Military Review

Quisling - the Nazi governor of Norway: how his family name has become a common noun

Quisling - the Nazi governor of Norway: how his family name has become a common noun

1 February 1942 was appointed Vidkun Quisling as Minister-President of Norway. For many decades, the name of this man has become synonymous with collaborationism, betrayal of his own people and their interests. Meanwhile, the activities of Quisling, who headed the Norwegian government during the Nazi occupation, became a logical consequence of its ideological evolution. Quisling was at the highest state posts in Norway long before the country was occupied by the Wehrmacht, and even then he did not hesitate to express sympathy for the Nazi ideology, and then for Adolf Hitler.

As is known, in the second half of the XIX century, the Scandinavian countries came to the conclusion that it was desirable to maintain neutrality during the conflicts of world powers. Denmark, Sweden and Norway did not take part in the First World War, which made it possible to avoid negative consequences for the economy and demography. After World War I, Norway also focused on maintaining neutrality. Even immediately before the start of World War II, the Norwegian leadership hoped that the country would be able to maintain neutrality. Although among the part of the Norwegian elite Germanophile sentiments were strong, but in spite of them, the country hoped to avoid participation in the war. Moreover, Norway also had developed economic and political relations with Great Britain.

- Quisling inspects its supporters

Norway was of strategic interest to Germany. Firstly, Berlin hoped to gain access to the country's non-freezing ports, which would allow it to enter the Arctic Ocean. For a war against Great Britain, and in the long run the Soviet Union, this would be an invaluable gain. Secondly, Germany would have the opportunity to freely export iron ore from Sweden, demanded by the military industry of the Third Reich.
Hitler feared that if Germany did not send troops into the territory of Norway, then sooner or later the forces of the Anglo-French coalition would land in this northern country - and then plans to ensure access to the northern ports would not be accomplished. In addition, at the end of 1939, the United Kingdom began to put pressure on Norway to practically close the channels of Norwegian exports to Germany. The Norwegian government, forced to submit to British pressure, thus questioned the neutrality of Norway - it turned out that the country is fulfilling the will of one of the participants in the anti-Hitler coalition.

Adolf Hitler decided on an armed invasion of Scandinavia with the aim of capturing Denmark and Norway. One of the decisive roles in persuading the Führer to send the German armed forces to the Scandinavian countries was played by the Commander-in-Chief Kriegsmarine, Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, who was well aware that access to the Norwegian ports would greatly enhance the power of the German fleet. On April 9, 1940, the Danish-Norwegian operation or Operation Weserubung began. Despite the fierce resistance that the Norwegian army and Allied forces showed to the Germans - British, French and Polish formations aimed at helping Norway, Germany won. Between June 3 and 8, 1940, the last units of the Allies were evacuated from Norway, and on June 16, 1940, the Germans occupied the entire territory of Norway.

Another 19 on April 1940 was created by the Reichskommissariat Norway, headed by Obergruppenführer SA Joseph Terbovin (1898-1945), the former chief president of the Rhine Province, a veteran of the First World War and a member of the Nazi Party from 1923 of the year. The occupation of the country by the Nazis caused a negative reaction from the vast majority of Norwegians. After the war, historians will be able to get a rough idea of ​​how many Norwegians still supported the occupation. It was possible to establish that the Nazis supported no more than 10% of the Norwegian population. Anti-Hitler demonstrations periodically took place in the country, ending with the intervention of the police; there were underground groups operating. Nevertheless, the Hitlerite leadership did not lose hope for the "pacification" of the Norwegians. The main instrument of this “pacification” was the Norwegian collaborators, primarily concentrated in the National Unity party. She was created in 1933 by the Norwegian politician Vidkun Quisling.

