Vidkun Quisling: The Man Who Sold his Country to the Third Reich

A peaceful, unnamed town is taken over by
an unnamed Army. The invaders arrive by surprise, aided by
the treason of an insider: the scheming shop keeper Corell. The traitor seeks recognition from the new
Masters, an appointment as new Mayor, but he is despised and put to the side both by
the occupiers and the townsfolk. The locals, under the moral leadership of
Mayor Orden and the town doctor, gradually wear down the morale of their enemies. At first with passive resistance, gradually
evolving into sabotage and the killing of soldiers. This is the plot premise of ‘The Moon is
Down’, a novel by celebrated American writer John Steinbeck. The novel was published in 1942 as an explicit
tool of propaganda: it was translated into several European languages and distributed
clandestinely across occupied Europe, where it inspired local resistance movements against
the Axis. After the War, King Haakon the VIIth of Norway
awarded Steinbeck a medal for his service. ‘The Moon is Down’ does not mention any
location, nor the nationality of the characters. But the inspiration is clear: the German occupation
of Norway. And the man who inspired Corell, is one of
the most infamous traitors of all time: Vidkun Quisling, the man who sold his country to
the Reich. Vidkun the Ambitious
Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn Quisling was born on the 18th of July 1887, in Telemark,
Norway, the son of Lutheran minister and well-known genealogist Jon Lauritz Quisling. In his youth, not interested in continuing
a line of eight consecutive pastors, he decided to join a military academy instead. In the 1920s, with the rank of Major, Quisling
was sent to Russia as a military attaché to the Norwegian Embassy. During his mission, he worked with Fridtjof
Nansen, a well-known explorer, diplomat and recipient of the Nobel peace prize. The two documented the terrible famine gripping
the Soviet population as a result of the Civil War and early Leninist reforms, and also participated
in the relief effort. This experience left a deep impression on
him: a distrust and fear of Communism, and the consequences of a mismanaged socialist
state. He also collaborated with the British, helping
to mediate with Moscow on behalf of their interests, and this earned him an appointment
as CBE – Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Upon returning to Norway Quisling decided
to leave behind the military career for a political one. He served well with the Agrarian Party and
was appointed Defense Minister, a post he held from 1931 to 1933. In those years the Great Depression did not
spare Norway. As in many other countries in Europe, the
economic crisis brought about the spectre of political violence. Ever more fearful of a communist takeover,
in June 1931, Quisling sent the Army against a union strike. His, and the Government’s heavy-handed tactics
did not gain much support. Eventually the government fell in 1933. Quisling had ambitions to create his own party
and gain power. Looking for inspiration, he looked to Germany. On the 17th of May Vidkun Quisling and state
attorney Johan Bernhard Hjort formally founded the Nasjonal Samling or National Union. It was modelled after the ruling parties in
Germany and Italy, adopting their trappings: members used the Roman Salute; they formed
a paramilitary guard, called the Hoerd, decked in uniforms adorned with eagles. Even the party emblem was a swastika-like
symbol. The National Union’s programme was decidedly
nationalistic and anti-Communist. It included a total ban on strikes, the elimination
of unemployment and the sterilisation of undesirables. There were three main differences compared
to its Nazi inspirators: One, Quisling and the National Union never
adopted socialism, an ideology which was at least at the roots of the ruling parties in
Berlin and Rome. Two, Quisling never made anti-semitism a part
of his plans. And three, National Union tried to retain
ties with Christianity. After six months from foundation the National
Union was put to the test, running for parliamentary elections. It was a disaster: the party gained only 2.2%
of the votes and 0 seats, doing only a little better than their Communist rivals. At the following elections, in 1936, the National
Union did even worse, having alienated much of their Christian electorate. But not everything was going wrong for Quisling. While attending a conference in the German
port of Lubeck, he met Alfred Rosenberg, leading ideologist and foreign policy advisor to Hitler. Rosenberg saw some potential in Quisling and
introduced him to several military and political top brass in Berlin. The ties with his future masters were being
established. Vidkun the deluded
After the start of War in Europe in September 1939, it became very clear to Nazi leadership
that for a sustainable war effort they needed more iron and more ships. This was Quisling’s opportunities: Norway
could offer both. In December 1939 he returned to Berlin and
made a proposal to Rosenberg: he would stage a coup d’etat in Oslo, install himself as
Foerer of Norway and invite a German landing. In support of the plan Quisling offered to
Erich Raeder, commander of the Kriegsmarine, details on naval agreements between the Norwegian
fleet and the British Royal Navy. On the 14th and 18th of December Quisling
met with the Fuehrer himself, who granted German military support for his coup. In Quisling’s schemes, the German military
presence would not be an occupation, rather a garrisoning of his country to deter an Allied
landing. Unbeknownst to him, the German High Command
