By Mike Walsh
Never underestimate the power of propaganda or consider yourself immune to it. Propaganda is persistent, powerful, and pervasive. The courage and integrity of Norwegian statesman Vidkun Quisling (1887 ~ 1945) sets him apart from all but a very few great men. Yet, his name is synonymous with base treachery and cowardice.
When on June 22 1941 the Reich invaded Soviet Occupied Europe the guts were torn out of Stalin’s intention to invade Europe three weeks later on July 6. During their rapid deployment German troops were astonished to find icons and busts of Vidkun Quisling and Fridtjof Nansen placed in homesteads and Orthodox Churches. Few of these troops would be other than vaguely aware of Quisling but throughout the Reich liberated territories Quisling was revered as a saint.
Vidkun Quisling with Hitler
At 21-years old the young Norwegian achieved an Army officer’s position. Three years later he achieved the best degree ever recorded in the history of Norway’s Military Academy. Such was the young Quisling’s standing that a special report was forwarded to the King of Norway. The young lieutenant was immediately attached to the General Staff. Four years later Vidkun Quisling became closely involved with Fridtjof Nansen. The acclaimed explorer had earned the distinction of being the first in history to traverse the world’s largest island, Greenland. (Australia is a continent).
The renowned scientist was also celebrated for his humanitarian work under the auspices of the Relief Committee for Russia. Vidkun Quisling’s mentor was responsible for the humane repatriation of 450,000 prisoners-of-war rescued from twenty-six countries in the aftermath of the Great War. Nansen, assisted by his aide Vidkun Quisling, was charged with bringing relief to millions of refugees caused by the Bolsheviks plunder of Ukraine. This artificial famine led to the deaths of 10 million Ukrainians. Fridtjof Nansen and Vidkun Quisling led a team said to have saved the lives of over seven million people.
In the foreword to Fridtjof Nansen’s narrative will be found the explorer’s thanks to Vidkun Quisling: “These prefatory words cannot be brought to conclusion without heartfelt thanks to Captain Vidkun Quisling, for his tireless friendship as a fellow-traveller and for his valuable assistance he has rendered to the author through his comprehensive knowledge of Russian.”
For his humanitarian achievements and his services to the British Crown, Vidkun Quisling was honoured with the British order of Commander of the British Empire (CBE). Ironically, it is England and not Quisling who, by their base betrayal of Sir Vidkun Quisling are far more deserving of the ignoble slur, treachery and cowardice.
At dawn on October 24, 1945 Vidkun Quisling was state assassinated by a firing squad. Awoken and without even the comfort of a jacket the great humanist was taken into the bitter cold of the prison yard at Mollergaten Gaol in Oslo. Shortly afterward a volley of shots reverberated beyond the prison walls. One of Europe’s most enigmatic and bravest leaders crumpled to the withering fire of the firing squad bullets. It was hardly The allies most glorious of moments.
Back inside the prison, on the stone floors outside the recently vacated Cell 34B, were scattered rose petals. They had likely come from one of the many bouquets handed in for Vidkun Quisling. Upon the solitary desk in the sparse cell rested a copy of the Holy Bible. Its pages were lying open. Vidkun Quisling was a profoundly religious and charitable man. Twice underlined in the Holy Bible were the written words: “He shall redeem their soul from defeat and violence and precious shall their blood be in His sight.” ~ Psalms 72-14.
“The highest that can be achieved is a heroic passage through life. Such a life is led by the man who, pursuing a purpose for the benefit of all, struggles against all too great difficulties, yet receives a poor reward or no reward at all.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer.
HEROES HANG WHEN TRAITORS TRIUMPH, Mike Walsh. Facebook has blocked the Amazon book link on his timeline.