The Slaying of a Viking: The Epic of Vidkun Quisling

In honour of the 130-th birthday of Vidkun Quisling

Source: the book Heroes of the Reich by Michael Walsh

An excellent PDF version of the article at Barnes Review

By Michael Walsh

You will be my historical witness. The day will come when I will need it,” said the Norwegian Prime Minister Vidkun Quisling to his secretary, Franklin Knudsen. The national leader’s words were spoken with great solemnity as the two men sat in a room of Oslo’s Grand Hotel on the 18* April 1940. Nine days earlier their country had fallen to the forces of the Third Reich, victims of a conspiracy masterminded by England’s unelected leader Winston Churchill.

Churchill’s aim, to cut Germany’s essential ore lifeline, was yet another of his acts of war against a non-belligerent neutral country. The conspiracy was later exposed by his ally. Prime Minister Paul Reynard of France: “Churchill came to Paris on April 5* 1940 and at last the British government resolved that the mine fields in Norwegian territorial waters would after all be laid. The operation was, however postponed until April 7′ so Hitler could learn of it and prepare his counter move. One of the aims of the enterprise was to, entrap the opponent by provoking him into making a landing in Norway. ” (1)

Vidkun Quisling continued speaking: “I want a man who observes and reflects. I may tell you that in future you are going to be the man who himself has seen and heard what is happening at this decisive moment in the history of Norway and that of the West. You will be my historical witness.”

Franklin Knudsen recalled those prophetic words nearly five years later when on October 24 1945; Vidkun Quisling sleeping fitfully in his sparse cell was aroused at 2.00am and taken into the bitter cold of the prison yard at MoUergaten Gaol in Oslo.


The cavalcade of limousines had rolled into the old Akerhus fortress forty minutes earlier. A volley of shots reverberated beyond the prison walls and one of Europe’s most enigmatic and bravest leaders crumpled to the hail of bullets. The limousines departed.

On the stone floors outside the recently vacated Cell 34B were rose petals, perhaps from one of the many bouquets handed in. On the solitary desk inside the cell with its plank bed and single blanket, the Holy Bible, its pages open, resting on the single desk. Vidkun, the son of a clergyman was the latest in a line of eight ecclesiastical forbears in the district. It was a calling he himself was attracted to.

Underlined twice in the Holy Bible were the words: ‘He shall redeem their soul from defeat and violence and precious shall their blood be in His sight.’ – Psalms 72-14.

It is ironic that the name of a man who was a patriot and hero without equal has become synonymous with treachery. Such is the awesome power of propaganda wielded by the victor nations.

Vidkun Quisling, born July 18* 1887, was a man of his time whose life was orchestrated by events sweeping Europe following the Jewish-Bolshevik seizure of Russia in 1917.


In 1908 the young Norwegian had achieved an officer’s position and three years later achieved the best degree ever recorded in the history of Norway’s Military Academy. Such was his standing that a report was forwarded to the King of Norway and the young lieutenant was immediately attached to the General Staff. By 1918 he was the military attached to Petrograd and Helsingfors. Just four years later Vidkun Quisling became closely involved with Fridtjof Nansen in his charitable work under the auspices of the Relief Committee for Russia.

Nansen, the internationally renowned Norwegian polar explorer, scientist and humanitarian was the first man, with five companions, to traverse Greenland, the world’s largest island. This epic adventure along with others polar expeditions achieved with his ship Fram (“Forward”) cannot fail to inspire.

An obvious choice due to his enormous international reputation as a humanitarian, Nansen agreed to act as the High Commissioner for the League of Nations Commission for Prisoners of War. As a consequence Vidkun Quisling’s mentor was responsible for the humane repatriation of 450,000 POW’s rescued from twenty-six countries in the aftermath of the Great War. Without question these unfortunate captives exiles would have died without Nansen’s endeavours.


Leading from these humanitarian successes the Norwegian explorer carried the extra burden of bringing relief to millions of refugees torn apart by the cataclysmic upheavals following the Jewish-Bolshevik civil wars. Having succeeded in bringing respite to the world’s dispossessed, Nansen in the early 1920s was invited by the International Red Cross to direct the work required to save the lives of millions of Russians suffering from revolution, civil war and Stalin’s famine. Nansen, assisted by Vidkun Quisling and other organisations is estimated to have saved the lives of over seven million people of whom six million were children.

In 1922 their relief program brought them to the Ukraine and the Crimea. From 1924-25 Quisling was in the Balkan and Donau states, on behalf of the League of Nations. In 1925 he joined Nansen again in the Near Orient and Armenia, before taking up residence in Moscow to better co-ordinate his tasks.

Sadly Quisling never wrote anything about his work apart from official reports so we need to refer to Nansen’s epic, ‘Through the Caucasus to the Volga’. From it we may obtain an impression of the devoted service that Vidkun Quisling offered:


‘From house to house were to be seen the same appalling sight of expiring and expired human remains. Dried grass, leaves and crushed bones and horse’s hooves, instead of bread. No warmth, so that the pitiful bodies froze to the floors before life was extinguished. At an infants’ home forty-two children, died last night, and they were still lying in their beds, with the living at their sides, who – with great wondering baby eyes – sat staring at death, the great deliverer from all suffering. Dead bodies were dug out of the burial grounds to be eaten. Parents – in their distraction – killed their children in order to satisfy their own hunger. Over thirty million persons were starving, and in addition epidemics were raging, worst of all spotted fever.

More than three million died, despite the succour, which was too little too late. And over these same identical plains, thousands of gaunt human beings fled, without food, not knowing where, just away, through the congealing winter, while they and their last camels and horses died on the frozen roads. All traffic on the rivers was halted by the ice, the railways were out of order, the few trains – packed to overflowing with refugees – remained standing on the lines, people died in the carriages. Horror was all around.


In the foreword to Nansen’s narrative will be found Nansen’s effusive thanks to his personal assistant, 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.”

When on June 22, 1941 Germany, supported by its anti-Communist allies, pre- emptively attacked the Soviet Union that had by then amassed its armies on Europe’s borders. The invading Europeans discovered on the walls of hovels the icon portraits of both Fridtjof Nansen and Vidkun Quisling sharing equal status with Our Lady. The spectacle of unknown Norwegians elevated to saintly status bemused but inspired the soldiers.

Norwegian front line soldiers (frontkjempere) several times found plain plaster of paris busts of Quisling in Russia’s impoverished villages. The peasants told them of the man from the far north who had once saved them from starvation. It was a memorable experience for those soldiers who had now been charged by the same man with the task of saving the people of the Ukraine from a worse destiny – communist slavery.


By now Vidkun Quisling’s reputation was such that he was invited by the British Government, which did not have diplomatic access to the USSR’s Communist regime, to look after Britain’s diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. For his humanitarian achievements and his services to the British Crown, Norway’s acclaimed son was honoured with the British order of Commander of the British Empire (CBE). It was a source of great pride to him.

In 1930 Quisling returned to his Norwegian homeland which was then in the throes of Communist subversion very similar to that suffered by Germany following the Great War. Communist insurgents had brought the Scandinavian country to the very precipice of revolution. The so-called Norwegian Labour Movement was affiliated to the Communist International. Financed by Moscow, its blood-red hammer and sickle flag spluttered as its party-banner. These ‘Sons of Moscow’ agitated for a ‘Soviet Norway’, a ‘Soviet Republik’, through bloody revolution if need be.

On one notable occasion a politician who was later to become a Norwegian Minister was arrested on the Norwegian-Russian border with gold to the value of several million kroner in his luggage. The same man spat: ‘The lives of twenty thousand middle-class counted for nothing compared with that of a single worker’.


Another future minister bragged that soon the red flag would be hoisted above Norway’s parliament while another future minister made incendiary speeches calling for revolution.

It was this same rabid revolutionary politician who was elevated to Minister of (Norwegian) Defence in 1935. The same who failed the opportunity to build a defence force capable of resisting Winston Churchill’s sinister invasion of Norway; or to resist Germany’s preventive invasion.

Throughout Norway agitation was rife, strikes were organised, seditious literature was passed from hand to hand, political opponents and police were murdered, the offices of opposition parties torched, politicians intimidated, riots were organised by revolutionaries few of whom were Norwegian nationals.

In to this maelstrom came Vidkun Quisling, now Minister of Defence on the cabinet of the country’s newly elected Peasants Party. Few people on earth were better qualified to recognise the danger posed to humanity by godless Communism. He acted decisively to prevent Norway becoming another Soviet Republic.

Realising that the final Communist push was imminent with armouries and military installations already targeted Quisling immediately mobilised Norway’s armed forces and police and the insurrection was quickly put. The Communists never forgave Vidkun Quisling for denying them Norway.


By April 1932, Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian patriot was able to stand in his country’s parliament and publicly expose the treacherous activities of the international revolution directed by Moscow at Norway’s heart.

“I have in my possession, photos, duplicates of actual statements that an agent of international Communist leadership has made in Norway. What does it say? It says simply that the revolutionary movement in this country is being financed from abroad. In 1928-29 they have received 500,000 kroner from a foreign power. There are not many parties in the land that dispose of similar amounts for their work.’

Quisling went on to show the hard evidence of communists urging Norwegian soldiers ‘to start an insurrection, of organising cells in the Army and Navy, in factories; preparing for revolution and insurrection’.

Moving on and whilst conceding the laudable aims (working class enfranchisement) of Norway’s labour movement, in a speech regarded as one of his finest, the Norwegian Minister of Defence shamed the red front movement for being foreign financed and guided by Marxist principles with the single aim of class-war and revolution.

At this point Vidkun Quisling directed his anger at the desperate straits Communism had brought Russia to: ‘I went there in order to help men in distress; sacrificed nearly all my means in order to help needy people there; ruined my health for a long time to come, and in addition lost my position in life at home. At that time, I visited the famine-struck districts, where all were suffering distress – we too – and security for life and health was negligible. But, when in other ways I was assisting Nansen in aiding those in distress, I looked about myself in vain for those people, who are now abusing me, and who in words and gestures feel so warmly for that same country.

“The position I now occupy forbids me to enter more fully into these matters, which concern another country. But I am convinced that sooner or later the representatives of labour in this hall will come to consist of men and women who – like myself – have had their views about social questions revised and developed in the hard school of life and experience, who do not support ruinous, foreign, inferior and compromised ideas, but who desire a solid and constructive national policy of work, which can protect the interests of the workers as well as those of the country at large.”


At this point legend has it, Norway’s impassioned Minister of Defence rose to his feet and banged on the podium with his hand. It had a similar effect on the Storting(parliament) as that intended by Haydn’s amusing ‘Surprise’ symphony No. 94 when the hudden orchestral clash startles the theatre goers.

Uproar ensured and the outcome was that the Marxist members of the Norwegian parliament squealed ‘like stuck pigs’, the bourgeois parties counted the buttons of their waistcoats but finally the parliament agreed to look at the hard evidence.

Vidkun Quisling produced it. What followed was an analytical dissection of the country’s revolutionary left proving beyond all doubt the violent, treacherous, revolutionary aims of Norway’s radical left. Vidkun Quisling was thus vindicated.

Note: The entire evidence is presented in I Was Quisling’s Secretary, Britons Publishing Company, 1967.


Quisling had a keen understanding of world order and was a recognized political philosopher. Much of Quisling’s analysis and many of his statements influenced and contributed to the ideology of Italy’s emerging Benito Mussolini whose new Fascism was successfully creating the corporate state. Such was the success of Fascism that even Churchill conceded: ‘Of Italian Fascism, Italy has shown that there is a way of fighting the subversive forces which can rally the masses of the people, properly led, to value and wish to defend the honour and stability of civilized society. Hereafter no great nation will be unprovided with an ultimate means of protection against the cancerous growth of Bolshevism.” (2)

As a philosopher about which few records remain Vidkun Quisling put forward a revolutionary thesis to provide for a system of ‘universalism’. It called for a new world order based on a ‘groundwork of religion and morals as well as statecraft and science’. He saw this as the essential building block of a world community based on the complementary values of race, a ‘constitution’ of religion, statecraft, science, and essentially morals. The manuscript as far as I know is still hidden away in an Oslo vault.

Quisling’s real politik would place in history’s dustbin all systems based on principles that lack morality, defy natural order and deny a spiritual dimension to the human condition, i.e. Communism/Capitalism.


Knudsen added: ‘It is now many years since he showed me his draft for a ‘European Covenant’; a commonwealth and a common market, conducted by a coalition cabinet in which each state had one vote. In such a United States of Europe, united with the British World Empire, and with the re-insurance of Russia, he saw the only possibility of peaceful progress.

‘The plan did not reach maturity because of the war, and after the war no recognition has been given him for it, even the draft mysteriously disappeared from the archives, and his enquiries for it at his trial were in vain. But (here Knudsen in 1967 comments on the emerging Common Market) they are the same thoughts which at this very moment are of impelling interest to the peoples of Western Europe.’

Quisling set about carving his niche as a politician and in the same year wrote his book, ‘Russia and Us’, the most stringent analysis of Soviet affairs ever to appear in the Norwegian language. Increasingly Quisling attracted the fury of Norway’s red agitators, those ruthless revolutionaries he had so recently bettered during his term as Norway’s Minister of Defence.

On 17′ May 1933, the Independence Day of Norway and the same year in which the German people elected Adolf Hitler as their country’s leader, the Norwegian leader formed his own political party, the Nasjonal Samling (National Unification).

His opponents sought in vain to libel and slander the patriotic newcomer but there was no flaw in the party leader’s Curriculum Vitae. His popularity and patriotism was without question and his impeachments of the hard men of the left had by now been endorsed by two-thirds of the Norwegian parliament.

Nevertheless the black propaganda persisted until Mrs. Sigrun Nansen, wife of the recently deceased renowned explorer leapt with others to his defence: ‘Whether opposing or supporting the policy of Mr. Quisling, I think that many deplore the personal and insulting form which the election campaign has taken against him. It will surely be of interest to know what Fridtjof Nansen thought of his aide. He often expressed his opinion about having had such a man for his helper: Excellent administrator, self-sacrificing and honest – his face was alight, when he mentioned Quisling’s name.’

The Nasjonal Samling’s leader inspired by the Elysian ambitions of Nansen sought to unify the Norwegian people under a program of reconstruction based on social equality. As in Britain today Norway had become separated from the fundamentals of life and was drowning in political expediency, social engineering, pornography, decadence, racial debasement and political correctness gone mad. His solution: ‘Like every society, which wishes to save itself from serious crisis, and to be reborn, we must find our way back to the life-giving substratum, and on this substratum unfold our potentialities.