intended to take over Norway much earlier than he expected. On the 3rd of April 1940 Quisling travelled
to Copenhagen for a meeting with German secret services, during which he handed over more
military intelligence. 6 days later, Germany invaded. Quisling was taken completely by surprise,
but he took some initiative and decided to proceed with his coup. Seizing the Public Radio offices, he proclaimed
himself Prime Minister and asked for Norwegians not to resist the Germans, who were there
to protect the country from an Anglo-French invasion. The invaders immediately recognised his collaborationist
Government. But King Haakon VIIth of Norway was not of
the same opinion. He declared Quisling’s government to be
illegitimate and fuelled the resistance against the Wehrmacht, even after his eventual escape
and relocation to Britain. Germany invades
According to WWII lore, German commander General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst prepared the invasion
of Norway in a single afternoon, with only the help of a travel-guide book. The invasion started on the 9th of April,
opposed by both the Norwegian and British Royal Navies. They opposed the German landing fleets heading
for Bergen and Trondheim, succeeding in sinking 12 German vessels. But Luftwaffe air superiority convinced the
British Admiralty to cancel further attacks on German landings at Bergen. In the meanwhile, the Norwegian army was preparing
to fight the invaders. To a demand for surrender, the Norwegians
replied “We will not submit voluntarily: the struggle
is already in progress.” However, the Norwegian army was ill prepared. Units moved inland to take advantage of the
rugged interior, but the German progress was fast. By April 20th, eleven days into the campaign,
the German army had advanced 180 miles from Oslo. The first British troops, led by Major-General
Mackesy had landed at Harstad, Lofoten Islands off Narvik, on April 15th, a strategic port
for the shipment of iron ore. This force was ill-prepared and ill-equipped,
meaning Mackesy took its time to finally move to Narvik in May. Meanwhile, the Norwegians had to fight it
alone against Germany’s skilled mountain troops of General Dietl. A second landing expedition at Trondheim,
supported by Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, had been cancelled, and replaced
by smaller forces north and south of the city. The British – alongside French and Polish
forces – clashed with the Germans, with heavy casualties on both sides. But the expedition was doomed for failure. The troops involved had little to no air nor
artillery support, plus they had no training of mountain warfare in a cold climate – unlike
Dietl’s units. On the 28th of April the British commander
in Trondheim, General Paget, ordered an evacuation. This is when also our friend Adrian Carton
de Wiart made his escape – check out our Biographics on him if you haven’t seen it
yet. After Trondheim, the forces in Narvik were
left to hold back the Germans, but by the end of May the British Cabinet decided for
a total retreat. Losing the whole expeditionary force to the
Germans would have spelled disaster, in terms of loss of men, equipment and morale. King Haakon of Norway embarked with his government
on June 7th, heading for Britain. By the 9th of June the campaign was over. The Norwegians had suffered 1,335 losses,
killed or wounded, 2% of their small army. The Anglo-French and Polish allies lost a
total of 2,402 soldiers, and the Germans 5,660. These may appear as a small campaign compared
to others of WWII. But the Norwegians and their allies held out
for two months against a German invasion, longer than any other country except for the
Soviet Union. The campaign had major political consequences
in London, with the resignation of the Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and the appointment
of Winston Churchill. But what of the consequences for Vidkun Quisling? Vidkun the Puppet
While the fighting raged on, the Germans realised that Quisling – despite his reassurances
– had lost control of the situation, and the country was far from being pacified. The leader of National Union was eventually
side-lined, and the Germans installed a trusted man in Oslo: Josef Terboven, appointed Reichskommissar
for Norway on the 20th of April 1940. Quisling’s plan was crumbling. He had a grand idea of him as the leader of
an independent Norway , albeit under German military protection. The appointment of Terboven would put his
country under direct German control. After the capitulation in June, the parliament
was dissolved. In August Norway became part of the III Reich. But Quisling was not completely out of the
picture yet. Terboven saw some use for him, at least as
a local figure head. The kommissar installed Quisling as the head
of a puppet collaborationist government and he proceeded to form a Cabinet in autumn of
1941. But it was clear that the one pulling the
strings would be Terboven all along: he proceeded to issue a series of proclaims, all of which
were approved and counter-signed by Quisling. These reforms included the consolidation of
One-party rule, the revocation of freedom of speech and the introduction of rationing. In the same year Quisling and Terboven welcomed
a visit from Heinrich Himmler, who had come to oversee the creation of the SS Nordland
division. This was composed of Norwegian and other Scandinavian
volunteers who pledged their allegiance to the Reich and fought under German officers. Shortly afterwards, on the 21st of June 1941,
the invasion of the Soviet Union began. Also on this occasion, Quisling had grand
plans to shine and to prove his commitment to the struggle against Bolshevism. His idea was to create a legion of volunteers
