Friday, April 19, 2013



Vidkun Quisling was a middle-management politician in Norway, during the mid-30s until his execution for collaboration with the Nazis in 1945. But for that, ahem, stellar achievement, we might never have heard of him. As it is, his name has joined the pantheon of epithets that I for one, would never care to have associated with my name.

I guess smiling wasn't part of the portraitist's contract.

Vidkun was never one to let the grass grow under his feet, nor anywhere else it seems. Before going into politics, he proved himself in the military, joining the General Staff in 1911. His specialty was Russian Affairs and he himself had a hand in the architecture of the Russian famine of 1921 in Ukraine. I'm sure his father, a Church of Norway pastor, was displeased, although Wiki doesn't say. Vidkun went to Moscow with a colleague, one Frederick Prytz, and when he left in 1927, Vidkun stayed on and managed British diplomatic affairs. King George V, appointed him Commander of the Order of the British Empire, but was an Indian Giver, after Vidkun's later behavior. Two observations here. Couldn't the Brits have found an, oh, I don't know, an ACTUAL BRIT to manage their affairs? And, two, what did Winny have to say about all of this? King George being rather dim-mish.

King George V looks like Prince Albert, looks like Czar Nicholas, looks like Kaiser Wilhelm... They're not dim-mish; they're inbred cretins!

Anyway, our anti-hero mediocred his way back to Norway and started a party called the Nasjonal Samling in 1933. It didn't do much and didn't poll well. As classrooms go, so do parliaments; the NS just sort of hung out in the back of the classroom, throwing spitballs at the teach and passing notes. This went on for about 9 years, when Hitler and the SS with the Wehrmacht came a-knocking at the door.

Quisling collaborated with the German invasion and from 1942 to 1945, Vidkun Quisling served as Minister-President of Norway, working with the occupying forces. His government, referred to as the “Quisling regime,” was dominated by his old ministers from his Nasjonal Samling. The collaborators, unwittingly or not, participated in Hitler's Final Solution. I myself, believe they DID know what was going on. Quisling had finally reached the pinnacle to which he thought he belonged.

At the end of the war, Quisling was put on trial during the legal purge in Norway. He was found guilty of charges including high treason, embezzlement, murder, and executed by firing at Akerhus Fortress, Oslo, on October 24, 1945. During the war, quisling became synonymous with the word traitor. It is still in use today.

McCarthy wasn't a traitor, just unaware of how dangerous he truly was. Stalin said of him, "Why should we worry about tearing America apart? They are doing it to themselves."

In refreshing my memory of this WWII incident, I was reminded of a similar incident, that had results not quite so catastrophic, but were still horrible for the people involved. “Tail Gunner Joe,” or Joseph P. McCarthy, the junior Senator from Wisconsin was awash in his own mediocrity and by chance hit on the “Reds Under the Bed” idea and spent the next several years trying to get people to give up their friends, family and work colleagues as members of the American Communist party. My father was scarred by it, to the extent that he was upset when I stated my political views on national television. Neither of these men, McCarthy, or Quisling believed in what they were doing; they were corrupted by power and cared nothing for who became hurt in the process.

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