Vidkun Quisling

Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn Quisling (; 18 July 1887 – 24 October 1945) was a Norwegian military officer and politician, mostly known as the nominal head of 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 Ukraine. 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 and Jens Hundseid (1932–33), 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 9 April 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 Germany’s Final Solution. 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 24 October 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.

Content from the Wikipedia article Vidkun Quisling licensed under CC-BY-SA.