to support the German war effort against the Soviets. But Terboven was quicker and beat him to it. He created a unit of volunteers, similar to
SS Nordland, but larger in scale. A skilled politician, the Reichskommissar
placated Quisling by reassuring him that the new legion would swear allegiance to him,
rather than any German authority. The volunteers would also be allowed to wear
Norwegian uniforms, have their own officers, and would see action only on the Finnish front. Quisling had no choice but to play along and
he urged all Norwegians to join. The legion counted 1200 recruits in total,
many from the Hoerd, Quisling’s own paramilitary force. Eventually, Terboven pulled the rug under
Quisling: the volunteers were issued SS uniforms, were made to swear an oath to the Fuehrer
and were sent to the toughest spots of the main Russian front, including the siege of
Leningrad. After suffering heavy losses, the remaining
soldiers displayed poor discipline and fighting spirit – and who could blame them – at
least according to the SS High Command. The legion was eventually disbanded. This spelled another failure for Quisling. His idea of contributing to the direct fight
against communism had been first hijacked, then it had ended in defeat. What’s worse, his already thin base of supporters
had been depleted by the onslaught of the Eastern Front. The
Home Front The account we painted so far shows as if
Quisling was the only Nazi sympathiser in Norway at the time. The reality is very close. Novelist and journalist Arne Skouen, a former
member of the resistance, in fact estimates that only 2% of the population were supportive
of Quisling and the Germans. But the Norwegian Prime Minister could count
on the support of some heavyweights, most notably novelist Knut Hamsun. One of the giants of Norwegian literature,
Hamsun had won the Nobel prize for literature in 1920. In the mid-30s his support of the Nazi party
became increasingly vocal, to the point of donating his Nobel medal to Joseph Goebbels. At the beginning of the invasion, one of his
articles read: “Norwegians! Throw down your rifles and go home again. The Germans are fighting for us all, and will
crush the English tyranny over us and over all neutrals!” Out of the remaining 98% who did NOT like
Quisling, many were involved in the resistance against the occupiers. Sometimes this manifested in actions of civil
dissent, but then escalated into acts of sabotage and assassinations. These were coordinated by the Milorg, or Home
Front, a resistance movement with 40,000 members at its peak. In addition to the Home Front activities,
ordinary citizens did everything in their power not to yield to the occupation. It became common on public transport to stand
up so as to avoid sitting next to a German or a known collaborator. The Germans took this so seriously to issue
a decree prohibiting to stand on public transport if seats were available. An underground newspaper describes very clearly
the purpose of civil dissent tactics: “What the Germans suffer most from here
in Norway is the coldness they feel from the people, and their exclusion from contact. Let them feel this chill to their very marrow.” Underground press was incredibly active, peaking
at 300 different newspapers and magazines. The Government retorted with a 1942 decree
that announced the death penalty for perpetrators of anti-Party sentiment, even in private writings
such as diaries. As the Norwegians tried to distance themselves
from the Germans, the Germans were trying to get very close, especially to Norwegian
women. One official SS document stated
“(it is) expressly desirable that the German soldiers conceive as many children as possible
with Norwegian women, regardless of whether it is within or outside of the bonds of matrimony.” This was part of the Lebensborn programme,
whose aim was to breed as many Aryan children as possible. In Norway 12,000 children were born to these
unions, some consensual, most forced by the fear of consequences for not complying. Sadly, women involved with German officers,
did not have the sympathy of their fellow citizens and could get their heads shaved
or be branded with swastikas. This hostility continued even after the war:
many of these 12,000 children were ostracized and often sent away. Interesting fact: one of them fled to Sweden
to escape this fate and achieved worldwide fame with her art. You may know her as Frida, from ABBA. Set Norway Ablaze! Several young men and women from the Home
Front escaped to Britain, where they were recruited by the Special Operations Executive
or SOE. This army of secret agents, commandos and
saboteurs had been instituted by Winston Churchill with the mission to set Europe ablaze – in
other words harass German occupation forces throughout continental Europe. The first operation of the Norwegian SOE commandos
took place on the 21st of March 1941. Their target: the Lafoten islands, home to
fish oil tanks needed for the production of explosives. The operation was a success, especially from
a propaganda point of view. A newsreel of the time shows the commandos
sending a mocking telegram to Hitler from the islands:
“Herr Hitler Reference you last speech I thought you said
that whenever British troops land on the continent of Europe, German soldiers will face them. Well, where are they?” The same newsreel shows the rounding up of
‘Germans and Quislings for interrogation’. Quislings meaning local collaborators of course:
it is telling how already at this stage of the war Vidkun Quisling’s name had become
a synonym for traitor. On the 1st of February 1942 Vidkun Quisling
was appointed as Head of State, in addition to being Head of the Government, which sounds