Despite the negative image that remained forever in the European stories, Vidkun Quisling was an outstanding man with an interesting biography. He was born on July 18 1887 in the family of pastor and writer Young Quisling. The Quisling family was very wealthy and enjoyed great influence in the Telemark district. Then the family moved to Skien, where Quisling - the father took the position of senior pastor of the city. Vidkun Quisling did well in school and would probably associate himself with scientific activities, but then the young man’s priorities changed. In 1905, he entered the Norwegian Military Academy, deciding to become a professional military. In 1906, Quisling transferred to the Norwegian Military College and graduated from this educational institution in 1911, with the best results for the entire nearly century-long history of the college. After completing his studies, Quisling, as the best graduate, was assigned to the General Headquarters of the Norwegian Army. In March 1918, he was assigned to Soviet Russia - to Petrograd, as a military attache of the Norwegian diplomatic mission. Such an appointment was not an accident. By this time, Quisling had specialized in the study of Russia for five years. However, his stay in Russia was not very long - already in December 1918, Quisling, together with the diplomatic mission, returned to Norway, where he continued to serve in headquarters as a military expert on Russia. In 1919, Quisling, as an intelligence officer, was assigned to a diplomatic mission in Finland, where he served until the 1921 year. Then Quisling again visited Russia - this time as part of the humanitarian mission of the League of Nations in Kharkov. In August 1922, he married a Russian girl, Alexander Andreyevna Voronina. However, a year later, during the next business trip to Russia, the 35-year-old Norwegian officer found a new passion - 25-year-old Maria Vasilyevna Pasechnikova.

Returning to Norway, Quisling engaged in revolutionary activities, which was very atypical for a man of his social status, especially a military intelligence officer. However, most likely, in that period of life, the communist ideas most closely corresponded to the personal ideological position of Quisling himself, who was impressed by the successes of Soviet Russia. At this time, Quisling even suggested that the Norwegian socialists take the lead in creating the "workers' guard" detachments. However, the leaders of the Workers' Party of Norway reacted to the strange officer with great concern. They found him a provocateur and accused of working for British intelligence, refusing to cooperate with Quisling.

In 1926-1927 He again worked in Russia - this time, in Moscow. Since Norway at that time represented the interests of Great Britain in Soviet Russia, Quisling performed intermediary functions between the Soviet authorities and the British. He returned to his homeland only in the 1929 year - in complete disillusion with the changed policy of the Soviet authorities. However, from Russia Quisling brought conviction in the need for fundamental changes in the political system of Norway. He decided to establish his own political party, the organizational structure of which largely used the experience of the Bolsheviks. This is how the Norwegian Action appeared - Norsk Aktion. In addition, Quisling participated in meetings of a group of senior officers of the Norwegian army and businessmen who were in right-wing positions. In 1930, Quisling and his long-time acquaintance, entrepreneur Frederick Pryts, organized the Nordisk folkereisning i Norge movement - “The Scandinavian People's Sunrise in Norway”. In May 1931, Vidkun Quisling was appointed Minister of Defense of Norway in the government of Peder Kolstad. In this post, Quisling actively intervened in matters of domestic policy, in particular, he organized the persecution of leaders of the Norwegian radical trade unions. After the death of Kolstad, Quisling retained the post of minister of war in the government of Jens Hundesade. Only in 1933, he resigned, taking up the issues of building the National Unity party.

The party, created by Quisling, shared nationalist ideas and tried to reproduce ideology of German Nazism on Norwegian soil, speculating on Norse mythology and Aryan identity of Norse people. However, these ideas never became popular in Norwegian society. In the parliamentary elections in October 1933, the National Unity suffered a crushing defeat, receiving an 2,2% vote. The party could not even join the Norwegian parliament. Even more impressive was the failure in the communal elections of 1937 of the year, where the “National Unity” received 0,06% of the vote.

