Positions and Continuities
Nasjonal Samling’s Foreign Office in Germany during the Second World War: Organisation, Strategies and Cooperation (Nicola Karcher)
Nasjonal Samling’s Foreign Office in Germany during the Second World War: Organisation, Strategies and Cooperation Nicola Karcher Introduction For decades the Norwegian public associated National Socialism and treason with the political party Nasjonal Samling (National Unity, NS). Two events triggered this perception: First, party leader Vidkun Quisling attempted a coup and declared him- self prime minister on April 9, 1940, the day Germany occupied Norway. Second, a collaboration government was formed a few months later on September 25, which was based on the NS. Quisling failed to form an own government as early as in April and was removed from office a few days later. Nevertheless, Hitler decided to rely on the NS in the course of the summer 1940. Although this particular National Socialist party had been politically entirely insignificant prior to the occupation of Norway, it collaborated with the German occupying power until May 8, 1945.1 The NS was symbolically founded on the Norwegian national day on May 17, 1933. It first and foremost perceived of itself as a nationalist unification movement. As such, the party was composed of heterogeneous individuals. Apart from estab- lished representatives of the middle class, the industry, the farming community and the military, there were ecclesiastical representatives, proponents of a neopagan and pan-Germanic racism, traditional nationalists and followers of Fascism.2 Even though the foundation of the NS was beyond any doubt inspired by the success of National Socialism in Germany, and the Norwegian public understood it to be a copy of the NSDAP...
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