like an empty, ceremonial title, bestowed to keep him happy. He even had his head on a stamp! But the official head of State was still King
Haakon and the reins of the government were held by Terboven. Throughout 1942 the commando raids in Norway
continued, mutually supporting an ever-active Home Front. Their most famous action was the destruction
of the Telemark plant, a research facility for the production of heavy water – part
of Germany’s research effort to develop nuclear weapons. A little known fact is that a previous raid
by an all-British team had failed, with six commandos being captured. Quisling, humiliated by the successes of the
SOE and the Home Front, and urged by Terboven, authorised their execution. These were formal POWs, uniformed British
soldiers, not spies or ‘bandits’ – please note the air quotes. Their execution was a war crime according
to the Geneva Convention. In the same period Quisling imposed – or
simply authorised – measures to enforce harsh martial law on the population. One of these measures was the forced registration
of all Jews in June of 1942. In September, all Jewish property was confiscated. On October 25, 1942, Jewish men over the age
of 16 were sent to Auschwitz, followed by women and children on November 25. Of the 770 people deported, 740 were killed
in the extermination camps. Only 12 returned after the war. Curtain Call
Quisling went from cruel blunder to cruel blunder. In 1943, as head of state he formally declared
war on the Soviet Union and instituted mandatory conscription. 75,000 young Norwegians were called up to
arms: many served in the ski units in Finland, but the majority were sent to work for the
German war effort, as part of the compulsory labour service. Compulsory labour was extended to women in
1944. When a popular chief of police, Gunnar Elefson
refused to prosecute two girls who had dodged this unfair draft, Quisling demanded that
he be put to death. These efforts to ingratiate party leadership
were all the more futile, as it was clear that the Allies were winning the war. On the 18th of October 1944, Soviet troops
crossed the border with Norway, in the Finnmark county. This was the first page to the last chapter
of Vidkun Quisling’s sad existence of failed ambition and treason. The Soviets were not interested in pushing
southwards. They established instead a bridge head at
Soer-Varanger and Kirkenes, where Norwegian soldiers under the government in exile staged
a landing. In January 1945 Quisling was invited to Berlin
to meet with Hitler. During the meeting he proposed a desperate
plan: he wanted Norway to regain its independence, in order to form an alliance of Nordic and
Germanic people. He also proposed to the Germans to build a
“Fortress Norway” – in other words: use his own country to stage the last stand
of the regime against the Allies. After all, Norway was now home to 400,000
German troops. Both proposals, unsurprisingly, were rebuffed. After Hitler’s suicide on the 30th of April,
Admiral Karl Doenitz succeeded him as Fuehrer. One week later, Doenitz summoned Terboven. Knowing him to be a fanatic, he dismissed
the Reichskommissar, handing over duties to General Boehme. On the 8th of May, German forces in Norway
capitulated. The Home Front immediately secured control
of the country. On the same day, Terboven blew himself up
with a hand grenade. On the 9th, Norwegian police arrested Quisling
in his Oslo mansion, called ‘Gimle’. According to Norse mythology, this was the
home of the survivors of the Ragnarok, the twilight of the Gods, the end of times. Quisling was put to trial with other National
Union collaborators. His charges included treason, war crimes,
crimes against humanity and embezzlement. The prosecuting attorney asked him if he had,
in his speeches, expressed the viewpoint that “the Jews are guilty of a number of the
misfortunes that have stricken the world” Quisling did not flinch:
“Yes, that is my absolute conviction” His initial indifference to anti-semitism
had obviously changed during the war. All the evidence was against him. Quisling’s line of defence was that all
he had done, he did it to protect Norway from German rule. But proof of his secret meeting in Denmark,
one week before the invasion, sealed his fate as a traitor. Vidkun Quisling was executed by firing squad
on the 24th of October 1945. The Moon is Down
What is the legacy of Vidkun Quisling? He left no children and his name is now synonymous
with collaborator, with a traitor who sells his country to the enemy. His career may have started with the intention
of protecting his country against Soviet threat, but when he made contact with the Germans,
all he wanted was recognition and power. With his incompetence and false promises,
he alienated his German allies, with his fearful ruthlessness he alienated his own Country. The irony is that even without his scheming,
Germany would have probably invaded Norway anyways, its resources were just too precious
to their war effort. What would have been of him in that case? Let me go back to Steinbeck’s novel, the
one I mentioned at the beginning. In it, Mayor Orden is forced by the invaders
to cooperate: they want him – not the traitor Corell – to be the front of their decrees
and orders, to become the legitimate face of their power. But he refuses to cooperate, if the soldiers
want to play dirty, they will have to do it on their own. When the resistance intensifies, and the officers
threaten reprisals, the Mayor refuses to put an end to it, whatever the consequences. Maybe in another circumstances Vidkun Quisling
could have been an Orden. In our History, he chose to be a Corell.


