|“||Do not handicap yourself with the idea of revenge, for the trend of things will revenge your wrong not only upon the individuals responsible for your persecution, but on the society that has permitted this lawlessness.||„|
|~ Vidkun Quisling|
Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn Quisling (July 18th, 1887 – October 24th, 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 Fridtjof Nansen, organizing humanitarian relief during the 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 – 1932) and Jens Hundseid (1932 – 1933), representing the Farmers' Party. Although Quisling achieved some popularity after his attacks on the political left, his party failed to win any seats in the Storting and was little more than peripheral in 1940. On April 9th, 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 Minister-President, heading the Norwegian state administration jointly with the German civilian administrator Josef Terboven. His pro-Nazi puppet government, known as the Quisling regime, was dominated by ministers from Nasjonal Samling, the party he founded in 1933. The collaborationist government participated in the Holocaust.
Quisling was put on trial during the legal purge in Norway after World War II and found guilty of charges including embezzlement, murder and high treason. He was executed by firing squad at Akershus Fortress, Oslo, on October 24th, 1945. The word "quisling" has since become a synonym for "collaborator" or "traitor," reflecting the very poor light in which Quisling's actions were seen, both at the time and since his death.
He even has a trope named after him called the quisling as well.
Quisling entered the army in 1911 and served as military attaché in Petrograd (St. Petersburg; 1918–19) and in Helsinki (1919–21). He assisted in relief work in Russia under the famous Arctic explorer and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen and later for the League of Nations. In the absence of diplomatic relations between Britain and Soviet Russia, he represented British interests at the Norwegian legation in Moscow (1927–29). As minister of defense in an agrarian government (1931–33), he gained notoriety for repressing a strike by hydroelectrical workers. He resigned from the government in 1933 to form the fascist Nasjonal Samling (National Union) Party, which stood for suppression of Communism and unionism, but he never gained a seat in the Storting (parliament).
At a meeting with Adolf Hitler in December 1939, Quisling urged a German occupation of Norway; after the German invasion of April 1940, he proclaimed himself head of the government. Although his regime came under widespread bitter attack and collapsed within a week, he continued to serve in the occupation government and was named “minister president” in February 1942 under Reich commissioner Josef Terboven.
Quisling’s attempts to convert the church, schools, and youth to National Socialism aroused fervent Norwegian opposition. He was held responsible for sending nearly 1,000 Jews to die in concentration camps. After the liberation of Norway in May 1945, he was arrested, found guilty of treason and other crimes, and executed.