A spiritual and responsible view of existence, as a living faith extended to all parts of our life, that is what people chiefly need; a proper combination of individualism and fellowship, with our best men to lead us, freedom of personal initiative, security of life and property, of work and its results, a sense of and a respect for, the family institution and parentage, for blood and soil, good-will and co-operation, instead of class-warfare, sound economic principles for the individual and for the entire society, emancipation of intellectual life and solidarity of economic life.’

Describing his re -born society Vidkun Quisling concluded by confronting the forces of national decadence: ‘Taking my departure from this ground, and joining battle with the forces that are partly opposing the new trend of things and partly endeavouring to lead it into ways abhorrent to nature, we will form a new, and – we may say – a religiously determined – political doctrine.’

In Vidkun Quisling, Norway’s Communists discovered an opponent far more to be feared that the compliant conservatives. No leader could match his resolution, his insider knowledge of Communist subversive and revolutionary strategy. Gangs of red thugs, financed and encouraged by the Moscow Mafia repeatedly attacked the Nasjonal Samling’s meetings and election campaigns. They vilified him as ‘a nazi’, ‘a fascist’, ‘an enemy of the working class’; there was no slander to which they wouldn’t stoop.

Similar scenes were being repeated throughout Europe as the Communist international attempted to bring down the democracies of Europe; from London to Oslo, Madrid to Copenhagen, anti-Communist patriots sharing the ideals of Oswald Mosley and Vidkun Quisling sought to stem the red tide.


In terms of physical courage Vidkun Quisling inspired respect. Franklin Knudsen described events at a Nasjonal Samling meeting in Tonsberg in the autumn of 1933: ‘Communists took possession of the hall in advance, and created a fearful racket, in order – if possible – to interrupt Quisling’s speech. They shouted and sang the ‘international’ and eventually a struggle ensued at the entrance.

I had to knock down a couple of men, the more noisy ones were thrown out, and the meeting was eventually carried through in comparative order. Subsequently however, a threatening crowd congregated outside the hall, and the managers advised Quisling to leave by a rear entrance. He refused.

He went out by the main entrance and looked around, coolly appraising the mob. A silence fell, and then a forcible term of abuse was heard in the middle of the throng. Quisling inspected the hundreds of excited faces, and suddenly he saw which one had shouted. He went straight up to him and said: “Would you care to repeat that?”

The man stared at him furiously, but soon his eyes began to waver, and he turned round and disappeared. Quisling walked straight through the crowd without anyone touching him.

It was not merely his tall forceful figure that inspired respect. He had such powerful eyes. And was so totally devoid of fear, that he could actually paralyse an opponent.

After the meeting we went for a walk through the town, and down at the wharf four men came running out of a side street to ‘go for’ Quisling. I seized my pistol and called out:

‘Stop, or I shoot!’ and the gang disappeared as swiftly as they had arrived. Quisling turned to me, a broad smile on his face.

‘You should not take people so seriously,’ he said. ‘Certainly, I can stop them myself if necessary. And who knows, perhaps we might have had a chance of getting four more new members.’

Town after town fell to the popular appeal of Quisling’s Nasjonal Samling party; Gjovik, Bergen, Trondheim, Norkoping, Oslo and elsewhere. Even the communist stronghold, the market place in front of ‘the peoples’ house’ in Oslo, fell to the enthusiasm carried by Norway’s patriotic reaction to communist insurrection. It was a bitter blow to the reds who had vowed that no party other than their own would speak from the square.

Such was the extent of the red terror that Nasjonal Samling, as with all anti-communist organisations throughout Europe, found it necessary to organise a defensive ring. Throughout Norway over 500 well-disciplined men were selected to form the ‘hird’ defence force. In highly mobile detachments they placed themselves wherever needed, protecting Nasjonal Samling meetings, rallies, marches, political campaigning activities. Inevitably there were wounded on both sides of the conflict.


Knudsen explained: ‘The fact that we were constantly fighting for our rights gave us a fanatical fervour, that no adverse fortune could smother, not even the defeat we suffered at the general elections by reason of the collective opposition from both the ‘red’ (left wing) and the ‘blue’ (conservative) parties. Nevertheless, we continued with our educational work; we stressed the communist danger, the need for proper defence to ensure Norway’s neutrality, the need for national reconstruction.’

As a lesson and a warning that might be taken heed of by current political activists Knudsen went on to say: ‘Party politics in the strict sense of the term, we never pursued apart from short electioneering campaigns. Otherwise we confined ourselves to general questions of national politics.

‘In 1936, the day dawned which was to be decisive. We held a great national meeting in Oslo, which was attended by several thousand men from all over the country. Quisling then assembled his most active fellow activists, and we solemnly took an oath of fealty to him – staking our existence upon the issue – we promised – under his leadership – to continue with our struggle until we had won victory. He himself and over a thousand of his followers, sealed this oath with their lives.’

Apart from struggle, education and the entryism there were no tangible successes in terms of seats won until 1936, three years after the Nasjonal Samling’s formation. The party’s leaders realised that electioneering was secondary to education. First the electorate must be properly informed as to the dangers posed to their country, the threat posed by the weakness and treachery of the established parties, the need for national reconstruction.


With the exception of the stable and prosperous National Socialist Germany Europe was in turmoil. Britain and France whose preferential trade agreements were threatened by German competition, urged on by international Jewish interests, were blockading German products and threatening war.

Poland backed by England was constantly attacking Germany’s borders whilst Czechoslovakia on Germany’s eastern border had treacherously allowed the anti-German Soviet Union the use of its military airfields aimed at Germany’s heart.

Throughout the world and in particular, Europe, the Soviet Union was agitating. For world revolution. Menacingly it was poised to overthrow Rumania and its oilfields thus grabbing Germany by the jugular.

In northern Europe tiny Finland was desperately fighting to stem Soviet aggression (The Winter War). Overrun by overwhelming odds they failed and the hardy Finns surrendered (March 6* 1940) much of their country. Despite the capitulation they bravely fought on and an army of farmers brought the Red Army to a grinding halt. Their success against Stalin’s armed might outraged Winston Churchill. The English autocrat soon sought revenge for Stalin’s humiliation and finally got it on December 7*, 1941 when England declared war on Finland. Simultaneously England declared war on Hungary and Romania.

Spain was in the grip of Civil War in which General Franco was mobilising sufficient forces to (eventually) hurl Moscow’s cuckoo out of the Madrid nest. In Norway Quisling took the field against the Soviet-inspired Camerilla that was aiming to embrace the whole of Europe in a gigantic pair of pincers with one of its claws in Scandinavia and the other in Spain. Europe was in mortal danger.

Few were better qualified to act than was Vidkun Quisling. He knew the Soviet plans as well as they themselves did. He could follow the Soviet strategy step by step towards its final goal of world domination.


Quisling had already met Leon Trotsky – the alias of Lev Davidovitsj Bronstein, an American revolutionary Jew – and knew his view of world revolution. He had also met leaders of the ‘Russian’ revolution in the Caucasus and the Ukraine, the Danube deltas and in Moscow itself.

Although a combination of diplomacy, real politic and censorship hid the Soviet revolutionary aims from the masses of Western Europe, Quisling was one of those sufficiently enlightened to identify and thwart the Communist threat. This is a fact for which every single Briton owes a debt to the Norwegian leader.

Hardly surprisingly the Nasjonal Samling’s slogan was: ‘Norway neutral – Norway prepared. ‘ It was a slogan detested by the sabre-rattling Winston Churchill who was already planning the violation of Norway’s neutrality as part of his strategy to deny ore to National Socialist Germany. Vidkun Quisling was proving to be an adept prophet in the militaristic manoeuvring of those countries that sought any excuse for war.

There was hardly a communist cell, act of entryism, conspiracy or fifth-columnist front in Europe that Quisling didn’t know about. His base was Norway but his heart was for the security of Europe. His two principle aims were to stop the Marxists in Norway and to bring unity to the anti-communist reaction throughout Europe. In fact, up until Hitler’s election when Communism in Germany was dealt with root and branch. Quisling was concerned that the Weimar regime, in defiance of the Versailles Treaty terms, had assisted Communist Russia’s aggressive intentions towards Britain and her Empire. This was yet another reason for Britons to reflect the debt they owe to the Norwegian patriot…

Quisling’s Nasjonal Samling Party urged adequate defences to maintain Norway’s neutrality from wherever it was threatened. The real traitors, Norway’s communists, especially after 1935 when the red-front Labour Party came to power, campaigned for disarmament and in the event of war, a general strike and the laying down of arms. This was precisely what the Soviets wanted. In fact, the Norwegian Labour Party smuggled the politically virile Trotsky into Norway under the assumed name of Sedow. This left little doubt as to the catastrophe likely to befall Britain’s closest Scandinavian neighbour.

Quisling did everything possible within the law to have the ghetto-revolutionary thrown out of Norway but failed due to the Government having invited him in in the first place. What followed was one of the most audacious acts of anti-subversion ever mounted in peacetime. Agents attached to Nasjonal Samling, without Quisling’s knowledge, tapped Trotsky’s phones, infiltrated his circle, spied on the revolutionary and his entourage, even burgled their homes.


One, posing as an estate agent, even visited Trotsky’s lair and ‘liberated’ several compromising directives. On other occasions his secretaries, (Trotsky was supposed to be convalescing!) were spied upon and their belongings discreetly searched. Finally Trotsky’s home was ‘burgled’ by the enterprising Nasjonal Samling’s operatives whilst he himself was intimidated by a multi car pursuit during which the nervous architect of the red terror protected himself with a sandbag at the rear of his neck.

Within days the luckless Jewish mouse, already responsible for the butchery of unknown numbers, contrary to his permit, imported several heavies who were anything but Nordic in appearance.

By then, faced with the then undeniable evidence of the Jewish revolutionary’s activities the thwarted red-front Labour Party had no choice but to intern Trotsky and then allow his extradition to Mexico. There the rat-faced little butcher was subsequently ice-picked to death by Jackson-Mornard, one of Stalin’s agents.

Quisling, in public at least, was less than amused at the unorthodox methods used by his party members to counter the Trotsky threat. He suggested, “It would have been simplest to have him delivered to the Russian consulate whereupon he would probably have been despatched to Moscow – in an urn.”

Vidkun Quisling was very much an ascetic and refused to accept a salary from his party’s funds. During the years 1933 /44 his secretary organised and recorded over 500 public meetings. The living and travelling expenses for Quisling must have been considerable but the party leader preferred to live on a meagre pension, occasionally selling a few possessions.

His efforts were rewarded by a constant stream of abuse both in the left wing and conservative press. As a person he was noted for his genial humour, which made light of such abuse. To those who were remote he could appear to be severe and serious, even uncommunicative. But among friends he was always good-humoured and the conversation sparkled when he was present. He was a great practical joker and his light- hearted banter made him extremely popular among friends and party activists.

Physically, Quisling was lank and loose-jointed but he was later to put on weight due to an inflammation of the kidneys, which he contracted just before England’s declaration of war.


Physically he was seemingly blessed with enormous stamina and typically he would run, apparently effortlessly, through the mountains for anything from six to eight hours. Franklin Knudsen said: “‘He walked like an elk, purposeful and indefatigable.’

Both Quisling’s parents belonged to a family line whose distinguished ancestry went back many generations. The name Quisling designates that the bearer belongs to a collateral branch of the Norwegian Royal Family, and Norway’s two most revered poets, Henrik Ibsen and Bjornstjerne Bjornson. He had good grounds to say at his court hearing: ‘It is not dishwater that flows through my veins.’

At school Vidkun excelled, particularly in literature, science, history and traditions. He reached the top of his class effortlessly. He remained in that position and so his final degree presented no problem to him. His love of the outdoors never suffered as a consequence of his academic diligence and he excelled at both shooting and fishing.

Knudsen affirmed that he had never met a man who needed less sleep. Six hours was his absolute maximum but frequently he would be dismissive of rest until the day’s work was completed and comrades ‘safely stood down’. Though that might be three or four o’clock in the morning he would still be back on his feet at 7.00am.

His ability to remember was uncanny. He once dictated some fifty lines of political text before asking Knudsen’s opinion. His secretary replied that he thought the wording unnecessarily academic. Without looking at the notes he mentioned a series of words and expressions explaining as he did so what was to be replaced and where. He then dictated the amended text flawlessly.

He was once introduced to sixteen new party members. Several months later he asked how each was getting on, recalling individual names, districts and attributes. He never made a single mistake. As a youth he had memorised the many hundreds of parishes of Norway, and their boundaries, simply to familiarise himself with the precise topography of his country.


Distraught at the appalling likely consequences of what he called the ‘brothers war’ between Britain and Germany Quisling had intervened a month after England declared war on its European neighbour.

He telegraphed the British Prime Minister Chamberlain proposing that on British initiative a union of European nations be formed. His secretary and biographer Franklin Knudsen wrote: ‘A few weeks later he had ready a detailed draft for cessation of hostilities and a proposal for re-establishing peaceful relations between the brother- nations Great Britain and Germany.’

As Knudsen surmises, “If Quisling had had any desire to exploit the confusion of the of the world war and to seize power himself by the aid of foreign bayonets, he would have done exactly the reverse, viz: lulled the people into a still more profound sleep, and one day confronted it with an accomplished fact.”


On October 11, 1939 after Poland’s attacks on Germany had been repulsed and German territory ceded to Poland in 1918 recovered, Vidkun Quisling sent an urgent telegram to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain:

‘Having in 1927 to 1929 been charged with the task of attending to the British interests in Russia, I take the liberty of addressing myself to your Excellency being aware, of expressing the opinion of nearly all in the Nordic countries, when saying that the brothers’ war between Great Britain and Germany, with bolshevism as a tertius gaudens, is being felt in an especially tragic degree in our countries, that are so closely related to Great Britain as well as to Germany.

Your declaration of September 30, 1938, concerning the relations between Great Britain and Germany, and their vital importance to the peaceful development of Europe, made a strong impression here, and we are convinced that what is in question today is to save Europe and civilisation through peace with Germany in the spirit of your declaration.

The only positive way to achieve this is to fuse British, French, and German interests into a European Confederation on the initiative of Great Britain, in order to create a community of interests and co-operation, beneficent to all parties.

Under these circumstances, and in view of the sufferings, which the war is causing also to the neutral Nordic countries, I deferentially appeal to your immense authority and responsibility, and beg to suggest that the British government – in accordance with the tested methods of federalisation in America, South Africa and Australia – invite every European state to choose ten representatives to a congress charged with the task of preparing a constitution for an empire of the European nations, to be submitted to a plebiscite in each country for acceptance or rejection ….

You are the only statesmen who, under present circumstances, can bring Europe back to peace and reason. ” – Quisling, C.B.E., formerly Norwegian Minister of Defence.

This telegram was cordially acknowledged to which Quisling afterwards said: I received a friendly message of thanks, but otherwise I heard nothing more about the matter.’