  • Biographics

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  • digapygmy70

    Thanks for teaching Americans world history, Simon! -an American college graduate who actually loves world history and got a very skewed version of it instead

  • Julie Whitebirch

    It was good of Simon to pre-apologize for his rough pronumciation of Norwegian names and words. Yet here I sit, impatiently tapping my toe and waiting for an apology for "Wild Bill HICK-ick."🤣🤣

  • Greasyspleen

    Oh… now I feel silly for not knowing the word quisling is a person's name.

  • isak

    Do one on haakon the norwigen king of the war yers ps its prenonsd like it has one a or å

  • Sønderport Station

    How about the contemporary demagogues who are busy selling their countries to third world immigrants for nothing?

  • Alexander William Peter Carder

    Thank you Simon for this video. I’ve never even heard of this Stooge before until this very informative biographics. I’ve never heard of a selfish ambitious person ever becoming a hero. So sad that he could have done differently, even if his name was never heard of. Most people who are true hero’s in life are those who never get there names shouted from the rooftops.

  • Derp Derpingson

    Do Wilhelm Keitel

  • superknight

    8:30 top 10 anime crossovers…

    17:10 also top 10 anime crossover

    Also, I'd like to see a video on Patrick Pearse, Eamon De Valera Ian Paisley, Gerry Adams, W.B Yeats or Michael Collins. Most people will be unfamilar with these people if they even know them at all so they would be interesting I think.

  • Aron Mason

    i can hold off no longer. do you know how distracting that glowing doughnut is lol

  • Jonah Simpson

    cruel blunder to cruel blunder, Vidkun Quisling

  • James Green

    Do one on Albert Speer

  • John Battle Sr

    Quisling = traitor
    Selling out one’s country to the enemy.
    To me this resembles a certain President of the United States.
    Thanks for the reminder , Simon.

    Firing squad, huh? Sounds fitting.

  • Garry Sekelli

    ah the fishoil tanks necessary for explosives. I see another video title right there.

  • Grizzman HD

    Would be great if you made a video on Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizarro or Hernando de Soto. Or all of them. The Spanish conquistadors are all very interesting.

  • Marika Treichel

    Small idea: Now that you have touched upon one of Norways greatest traitors, could you make a video on some of the resistance movements in the Nordics?
    I'm Danish, so I only know Danish groups, but I think it is important to highlight those civillians who fought evil with their own life at stake (Many in Denmark also lost their lives, i.e. Hvidsten Group or the Flame and the Citron)
    Fun fact: Multiple major Danish resistance groups were offered to be honoured individually as one of the Righteous Among the Nations, but they all decided to be honoured as a combined force as to not make one group seem more important than the other!

  • Flaming Echidna

    surprised you're not getting backlash for saying that national socialism is socialistic.

  • Mnemosyne

    baalsrud next?

  • pj mathison

    Nazis were socialists in the same way that North Korea is democratic

  • pj mathison

    Norm MacDonald brought me here

  • 1dedrer

    I loved the happy ending with him being shot unlike Benedict Arnold who escaped to the safety of the filthy “Royal” family in England.

  • LiL Rossing

    Jævla drittonge han der

  • Kota H

    Please do a video about Kim Kardashian!!!

  • Max Jenkins-king

    Chiang hai shek ??

  • The Myth

    You should do one about Robert Mugabe

  • John Sitterley

    So what do we call leaders that sell out their countries to communism? Partisans? Just a thought.

  • Torgeir Brandsnes

    Greetings from Norway. What also made Hitler to invade Norway earlier than planed was «The Altmark incidente» They do not say anything about that. There was a cartoon in a newpaper were Quisling is visiting Hitler. Quisling says: Quisling. He expects Hitler to shake his hand. Hilter says:…And your name is…?

  • Lucas Stellato

    Please Cover Up Klaus Barbie Next AKA the Butcher of Lyon!

  • Marko Rimac

    Such resistance! so amaze!

  • Larry Gott

    Thanks for publishing this video. Too many Americans never heard of Quisling. When I was growing up (1940's and 50's) the name Quisling was like Benedict Arnold to Americans, a synonym for "traitor." But it's a good bet that by now most American college students won't have heard of Quisling. Sadly, far too many probably never heard of Arnold either. They should.

  • RogerRamjet

    Yup, there is no greatest betrayal than letting foreigners into your country. Though Swedes seem to have forgotten that lesson.

  • Andrew Thompson

    Steinbeck is the most overrated writer ever.

  • D10medes

    Love the show, but there's this rhetorical thing that keeps happening that I don't understand. For example, at 7:12: "But Luftwaffe air superiority — it convinced the British to…etc". Why not just say, "But Luftwaffe air superiority convinced the British to… etc."? Why do you say the noun then stop yourself and say "it"? It's like you're trying to say 'it' but then you're worried the audience is going to forget what the 'it' is referring to. There are SO many examples of this rhetorical style in this video. I hear it all the time in some podcasts too, and it boggles my mind.

    Other example within the same damn minute, at 7:28: "However the Norwegian army — it was ill-prepared." Why not just say "However the Norwegian army was ill-prepared"??? Why do you keep stopping yourself only to use a pronoun instead of the direct reference you just said??

  • bikkiikun

    FYI: Norway was never annexed, it was only occupied. There wasn't any plan to annex Norway. So it was never part of the Third Reich.

