Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pop History Moment: The Execution of Vidkun Quisling

Few people in history have been so good at what they do that their name becomes synonymous with their vocation; Vidkun Quisling, though, was one such person.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPrior to the outbreak of World War II, Quisling and Johan Bernhard Hjort formed Nasjonal Samling (NS), or 'National Unity', a fascist political party in Norway founded in accordance with the same principle of Führerprinzip as applied to the National Socialists under Adolf Hitler.

Unilaterally declaring himself Premier of Norway following Operation Weserübung in April 194o, the former Minister of Defence tried to form a government under Josef Terboven, who'd been appointed Reichskommissar. Shortly thereafter The Times of London coined the term 'quisling' to mean 'traitor' or 'collaborator'.

Following the abolition of Norway's monarchy, Quisling was named Minister-President or Fører in February 1942; he remained in power until his arrest in May 1945, despite having never been recognized by the popular King, Haakon VII, and therefore enjoying little or no support from ordinary Norwegians. Although his party did boast 50,000 members at one point during the occupation, as many as half of these received jail time following the war.

Beginning with the outbreak of peace after six years of war Norway began to prosecute its traitors, and the chief quisling among them was naturally Quisling himself, along with the other two leaders of NS, Albert Viljam Hagelin and Ragnar Skancke. Quisling was found guilty of treason for his role in the coup of April 1940, and sentenced to death.

All three were eventually executed by firing squad at Akershus Fortress in Oslo, Vidkun Quisling's fatal bullet being the first to do its righteous duty on this day in 1945.
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Anonymous said...

You are mistaken. I can defend the position. Write to me in PM, we will communicate.

michael sean morris said...

Yeah, that'll happen. If you can't even be bothered to not be anonymous, I can't be bothered to care what you have to say - especially in defense of a fascist villain.

John Cain from Tacoma, WA said...

More a question than a comment. I am reading Redbreast. The Author stated that Quisling was executed by a fireing squad of marksmen who shot him several times until he bled to death. From what I know that sounds like a fine death for him. But I want to know if that is an historical fact or a literary truth, so to speak.