One of the greatest ironies is that within two decades of the brother’s war such a confederation of European states was formed. An even greater irony is that Britain rather than taking the lead as suggested by Quisling, became a junior partner to a united Europe and is today standing on the sidelines.


At his trial Quisling was at pains to explain a meeting with Hitler on December 16/17, 1939: “Later at the beginning of December 1939, 1 had the chance of going to Germany. The real reason for my journey was, however, a private request from doctor Aall, who was living with the Norwegian-American professor Strangeland, to visit him in order to discuss a scientific work. It has nothing to with the present (court) case.

Through the instigation of Reichsminister Alfred Rosenberg, I then had an audience with Hitler. It was the first time I had met him, and immediately received a strong impression that he was very attached to me. My conversation with him I may sum up as follows:

“I mentioned the question of peace to him, and Hitler then – as was his habit – gave me a long lecture on his and Germany’s relations with Great Britain. In the strongest terms he explained that it was a matter of emotion as well as reason that lay behind his fervent desire to reach an understanding with Great Britain, because Great Britain had gone to war about the Polish question, and he thought that he had made more than a fair proposal for a settlement of this question. Provisionally, things must run their course, but in due time, he would revert to the subject. As we know, this happened in the summer of 1940, but it was not a success.

“He also discussed Norwegian and North European matters. Hitler mentioned that he was aware of our endeavours to keep Norway out of the war, and emphasised strongly that the Scandinavian States – and particularly Norway – remaining neutral, best attended to Germany’s interests. Germany, Hitler emphasised, had no interest whatever in interfering in Norway, if only Norway vindicated her neutrality. Should she not do so, Germany would be bound to interfere, for if Great Britain tried to establish herself in Norway, it would constitute such a crucial threat against Germany, that Hitler would put forth all his strength to prevent it.

Germany would then also have to occupy Denmark and against Norway, he would pit everything that was needed to break any resistance, regardless of how many divisions might be required. 6-10-12-16 divisions, he stated. I particularly remember that he said 16 divisions, presumably, however, only as a casual end to a numerical series, which might be further increased.

This was exactly as I had argued for years, and had been preaching to my countrymen in numerous lectures and articles. It was, however, important to me to have my views thus confirmed at first hand. And there was no doubt as to his being in mortal earnest.

“Hitler also asked about our movement. I told him about it and about our struggle I had been carrying on in Norway. He asked what chances there were of our taking over the government, or whether it would be possible for us to get some of our men into government. This would secure Norway’s neutrality. I replied that I did not think this was possible for the time being, but that we were gaining an increasing number of supporters, and that the war might perhaps develop in such a manner as to make it possible or even desirable. Hitler said he would hail it with delight, because Germany was first and foremost, interested in the neutrality of Norway, to which – it was obvious – Hitler attached the greatest importance.

Vidkun Quisling went to great pains to prove conclusively that from as far back as the ‘Russian’ revolution he had consistently sought a peaceful unified Europe, preferably a single market Europe, with neutrality for Norway. He added that just as he had discussed Norway’s neutrality with Hitler he had done likewise with Great Britain from the British Prime Minister down through the ranks of parliament who were similarly in favour of an arrangement with Germany.

The British, and as a consequence the Germany invasion of Norway reduced Quisling’s status and means to achieve anything internationally.


Alarmed at the emerging evidence that Britain and France intended to attack Norway, Sweden and Finland, Hitler on December 27 gave explicit orders to prepare comprehensive plans for the defensive occupation, or if too late a strategy to throw the English cuckoo out of the Norwegian nest.

His fears were not groundless. On September 19, 1939 – less than two weeks after his declaration of war against Germany – Winston Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty, put forward the suggestion ‘that the British fleet should lay a mine field across the three mile limit in Norwegian territorial waters,’ the intention being to intercept and stop the essential supply of Swedish ore (via Narvik) to Germany. (4)

Churchill went on to bemoan the fact that having made his case the cabinet would not give their consent. ‘The Foreign Office’s argument in favour of respecting Norway’s neutrality was weighty’.

It was not until April 1940 that Churchill got his way. He dismissed any suggestion that Norway would retaliate by pointing out that Great Britain, through trade blockades ‘could bring the whole industry of Norway, centring on Oslo and Bergen, to a complete standstill, in short, Norway, by retaliating against us, would be involved in economic and industrial ruin.’ England’s swashbuckling First Lord contemptuously dismissed suggestions that Germany would retaliate.

Another ‘cunning plan’ of the ever-bellicose Winston was to declare de facto war on Norway, Sweden and Finland. This strategy was drawn up on February 5, 1940 when the Allied Supreme Council of the western powers held a meeting in Paris. There it was agreed to send up to four divisions, camouflaged as volunteers’ (5) to Finland via Norway and Sweden to seize those countries iron-ore assets. The strategy was aborted because of Sweden’s stated determination to resist.

Having been denied his calamitous warlike way Churchill on February 16, 1940 ordered British naval forces to proceed into Norway’s territorial waters and board the German freighter ‘Altmark’, which had prisoners-of-war on board. As Quisling had surmised the Norwegian government turned a blind eye to Churchill’s impudent two-fingered salute to their country’s neutrality.

On April 8 English aggression against Norway proceeded. The Royal Navy began to mine the Scandinavian country’s coastal waters; an act of war that once again blew a gaping hole in solemnly signed declarations.

As the mining of Norway’s ports continued British and French troops were simultaneously being mobilised to invade Norway. Their first objective was to occupy Narvik and to clear the port before advancing to the Swedish frontier. Simultaneously further troops were readied to occupy Stavenger, Bergen and Trondheim’.


At a time when according to corrupt British ‘historians’ England was supposed to be standing alone, Adolf Hitler was hardly alone in being horrified at the English and French invasion of Scandinavia. His country’s legitimate (and crucial) trade links with Finland would be broken in defiance of international law. Furthermore, Hitler was painfully aware that the invasion of his country would quickly follow. ‘The occupation of the Norway by the British would be a strategic turning movement which would lead them into the Baltic, where we have neither troops nor coastal fortifications . . . the enemy would find himself in a position to advance on Berlin and break the backbone of our two fronts.” (6)

Churchill was rather reticent about his criminal disregard for Scandinavia’s neutrality but his French counterpart, the equally belligerent Prime Minister Daladier was more forthright: “Churchill came to Paris,” he explained, “on April 5* 1940 and at last the British government resolved that the mine fields in Norwegian territorial waters would after all be laid. The operation was, however postponed until April 7 so Hitler could learn of it and prepare his counter move. One of the aims of the enterprise was to, entrap the opponent by provoking him into making a landing in Norway. ”

Churchill’s reticence was understandable. Instead of arriving first and drawing the Germans out, the German armed forces reached Norway first and with remarkably few forces prevented the British and French occupation of Norway.

‘Consequently, we were out of the running, and for all that, it was we, who had taken the initiative in the operations,’ admitted France’s Paul Reynard. France’s General Gamelin disconsolately agreed: ‘The intention had been to entrap their opponent (Germany) by provoking him into making a landing in Norway.’ It had gone disastrously wrong, they had been beaten to it by Hitler. Churchill himself reluctantly conceded that ‘The Norwegian government at the time was chiefly concerned with the activities of the British.’


Undeterred Churchill persisted in his aim to occupy Norway with Trondheim being the obvious choice; there were only 2,000 German troops stationed in the coastal town who would be little match for 13,000 British troops. The British Army was however routed during their encirclement and badly mauled, the remnants were evacuated by May I’*’.

More to save face than from any realistic chance of seizing neutral Sweden’s iron-mines, the British mobilised 20,000 troops and put them ashore at Narvik. Embarrassingly they too were routed by 2,000 Austrian Alpine troops supported by as many sailors again from the German destroyers based at Narvik.

At this stage of the war, Germany, which had so far merely protected its borders against Anglo-French aggression, retaliated against their tormentors. The numerically fewer and more lightly equipped German Army overran France. 338,000 allied troops, mostly British, retreated through northern France, most of whom were rescued on the express orders of the conciliatory Adolf Hitler. Along the Norwegian coastline the remnants of Churchill’s defeated British Army in Norway were simultaneously evicted (evacuated).

Everything that Vidkun Quisling had warned against had turned out precisely as he had predicted; rarely has a country suffered the ignominy of bearing the charge: ‘I told you so.’ Quisling stood vindicated.

Interestingly, the then Norwegian government, like today’s Labour Party activists, were selectively pacifist. Just as in England there are government ministers who once supported the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Quisling recalled a Norwegian apparatchik sitting on the military committee whilst wearing the ‘broken rifle’ emblem on his lapel. He became the Minister of Defence. Quisling wondered what these ‘warriors’ would do now to defend Norway’s interests.

Even Quisling’s most vociferous opponents agreed on the point of Norway’s lamentable lack of preparation: Major O.H Langeland, a vociferous opponent wrote: ‘Never has a people embarked on a war under a government that was so incompetent, and so totally incapable of understanding the nature of war as the Nygaardsvold government.’ (7)

Such was Norwegian parliamentary party’s incompetence, betrayal and treachery that in order to save their own skins when the post war inquest arrived they had little hesitation in placing the blame on the 100,000 of their fellow countrymen who had joined Quisling’s Nasjonal Samling Party.


Overnight the German armed forces consolidated their hold on Norway and set up a protective coastal cordon to thwart Anglo-French incursions. In Oslo itself the Norwegian authorities had evaporated like spring snow leaving only the police to cope with the invasion.

It was at this stage that a representative of the German government named Scheldt and an old acquaintance, Hagelin, approached Quisling, in his hotel room, the Astoria. The situation was made painfully clear, in a word, resistance was useless and at this stage could only come from guerrilla bands as all defence establishments had surrendered. The obvious was stated; continuation of the conflict would be catastrophic for Norway.

Overall the capitulation was peaceful and uneventful. The city of Oslo surrendered and thousands of curious Norwegians stood calmly along the pavements to witness the surprisingly low-key troop movements. Hitler despised victory celebrations. Knudsen surprised he saw one elderly lady spit in a German soldier’s face. He simply wiped the spittle off with the back of his hand and smiled.

At 1.00 o’clock Quisling completed his walk of contemplation and accompanied by Knudsen and Scheldt set off for the War Office. Once there he was recognised and saluted; he had of course been Norway’s Minister of Defence for two years, in these same offices.

The authorities had vanished; no one knew what had happened and no orders had been given. The General Staff had evacuated during the night. It was later discovered they had ensconced to a small hotel outside Oslo where they had mobilised a hearty breakfast.

Sadly it was not to be partaken. Just as these stalwarts were about to tuck in a German plane came flying over the suburb of HolmenkoUen and the entire general staff ran for their cars and disappeared. They left only their caps, shoulder belts, overcoats, portfolios, and of course their breakfasts.

Back at the War Office it was unanimously agreed ‘that it would be an act of utter insanity to attempt to resist.’

Having secured German agreement to consider the War Office as sacrosanct. Quisling ordered the destruction of all documentation that might aid the German armed forces. He then endeavoured to discover where Norway’s government had gone. He did manage to contact a colonel at Elverum who informed him that the government was on the point of fleeing to Sweden.

Quisling was quite certain that this must be prevented; its government and the authorities could not abandon Norway. In Oslo there were already signs of panic. Vidkun Quisling, ever the pragmatic, took the only available course open to him, an equally realistic decision that was taken during the German occupation of Guernsey and other soft targets.


The German objective had been reached, the military denial of Norway to their English and French tormentors. It had never been their intention, borne out by events, of bringing bloodshed to their peaceful European neighbour. Furthermore the Germans had no wish whatsoever to interfere in the administration of the land of Norway.

There was anger that the German battleship Blucher had been sunk with heavy loss of life and a feeling for revenge in the form of armed aggression prevailed. This however was prevented on the express orders of Adolf Hitler.

The only remaining political party in Norway, Nasjonal Samling, was invited to administer the country’s affairs. Taking off his jacket Quisling set to work. His first intention was to broadcast a national appeal for calm. His doing so prevented much loss of life.

At 7.32pm Vidkun Quisling made his speech from Oslo’s radio station: ‘Norwegian Men and women! England having violated the neutrality of Norway by laying minefields in Norwegian territorial waters, without encountering any other resistance than the usual flimsy protests from the Nygaardsvold government, the German government has offered the Norwegian government, its help, accompanied by a solemn declaration that Germany will respect our national independence and Norwegian lives and property.

As a reply to this offer, which would provide a solution to the untenable situation in which our country finds itself the Nygaardsvold government has ordered a general mobilisation with the instructions that all Norwegian military forces are to oppose the Germans by armed force.

The government itself has fled, having recklessly gambled with the fate of our country and its inhabitants. Under these circumstances, it is the duty and the right of the national unity movement to take possession of the power of government, in order to vindicate the vital interests of the Norwegian people and the safety and independence of Norway.

By the virtues of circumstance and of the national aims of our movement, we are the only people who can do this and thereby save the country from the desperate situation into which the party politicians have brought our people. The Nygaardsvold government has withdrawn. The national government has assumed power with Vidkun Quisling as head of government and minister for foreign affairs, and with the following other members.’

Quisling then went on to name his government members drawn from a wide spectrum of professional Norwegian life including the armed forces.

‘All Norwegians are hereby called upon to keep the peace of the Realm and to preserve their presence of mind in this difficult situation. By united assertions and the good will of all, we shall bring Norway free and safe through this serious crisis. I add, that with the way the situation has developed, resistance is not merely useless, but directly synonymous with criminal destruction of life and property. Every official and every municipal functionary and particularly all the officers of our country, in the army, navy, coastal artillery and air force, are bound to obey orders from their national government.’


Of course, the proclamation acted like a bomb up and down the country. Knudsen described his congratulating Quisling on his new role as Prime Minister of Norway. ‘He smiled – somewhat sadly I thought – and said: ‘It surely is no position to aspire after, Franklin. Let us hope, however, that the Germans understand our objectives.’

Was Quisling the puppet claimed by the vengeful victors? The evidence suggests otherwise. Norway’s new prime minister insisted on considerable autonomy moreso than did for instance the authorities on England’s German-occupied Channel Islands who were never denounced as traitors.

The first sign of Quisling’s independent spirit was shown when Reich Minister Brauer asked Quisling to visit him. The prime minister declined saying that on the contrary; Brauer must come to see him. On this occasion Quisling presented his list of government ministers, rather embarrassingly handwritten on a hotel letter heading. This at least put the lie to the allegation that Nasjonal Samling was part of a pre-arranged plot. If that had been the case then the new government of ministers, some even then in remote regions of the country, would never have been appointed ‘on the hoof. They would have been already appointed and standing in the wings.

It was Quisling who ordered the evacuation of German troops from his country’s parliament, while the illegitimate Nygaardsvold regime (through unconstitutional extension of their mandate) were abandoning their country and people. It was Quisling who by various directives saved many Norwegian lives.