  • lagitanavderoscio

    Carl Manneheim from Finland bravely walked a thin line between the Communists and the Nazis to keep his country Finnish;
    but, this biography is very informative and interesting.

  • Keith Garland

    SOB should have been hung by Pierpont(?) and left to strangle.

  • Aidan Cleary

    After watching your Stan Lee and Frank Miller videos, I’m curious to see one about Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman.

  • Paolur

    During the war my great-grandfather was in a wheelchair because of an illness. German officers had occupied parts of his house and were living there, and eating the food they produced at the farm. Meanwhile he was charging batteries under the floorboards in the barn to be used in an illegal radio people had hidden in a cabin in the mountains. The germans patrolled the mountains and searched all the cabins, marking them with a swastika as a warning. In a cabin my family owns there is still a swastika carved into the bedpost.

  • 8534964

    Can you do a bio on Harry Mulisch the author of the assault the book about the survivor of the nazi who family gets destroyed because they are thought to be dutch resistant.

  • Tiger Style

    Enjoyed the video, as per usual, except for one major issue early on.

    Socialism was NOT at the core of German or Italian fascism at all, not even close. They are actually partially defined by their opposition to any and all tendencies within socialism as well as the brutality committed against anti-capitalists, who were some of the first victims of the regimes, as was the case with Franco, Pinochet and all other fascist dictators.

    There was a strain of Nazism (Strasserism) that had a very warped and reactionary type of anti-capitalist theory but it would be difficult to call it socialism given all of the contradictions within it and with all other socialist thought. It was essentially Nazism with a few tweaks surrounding economics and achieving change that didn't dramatically change anything really. Think welfare state for a certain "quality" citizen of a certain skin tone at the expense of the rest and that's basically what they had in mind.

    In Germany the term "socialism" was used and in Italy it was "syndicalism". But "National Socialism" and "National Syndicalism" are neither socialist or syndicalist. Leftists were either imprisoned or executed, parties were banned, unions crushed, strikes banned, wages slashed, state benefits and employer benefits slashed or eliminated, anti-capitalist literature outlawed, co-ops (actually existing socialism) were confiscated, name a way to erase an idea from a society and they tried it.

    Traditionally socialism is defined as worker ownership and management of the means of production, often via unions or syndicates, and democracy in the economy and rights to determine what is done with the fruits of ones labor and is usually coupled with a decentralized council system of self-governance of some kind typically with direct democracy/ liquid democracy/ consensus democracy on the smaller scale and immediately recallable delegates who're bound by the will of their constituents as representatives on the larger scale (large city, state, region, "nation", international, etc). The position furthest to the right that's accepted by much of anyone as socialism would be state ownership of the means of production, but generally (theoretically at least) all of the same things would apply with the main difference being that a centralized state organizes the economy based on that democratic system, though it never works out that way lol. There are many tendencies and possible variations that operate within a similar, but distinct, set of principals generally based around those common ideas and others.

    However, in fascist regimes socialism was generally redefined with things like "finance capital" (almost always tied to Jews or some other "enemy") seen as destroying society but "productive capital" is seen as vital, a firmly capitalist position. And it speaks more to a subordination of the Individual to the state and a strick adherence to the idea of the "greater good" and "the ends justify the means" mentality, a rejection of class struggle (central to all anti-capitalist thought) in favor of "class collaboration" as well as LOOKING like all is well to the outside world. It rarely, if ever, had any real overlap with socialism beyond the superficial. It's often referred to as "authoritarian capitalism". The term "privatization" was actually coined to describe what was happening in Germany under the Nazi dictatorship and stands opposite of "collectivization" or "nationalization" which would be the traditional and further right forms of socialist change in the ownership and management of the means of production respectively. The list of differences is long, but this is already too long lol

    Now most importantly: The Why? And it's actually pretty simple: Parasitic Opportunism. Anarchism and various other tendencies within socialism and communism were very popular throughout the world at the time. Much of the world, but especially Europe and the US, had strong and militant labor movements and trade unions, large anti-capitalist parties and organizations, a long history of class struggle and a rejection of capitalist relations and modes of existence from the time of the industrial boom, quite a few successful and/or promising revolutions and uprisings giving examples of what was possible, and every reason to seek a new way of living. It's important to remember that life as a worker then was hell in most places and people were dying for things we take for granted and have let be erroded today like the 8 hour day (see Haymarket Massacre), a minimum wage, workers comp, the right to organize and collectively bargain and many other things. Many people have their lives in bloody massacres for these few rights. They were not given out of ths kindness of the ownership class' hearts. And the Red Scare was relatively new in the states and wasn't as ubiquitous in Europe where the left was much stronger so socialism still had it's moral appeal intact (hence why the USSR called themselves "socialist") even as it was being demonized, propagandized against, slandered and misrepresented in the US and parts of Europe. People aren't ignorant about pursuing their interests without a lot of brainwashing. So just as Lenin before them took rhetoric and slogans from the more libertarian socialist tendencies (anarchism, left-communism, orthodox Marxism, etc) that he deemed "childish" and "petite bourgeois" to gain mass support, the Fascists did the same. They co-opted left-wing slogans, rhetoric, symbols, terminology, etc and reappropriated them and repurposed them, warped and redefined them for their highly reactionary, authoritarian, bigoted ideology to gain enough support to have their successful coups and gain power. But it had nothing to do with socialism.

