Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonsson Quisling


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(b. 18 July 1887, d. 24 Oct. 1945)

Prime Minister of Norway 1942–5 Born in Fyresdal, the son of a Lutheran pastor, he had a brilliant early career in the army and became a general staff officer by the age of 24. He entered politics in 1931 and was Minister of Defence (1931–2). He left the government, however, in order to found the Fascist Nasjonal Samling Party in 1933. His aim was to combat Communism, which he had encountered as a member of the Norwegian legation to the USSR and as part of Nansen's team to help Russian refugees. After the outbreak of World War II, he visited Hitler in December 1939, in order to encourage him to undertake the conquest of Norway. After the invasion of April 1940, as leader of the only permitted political party he collaborated fully with the Germans. In 1942 Quisling became Prime Minister of the puppet pro‐German government. After Norway's liberation in 1945 he was arrested, charged with high treason, and executed. In English, ‘quisling’ has since come to denote collaboration with the enemy.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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