There were amusing incidents. On one occasion Franklin Knudsen, Quisling’s secretary, was required to show his identity card. On showing the officer his passport he was promptly arrested which caused considerable tension. The Germans however did have a point. There in Knudsen’ s passport were the words, ‘Acting British Consul’.

There was amusement all round however when it was revealed that Knudsen who had indeed acted as British Consul, had been dismissed from the post several months earlier. Presumably this was because his father, British vice-Consul for thirty years, was dismissed for disagreeing with Britain’s war aims.

Of Quisling’s role Knudsen was afterwards to say: ‘There was no doubting my mind that Quisling had acted correctly, in order to salvage priceless values. Nothing that has happened subsequently has shaken this belief of mine one jot.’ (8).

The claim that Quisling was Germany’s imposed puppet is also wide of the mark. Whilst the Nasjonal Samling’s leader was indeed Prime Minister, it was Amrsleiter (Head of Department) Scheldt and President of the Board of Trade, Hagelin, who autonomously negotiated with the German authorities.

Quisling’s principal role was to provide responsible civilian rule thus denying the need for military dictatorship. He first aim was to ensure political and social stability and through proper defence to deter British and French aggression. It was assumed that adequate defensive fortifications would be in place prior to German withdrawal and the re-establishment of Norway’s neutral status. Had Quisling been listened to in the years leading up to England’s war against Germany and Scandinavia then of course British and then German invasion would have never occurred.


The new government earned the guarded approval of industry’s official representatives and ironically, the spontaneous and total support of the trade unions. Prior to their executive committees fleeing the country, Nasjonal Samling had been a thorn in the side of the Socialists but now abandoned by them, Norway’s workers became enthusiastic for their new government.

The press also promised Quisling their support. After a statement to the Oslo Press, the editor in chief of Norway’s equivalent to The Times or New York Times wrote supportively. He said that for many years he had been one of Quisling’s most consistent opponents, but after what had happened, he was convinced that there was only one course open to the nation, and that was the one which Quisling’s new government had made possible.

Every newspaper loyally quoted all the press releases Quisling forwarded. They were not compelled to do so; the new government did not possess the means to compel anyone to do anything against their wishes. In effect whilst Quisling responsibly administered the country’s needs the German authorities, which considered Quisling ‘a bothersome fellow’, merely provided for the country’s defence against England.

Unlike Britain’s whip system of government none of the Quisling government’s ministers or functionaries were coerced; each was given the free choice, to serve or not to do so. It is interesting to note that all functionaries were requested to dispose of all documents that might fall into German hands.


Throughout Norway settled a blissful calm except for one tumultuous day when Quisling was alarmed to see mass panic in Oslo. Tens of thousands of people were fleeing for their lives, even hijacking vehicles; anything to reach safety. On that ill-famed aptly named ‘panic day’ tens of thousands spent the freezing night in the woods surrounding Oslo.

The reason? Rumour had it that British warships were lying out in the fjord and were going to bombard Oslo on the stroke of twelve noon. The rumour was likely fuelled by a British broadcast aimed at giving the impression that Britain had allowed the Germans to successfully invade, so that the Royal Navy could blockade and confine Germany’s troops.

Acceptance of their position was universal and largely supportive throughout Norway. Certainly the fleeing Nygaardsvold regime was condemned without exception and in scenes that would undoubtedly have been echoed had England been invaded, the Norwegian people set out to make the best of things.

People, especially those in authority, did everything possible to ingratiate themselves with the Germans, offering assistance and advice. The German legation was actually besieged by Norwegians wishing to assist the Germans and Oslo’s local government were nothing if not enthusiastic in carrying out nightly repairs to the Fornebu airport which was being bombed by Britain’s Royal Air Force. For their part the German authorities kept Quisling informed as to those who were conspiring to oust him. There were several separate and parallel plans to remove Quisling, one of which was to succeed.


Quisling for his part applied himself to getting the country running again. Previously Norway’s industry was disproportionately dependent upon Britain. Overnight entire industries closed down overnight, as did the banks. Thousands of workers found themselves without the means to make a living. Churchill’s boast to bring Norway’s economy to destruction looked certain but was again thwarted by Quisling. With enormous drive and energy he brought Norway’s entire economic and social administration back to work.

Perversely it was Quisling’s independent spirits that lead to his being removed from office. His relationship with minister Brauer had always been abrasive; the Reich’s appointee resented playing second fiddle to Quisling. Furthermore the Germans were great believers in real politic and the more Machiavellian Brauer had succeeded in convincing the German High Command that an alternative government to Quisling’s had been assembled. This Administrasjonsrad would be far more compliant to German demands and furthermore it had the unequivocal support of the King who had refused to recognise the Quisling government. This was a real politik that the Germans could not refuse.

Quisling was furious and in a angry confrontation with the German appointed puppet-president of the newly formed Administrasjonsrad he exclaimed: ‘You have these thirty years been walking about acting patriot and friend of the military defence of Norway, and now it becomes evident that you are willing to take over the government on German terms, which I had rejected in contempt. You have made yourself a vile hostage in the hands of the Wehrmacht. You will be forced to join in the plundering of our people, and when it is finished your new taskmasters will throw you out of office. It will be well deserved.’ Events turned out precisely as Quisling predicted.

Within days it became clear that Norway’s Administrasjonsrad had lied and did not have the King’s blessing and were unable to govern in the way the Germans had wanted. It was immediately dissolved, the occupied Norwegian territories were placed under a Reichskommissar and Norway found itself under direct military rule. The Reich’s new commissar was Terboven and for the first time the Swastika rather than the Norwegian national flag flew over parliament house.


Hitler who had allowed himself to be ill advised by the deceitful Brauer and his fellow conspirators was ruthlessly pragmatic. The hapless German appointee, Brauer, delirious with pride, flew to Berlin on April 16* A week later he was demoted to common soldier and posted to the Western Front. Rumour has it (by 1967) that Brauer had been absorbed into the Soviet apparatus as an advisor to the inspectorate of recruitment.

With less freedom than that enjoyed by the occupied Danes, a freedom likely to have been equalled in Norway had Quisling’s more benign administration not been sabotaged by Brauer, Norway’s infrastructure nevertheless hit the ground running. Industry was accelerating at such a pace that it was afterwards mockingly said that the Norwegians were profiteers by day and patriots during the evening.’

Quisling meanwhile was politically sidelined. Terboven informed him that unless he resigned as leader of Nasjonal Samling it would be declared an illegal organisation. Vidkun Quisling did fly to Berlin, hoping to lay the situation before the Fuhrer, but those who had an interest in maintaining Terboven’ s position prevented the meeting from immediately doing so and Quisling was ‘otherwise occupied’. Resting in a small hotel on the outskirts of Berlin, the days turned into weeks giving Terboven the space needed to consolidate his hold.


Finally the meeting with the German leader took place and was to last several hours. There, Quisling was given the opportunity to properly recount events which he did so without throwing Terboven to the wolves. Hitler, understandably upset at Norway’s pre- war treachery that had left his beloved Germany exposed to Baltic invasion, pointed out that Norway had no right to anything ‘after the pro-English policy she had been pursuing.’

The Fuhrer then smiled and added ruefully: ‘It is a strange irony of fate that we should be waging war against the two countries, for which, all my life, I have had the most sympathy, namely, Norway and England.’

Hitler spoke quietly saying that he could not make any changes to the conditions of occupation but would consider, as soon as conditions allowed, Norway’s craving for liberty.’ He also reminded Quisling that if England’s invasion had made occupation inevitable then better for the people of Norway that the occupiers be German rather than English. The Fuhrer had bitter memories of the English as occupiers. To underline his point the Fuhrer added that had it not been for the German occupation the Soviet Union aided by England would have certainly pursued its claim to access to the open sea (Atlantic). The implication was clear; it was hardly in Norway’s interests to be occupied by the Red Army. It was an irresistible argument.

The meeting ended with Quisling being afforded every facility for continuing his work, and working within a Norway enjoying considerable autonomy within a Germanic Europe. The German leader was set in his mind that never again would the offshore prodigal son, England, threaten Europe.


Unbeknown to the Norwegian patriot the Fuhrer, unaware of his presence in Berlin, sent Quisling a telegram which read: ‘By his many years’ work against world bolshevism, minister Quisling has involved the German people and myself in a debt of gratitude to him, a debt of honour, that will be paid in full both to him personally, and to the Norwegian people that bred him.’

Subsequently Quisling remained on the sidelines in the belief that doing so gave him the best opportunity of engaging and ousting Terboven’s Administrasjonsrad. Adolf Hitler was personally involved in negotiations aimed at providing Norway with a multi-party administration with Nasjonal Samling under Quisling’s leadership making up at least one-quarter of then proposed government. It was the Fuhrer’ s fervent hope that the Norwegian patriot’s track record would quickly make him the dominant figure in Norwegian politics.

Such were the contenders that it was jokingly said that Norway had enough ministers to run Europe.

In the event of the successful formation of Hitler’s choice, the Council of the Kingdom, Quisling’s Nasjonal Samling was accorded one-third of the new parliament’s seats but he himself was not made a member of the government. At least his work for the reconstruction of Norway, though now compromised by the intervening period, could begin.


Posterity, not the vengeful victors will decide on guilt or otherwise. Certainly in the chaos of war and occupation there will be compromise, treachery, acts of cowardice and bravery, brutality, duplicity; all of humanity’s strengths and failings will be evident.

Separated from passion there were many collaborators (not just with the Germans) who were elevated to high position after the war. Equally there were patriots who fought passionately for their country, their race or the combination of both. They gave their lives. In between there were tens of thousands who lived, worked, often enthusiastically, to consolidate the achievements of the Third Reich. Many were building and repairing airfields used by the Luftwaffe to carry on the German war against Norwegian partisans. In such a chaos of torn loyalties are found hypocritical and unjust judicial sentencing.

If any nation and its people are to survive in the face of adversity some persons must take it upon themselves to negotiate, to see to it that there is a minimum of abuse of power. Would it have been any different had England been occupied? It is doubtful. Had those in a position to seek concessions from the Germans done so would they afterwards have been state-murdered for their collaboration in the events of the tide turning? If so, then who shall protect us should England be occupied in the future?

It may be (conveniently) forgotten today in Norway but it was Quisling alone who gained Adolf Hitler’s assurance that after the war Norway’s status as a free and independent nation would be fully restored. In fact, Norway officially was a German province only between his being stood down on April 11* 1940 and the restoration of government in 1942. Norway was delivered with her national integrity intact, due entirely to the efforts of the greatest Viking of all, Vidkun Quisling.


Was Vidkun Quisling a National Socialist? Decidedly not for in fact it was his and Knudsen’s almost English (establishment) negative perception of National Socialism that earned them the distrust of Berlin. Those politicians who did replace him were appointed not so much because of their affection for or understanding of Norway but for their affection for the Third Reich and in particular National Socialism.

Quisling had, much to his later regret, always trusted England first and foremost. He was particularly aggrieved when, in the summer of 1940, he was deprived of his order of CBE (Commander of the British Empire). In his biography his secretary emphasised ‘the naked truth’: “Quisling was far more pro-English than pro-German.”

Franklin Knudsen himself was a product of the English public school system. He had also been an Acting British Vice Consul, hardly a role suited to a National Socialist.

As late as 1938 Knudsen had collaborated with the Air Ministry in London. This was in connection with a Norwegian patent for directing torpedoes by the aid of photoelectric cells. It was hardly surprising the Gestapo suspected him of belonging to the British Secret Service.

Essentially the Nasjonal Samling Party was Fascist inclined only inasmuch as it represented a sea change for social improvement, the elimination of class, the provision of conditions amenable to national prosperity, and a sound defensive strategy. As such it was natural that it should be vehemently opposed to Communism but then, virtually every country in Europe had, with varying degrees of success, their own Nasjonal Samling parties.

On May 7, 1945 Norway capitulated and the disintegration proceeded during which time Vidkun Quisling was ordered to present himself and with party members to the police station. He had already spurned an offer to decamp for a neutral country, Spain or South America. He preferred however to stand by his post and to vindicate his actions. A surprising lack of judgement for he must already have known of the vengeful extremes to which his opponents would go.


The campaign to blacken the Norwegian patriot’s reputation began immediately upon his being gaoled. The media that had been on friendly terms with him so recently now denounced him as ‘a drunken decadent bearing all the signs of excess debauchery.’ Pretty good considering Quisling was a tee-totalling non-smoking ascetic. One can only imagine what the same media might say if let loose on the Vatican?

Vidkun Quisling and thousands of other gaoled political hostages was systematically starved with rations as low as 700 calories a day, the normal requirement being 3000 calories daily. In these prisons various diseases ran rampant and neuritis, due to lack of nutrition, was common. Such was Quisling’s physical condition that on at least one occasion the court had to be adjourned because he had difficulty standing.

Quisling’s political activity before the occupation was a mainstay of the prosecution’s case. (Defence evidence was inadmissible) It alleged that he had 1. Furnished Germany with military and political information. 2. That in December 1940 (three months prior to the invasion) he had procured an audience with the Norwegian businessman, Hagelin, Admiral Raeder and Adolf Hitler. 3. That by declaring illegal (which it was) the Norwegian parliament’s extension of itself he had provided himself with a reason to force a coup d’etat.

The rest was equally puerile nonsense. It was charged that Quisling would invite the Germans to occupy Norway as being preferable to being occupied by Britain, that he would incorporate Norway into a Great Germanic League. It was also charged that he had convinced Adolf Hitler in 1939 of the western powers intention to invade Norway. It may have been irrelevant to such a court that it was of course true. Finally he Quisling had charged (again quite correctly) the then illegal Norwegian government with having decided not to hinder an allied invasion of Norway.

Perversely, rarely has a prosecution so successfully managed to turn acts of great patriotism into base treachery.

Denounced as a traitor for offering a defensive solution to an invasion from whatever quarter, for exposing an illegal act (extension of parliament) by a government, warning his country of an enemy’s invasion plans, and denouncing his government for collaborating and acquiescing to England’s planned invasion. That is treachery?

It was never explained why, if it was Quisling’s intention to surrender his country to Germany, why his party alone in the Norwegian parliament, had offered a solution that would guarantee Norway’s continued neutrality. A strange thing to do if one is contemplating surrender to an enemy.

Nor was it ever explained why, if it was Quisling’s intention to surrender to German invasion (caused by England’s invasion) why he had always advocated a strong defensive capability, pushed for a strong national government, for the formation of a British- Norwegian League, and for peace between England and Germany.


As in all of the victors’ show trials Quisling was allowed neither defence counsel save one chosen for him by the state, nor defence witnesses or defence evidence. The judge, Eric Solem, was handpicked as a veteran political opponent of the Nasjonal Samling’s leader. He was almost certainly Jewish.