    All of this is VERY well documented and easily found for free online. PLEASE look into it for yourself on reputable academic sources. Even start on the NSDWP Wikipedia page and go to the sources or search academic articles on it from reliable historians and political scientists. Don't take some rando on the internets word for it, do the research in objective, unbiased academic sources. The idea that fascists were socialists is an old Red Scare trope that holds absolutely no water yet so many less informed people seem to buy it cause "iTs In ThEiR nAmE!". I don't get it lol Unless the goal is to have a scientifically, historically and politically illiterate population then we have failed miserably. ✌

  • Monk Killedababy

    thats a pretty ass tank game… i dont play em but they usually look so trashy.

  • Kim Jong Un

    My uncle did a quisling against me due to which I had him killed. My humble request: Kim I'll sung, the eternal president of DPRK.

  • Daisy Hix

    I really love this. Personally i used to like Quilsing only because i was lied to about his ideals and what he wanted. Now i see he was very terrible for the country

  • Angelo Zanussi

    Translation- "A Psychopath, Sociopath, Pathological Lying Jewish guy is going to lie about a good man because he tried to free his people from Jewish Bankers."

  • Mark Baker

    His hole thinking destroy communist this is why he did what he did.

  • Matt Kustom Kostumes

    ‘Convertible Tank’??? A tank firing a ‘bullet’? Dude, you are totally clueless when it comes to armor.

  • Italianassassin3

    @Biographics you should consider doing another channel to talk about wars on a deeper level like the biographics format but with wars cause the whys, who's, when's and the aftermath of the war sound interesting to me. Hell, you could call it something like histographics.

  • Ken Morten Steen

    Great video 😊 One minor thing. Terboven used a 35 kg barrel of hexogene/tnt for his suicide, not a handgrenade.

  • Shannon Mikko

    Can you do one on Simo Häyhä? The Finnish sniper who has the highest recorded kill count

  • Lorna Ginette Harrison

    21:43[-ish!]: The title of Marvel’s 3rd Thor movie – 'Thor: Ragnarok' – just took on a totally different, more sinister meaning!

  • Daniel Byrnes

    The Nazi’s were socialists? There’s Something I Found Out Today

  • The Trashman

    Nazi germany was never socialist, come on now.

    Banning strikes and outlawing unions is very much the direct opposite of any socialist reform.

  • Kiryuusai

    Simon, when will you start a twitch stream for War Thunder ?

  • MainstreamPoPsucks3

    Not the Hoerd, the Hird. The Hird was the partys paramilitary organization.

  • Mort

    It's weird hearing Simon's normal 'non narrator' voice playing the sponsor game

  • Alex Shuffell

    I had no idea Knut Hamsun was so into Nazis. I've read and loved a few of his books. I'm disappointed. I guess I should have at least read his wikipedia page.

  • efr0y

    Learned some very interesting things about my great grandfather not too long ago. My family had always told me he was friendly with the nazi's, but after looking into it, turns out he was appointed mayor in a small western town in occupied Norway, and sat 2,5 years in prison for treason

  • Kim

    Im Norwegian and only 24 year old, but this fuckers name still makes me realy angry

  • Cris Thomas Z

    Your Norwegian is good

  • HeteroHombre

    FINALLY a war thunder supported video 😀

  • accquizzer

    So a Qusling is the Norway version of a Benedict Arnold?

  • I’m crying in a corner While i count my money

    Reich means empire/rijk.
    Or dom. Just call it empire. Thank u. You are not Germanic stop it

  • Kevin Willemse

    You guys should do Ludendorff. Great things will happen if you do…

  • Michael Stütelberg

    Could you do a video on Oswald Mosley?

  • masterimbecile

    The Chinese equivalent is Wang Jingwei (汪精衛).

  • Tina

    I learnt a great deal from this video. I had previously thought Quisling was more like the Vichy French officials: collaborating after the invasion by Nazis, not actively working to bring about the subjugation of his own country. Death by firing squad was too good for him. He got off rather easy.

  • disproportionate progression

    If you want an interesting and controversial figure of Modern Greece, try Eleftherios Venizelos. Very efficient guy but in part responsible for the only offensive move Modern Greece has ever made in its history, which, in turn, backfired completely. This lead to further tensions between Turkey and Greece that last to this day.

  • Colin Tatum

    Shot? He got off extremely lightly.

  • StarKiller 56

    I'm not sure who is more despised in Norwegian society: Quisling or Anders Behring Breivik.

