The World at War


Vidkun Quisling

Quisling was born on July 18, 1887 at Akerhus Fortress, Oslo and is best known for his collaboration with the Germans which established his name as a synonym for "traitor".
     Quisling entered the Norwegian Army in 1911 serving as military attache in Petrograd in 1918-1919 and Helsinki from 1919-1921. He participated in relief work in Russia under the famous arctic explorer and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen and later for the League of Nations. As minister of defense from 1931 to 1933 he gained noteriety for the suppression of a labor strike by hydroelectric workers. He resigned from the government to form the fascist National Union Party, promising to suppress the communists and unionists but was not able to gain a seat in the Storting (parliament).
     After a meeting with Hitler in December of 1939 Quisling urged a German invasion of Norway. When this came to pass in April 1940, he proclaimed himself head of government but his regime lasted only a week. He served in the occupation government and was named minister president under Reich Commissioner Josef Terboven.
     Quisling's attemps to convert church, schools and youth to National Socialism was strongly resisted by the Norwegians who had a strong sense of themselves and was a total failure.
     He was held responsible for sending over 1,000 Jews to die in the concentration camps. For this and other crimes he was executed in October 1945.

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