An article in the ‘Aftenposten’ April 18, 1947, says: “It would perhaps not be so strange, if one or other of the worst traitors (landssvikers), who is brought into the court, where Judge Eric Solem is presiding, for a moment recalls to his mind the inscription over the entrance to Dante’s famous hell. ‘Whosoever enters here, leaves hope behind.’

This statement incredibly was written in an article praising ‘hanging judge’ Solem. Afterwards Gustav Smedel, one of Norway’s greatest jurists remarked in references to the sinister appointment of Chief Justice Paul Berg: ‘In a state which recognises equality before the law one cannot accept that one political leader sentences another to death.’ The entire legal apparatus assembled to judge Vidkun Quisling was drawn from his avowed enemies. The Norwegian patriot was inevitably sentenced to death by firing squad.


October 1, 1938: “Europe is standing on the brink of the greatest tragedy in the history of the human race: a new world war, that may involve the doom of our entire civilisation.” – Vidkun Quisling

June 27, 1936: “Such a war between Great Britain and Germany would be catastrophic for Norway. Norway cannot and will not march, except when our own liberty and our own boundaries are in danger. We therefore demand a strong and unconditional vindication of Norway’s neutrality, and that the neutrality and the peace of the realm be secured through the strengthening of our military defence, quickly and effectively.” – Vidkun Quislin

“We, in Nasjonal Samling, therefore endeavoured to do all in our power to create peace and mutual understanding between these two great kindred peoples. We worked for a union of all Nordic peoples, in a Great Bond of Peace, of Scandinavians, of Britons, Germans and Netherlanders. At the National Congress of Nasjonal Samling in 1936, we made the matter one of the chief points of our policy. However, when the people stood at the crossroads they chose Barabbas.’ – Vidkun Quisling

‘He (Quisling) could never imagine that the Western Powers would be so stupid as to open Europe to the Russian hordes. He regarded Churchill as a practical politician of the greatest stature, a warlord, who was perhaps even more unscrupulous than Hitler, when it was a question of furthering the interests of his country; but that Churchill should be a party to delivering Europe to communism was a shattering disillusionment to Quisling. Churchill had for years been quite as anti-bolshevistic as Quisling or Hitler, and he also was a staunch supporter of the classical English policy on foreign affairs, namely, the balance of power.

If Hitler failed to break the back of bolshevism, there was still the belief that the western Powers would clip its claws, or at least contain it within the old Russian boundaries. The reverse situation meant that the death sentence would be passed on eastern and central Europe, and even Norway would be put into an extremely dangerous position, as a close neighbour of Russia.” – Franklin Knudsen.

“The British were adept at committing atrocities leaving evidence to suggest partisan responsibility. German retaliation often resulted in inflaming tension: “It is sufficient to call to mind how the ‘voice of London’ sparkled with enthusiasm every time it reported new German reprisals, executions and deportations. Then one may say to oneself: In every truth, the Norwegian heroic saga has still unwritten chapters.” – Franklin Knudsen.

“The men of the Nuremberg Court came to an agreement beforehand to bar evidence that might have been awkward for the allies. I am left with the unfortunate feeling that something similar may have happened in connection with the Quisling trial. I do not say that it did happen, but that the trial leaves that impression with one who perhaps possesses certain qualifications for evaluating the facts of the trial.” – Lord Hankey, Politics, Trials and Errors.

THE LAST WORD: “Do not handicap yourself with the idea of revenge, for the trend of things will revenge your wrong not only upon the individuals responsible for your persecution, but on the society that has permitted this lawlessness.” – Vidkun Quisling’s final words to his friends and party members.


(1) Memoirs of Prime Minister Paul Reynard of France: La France a sauve
L’ Europe.

(2) Winston Churchill, 11th, November, 1938

(3) I Was Quisling’s Secretary, Britons Publishing Company, 1967

(4) The Second World War, vol.2. Winston Churchill

(5) History of the Second World War, Liddell Hart.

(6) History of the Second World War, Liddell Hart

(7) ‘Judge Not’, p.22

(8) I Was Quisling’s Secretary, Britons Publishing Company, 1967

Footnote: H. Franklin Knudsen’s Norwegian father was British Consul in Norway, his grand-uncle the Norwegian Prime Minister and his mother’s father an Englishman. The young Knudsen was privately educated in England at a school ‘frequented by the sons of Ambassadors and Viceroys.’

A video-slide-show in honour of Vidkun Quisling:

Adolf Hitler’s Struggle for Peace


By The Impartial Truth

On September 3rd 1939, the Allies declared war on Germany, leading to the subsequent half a decade long world war.

During this time, Hitler pleads for the Allies to withdraw their war declarations. Hitler’s pleas for peace are ignored as the allies amass 600,000 troops in Northern France. Plans are openly discussed to advance eastward upon Germany, via Belgium and Holland, as well as establishing operations in neutral Norway and Denmark, with or without their consent.

“I have always expressed to France my desire to bury forever our ancient enmity and bring together these two nations, both of which have such glorious pasts. I have devoted no less effort to the achievement of Anglo-German understanding, no, more than that, of an Anglo-German friendship. At no time and in no place have I ever acted contrary to British interests…” Why should this war in the West be fought?” – Adolf Hitler – Reichstag OCTOBER 1939

Before Chamberlain died he revealed America and World Jews forced Britain into war against Germany (mentioned in The Forrestal Diaries from 1945.)

Knowing that the Germans wouldn’t tolerate the ethnic persecutions against their people in the lost territories given to Poland by the shameful Versailles Treaty (which, by the way, were headed by Jews), the Zionist very probably promoted these nonsense pogroms using their controlled media, financed by the powerful banksters, as a manoeuvre to provoke the Germans, luring them into taking military action against Poland, creating then a pretext to start one more profitable war, which would have a decisive role in their control of the finances worldwide, which was being threatened by the progress created by NS Germany.

Allied historians so duplicitously neglect to acknowledge the endless call for war by England, France and America from 1934 to 1939 whilst National Socialist Germany’s numerous appeals for understanding and preventing a World War. These offers of peace to the Allied powers are a matter of indisputable historical record. Establishment ‘Court Historians’ cannot deny the reality of these reasonable offers, so they choose to simply ignore them instead.

General Robert Wood testified that in 1936 Churchill told him that Germany is getting too strong and must be smashed. (p. 130). For what reason? Bernard Baruch tells us. After an interview with Roosevelt in September 1939, Baruch released a report to the press in which he said:

“Hitler will have no war, but he will be forced into it, not this year but later.” Emil Ludwig Cohn in Les Annales, June, 1934, also quoted in his book ‘The New Holy Alliance.’ Germany is our public enemy number one. It is our object to declare war without mercy against her. One may be sure of this: We will lead that war!” – Bernard Lecache, the president of the ‘International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism,’ in its newspaper ‘Droit de Vivre’ (Right to Life), 9 November, 1938.

“The millions of Jews who live in America, England and France, North and South Africa, and, not to forget those in Palestine, are determined to bring the war of annihilation against Germany to its final end.” – The Jewish newspaper Central Blad Voor Israelieten in Nederland, September 13, 1939

“I emphasized that the defeat of Germany and Japan and their elimination from world trade would give Britain a tremendous opportunity to swell her foreign commerce in both volume and profit.” – Samuel Untermeyer, The Public Years, p.347.

“In April, 1939, (four months before the outbreak of war) Ambassador William C. Bullitt, whom I had known for twenty years, called me to the American Embassy in Paris. He did not say, nor did I ask, by whom. He let me infer it. … When I said that in the end Germany would be driven into the arms of Soviet Russia and Bolshevism, the Ambassador replied: “‘what of it? There will not be enough Germans left when the war is over to be worth bolshevising.” – Karl von Wiegand, April, 23rd, 1944, Chicago Herald American

Every single plea for peace was rejected.

The Führer’s Proclamation to the German People and the Note of the German Foreign Office to the Soviet Government, together with appendices



The following 88-page booklet published by the government of the Third Reich contains Adolf Hitler’s speech to the German people concerning his decision to declare war against the Soviet Union, and the official diplomatic message sent to the Soviets, outlining in great detail their crimes and plots against Germany, which violated the terms of the mutual Non-Aggression Pact. These violations are documented and a number of secret intelligence reports provided to Hitler which formed the basis of his decision to declare war on Stalin are also included in this must-read booklet.

This document shows clearly the true, legal basis concerning the war against the USSR in 1941, which support and justify the actions of Adolf Hitler, who had obviously been deceived and betrayed by the treacherous, double-dealing war monger Stalin. Hitler adopted the only attitude and course of action which a responsible German leader and representative of European culture and civilization could take.

Hitler’s intentions, from the time he first came to power in 1933 had always been peaceful and his actions honorable. He had always worked towards these objectives in good faith and with great patience. It was the WWI western allies and their international financial masters who wanted war all along and who would settle for nothing less, and who preferred to back a well-known murderous beast, namely Joseph Stalin, and to have the bloody horrors of Bolshevism be poured out upon European soil, than to have peaceful coexistence with a strong, free, independent and prosperous Germany.

Hitler and his Axis nation partners realized in 1941 that they had to now face this very real threat to Western Europe head on, as Stalin had been planning to attack all along, when Germany had her hands full on the western front. Hitler’s declaration of war was legally and morally justified by any reasonable standard of international warfare and justice, and only a multi-national effort could hope to prevent the Bolshevik takeover of all of Europe.

German Forced Labor and its Compensation

A Postwar Problem to Be Finally Resolved


By Prof. Dr. H.C. Emil Schlee
Published: 2004-12-01

The public discussion about the compensation of former concentration camp inmates and forced laborers is not only characterized by covering up facts and raising legends and horror stories to reality. It is far more marked by a partiality and one-sidedness which can hardly be surpassed. As is customary, it is also here again overlooked, that the German people, which has had to pay the bill over the past five decades for the so-called reparation, has itself suffered far more under the unjust treatment by the victors and their Allies. Described below is the injustice of the internationally illegal deportation and forced labor of millions of German men, women and children – uncorrected and not even publicly recognized as such – and a minimal restitution for this injustice is calculated.

German Prisoners of War in:[13]
Great Britain 3,635,000
USA 3,097,000
USSR 3,060,000
France 937,000
Yugoslavia 194,000
Poland 70,000
Belgium 64,000
CSSR 25,000
Netherlands 7,000
Luxemburg 5,000
Total 11,094,000
Of these in the East 3,349,000
Of these in the West 7,745,000
(Without interned civilians)

1. The Burden of “One-sidedness” in the Historical “Coming to Terms with the Past”

Winfried Martini began the introduction of his informative book Der Sieger schreibt die Geschichte (The Victor Writes the History) with the sentence:[1]

“It is part of the fascinating phenomena of our time, to what extent a military defeat influences the historiography and the general awareness of history and how the victor is spared from moral judgments.”

This experience belonged in the 20th century to the everyday life of the Germans. A century, which was not “The German century”[2] according to Prof. Eberhard Jäckel, but as Prof. Arnulf Baring correctly questions:[3]

“Was our century not coined by the rise of the United States to finally become the only world power? […] However one likes to twist and turn it: […] it was not at all ours, neither in good nor in bad.”

But, united in “evil,” an anti-German coalition was created subsequent to the time of the resignation of Otto von Bismarck in 1890, perceived secretly, with an unsurpassable destructive intent and goal, to break up the German Reich of Bismarck, to destroy the German people for all time, and to remove the German economic competition from the world for good. In order to achieve this goal, every means was right.

The central figure of this century with a universal mission was the long serving American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945), who was acting minister of the navy from 1913–1920, and President of the United States of America from 1933–1945, and who had great influence during the times of both world wars. He organized the largest war machinery in world history,[4] which rolled over the 20th century during two World Wars (also called the “Third Thirty Year War”), regardless whether the rest of the world desired this or not. His troops are still in Germany at the beginning of this 21st century, the Federal republic of Germany is still loaded with numerous dictates, and the victor writes the history.

The latter overloads all Germans with clear one-sidedness of guilt and debt, demands and payments, including compensation for forced labor done in Germany in large numbers, demanded or sued for in courts. Scientific reviews of the prehistory and the actual evolvement of world events during the twentieth century show that it is untenable to place on Germany the exclusive war guilt with all the demands and legal violations resulting from it.[5]

POW Camps for Germans in:
Canada 50
USA 450
USA (in Germany) 463
Norway 97
Great Britain 284
British camps in Germany 160
Poland 1,005
France 650
Belgium 30
CSSR 1,409
Rumania 207
Yugoslavia 1,094
Hungary 112
Italia 97
Bulgaria 25
Algeria 11
Libya 10
Egypt 39
USSR 2,125
Australia 9
Total: 8,327

Besides the fact that the saying “the first victim during a war is always the truth”[6] remained unfortunately as true for Germany after the end of the war as it is today, the general concealment of their own guilt by the victorious powers in connection with the ongoing cynical-hypocritical blaming of Germany indicates an abyss of human failure, which cannot be a base for a peaceful future and will sooner or later be caught up by the historic truth! The German poet and playwright Friedrich Hebbel (1813–1863) noted rightly in the first volume of his well known Tagebücher?[7]

“There is only one sin, which can be committed against the whole of mankind with all its generations, and this is the falsification of history!”

From hundreds of testimonies, documents, and scientific works, which attest against the sole guilt of Germany for both World Wars, only two are mentioned here. The U.S. historian Prof. H.E. Barnes noted with regards to the question of war guilt of the First World War:[9]

“Of all warring powers Germany was the only one which carries no blame at all for the beginning of the war.”

And the Polish States Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Count Szembek, said on April 11, 1935, to U.S. ambassador W.C. Bullitt:[10]

“We are witnessing an aggressive policy of the world against Hitler, more than an aggressive policy of Hitler against the world.”

The former Foreign Secretary Henry J. Kissinger also revealed in Die Welt am Sonntag on March 1, 1992:[11]

“America waged war [on Germany] twice within the period of only one generation, because the American presidents were convinced that the dominance of a single hostile nation in Europe would be a threat against the American security and economical interests. Nothing has changed of this reality.”

In an interview with the Berliner Zeitung on January 3, 1997, author Gore Vidal, a cousin of former U.S. vice president Al Gore, explained frankly:[12]

“We started in 1945 to conquer the globe. NATO was not established to protect the poor Europeans from the Russians, but to obtain total control over Western Europe.”

Today, Germany is still without a peace treaty, and it feels the burden and provocation of this restraint! This situation also explains the continuous demands for compensation from all over the world against Germany, which herself does not oppose this at all.

