Quisling, Vidkun, 1887-1945

A former Army officer and government minister, Quisling was the leader of the Norwegian Nazi Party, the Nasjonal Samling. On 14 December 1939 he visited HITLER and showed him his plans for a coup in neutral Norway. Hitler, while stalling Quisling, prepared his own plans for an invasion of Norway which would depend not on the ability of the Norwegian Nazi Party followers but on the strength of the German Army for its success. On 9 April 1940 the Germans invaded Norway and Quisling became the Head of the puppet government; most Norwegian ministers and officers in the government resigned within a week of his appointment. In September even the Germans were having difficulty agreeing with him and he was ousted. In February 1942 he was reinstated by Reichskommissar Terboven as Minister President but he had no real authority. At the end of the war he surrendered himself to the police and was tried for high treason. He was found guilty and executed on 24 November 1945. Considered by the Norwegians, the Allies and most of the world as a traitor of the worst type, there is little doubt that he regarded himself as a patriot who tried to achieve the best ‘deal’ possible for Norway.

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