I put this thread in this section, because Quisling also had a Russian past. Just like his fellow military professional Mannerheim, with whom it's interesting to compare him, Quisling knew Russia and the Russians well and was also married to a Russian. (But Quisling was a mysticist and asocial, visionary oddball, just like Hitler, while Mannerheim was a strait-laced personality like Haakon VII, who BTW refused Norway sending a wreath to Mannerheim's funeral, because the Marshall had been allied with Nazi Germany.)
It strikes me that you, TimM, would have just as much in common with Quisling, as he was a vocal anti-Communist who worked with Nansen in Rusisa helping the famine victims of the Bolshevikhs in the 1920s
Yeah, but one big difference is that I would never partner up with the Nazis. That's why Quisling was shot, and why his name is now regarded as a term for a traitor.
Now, I know your from Norway, so maybe you have some insights to the man that I don't.
Actually, TimM, I've never been very interested in WW2 (the only aspect I have studied is National Socialism's relationship to German culture and history), so my knowledge of Quisling is very basic, much of it derived from what I learned in school. It's funny, I know more about such "traitors" as Ulfeldt and Struensee and their times than Quisling and his times. Because of the very term "quisling", I think Anglophones picture Quisling stronger as a traitor than many Norwegians do. Call me a cynical objectivist, but I think of Quisling very much like N II: He had his beliefs and ideals which he believed in and fought for them. The majority did not agree with him, so they killed him when they got the chance.
No doubt he and his movement became totally discredited by his actions, but my impression has always been that people regarded him as a freak on the fringe before the war too, so they were not very surprised when the Norwegian Nazi leader collaborated with the German Nazi invaders. I certainly have never heard any of my grandparents' generation, who lived through the war, say: How could he!? People reserve that sentiment for Knut Hamsun, the Nobel Laureate of Literature who came out in support of the Nazis and Quisling, and who BTW also knew Tsarist Russia well. It's about him the debate still rages: Was he blind? How could he? Was he really a Nazi? Is he therefore evil? Are his works still great literature when the author turned out to be a Nazi?
But you have stirred my curiosity about Quisling now, especially since I see such interesting parallells to Mannerheim, the Finnish "Führer" allied to Nazi Germany and still considered a hero. There are interesting connections: Quisling was not only Norwegian military attaché in Petrograd 1918-1919, but also military attaché in Helsinki 1919-1921, before he worked with Nansen helping the famine victims in Ukraina and serving as a liaison between the British government and the Bolshevikhs. And of course many Norwegian volunteers who fought with Mannerheim in the Finnish Winter War afterwards either became Norwegian resistance fighters fighting Quisling - or Norwegian Nazis who fought on the Eastern Front!
It will be interesting reading biographies of both Quisling and Mannerheim and do a comparative study of these two towering figures.