2. There were also Millions of German Forced Laborers!

Number of Days of Imprisonment of German POWs and Deported Civilians[8]
Year In Eastern Internment In Western Internment
1941 2,422,000 1,740,000
1942 40,050,000 6,383,000
1943 65,154,000 32,800,000
1944 158,647,000 140,111,000
1945 644,725,000 1,538,093,000
1946 502,850,000 736,463,000
1947 396,794,000 325,965,000
1948 265,645,000 65,747,000
1949 116,842,000
1950 12,763,000
Total 2,205,892,000 2,847,302,000

Contrary to the subject “Forced Labor in the Third Reich,” there are hardly any investigations about “Forced Labor of German POWs and Civilian Internees in Foreign Countries” (see the tables).[13]

It is shocking to observe the one-sidedness, with which topics like war guilt, the German Wehrmacht, plans for world domination, and now also the subject of “Forced Labor and Compensation” are dealt with. It is conspicuous to observe the missing attempt to view the specific topic of “forced labor” in a contemporary frame in the sense of similar events in almost all countries, which participated in the war. The starting point is always the claim that Germany is exclusively guilty for everything, even though this has been refuted for quite some time now. Most historians have still not noticed major changes of the historiography on the world wars.

The army of German forced laborers of almost twelve million German soldiers and 1.7 million deported German civilians in twenty different countries, sometimes with forced stays of more than ten years in these countries, appears to them to be no subject at all. They talk about one of the biggest Nazi crimes, of which reparations have not yet been made, “although already during the Nuremberg trials one of the four main charges was ‘slave labor’.”[14] But nobody seems to notice that the judges of these tribunals come from countries, where such “biggest crimes” were unfolding simultaneously.

Number of Work Days of German POWs and Deported Civilians 1941–1956
Year In Eastern Internment In Western Internment Total
1942 23,013,600 23,013,600
1943 33,052,875 2,339,475 35,392,350
1944 81,989,325 10,964,700 92,954,025
1945 317,337,375 118,856,700 436,194,075
1946 340,344,150 257,233,500 597,577,650
1947 286,095,300 170,410,575 456,505,875
1948 196,648,425 32,463,150 229,111,575
1949 90,246,150 90,246,150
1950 9,643,875 9,643,875
1951–1956 28,731,600 28,731,600
Total 1,407,102,675 592,268,100 1,999,370,775

Or take Prof. Dr. Ulrich Herbert (Freiburg, Germany), who, in a full page essay with the title “The Million Army of the Modern Slave State. Deported, worn out, forgotten: Who were the forced laborers of the Third Reich, and what was the fate ahead of them?” writes thoughtlessly:[15]

“The National Socialist deployment of foreigners between 1939 and 1945 is the biggest case of forced mass utilization of foreign labor in history since the end of slavery in the nineteenth century. By the late summer of 1944, 7.6 million foreign civilian workers and POWs were officially registered as employees within the area of the ‘Großdeutsche Reich,’ who were mostly brought into the Reich by force.”

This article gives the impression that the “slave state of the Soviet Union” did not exist at all, where Siberia from the Ural Mountains to the Bering Strait became a gigantic international cemetery of the dead from more than 28 nations.[16] Also during the time in question, from 1939 to 1945 and until 1956, the “Soviet foreign employment,” which included the German POWs and civilian deportees, continuously “employed” a two-digit million number. These slaves had to perform their slave labor in more than 2,000 work and death camps, partly under the most primitive living and camp conditions (e.g.Workuta).

There were still more than 20 million forced laborers in the fall of 1955.[17] After the war, the “people’s democracies” of the east reached a record high in deportation for forced labor. Secret Soviet orders existed to arrest, for example, 27,000 Germans who were able to work below ground in the area of communist East Germany and to exchange them for German POWs who were no longer able to work in the Soviet Union.[18]

Destruction of Health: German Returnees Unable to Work[8]
Country detained in Date of Return No. of Returnees % unemployable Transit or Discharge Camp
Great Britain 1948 Mar-Nov 11,499 0 Hammelberg
France 1947 May-Jun 370 28 Ulm-Kienlesberg
1948 Feb-Mar 310 44 Ulm-Kienlesberg
Jul-Aug 1,408 6 Ulm-Kienlesberg
Oct-Nov 5,615 0.1 Ulm-Kienlesberg
1949 Jan-Aug 2,541 0 Ulm-Kienlesberg
Soviet Union 1946 Aug 24,126 66 Friedland
Sep-Oct 12,260 83 Fiedland
1947 Mar-Jun 90 Friedland
1948 Feb-Dec 16,794 62 Hersfeld-Waldschänke
Mar-Dec 70,955 85 Hof-Moschendorf
Dec 54 Friedland
1949 Jan-Dec 21,427 67 Hersfeld-Waldschänke
Jan-Feb 390 36 Hof-Moschendorf
Jan-Feb 40 Friedland
May-Jun 9,202 48 Hof-Moschendorf
Oct 7,076 43 Hof-Moschendorf
Dec 15,587 68 Hof-Moschendorf
Dec-1950 Apr 70 Friedland
Jan 6,060 64 Hof-Moschendorf
Jan 2,391 58 Hersfeld-Waldschänke
Apr 1,729 69 Hof-Moschendorf
Feb-Sep 1,159 99 Hersfeld-Waldschänke
Poland 1948 Nov-Dec 446 70 Hersfeld-Waldschänke
Dec 1,446 86 Hof-Moschendorf
1949 Feb 1,421 77 Hof-Moschendorf
May-Jun 2,016 51 Hof-Moschendorf
Oct 419 82 Hof-Moschendorf
Feb-Dec 1,380 68 Hersfeld-Waldschänke
1950 Apr-May 109 100 Hersfeld-Waldschänke
Apr 138 65 Hof-Moschendorf
Jun 17 80 Hof-Moschendorf
1951 Apr 85 60 Hof-Moschendorf
Czechoslovakia 1948 Sep-Dec 1,421 46 Hof-Moschendorf
Dec 121 43 Hersfeld-Waldschänke
1950 Feb 113 86 Hersfeld-Waldschänke
1954 Jan-Mar 221 87 Hof-Moschendorf
Yugoslavia 1948 Nov-Dec 2,309 48 Hersfeld-Waldschänke
Dec 196 18 Hof-Moschendorf
Dec 4,485 46 Ulm-Kienlesberg
1949 Jan 2,494 50 Ulm-Kienlesberg
Jan-Feb 650 58 Hof-Moschendorf
Jan-Feb 915 58 Hersfeld-Waldschänke
Feb 17 33 Ulm-Kienlesberg
Aug 19 74 Hersfeld-Waldschänke
1950 Apr-Jun 220 9 Ulm-Kienlesberg

Of the Western powers it was especially France, which employed German POWs against the international laws for forced labor. Thousands of Germans perished or suffered horrible mutilations in French captivity while clearing mines.

The real gain from reparations did not come from Germany’s industrial installations, noted the US newsmagazine Life, “but from the German brain and the German research results.” Scientists were partly “forced with point blank pistols or with threats of war crime trials” to work for the victors. There were 523 German scientists in the USA in 1947; their number was to be increased to 1000.[19]

3. Summary and the Request for Equal Treatment of German Forced Laborers.

  1. The excessive wave of demands for reparations for forced labor in Germany during the Second World War in the final phase of the 20th century is on one hand the consequence of the missing peace treaty with Germany and on the other hand a sign of insufficient sovereignty and legal defense capability.
  2. The latter is a result of the re-education, but also becomes obvious by the one-sidedness of scientific research, which deals especially predominantly with the forced labor problems in Germany during the “Third Reich,” but barely with the rather difficult problem of forced labor of Germans in foreign countries. This should obviously be corrected.
  3. The form, extent, and motivation of this one-sided and quickly spreading “wave of demands for compensation for forced labor” against Germany in several areas is provocative, especially because the nations making such demands often behaved against German forced laborers neither less illegally nor less ruthlessly.
  1. The whole process becomes controversial when one considers how Germany was pillaged and robbed after the capitulation of the German Wehrmacht on May 8/9, 1945, during a continuation of the state of war in the West until 1951 and in the East until 1955. This was a rape and plunder of an entire nation unparalleled and unprecedented in every regard, which people who have the “merci of late birth” (former German chancellor Helmut Kohl) can hardly imagine.
  2. All governmental politicians in Germany have to swear an oath following article 56 of the German Basic Law, which requires them to avert damages from the German people. It is time that they take this oath seriously, meaning for example, that they should file class action suits against employers and nations on behalf of the German forced laborers in the spirit of equality before the law of the nations.

4. Forced Labor of POWs and Deported Civilians

The whole forced labor after the war, which amounts to at least 90 percent of the work shown here, was an infringement of international law unprecedented in scale in the history of mankind. To this day, the forced labor issue has unfortunately not been completely evaluated by any German public authority. It is here for the first time correctly displayed from an economic point of view.[20]

Days of Forced Labor Imprisonment
(A) POWs 3,502,452,000 (3.5 billion)
Performed by 11.094 million POWs – in eastern countries 3.349 million POWs – in western countries 7.745 million POWs. Of these, 1.5 million died while in captivity, of these 1.335 million in eastern countries. In total, every seventh POW died while in captivity. Two of five prisoners died in the east in death camps. The last prisoners returned home from the Soviet Union in 1956, eleven years after the end of the war!
(B) Civilian Deportees 3,805,000,000 (3.8 billion)
Performed by 1.7 million Germans deported in 1945. Of these, 580,000 died up until 1950 in eastern death camps every third deportee.
Total of Forced Labor Days 7,307,452,000 (7.3 billion)
Hours Worked 73,074,520,000 hrs (73 billion)
The prisoners had to work at least ten hours per day, which resulted in the above number of performed forced labor hours.
Cost of Labor: $365,372,600,000 (365 billion U.S. Dollars)
This compensation for forced labor is derived using the 1999 U.S. hourly minimum wage of $5.

This amount is practically unimaginable. For comparison: All companies with more than 20 employees of German industry during 1985 with a total of 4,769,000 employees, performed 7,910,100,000 (7.9 billion) working hours. The total of all wages for this was 167.559 billion deutschmarks or roughly $56 billion U.S. Dollars (the median hourly wage was app. 21 deutschmarks or $7).[21]

The German forced laborers, POWs, and civilian deportees had to produce therefore almost ten times the yearly output in 1985 of all the workers of the West German industry!

The forced labor of the civilian deportees from the Soviet occupied areas of the German Reich proper and Austria could not be determined. There were more than 100,000 Germans who were deported for political reasons and who were almost without exception murdered during imprisonment. The same goes for the more than 100,000 people, who were held in Russian concentration camps of the Soviet occupied zone. The German media reported during a visit of former head of State of communist Germany Erich Honecker in West Germany that in Buchenwald concentration camp alone 80,000 prisoners were murdered after 1945 by the Soviets or their German communist lackeys.[22] A total of more than ten percent of the German population had to perform forced labor for years against all international laws.[23]


First published in Deutsche Militärzeitschrift, Nr. 18, 1999, pp. 21–26; pictures: Archive Prof. E. Schlee.

[1] W. Martini, Der Sieger schreibt die Geschichte. Anmerkungen zur Zeitgeschichte, Munich 1991, p. 10.
[2] E. Jäckel, Das deutsche Jahrhundert. Eine historische Bilanz, Stuttgart 1996; similar also Chr. Graf v. Krockow, Die Deutschen in ihrem Jahrhundert 1890–1990, rororo-Sachbuch 9195, Reinbek 1991.
[3] A. Baring, Wem gehört das Jahrhundert?, book review of E. Jäkkel, Das deutsche Jahrhundert, op. cit. (note 2), in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Jan. 29, 1997, p. 12.
[4] See D. Bavendamm, Roosevelts Krieg 1937–45 und das Rätsel von Pearl Harbor, Munich, Berlin 1993; D. Kunert, Ein Weltkrieg wird programmiert. Hitler, Roosevelt, Stalin: Die Vorgeschichte des 2. Weltkriegs nach Primärquellen, Kiel 1984; C. B. Dall, Amerikas Kriegspolitik. Roosevelt und seine Hintermänner, Tübingen 1972; B. Colby, Roosevelts scheinheiliger Krieg. Amerikas Betrug und Propaganda im Kampf gegen Deutschland, Leoni 1977; H. Fish, Der zerbrochene Mythos, F. D. Roosevelts Kriegspolitik 19331948, Tübingen 1982; E. Schlee, Deutschland und die Kriegsschuldfrage. Die Behauptungen der Alleinkriegsschuld Deutschlands sind überholt, Rosenheim 1999; E. Schlee, Wessen Krieg war es denn nun eigentlich? Eine kleine Kriegsschuldfrage-Dokumentation; in: R. Uhle-Wettler, (Hg,), Wagnis Wahrheit. Historiker in Handschellen? Festschrift für David Irving. Kiel 1998, pp. 97–121.
[5] Ibid; also: E. Schlee, Friedensbemühungen Deutschlands im Zweiten Weltkrieg, in: Deutsche Militärzeitschrift No. 17 (March 1999), pp. 14–19.
[6] U.S. Senator Hiram Johnson; in: M. Baham, Kriegstrommeln. Medien, Krieg u. Politik, Munich 1996, p. 36.
[7] Fr. Hebbel, Tagebücher, vol. I, Vienna 1885; quoted in: K. Peltzer, Das treffende Zitat. Gedankengut aus drei Jahrtausenden und fünf Kontinenten, Thun 1974, p. 259.
[8] Statistisches Bundesamt, in: VdHD e.V. (ed.), Die deutschen Kriegsgefangenen des Zweiten Weltkrieges, Bonn-Bad Godesberg. 1989.
[9] Quoted in: Ztschr. Nation Europa, 5, 1954, p. 4.
[10] Quoted in: E. Maier-Dorn, Alleinkriegsschuld, Großaitingen 1970, p. 149.
[11] H. A. Kissinger, “Die Einigung Europas darf nicht auf Kosten der NATO erfolgen. Die Prämissen, aus denen die Atlantische Allianz ihre Existenzberechtigung ableitet, brechen zusammen,” Welt am Sonntag, no. 9, March 1, 1992, p. 5.
[12] Gore Vidal in an interview with der Berliner Zeitung, no. 2/1997, Jan. 3, 1997.
[13] In: Ruhrwort, 21(23), Juni 9, 1979, p. 3; Was Heimkehrer nie vergessen werden. In Bochums “Dankeskirche” bleibt die Erinnerung wach, Special print, Bistum Essen.
[14] Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of March 31, 1999, p. 51.
[15] Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 16, 1999, p. 54.
[16] D. Friede, Das russische Perpetuum Mobile, Würzburg 1959; see chapter “28 Nationen in den Zwangsarbeitslagern:” “Die Zahl der Sklaven ist achtstellig geworden.” “Die Sklaven-Reservoirs”; of great importance are the 22 documentary volumes of the Wissenschaftlichen Kommission für deutsche Kriegsgefangenengeschichte, from 1957 to 1974, edited under the directorate of Prof. Dr. Erich Maschke: E. Maschke, (ed.), Zur Geschichte der Deutschen Kriegsgefangenen des Zweiten Weltkrieges, Bielefeld 1962; introduction in vol. pp. VII–XX.
[17] D. Friede, ibid., p. 68; see also: St. Courtois, Das Schwarzbuch des Kommunismus. Unterdrückung, Verbrechen und Terror, Munich, Zürich 1998; G. Schirmer, Sachsenhausen – Workuta. Zehn Jahre in den Fängen der Sowjets, Tübingen 1992; P. Carell, G. Böddekker, Die Gefangenen. Leben und Überleben deutscher Soldaten hinter Stacheldraht, Darmstadt 1980; G. Frey, Deutschlands Ausplünderung, Munich 1993; Verband der Heimkehrer, G. Berndt, Die deutschen Kriegsgefangenen des Zweiten Weltkrieges. Ein geschichtlicher Abriß in Fakten, Bonn-Bad Godesberg 1989; Deutsches Rotes Kreuz-Suchdienst (ed.), Zur Geschichte der Kriegsgefangenen im Westen. USA – Großbritannien – Frankreich – Belgien – (Schweden), Bonn 1962; L. Peters, Das Schicksal der deutschen Kriegsgefangenen. Wir haben Euch nicht vergessen!, Tübingen 1995 (I took some illustrations from this for my article, pp. 394, 476); H.H. Meyer, Kriegsgefangene im Kalten Krieg. Die Kriegsgefangenenpolitik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland im amerikanisch-sowjetischen Machtkampf von 1950–1955, Osnabrück 1998.
[18] A.E. Epifanow, H. Mayer, Die Tragödie der deutschen Kriegsgefangenen in Stalingrad von 1942–1956 nach russischen Archivunterlagen, Osnabrück 1996, p. 204.
[19] See G. Frey, op. cit. (note 17), p. 240.
[20] Numbers from: Zur Geschichte der deutschen Kriegsgefangenen des Zweiten Weltkrieges, vol. XV, pp. 191 ff., Verlag Ernst und Werner Gieseking, Bielefeld 1974, and Gerhard Reichling, Die Deutschen Vertriebenen in Zahlen, Kulturstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, Bonn 1986. The statistical data are calculated using reasonable economic methods.
[21] Statistisches Jahrbuch für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1986, p. 178.
[22] Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Sept. 12, 1987.
[23] Karl Baßler, “Die Ausraubung des Deutschen Volkes,” Huttenbriefe, issues 1–3, 1988, Stockstadt.