However, Quisling himself, despite the political failures of his party, continued to work on the formation of Norwegian nationalist ideology, which he saw as a synthesis of Italian fascism and German Nazism. But, unlike the Italian fascists, Quisling was distinguished by extreme anti-Semitism and tried to interpret all the events of world politics on the basis of Judeophobic conspiracy theory. Quisling's similar views caused rejection even in the more or less sensible part of the Norwegian far right. In the 1939 year, on the eve of the start of World War II, Quisling called for an increase in defense spending, explaining this by the need to "defend neutrality." At the same time, he argued that if the USSR and Great Britain oppose Germany and would not leave Norway with the possibility of maintaining neutrality, Oslo should take the side of Berlin. When German troops invaded Norway, Quisling on the Norwegian radio announced the transfer of power in the country into their own hands and formed a pro-German government, which existed, however, only five days. Moreover, the decision to dissolve the Quisling government was then made by Adolf Hitler himself - for reasons of preserving the prestige of the occupation authorities, since Quisling did not enjoy the support of even a small part of the Norwegian population. Nevertheless, Quisling did not get tired of demonstrating full loyalty to the Nazis. In the end, 1 February 1942, he was appointed to the post of Minister-President of Norway. So Quisling became the "förr" of Norway. In fact, the Reichskommissar Joseph Terboven (in the photo) had real power in the country, and Quisling personified the imaginary solidarity of the Norwegian people with the Nazi occupiers.

Quisling’s three-year rule was accompanied by the following decisions, which caused real hatred on the part of the Norwegians. First, concentration camps were established, in which the oppositionists were imprisoned, primarily from among the Communists and Socialists, as well as Jews. Secondly, “National Unity” was proclaimed the only political party in Norway. In October 1942, Quisling banned the entry of people of Jewish nationality into Norway. During the autumn - winter 1942-1943. almost half of Norwegian Jews were deported to concentration camps. Since anti-Semitism before Quisling was practically not developed in Norway, even Norwegians far from politics perceived this decision of Quisling and his supporters as a real crime. The country began acts of disobedience and civil contempt towards members of the Quisling Party.

In August, 1943, the Quisling government declared war on the Soviet Union. More than 70 of thousands of Norwegian citizens were mobilized on the Eastern Front, however, mobilization turned out to be torn down - there was a massive desertion in the Norwegian parts, and draftees evaded mobilization. However, about 6 thousands of Norwegians participated in the war against the USSR. It should be noted that there were also volunteers who were part of the 1 of the Legion of the SS “Norway” created by 1941 August XNUMX.

- arrested Quisling

The occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany ended on May 8 of the year 1945. On the same day, the Reich Commissar of Norway, Obergruppenführer Joseph Terboven, and the Supreme Leader of the SS and the Norwegian Police, Obergruppenführer, the SS and Police General Wilhelm Radis, were blown up by a grenade to avoid arrest. The next day, 9 May 1945, Vidkun Quisling was arrested at his residence in Oslo. Unlike Hitler’s officers, Quisling did not commit suicide — obviously, he believed that he could survive. But the former minister-president was accused of treason and put in jail. October 24 1945 of the year 58-year-old Vidkun Quisling was shot at Akershus Fortress.

After the liberation of Norway, a real campaign against traitors and collaborators began in the country. In total, over 28 thousand people were arrested. Among those arrested were thousands of Norwegian women cohabiting with Nazi soldiers and officers during the occupation years. Despite the fact that most of the women were soon released, they were subjected to the strongest public censure. A difficult fate awaited children born from such marriages. At the same time, the minimum number of Norwegians was sentenced to death - only 25 people from among collaborators who collaborated with the Germans.

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  1. Engineer
    Engineer 1 February 2017 15: 49
    A difficult fate awaited children born from such marriages.

    Yes, they placed such children in mental hospitals! The civilized country of Norway.
    And it is worth mentioning that the Norwegians almost did not resist the occupation and I willingly joined the ranks of volunteers who fought on the eastern front. In particular, they helped the Finnish brothers starve people in Leningrad.
    1. your1970
      your1970 1 February 2017 18: 23
      The country periodically held anti-Hitler demonstrationsending with the intervention of the police, there were clandestine groups.And they also put a paperclip into the lapel of clothes as a symbol of resistance. True, the Germans only began to disarm the police (theirs, Norwegian, and their own !!!) only in 1944 ..
      Beautiful picture - 1941, Smolensk, 25 demonstration against occupation, which is dispersed by local police .... belay belay
      It was precisely this variant of the war that Hitler was counting on apparently (what would happen in Poland / Norway / France / who else got in his way ...) - when he got into the USSR ...
  2. soldier
    soldier 1 February 2017 17: 21
    An interesting article on a little-studied topic. Thanks to the author
  3. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 1 February 2017 17: 33
    Somehow one-sidedly lit.
    1) The Norwegian army focussed against the Germans for 2 months, which is a lot.
    2) The Navy left for England and became part of the British. About 30,000
    Norwegians fought in the Allied army.
    3) The king and the entire parliament fled to England and created an anti-Nazi government.
    4) Partisans - a little, but they were. Several major sabotage against German submarines on
    bases in Norway were. And at the "heavy water" plant.
    1. venaya
      venaya 1 February 2017 18: 08
      Quote: voyaka uh
      Somehow one-sidedly lit.