  • Larry Manuel

    Whoa! There’s a lot of suffering, cruelty and hatred summarized here. It’s a good lesson to remain aware of the potential of it all being repeated. Thanks again for digging into that rancid cesspool and dredging up useful lessons for us. Good work.

  • Petter Osrønningen

    Thank you for this video, f*cking amazing that you would do Quisling

  • MadUnicorn 45

    Is there one for Rosenberg?

  • Ben Ghazi

    Frida of ABBA?! The good one?!
    My god, then we Swedes just got the stuck up bitch to be "proud" of…

  • E Scott

    Dude.. You are One Awesome Cat…. Right On.

  • Will C

    Hmm yet another child of a Lutheran minister, just like Mutti is the daughter of a Lutheran minister and Treason May is a vicar's daughter. Seems these reformed church preachers produce obnoxious offspring.

  • Sean Mulqueen

    770 people were sent to the camps, 740 died in the camps, 12 made it home. I would like to know the story of the others that survived the camps but didn't make it home, there's a good 18 people missing from that number and while its tiny, its still 18 human lives that no one knows about as far as i'm aware. I'm more interested in what happened to those 18 on their way home. I'm guessing some died from the after effects of the camp, others didn't survive the terrain, but still curious. These small things that go unnoticed by many tend to be more interesting than the larger stories

  • Peter B

    My late English mother who lived through WWII said more about this chap just by the tone of voice that she used when she said said "Quisling"! I knew from that word that he wasn't good, I later found out from my Hungarian father that he was a much reviled traitor.

  • Ole Hansen

    While on the subject of Scandinavians who swore allegience to the Reich, you should do a Biographics episode about the Danish SS officer C.F von Schalburg.

  • Andres Suarez

    I downloaded the game, they gave me the free vehicle and 3 days premium. It took three days for the game to update after I installed it. . .

  • Emmit Stewart

    I was born the year after the war ended, so I had a lot of reading matter left over from wartime. I can assure that everyone, at least in the English speaking world, knew his name and despised it. we knew that not only had he betrayed his country, but that he had licked the boots of the invaders and conspired in the murder of thousands of patriots. There was nobody in the entire world more thoroughly despised than Vidkun Quisling. Even Hitler and his gang had some love for their homeland as an excuse for their crimes. There was no excuse for Quisling.

  • Eirik Belisarius

    Please make a video about another Norwegian madman, Anders Behring Breivik.

  • Unknown Soldier


  • Evan Friend

    Good for you for pointing out that Fascism and Naziism are, at their core, socialist. That important fact is too often forgotten (often deliberately) these days.

  • TheSpacecraftX

    Ah yes. The famous teammates who follow orders in War Thunder.

  • LukeDaDuke

    16:10 So you're telling me their main strategy was to give the Germans the cold shoulder?

  • ShinigamiInuyasha777

    I imagine when the soviets crossed the Norway border they look each other faces and say
    "We ain't going to come back to Scandinavia"
    And let the norways walk

  • LukeDaDuke

    Biographics on John Stienbeck when?

  • ratscoot

    Churchill and Rosevelt, the men who sold Eastern Europe to Stalin.

  • kurt hero

    norway whale killers

  • Konrad von Hötzendorf

    He wasn't a traitor, it's just that his plans didn't succeed.

  • Tl2aV

    Watching you play and talk about war thunder, tells me you don’t play it lol

  • A. TALLY

    Dear Simon, after watching the movie 'Death Hunt' I got interested in Albert Johnson's life…. Would you please feature his life in one of your Biographic documentaries…. Thanks. 👍

  • Spiraling69

    Merkel, Macron & co are modern day Quislings

  • Willy Kling

    It probably seems a little different when the communists are a real threat against your life freedom, and the Germans come to help you, and the elected government just fucks off to England. Most Norwegians just went about their lives during the war, very few police quit their jobs, and everything continued to function. The resistance in Norway was rather pathetic.
    Bonus fact. The Quisling postage stamp is quite rare in it's used state, as people refused to use them.

  • Kenth Kolås

    Could you guys do Fridtjof Nansen, that man was bigger than life itself. Another one is Harald Hardade, his life was basically a Lord of the Rings story.

  • Jon Average

    We have a lot of Quislings in our British parliament enriching themselves whilst surrendering our democracy. Very sad…

  • Charles Brigman

    Being a coward never protects you for very long. You will always be confronted by evil have always found it easier to live with the lumps of conviction than guilt of cowardice. Some people can take that guilt as this man did . I cannot l puke it up and it will betray me

  • Charles Brigman

    Great Video sorry for the people who had to endure that awful occupation they have such a beautiful country

  • Marko Kaselj

    Now do a Benedict Arnold BIO, he was Quisling before Quisling.

  • Matthew S

    Quisling would love the (now abandoned) Tea Party and it's extremists, his kind of volken…I mean folks.

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