded by an important military
power such as the Russians or Germans.
Quisling considered the fourth and constitutionally dubious session
of the Parliament of Norway, due to open on 10 January 1940, as the
mostly likely time for
Nasjonal Samling to face an exploitable crisis.
During 1939 he had firmed up a list of candidates for an incoming
^ Immediately after the meeting on 14 December, Hitler ordered his
staff to draw up preparations for an invasion of Norway.
^ Dahl suggests that the mix-up was in part due to Quisling's earlier
statement to the Germans that he "did not believe" the Norwegian sea
defences would open fire without previous orders to do so.
^ The option of a "Danish solution"—welcoming the invaders in order
to avoid conflict—was still on the table. In this way, the Nazis
were avoiding choosing between the rival centres of power. This
became impossible only after Quisling's announcement at 19:30.
^ Though now accepted, this charge was later one of the few for which
the jury at Quisling's trial did not find sufficient evidence.
^ Only the Cultural Chamber actually came into being with the Economic
Chamber postponed because of unrest within the professional bodies it
was supposed to represent.
^ Property confiscations were enabled by a law of 26 October.
Quisling's motivations in passing such a law have proved
controversial, alternately labelled as collaborationist and an
actively anti-collaborationist attempt to stop the occupiers from
confiscating Jewish property.
^ In reality, their destination was the extermination camp at
Quisling understood the realities of the final
solution is suggested by authors such as Høidal, but the theory has
never been proven.
^ Borgen 1999, p. 273.
^ a b Juritzen 1988, p. 11
^ Juritzen 1988, p. 12.
^ Dahl 1999, pp. 6, 13–14.
^ Dahl 1999, p. 21.
^ Juritzen 1988, p. 15.
^ Hartmann 1970, p. 10.
^ a b c Borgen 1999, p. 275.
^ a b c d Dahl 1999, pp. 6–7.
^ Dahl 1999, p. 25.
^ a b Dahl 1999, pp. 28–29.
^ Dahl 1999, pp. 32–34, 38.
^ Dahl 1999, pp. 38–39.
^ Maynard M. Cohen (1 September 2000). A Stand Against Tyranny:
Norway's Physicians and the Nazis. Wayne State University Press.
pp. 49–. ISBN 0-8143-2934-9.
^ Dahl 1999, pp. 40–42.
^ Dahl 1999, pp. 43–44.
^ Yourieff 2007, p. 172.
^ Yourieff 2007, p. 100.
^ a b c Dahl 1999, pp. 45–47.
^ Hartmann 1970, p. 33.
Quisling 1980, pp. 30–31
^ a b Dahl 1999, pp. 48–49.
^ a b Dahl 1999, p. 50.
^ Hartmann 1970, p. 30.
^ Dahl 1999, pp. 53–54.
^ a b Dahl 1999, pp. 54–56.
^ Yourieff 2007, pp. 450–452.
^ Dahl 1999, p. 57.
^ Dahl 1999, p. 58.
^ Dahl 1999, pp. 59–62.
^ Dahl 1999, pp. 62–66.
^ a b c Dahl 1999, pp. 67–69.
^ "People". Time Magazine. 24 June 1940. p. 1. Retrieved 28 April
^ Borgen 1999, p. 278.
^ Dahl 1999, pp. 4–5.
^ Dahl 1999, p. 7.
^ a b Dahl 1999, pp. 12–13.
^ a b c Dahl 1999, pp. 70–73.
^ Hartmann 1970, p. 45.
^ Hartmann 1970, pp. 48–49.
^ Dahl 1999, pp. 73–76.
^ Hartmann 1970, pp. 54–55.
^ Hartmann 1970, p. 64.
^ a b c Dahl 1999, pp. 76–78.
^ Cohen 2000, p. 51.
^ Ringdal 1989, p. 31.
^ Høidal 1989, pp. 85–87.
^ Hartmann 1970, pp. 76–80.
^ a b c Dahl 1999, pp. 78–81.
^ Yourieff 2007, p. 467.
^ a b Dahl 1999, pp. 80–83.
^ Hartmann 1970, pp. 83–84.
^ Hayes 1971, p. 86
^ Høidal 1989, p. 109.
^ Dahl 1999, p. 83.
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vidkun Quisling.
Block, Maxine, ed. (1940).
Current Biography Yearbook. New York,
United States: H. W. Wilson.
Cohen, Maynard M. (2000). A stand against tyranny: Norway's physicians
and the Nazis. Detroit, United States: Wayne State University Press.
Dahl, Hans Fredrik (1999). Quisling: A Study in Treachery.
Stanton-Ife, Anne-Marie (trans.). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge
University Press. ISBN 0-521-49697-7.
Galtung, Johan (1997). "Is There a Therapy for Pathological
Cosmologies?". In Turpin, Jennifer E.; Kurtz, Lester R. The Web of
Violence: from interpersonal to global. Champaign, United States:
University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06561-1.
Hayes, Paul M. (1966). "Quisling's Political Ideas". Journal of
Contemporary History. 1 (1): 145–157.
doi:10.1177/002200946600100109. JSTOR 259653.
Hayes, Paul M. (1971). Quisling: the career and political ideas of
Vidkun Quisling, 1887–1945. Newton Abbot, United Kingdom: David
& Charles. OCLC 320725.
Høidal, Oddvar K. (1989). Quisling: A study in treason. Oslo, Norway:
Universitetsforlaget. ISBN 82-00-18400-5.
Larsen, Stein Ugelvik. "Charisma from Below? The
Quisling Case in
Norway." Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions 7#2 (2006):
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1933-1945: An Analysis of Membership Data" in Stein Ugelvik Larsen,
Bernt Hagtvet, and Jan Petter Myklebust, eds. Who were the fascists:
social roots of European fascism (Columbia University Press, 1980).
Barth, E. M. (1996). Gud, det er meg: Vidkun
Quisling som politisk
filosof (in Norwegian). Oslo, Norway: Pax Forlag.
Borgen, Per Otto (1999). Norges statsministre (in Norwegian). Oslo,
Norway: Aschehoug. ISBN 82-03-22389-3.
Bratteli, Tone; Myhre, Hans B. (1992). Quislings siste dager (in
Norwegian). Oslo, Norway: Cappelen. ISBN 82-02-13345-9.
Hartmann, Sverre (1970) . Fører uten folk. Forsvarsminister
Quisling – hans bakgrunn og vei inn i norsk politikk (in
Norwegian) (2nd revised ed.). Oslo, Norway: Tiden Norsk Forlag.
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Quisling og hans to kvinner (in
Norwegian). Oslo, Norway: Aventura. ISBN 82-588-0500-2.
Ringdal, Nils Johan (1989). Gal mann til rett tid: NS-minister Sverre
Riisnæs – en psykobiografi (in Norwegian). Oslo, Norway:
Aschehoug. ISBN 82-03-16584-2.
Quisling, Maria (1980). Parmann, Øistein, ed. Dagbok og andre
efterlatte papirer (in Norwegian). Oslo, Norway: Dreyer.
Yourieff, Alexandra Andreevna Voronine; Yourieff, W. George; Seaver,
Kirsten A. (2007). In Quisling's shadow: the memoirs of Vidkun
Quisling's first wife, Alexandra. Stanford, United States: Hoover
Institution Press. ISBN 978-0-8179-4832-0.
Vidkun Quisling: "Russland und Wir", 1942, (A German book written by
Quisling about Russia)
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