SS Volunteer Legion “Niederlande”


Published in “Siegrunen” Magazine – Vol. V, No.4, Number 28, January 1982

By Richard Landwehr

After the German declaration of war on the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, the Reich Commissioner for the Occupied Netherlands, Dr. Arthur Seyss-Inquart, addressed the Dutch nation and called for the creation of a national legion to join the Germans in the struggle against communism. The former chief of the Dutch Army general staff, Lt. General H.A. Seyffardt, offered his services and was instrumental in helping gain recruits for the new formation. He was appointed honorary commander of the Dutch SS Legion, a position which he held until his death.

While most of the first Legion volunteers came from the ranks of the Dutch National Socialist Movement (N.S.B.) led by Anton Mussert, a great effort was made to attract former Dutch Army members by offering to restore old ranks and waiving the age limit for ex-officers. Enlistment standards were not too rigid, but a recruit had to be at least 5 feet 4 inches tall and between the ages of 17 and 40 with no criminal record. A large number of potential recruits were turned down for health or political reasons, and eventually a number of individuals who had slipped into the Legion by concealing criminal records had to be discharged. The same applied to 266 former Dutch Army members who proved to be politically unreliable.

On 27 July 1941, the first large group of Legion volunteers assembled in Den Bosch, Holland and later left from The Hague railroad station for the trip to the SS training facility at Debica, near Krakau, Poland. Led by Hauptmann Vorwinden, they arrived at Krakau on 30 July.

Prior to the outbreak of the German-Soviet war, a large number of Dutchmen had enlisted in the 6th SS Standarte “Nordwest,” which was composed of Dutch, Flemish and Danish volunteers. It was decided to form the Dutch Legion within the structure of Regiment “Nordwest,” so to help with that process a Legion battalion was created on 26 July 1941 from Dutch soldiers already serving with “Nordwest.” Effective 1 August 1941, the Legion “Niederlande” existed as a regiment with two battalions, but until September it still remained a part of Regiment “Nordwest.” In the fall months, a vigorous training program was carried out, mostly at the troop training grounds at Ayrs in East Prussia. With the dissolution of SS Regiment “Nordwest” in late September 1941, the Legion “Niederlande” became a fully independent entity. In October a third battalion was added, called the “W.A.” Battalion, because it was recruited primarily from the W.A. stormtrooper arm of the N.S.B. General Seyffardt a member of the N.S.B. since 1934, presented the colors to this unit, which was slated to become the I. Battalion of the 2nd Legion Regiment. However, it later proved impossible to form a second regiment so the battalion was retitled III./SS Legion “Niederlande.”

In mid-January 1942, the combat ready Legion, consisting of 2 600 troops, was transported by rail to Danzig and from there was shipped across the Baltic Sea to Libau on the Latvian coast. The Dutch Legion then marched by foot to Riga where it joined a truck convoy that took it to Pleaskau. From there the Legion went to its assigned battle area on the Volkhov Front, in the vicinity of Gusi-Gora to the north of Lake Ilmen. The situation was critical; the Soviets had launched massive attacks all along the Eastern Front using forces from Asia that had been freed for use due to an espionage coup by Victor Serge, a Communist agent who forwarded information of the Japanese plans that they were not contemplating an attack against the Soviet Union, but that they would attack south against the British and American forces. Everywhere there were holes in the front that had to be plugged and by the end of January 1942, the Legion “Niederlande” was fully engaged in hard combat.

By March 1942, the Legion had won its first mention in the Wehrmacht War Bulletin, and it had proven itself to be a first-rate field formation. In April 1942, after having been reduced from 3 battalions to barely 2 companies in size, the Legion “Niederlande” was withdrawn from the front for refitting. Due to the extreme losses, Dutch N.S.B. leader Mussert began ordering members of his W.A. paramilitary organization to sign on with the Legion. At any rate, by June “Niederlande” was back up to strength. On 15 June 1942, it returned to action and participated with great success in the final push against the trapped Soviet divisions in the “Volkhov Pocket.”

Dutch SS Rottenführer is presented the Iron Cross, 2nd Class at an awards ceremony, photo courtesy of Kenneth Nieman.

German SS officer presenting a Dutch volunteer with the Iron Cross, 2nd Class. Photo courtesy of Kenneth Nieman.

Photo of an original Legion collarpatch.

During the first months of Legion “Niederlande’s” frontline deployment an interesting — but tragic — little story unfolded. Back in Holland, Mussert’s N.S.B. had won the backing of the Germans and for some other Dutch nationalist/NS leaders that was not particularly good news. One of Mussert’s rivals was an early Dutch Fascist named Sinclaire de Rochement, who had founded an organization called the National Solidarity Group. For some unknown reason the Gestapo became interested in him and after learning of this, de Rochement joined the Dutch SS Legion under a concealed identity, (he was at least 40 years old at the time). On 13 March 1942, de Rochement was mortally wounded while on a scout-troop operation between the lines near Gusi. While he was dying he revealed his identity and made one last request: that the Gestapo bureau in The Hague be told that he had fallen in the fight against Bolshevism! According to some writers, de Rochemont had deliberately sought death in action, so he may have been suffering from a guilty conscience.

In early July 1942, the Dutch infantry-gun (light artillery) company was sent to support the 250th Infantry Division “Spanish Blue” on the Leningrad Front. Towards the end of July, the entire Legion moved into positions around Krasnoje-Selo in the Leningrad sector and for the next several months participated in the hard static warfare that took place in that area. The fighting on the Leningrad Front was often very intense and the Legion lost 42 men killed on 4 December 1942 alone.

In January 1943, the 14th Anti-tank Company of the Legion was placed in frontline positions to the west of Schluesselburg and participated in extremely violent fighting. In February, a member of this company, SS-Schütze Geradus Mooyiman, destroyed 13 tanks in a single day. For this feat he became the first Germanic SS volunteer to receive the Knight’s Cross, which was bestowed to him on 8 March 1943 by the commander of the 2nd SS Brigade (to which the Legion had been subordinated), SS-Brigadeführer von Scholz.

Legion “Niederlande” funeral party honor guard.

Back in the Netherlands, Lt. General Seyffardt and his special staff worked tirelessly on behalf of the Legion. Then on 6 February 1943, Seyffardt was murdered at his home by terrorists posing as postmen. They had used British-provided “Sten guns” to carry out their foul deed. A large crowd turned out for Seyffardt’s state funeral and on 9 February, Adolf Hitler bestowed his name on the 1st Company of the Legion “Niederlande” as a special honor. The name “General Seyffardt” was embroidered in silver on a black cuffband for the company and the title and insignia were later passed on to the 48th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment of the heroic 23rd SS Division “Nederland.”

On 27 April 1943, Legion “Niederlande” was withdrawn from the Eastern Front. On this occasion, the commander of the 2nd SS Brigade, Brigfhr. Fritz von Scholz, issued the following “Order-of-the-Day”:

“Since 1 February 1942, the Legion has, in conjunction with the Volunteer Legion ‘Flandern’ and with volunteers from Norway before Leningrad, defended against or destroyed the Bolshevik enemy. Your men have bravely proven themselves in the test of the hard fighting on the Volkhov and before Leningrad. Looking back, the courage of the Legion has brought about success in all of your actions on the Eastern Front! Your fighting spirit is unbroken! The numerous decorations are the best expression of your courageous struggle.

“Future generations will remember all those among you who gave their lives in this battle for a new Europe, and your achievements in leading the fight for the ultimate victory!”

In early May 1943, the Legion “Niederlande” reached the SS training camp at Grafenwoehr in Bavaria, where it was dissolved on 20 May. About 2 500 of its soldiers decided to continue serving with the new 4th SS Brigade “Nederland.” During its short span of existence, the SS Volunteer Legion “Niederlande” had gained an awesome reputation for its terrific frontline exploits. It is to be hoped that someday the full, detailed history of this Legion can be published.


Legion “Niederlande” Order-of-Battle (Fall 1941):

Field Post Number

Legion Staff with Staff Company

I. Battalion with 1st to 4th Companies

II. Battalion with 5th to 8th Companies

III. Battalion with 9th to 12th Companies

13th Company (Infantry Guns—Lt. Artillery)  

14th Company (Anti-tank)

40 112

40 899

41 450

42 278

43 156

43 990


SS-Oberführer Otto Reich, July 1941 to early 1942.
SS-Obersturmbannführer Arved Theuremann, early to mid- 1942, (temporary).
SS-Obersturmbannführer (promoted to Standartenführer) Josef Vitzthum, mid-July 1942 to May 1943, (permanent commander).


Collarpatch: Vertical Dutch-made and horizontal German-made “Wold’s Hook” right patch with SS ranks on the left patch.

Armshield: Dutch national colors, red-white-blue on either a flag shaped or shield shaped patch worn under the German eagle on the left shield. Some patches carrying the N.S.B. colors of orange-white-blue, may also have been worn.

Helmet insignia: The SS runes and possibly sometimes the Dutch or N.S.B. colors were worn in decals on the steel helmets. When these colors were not worn, the standard SS-swastika shield was in place.

Cuffbands: A sleeve title bearing the words “Frw. (Freiwilligen) Legion Niederlande” in silver on black was issued to the troops. These came in a crude Dutch pattern and a more polished German version. 1st Company of the Legion was issued the “General Seyffardt” sleeve title and wore it in place of the “Niederlande” cuffband.

Legion Strength as of 31 December 1942:

57 officers, 1,698 men. Total: 1,755.


Those wishing to read more about Legion “Niederlande” are referred to the superb pictorial work, Hitler’s Germanic Legions by Buss and Molo and the article “Das war ‘het Legioen’! (The Actions of Dutch Volunteers in the Struggle Against Bolshevism”) by Peter Strassner, that appeared in the 1966 edition of the Deutsches Soldaten Jahrbuch.


Two final notes on Legion “Niederlande” insignia usage:

1) The SS Runic collarpatch was widely worn and

2) Quite frequently no decals at all appeared on the helmet.

Members of the Legion being decorated with the Iron Cross. The Legionnaire on the right is a war reporter, and wears the rare vertical Dutch flag armshield. Photo courtesy of Kenneth Nieman.

Observations on the 33rd SS Division “Charlemagne”

Published in “Siegrunen” Magazine – Vol. V, No.4, Number 28, January 1982

This article is based on a written interview with Oberstrumbannführer E. Raybaud, former commander of SS Grenadier Regiment 58 as given to Jean-Louis Roba. Some further modifications have been made by the editor.

E. Raybaud was a high-ranking officer and leader of the “Milice” in the Limoges area of southern France during the German occupation. In that capacity, he led the fight against the local ‘resistance’ forces, whose best fighters were the communists under their leader, Guingouin. Partially due to the Mediterranean temperament of the people who lived in that area, the battles with the ‘resistance’ were particularly bloodthirsty ones. Atrocities were committed by both sides and captives were sometimes tortured or burned to death.

Raybaud disapproved of all such actions and he only wanted to maintain order. As an old soldier who had fought in the May 1940 campaign against the Germans, he was not particularly politically oriented. But following the Allied landings in 1944 (Operation “Overlord” and “Anvil”), disorder began to grow as previously quiescent civilians made an effort to get into the camp of the victors. This resulted in uncontrolled attacks against the German and Vichy forces and brought about tragic reprisals such as at Tulle and Oradour.

In his article published in “Siegrunen” #12 (i.e. “French Volunteers of the Third Reich”), Mr. Lewis described the Milice as a sort of “Black and Tans.” This was not a totally correct observation. When the Vichy government began to rule the un-occupied zone of France, it had to raise a special police force for security purposes. This “Milice” as it was called was placed under the command of Joseph Darnand, an ex-soldier and hero of the 1940 war against the Germans. Darnand was loyal to Marshall Petain and he tried to maintain order and defend the legitimacy of the Vichy government. Quite a few men enlisted in the special “Milice” forces; some of them proved to be rather undesirable people but it was the same for the “other side” — this was not uncommon in a “civil war” of this nature.

