The political party ”Nasjonal Samling” (National Unity) was formed in Oslo on the 17th May 1933, with Major Vidkun Quisling as leader, and State Attorney Johan Bernhard Hjort as second leader. At that time, Quisling was 46 years old, and Hjort was 38. This party was quite different than the other Norwegian political Parties at that time, and very clearly based its politics on a ”leader” (fører) system, quite far from the democratic standards in Norway.
The N.S Party Program clearly stated the abolishment of all political parties; only one was to exist: N.S.
Symbols and expressions within N.S were taken from Norwegian Viking traditions. The main N.S symbol was an encircled Golden Cross on red background, the “St. Olav´s Cross”.
The party was organized in a ”National Organization” (Riksorganisasjon), a Woman Organization, (NS Kvinneorganisasjon), a Combat Organization (NS Kamporganisasjon), a Youth Organization, (Nasjonal Samlings Ungdoms-Fylking – NSUF) and the Hird. The latter was to be the hard-core political uniformed storm troops of NS, and equivalent to the German S.A.
During the elections in 1933, Nasjonal Samling had a co-operation with the Farmers Aid organisation, (Bydgefolkets Krisehjelp), and they two finally got 27 850 votes. This was quite a huge number, since N.S only had existed for 4 months. At the county elections in 1934, N.S continued their success, especially in Stavanger where the local leader Gulbrand Lunde, a young and popular politician, finally collected 2558 votes for the Party.
In the early days, Nasjonal Samling was deeply religiously rooted, and gained relatively huge support from both the Church and the religious parts of the population. As the party grew more militant from 1935, the pro-German and anti-Semitic section of the Party got more power, and N.S lost most of their influence in the Church.
The number of members in N.S is very difficult to estimate. A research by Bergen University in 1976, stated that only 2000 remained as members after the German invasion on the 9th April 1940. This number is, however, regarded as far to low in other researches. After the Invasion, the number of members grew to an estimate of 50 000, with an additional 6000 from NSUF. The number might even have been as high as 60 000.
During 1944-45, some members left the Party, and some were excluded, but in no large numbers.
Nasjonal Samling had a political program, which clearly was Nationalist to the extreme, and it also became more and more influenced by the German N.S.D.A.P. However, in the Party program dated 1937, Quisling stated that Nasjonal Samling had nothing to do with N.S.D.A.P, and the NS-newspapers denied all accusations of a racial based politics. N.S was, as quoted, a ”Deeply rooted Norwegian, National, Spiritual and Christian movement.”. Quisling often even stated that he had inspired Hitler to crate his ideology, since Quisling had created his political philosophy as early as in 1917-18.
Quisling never impressed the Germans, but had some support too: Alfred Rosenberg was enthusiastic about him, and prominent members of the German Navy, like Admiral Raeder also supported Quisling. This, together with Quislings personal appearance, made the relationship between the German leader in Norway, Reichskommisar Joseph Terboven and Quisling extremely bad.
Quisling pronounced his ”National Government” during two radio speeches on the evening of 9th April 1940. This was to consist of:
Church,- and Educational Minister:
Minister of Justice:
Minister of Social Affairs:
Minister of Trade:
Minister of Agriculture:
Minister of Labour:
Minister of Finance:
Minister of Defence:
This government never got permanent; several members even declined to participate. On the 25th September 1940, Josef Terboven declared a new government, which was to consist of:
Department of Internal Affairs
Department of Church, - and Educational Affairs
Department of Culture
Department of Justice
Department of Social Affairs
Department of Trade and Industry.
Department of the Merchant Navy
Department of Agriculture
Department of Labour
Department of Supplies
On the 25th September all these men got the title of Minister, and this title was also given to the General Secretary of N.S: Rolf Jørgen Fuglesang, a young and popular man. He was the former leader of the “University Students N.S Organisation).
When Quisling, now bearing the title of ”Ministerpresident” appointed his permanent government on the 1st February 1942, Sanberg, Johansen and Ravner left the Government. Anton F. Prytz got Minister of Finance, Eivind Stenersen Blehr (b. 1881, Cand.Jur.) got Minister of Trade. After the accidental death of Gulbrand Lunde on the 25th October 1942, Rolf Jørgen Fuglesang succeeded him.
Hustad, Blehr, Hagelin and Fretheim left this government before the war ended, and new ministers got appointed:
When Minister of Finance Prytz died in 1945, Per Einarsøn Von Hirsch, born 1902 succeeded him.
JUDGES OF THE HIGH COURT
The following judges were appointed to members of the High Court in December 1940: J. Andreas Mohr, b. 1882
The latter never joined, so a new Judge was appointed instead: Birger Motzfeld, b. 1904.
During the Trials after the war, members of the NS Government got the following sentences:
The last N.S prisoner was released in November 1957.
46 085 members of N.S got sentenced, and about 23 000 of them were imprisoned. 4800 of these were so-called “Frontfighters” (Frontkjempere).
All these information's are from the Trials 1945-47
Members of “Germanske SS Norge”, (GSSN)
* In October 1944 “Germanske SS Norge” (GSSN) had 3422 ”stoettemedlemmer” (”Aiding members”.)
* A quote by Leif Schjøren, the ex-Staff Chief of GSSN: ”Not many of the ”members” in GSSN were actually really members, because the rules said that first you had to serve as an ”aspirant” for one year, and you also had to have the ”genetic papers” checked and found OK. The latter was mostly not possible during the war”.
* According to Schjøren (also Karl Leib), Jonas Lie was never interested in the political aspects at all. This concerned the German SS authorities, and they later (unsuccessfully) tried to replace Lie with Sverre Riisnaes. Jonas Lie only saw GSSN as a) a combat unit and b) the opportunity to create a high-quality formation for police use.
* One fact, that caused serious conflicts between Nasjonal Samling (NS) and GSSN, was the considerable number of Freemasons in NS. Quoted by Rolf Fuglesang.
* Leif Schoeren was enlisted into Waffen SS, and sent to Berlin on the 22 March 1945 (more or less voluntarily). He actually strayed around in Germany during the chaos until the Americans in Frankfurt am Main arrested him. He was at that time together with Egil Holst Torkhildsen. The latter escaped to Argentina.
* Listing of NS/SS newspapers in Norway, or papers strongly influenced by NS/SS: *
Local NS-newspapers: Main paper: “Nasjonal Samling” (only 6 issues), Later “Fritt Folk”