      Really. I add that the wife of the Reichsmarschall Henry Goering was ethnic Norwegian. The book dedicated to her and her husband Goering in Norwegian was looked through personally.
  4. knn54
    knn54 1 February 2017 17: 36
    Question - Quisling is the Nazi governor of Norway: how did his surname become a household name.
    Answer - But, unlike the Italian fascists, Quisling was distinguished by extreme anti-Semitism and tried to interpret all the events of world politics based on the anti-Semitic theory of conspiracy.
    Queenslingers designate traitors NOT all stripes and ranks.
    I would like to note another.
    This is one of the puppets - the dictator does not pull. Therefore condemned and executed. The Yankees severely punished the "competitors" for the world governance project. But humanely reacted to the "true" dictators who fought with the USSR (Horthy, Franco, Salazar, Mannerheim) ... And who became assistants in creating the "Iron Curtain".
    PS Without justifying the traitor, I want to note that in his own way he saw the future of Norway. And TODAY the descendants of the proud Vikings are turning into slaves of every Afro-Asian scum.
    1. your1970
      your1970 1 February 2017 18: 40
      Quote: knn54
      The Yankees severely punished the "competitors" for the project of managing the world. But they humanely reacted to the "true" dictators who fought against the USSR (Horthy, Franco, Salazar, Mannerheim) ...
      1) Mannerheim I.V. Stalin deleted from the lists of Nuremberg.
      2) Franco and Salazar, of course, they fought ... Or not?
      "In World War II, Portugal was a strictly neutral country, even more neutral than Franco-Spain. Portuguese soldiers, even on a voluntary basis, did not participate in the war with the USSR, nor in any battles against the Third Reich. In 1944, Salazar, however, allowed the allies of the anti-Hitler coalition to use military bases in the Azores, and also helped to save 2000 refugees from Gibraltar, sheltering them in Portuguese Madeira in 1940. "
      Franco - "Blue Division" and tungsten (the supply of which is more harmful to the Red Army).
      "The documentary film Karl Hofker" Azul Blue Division. History of Spanish Volunteers "provides the following data on the total losses of Spanish volunteers on the Eastern Front from" 47000 people, the total losses were 3600 people who died, in addition 8500 wounded, 7800 sick with various diseases, and 1600 people they got frostbite and 321 people were captured. "They stayed at the front for a year and a half."
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 1 February 2017 18: 59
        But Franco refused to let German troops in
        Africa through the territory of Spain, although Hitler pressed very hard.
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 1 February 2017 19: 27
          Quote: voyaka uh
          But Franco refused to let German troops in
          Africa through the territory of Spain, although Hitler pressed very hard.

          Franco had no choice: Spain, ravaged by the Civil War, was purchasing food in America. After entering the war, these supplies would be discontinued.
          But the Reich did not have free food - in 1941, when the operation "Felix" was discussed, the Germans had to include the requisition of the crop from the territory of the USSR planned for occupation in the food balance of the year. Otherwise, a hole with a size of 30 percent was formed in the balance sheet. And rations in the Reich were already declining.
          Simple chain "war -> cut off supplies -> hunger"led Spain to a new Civil. Moreover, even in 1941 Madrid did not control all of Spain.
          So Caudillo bustled, exposing obviously impracticable requirements and claiming those territories that Germany would never give him. smile
        2. your1970
          your1970 1 February 2017 19: 36
          Quote: voyaka uh
          But Franco refused to let German troops in
          Africa through the territory of Spain, although Hitler pressed very hard.
          - and what is the war with the USSR here? And what, as they say? Franco, it turns out, he helped the allies - unlike the statement knn54 which is being discussed ...
          1. knn54
            knn54 1 February 2017 23: 00
            -Franco, it turns out, he helped the allies - unlike the statement of knn54 ...
            Read carefully:
            a) the conversation is about the war with the USSR.
            b) "helped" because and survived. Then they removed it with the hands of the Basque separatists.
            c) which is important (!) - was not anti-Semite.
            And as said "mine1970" the supply of tungsten by Portugal to Nazi Germany helped the latter no less. Than Franco's division.
            1. Alexey RA
              Alexey RA 2 February 2017 10: 16
              With the Blue Division not so simple. Its formation and sending to the Eastern Front were, rather, a solution to the domestic and foreign policy problems of Spain itself, rather than helping the Germans.
              Caudillo killed three birds with one stone:
              - getting rid of the most radical part of his supporters, who were already starting to look badly in his direction and accusing Franco of excessive softness (in addition, these scumbags, by their punitive raids inside Spain, again kindled the Civil Flames, which Franco tried to put out);
              - getting rid of part of well-disguised communists who also did not fail to take such a chance to get into the USSR;
              - Improved relations with the Reich, spoiled after the failure of negotiations on the “Felix”.
            2. Sergej1972
              Sergej1972 5 February 2017 23: 49
              Franco did not clean, he died his death.
  5. Alexey RA
    Alexey RA 1 February 2017 19: 22
    Despite the fierce resistance that the Norwegian army and the Allied forces - the British, French and Polish formations aimed at helping Norway, offered the Germans, Germany won.

    Hehehehe ... actually, initially the Allied forces were not directed at all to help Norway. They were sent .... surprise - for the invasion and occupation of Norway. Operation Wilfred was only a couple of days late.
    On March 28, Reynaud went to London for a meeting of the Allied Supreme Military Council, determined to insist on the immediate implementation of the plan of invasion of Norway, which Churchill had been upholding for so long.
    However, there was no need for such pressure, for, as Churchill writes about this, Chamberlain was already "more and more inclined to take certain decisive measures." As in the spring of 1939, having made a decision, Chamberlain immediately began to energetically pursue its implementation. Opening the meeting of the council, he not only spoke out in favor of actions in Norway, but also demanded the implementation of a plan for mining from the air of the Rhine and other rivers in Germany - another of Churchill's beloved brainchild. On this occasion, Raynaud expressed some doubt, saying that he needed to obtain the consent of the French military committee. At the same time, the French Prime Minister strongly supported the operation in Norway.
    It was planned to mine the Norwegian waters on April 5, and then land troops in Narvik, Trondheim, Bergen and Stavanger. The first contingent of troops was to leave for Narvik on April 8th. But there was a new delay: the French military committee did not agree to the laying of mines in the Rhine, for fear of possible retaliation from the Germans, which would primarily affect France. No one, of course, showed such concern about the retaliation that would fall on Norway’s head in the event of the landing of the Allied forces, and Gamelen even stated that one of the goals of this operation was to "trap the enemy, provoking him to land in Norway." Chamberlain, however, insisted on both operations and persuaded Churchill to go to Paris on April 4 to try again to convince the French to accept the Rhine plan. (The attempt was unsuccessful.)
    Thus, the plan for the invasion of Norway, code-named "Wilfred", was delayed for some time. Strangely, Churchill agreed with this postponement, although at a meeting of the military cabinet a day earlier, the Minister of War and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that a large number of German transports were concentrated in ports near Norway. A rather absurd assumption was made (surprisingly, they believed him!) That these forces were ready and awaiting the landing of the British troops in order to launch a counterattack.
    The start of the operation in Norway was postponed for three days - until April 8th. This new postponement fatally reduced the Allies' chances of success in the operation, as it enabled the Germans to invade Norway before the Allies.
    © Liddel-Garth
    1. your1970
      your1970 1 February 2017 19: 42
      they even wanted to start mining ports in Norway ..
      Here is the charm of double standards - the “terribly evil Dictator Stalin” annexed the Baltic states (which had been Russian for centuries, and even bordered on the USSR), and the “good” Chamberlain — squeezed Norway — which basically had no relation to England, did not border not feuding with her.
      And nothing, all in a bundle - what are such double standards ???
      1. Alexey RA
        Alexey RA 2 February 2017 09: 58
        Quote: your1970
        they even wanted to start mining ports in Norway ..

        Not just wanted, but started mining - the day before the German invasion:
        On the morning of April 8, English ships began mining the territorial waters of Norway near Narvik. Information about German military preparations coming to London and the Scandinavian capitals was not taken seriously there. On April 7, Sweden rejected the Anglo-French demarche of April 5 and stated that it would resist violating its neutrality. On April 8, the Norwegian government protested England over mining the territorial waters of Norway, but decided not to resist the allies.

        After the mine production, the EMs and the Rinaun that covered them managed to go exactly to the German airborne cover group in Narvik (Scharnhorst and Gneisenau) - and brazenly and cynically attacked them, despite the superiority of the Germans in power. In response, the Germans performed 101st karate technique - exhausting the enemy. In the end, the Germans managed to break away.
      2. Niccola Mack
        Niccola Mack 5 February 2017 09: 15
        Here is the charm of double standards - "the terribly evil Dictator Stalin"

        There is another example of triple standards - on August 25, 1941, the USSR and Great Britain jointly occupied Iran, not paying attention to the protests of the Shah. the "evil Dictator Stalin" immediately turned into "a good ally to Uncle Joe."
        By the way, for the USSR, there was one interesting nuance in the deployment of troops under the “Operation Concord” - its actions were legal. Since under the agreement on Soviet-Iranian friendship from 1921 such a deployment of troops was stipulated - British actions were illegal - but when did it worry?
  6. parusnik
    parusnik 1 February 2017 20: 00
    At the same time, the minimum number of Norwegians was sentenced to death - only 25 from among collaborators who collaborated with the Germans.
    ... This was probably sentenced to death by "immoderate" collaborators, and the rest were "moderate" .. apparently they decided on it ..: Understand and forgive ... smile
  7. Alexahndr
    Alexahndr 2 February 2017 18: 17
    The people of Norgis have always been quiet dirty tricks, and they are. If a Russian man and a bear chasing him meet in the tundra of a norgu, then the Norwegian will allow to tear the unfortunate man away, and then he will shoot the bear Rationality in Norwegian.
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 3 February 2017 18: 45
      Are such cases known? belay
  8. Niccola Mack
    Niccola Mack 5 February 2017 09: 27
    Secondly, Germany would have the opportunity to freely export iron ore from Sweden, demanded by the Third Reich military industry.

    This argument always surprises me - look at the map and be surprised.
    The way from Sweden itself to Germany is much closer than from Norway, and to reach Denmark (occupied by Germany) with a hand at all.
    Why transport ore through Norway - in full view of GrandFleet - is not clear at all?
    1. conrad
      conrad 3 January 2018 00: 44
      A.1 Then the main deposits of iron ore are located in the northern part of Sweden (in the village of Kiruna) and it can be exported through the ice-free nearby Narvik all year round.
      A.2 These "iron caravans" were most likely off the coast of occupied Norway, where it was not difficult to ensure their safety by the forces of the aviation and navy.
  9. ligre
    ligre April 9 2017 22: 40
    Quisling was simply an effective manager, his Norwegians should carry it on his hands, he actually saved Norway from destruction.
  10. gramatey
    gramatey 22 May 2017 10: 59
    Our Norwegian neighbors also contributed to the victory over Nazism. They fought in Soviet partisan detachments, participated in sabotage, and transmitted intelligence information. The Soviet soldiers who escaped from the concentration camps were almost never betrayed or surrendered (unlike Poles, for example). A bit about the Norwegian heroes -