Today, for a variety of reasons, the name “Milice” is in ill repute in France. Its men suffered the same fate as all losers do in a civil war, as the soldiers were held responsible for leaders who were either dead or missing. [Editor’s note: At the very least 100,000 people were put to death in ‘liberated’ France and among them were quite a few of the “Milicians”]. Before dis-cussing the operations of the French Waffen-SS, it is important to note some of the political problems that existed in France. The ‘collaborators’ were, like the men of the ‘resistance,’ divided in their beliefs and loyalties. While the “underground” was divided into communist and non-communist segments with even further sub-divisions, the forces of the Vichy regime also had its partitions. Some soldiers wanted to stay in France and fight the partisans while others preferred to go to the Eastern Front to fight the Bolsheviks; the latter group immediately began enlisting into the L.V.F. (Légion des Volontaires Français — or French Volunteer Legion Against Bolshevism), which was established in 1941. The “Milice” members generally felt that the war in the east was one between Germany and Russia and they preferred to fight against their “internal enemies” and leave the war against the Soviet Union to the “victors of 1940.” However, for symbolic purposes, the “Milice” sent a small contingent to serve with the L.V.F.

In 1943, young Frenchmen were given the opportunity to enlist into the Waffen-SS and this became the third French “force” to fight on the side of the Germans. While the “Milice” was not dependent on the Wehrmacht, it was sometimes sub-ordinated to it, for instance during the fighting against the partisans at “Les Gliers.” After the Allied sweep into France, the men of the “Milice” were force to flee France for Germany where they had to be incorporated into the Germany Army They had initially hoped to keep their identity intact by serving in a pure “Milice” unit, but this proved to be impossible and they found themselves sent to the Wildflecken troop training grounds to be incorporated into the SS Division “Charlemagne” along with survivors from the L.V.F. and the 7th SS Storm- brigade “Frankreich.”

Due to high levels of political antagonism it proved impos-sible to form units from the L.V.F., “Milice” and French SS within one SS Division. These soldiers were too devoted to their individual leaders, such as the “Milice’s” Darnand and the L.V.F.’s Doriot. It was therefore deemed necessary to split up the “Milice” personnel between the various Franch SS units.

With some regrets, the “Milice” officers accepted that decision and a “Milice” officer named Vaugelas was made chief-of-staff of the division under its new commander Oberführer Paud, who had been in command of the L.V.F.

Raybaud joined the division with the rank of Sturmbannführer (Major). Because of some early clashes between the soldiers, Raybaud used his authority to have political expressions banned in the barracks. Unfortunately he was not upheld by other officers at the time and some more outbreaks of fighting between different French factions transpired, (the ex-L.V.F. officers had not supported Raybaud’s political ban). Eventually Raybaud’s original judgment was supported by most of the officers in the division.

Towards the end of 1944, while still at the Wildflecken camp, the men of the “Charlemagne” Division were inspected by Darnand, the former L.V.F. political leader who had been appointed general inspector of French Forces in Germany. Darnand wanted the place of honor at the parade of the troops, but this was given over to the commander of the 28th SS Divi-sion “Wallonien,” Leon Degrelle, who was also present at Wild- flecken at that time. Darnand was given a poor reception by Oberführer Puaud and by the German inspector of the “Charlemagne” Division, Brigadeführer Krukenberg, and he left angrily the next day. On the other hand, Degrelle was better received, and after looking over some of the ex-“Milicians,” made the comment that: “Such a unit would find a place in my Stormbrigade!” [Editor’s note: Degrelle, impressed by the “Charlemagne” Division gave a short speech and apparently convinced one full barracks of French volunteers to come over to his division! The time of this parade seems to have been in November 1944 ].

At the beginning of December 1944, for an unknown reason, the commander of the 2nd French Regiment (now 58th SS), Stubaf. Bridoux, left the unit. After meeting with his father, he decided to join a “pure” SS battalion from the 1st French Regiment (now 57th SS). [Editor’s note: At this time the 57th SS Regiment was developing into an ideologically “pure” SS unit while the 58th SS Regiment retained more of a French orientation]. Stubaf. Raybaud now became the new commander of the 58th SS Regiment. But he found the composition of the regiment to be about 15% ex-“Milice” and 80% former L.V.F. To avoid all incidents, he held a meeting with his officers and later assembled all of his men to ask them to moderate their passions and become united to improve the battle-worthiness of the regiment. Raybaud’s advice was listened to and afterwards all went well. There was only one incident. A young officer who was a member of the P.P.F. (Parti Populaire Francais; a French “populist” movement) led by Doriot, continued to agitate the men who came from the L.V.F. Stubaf. Raybaud asked for and obtained his transfer to the division staff. The commander of the 58th SS Regiment also had good contacts with the divisional chaplain, Monseigneur Mayol de Lupe, who had been the chaplain with the L.V.F., and his influence over former members of that formation helped to keep things going well.

A few weeks after assuming command, Raybaud discovered that a German officer had established a network of political control in his regiment. This officer, who was close to Brigfhr. Krukenberg, had many contacts with different French volunteers who kept him informed about the political thoughts of their comrades. Stubaf. Raybaud took the matter to Krukenberg, who actually knew nothing about it and who was happy to cooperate to bring this activity to an end. Even though the political antagonism disappeared, the men still had to be trained to be sent to the front.

Training Problems

Only the best men who volunteered were chosen to enlist into the Waffen-SS so naturally not all of the “Milicians” were sent to Wildflecken. Some of them had deserted in France, while others joined various National Socialist “police” units in Germany. For the Waffen-SS, the Germans chose the Frenchmen who either had military experience (as had Raybaud, as a former officer of the French Army), or were otherwise fit enough for battle conditions. Those that didn’t measure up or were considered untrustworthy were mostly sent to work in factories.

While the “Milicians” had seen action before, most of them were only experienced in the war against the partisans. Since this was a guerrilla war, the men of the “Milice” were unfamiliar with the demands of a mechanized war and of the material that was required for such a modern conflict. They had to all be retrained, and Wildflecken was really only suitable for a training program in spring and summer. During the winter the snow-covered everything and the main training grounds could not be used. So the “Charlemagne” training period was a very boring one compounded by insufficient equipment, [Editor’s note: Drill and callisthenics were the primary activities during this time]. The men grew tired of these “stupid exercises” and feeling deceived, some of them left to join other SS units (German or Walloon), which were being sent more quickly to the Eastern Front.

Stubaf. Raybaud noticed that the ex-L.V.F. officers who had fought in the East from nearly the beginning, were suffering from a great fatigue. A serious crisis occurred when the men were required to take a loyalty oath to the Führer. The ex- L.V.F. men did not understand why, after having fought for so many months in German uniform, that they were required now to swear their fidelity. And the “Milicians,” who wanted to retain their French identity above all else, simply refused to take the oath. Many soldiers did however agree to an oath that stressed only military operations for the duration of the war, but this was later altered and continued to cause misgivings among some of the French volunteers. [Editor’s note: Remember that in “those days” an oath was still a sacred undertaking! Today, in our “enlightened” modern society, hardly anyone takes them seriously ].

With the exception of the oath-taking episode, morale in the “Charlemagne” Division was high. While the political differences had not all vanished, the officers believed that frontline action would help to dissolve any “dangerous thoughts.” As in all active units, Stubaf. Raybaud noticed that his regiment consisted only of about 25% to 30% really good soldiers. The other men would be improved by the training program and later on at the front. The men of the 58th SS Regiment disapproved of the attitude of the soldiers of the 57th SS Regiment, which was considered the “pure SS” regiment. These French volunteers were really pro-German and seemed, at least to the men of the 58th SS Regiment, to have contempt for their homeland. Even Brighfhr. Krukenberg remarked: “Here there are young Frenchmen who are more SS than the SS themselves!” But to Stubaf. Raybaud, there was no problem. The young SS men of the 57th Regiment, did not really want to become Germans, but they had such an attitude because they wanted to be independent and considered themselves without a homeland. [Editor’s note: This was due in particular to the actions one would suppose, of the French ‘government’ and some of the French citizenry in the previous months]. Raybaud knew that they could not disavow their origins.

French SS bugler (previously unpublished). Provided courtesy of Bill

Oberführer Paud went to Berlin to meet with Reichsführer-SS Himmler to discuss the deployment of the “Charlemagne” Division. Himmler gave him assurances that the French volunteers would be sent to a front where they would not come against their fellow Frenchmen. He also promised that the men of the “Charlemagne” could fight under the French flag and could continue to practice their religion. Other promises were made concerning the future sovereignty of French territory.

To the Pomeranian Front

At the beginning of February 1945, the “Charlemagne” Division left Wildflecken for the Eastern Front. 10 to 12 trains were needed to transport the entire French SS formation. Stubaf. Raybaud had some arguments with the quartermaster who failed to issue enough equipment to his men. Some of the soldiers were forced to go to the front without having even received a steel helmet. SS Regiment 58 was given some Italian camouflage jackets, but these were inadequate for the cold of winter. Stubaf. Raybaud’s HQ staff received three automobiles but only one of them was functioning.

One of the two trains assigned to 58th SS Regiment was bombed en route to Pomerania and suffered some losses, but many of the other divisional trains were strafed by Russian planes and in some of them the losses were quite high! On the way to the front, Stubaf. Raybaud was forced to punish some of his officers and men who had shown disrespect for military discipline. The training period had been too short and some of the men lacked proper military habits. Many of the men from the “Milice” who had fought the ‘Resistance’ had adopted the ways of their enemies so that they still behaved like they were in a partisan unit.

The French SS men did not travel with a lot of equipment since they were supposed to pick up their supplies, heavy weapons and vehicles at a military depot in Hammerstein. It was the German habit to set up such depots close to the frontlines and equip new units as they arrived. This technique would prove catastrophic for the “Charlemagne” Division.

When the decision had been made to send the Frenchmen to the Hammerstein camp for equipping, the front had still been solid. But just as the “Charlemagne” trains reached the stations near Hammerstein, the Russians launched a major offensive. So the new soldiers, poorly armed though they were, had to be rushed into action against a far superior Soviet force. In its first frontline combat assignment, “Charlemagne” Division found itself facing some 4 Red infantry division and 2 tank brigades!

57th SS Regiment had no heavy weapons or radio equipment; the divisional recce unit was supplied only with bicycles and had no motorcycles; and “Charlemagne’s” artillery detachment was still in Bohemia-Moravia and it was impossible to bring it rapidly up to the front. Later on, Stubaf. Raybaud compared this time to his experience in France in June 1940. Then, as an officer in the 40th “Division de Chasseurs,” he had fought under the same conditions on the Somme. Then they had opposed the German divisions without artillery, tanks or airplanes. But in 1940 there was no snow and the French soldiers fought and died on their own ground. Now in Pomerania, in a land of foreigners, they had to fight in winter against other foreigners.

In their first action, French SS men went after Red Army tanks with Panzerfaust. In a violent battle the brave French soldiers managed to destroy about 50 enemy tanks in close combat. This was impressive enough to earn a special mention for the “Charlemagne” Division in the official communique of the 2nd German Army. Afterwards a rumour circulated that the German High Command had deliberately sent the French formation to an exposed spot to see it destroyed for political rea-sons. This was a falsehood; indeed Brigadeführer Krukenberg and the High Command had a very favourable attitude towards the Frenchmen. It was only fate and the unfortunate German technique of assembling fighting units so near to the frontlines, that were to blame.

Battles in Baerenwald and Baerenhuette

On the morning of 24 February 1945, the French volunteers heard that the frontlines held by Latvian SS men (from 15th Latvian SS Division) to the east of Hammerstein had been blown away by the attack of 3 Russian divisions. Stubaf. Ray- baud’s men disembarked from their trains in the village of Baerenhuette. The first group consisted of the regimental staff, the I. Battalion and a company of infantry guns (light artillery).

As night fell, at 1700 hours, the little unit faced to the east. At that moment, II Battalion/Regiment 58 came up and relieved I. /58 which was sent to the village of Baerenwald to reinforce the 57th SS Regiment.

At 0400 hours on 25 February, Stubaf. Raybaud woke up to the sound of violent fighting about 3 kilometers to the east. He received orders from “Charlemagne” staff to detach his 6th Company and send it to the north of Baerenhuette to block off a possible route of advance for the Russians. Raybaud was opposed to the order since it had little chance for success and only further depleted the strength of the weak French forces. No one could find any maps of the area at the regimental staff, so Raybuad sketched out a map himself and gave it to 6th Company’s commander, Ostuf. “S.M.” Not only were the French volunteers underequipped, but the men of the regimental staff were so incompetent that even this menial task fell to the regimental commander! Ostuf. “S.M.” and his men started off on the suicide mission and just after leaving lost all radio contact with the regiment due to poor radio liaison work.

Soon after, Stubaf. Raybaud went to Baerenwald to contact the commander of the 57th SS Regiment, Hauptsturmführer de Bourmont. He found him 500 meters west of the village. His men were in close combat with the Russians and they fought well but they had lost contact with I./58, under the command of Hstuf. Monneuse, which had come up the day before. After Baerenwald fell to the Russians, the 57th SS Regiment retreated to join the men of the 58th SS Regiment near Baerenhuette. The Russians were not in any hurry to attack the village; they preferred to try and encircle it.

At 2200 hours, the French SS men received the orders to retreat. As there was no motorized transport, all of the ammunition caches had to be destroyed. Each man received a Panzerfaust. The infantry guns which could not be towed were destroyed. The “march column” (consisting of men on foot and horses) withdrew, making a lot of noise but the Russians did not attack them. The losses were so high on their side that they possibly believed the French SS to be better equipped than they really were.

At around 1200 hours on 26 February, the men of “Charlemagne” arrived in Neustettin. For the last time in the Pomerania campaign they received supplies, but their German quartermaster had already gone on to Kolberg! About three-quarters of the division’s survivors spent the night together in one large barracks. This was somewhat dangerous if the enemy attacked, but fortunately all remained quiet.

To Koerlin

At 0800 hours on 27 February, “Charlemagne” was ordered to Belgard. In the course of the troop movements the Russians drew nearer to Neustettin and they slowly cut the road between that city and Belgard, but only the French SS rear-guard saw any fighting with the enemy. There was only one serious incident: at the village of Baerwalde, the column was strafed and lightly bombed by the Russian planes. The losses were high! If the Soviet troops had decided to attack the harassed men, they could cut them to pieces. During the night, a “rest” period was given to the French SS men. The men were allowed to stop for one hour! But it was in a cold wind under a snowy rain. On 28 February, at about 1200 hours, the tired soldiers were finally allowed to stop in a wooded area to the south of Belgard.

Nevertheless, Brigfhr. Krukenberg gave Stubaf. Raybaud the order to build a “March Regiment” (ad hoc regiment) from his 58th SS Regiment and the remnants of the 57th SS Regiment. The job had to be done in 3 hours! The Sturmbannführer remarked that such a job in peacetime or elsewhere (not on the frontlines) required around 2 days. After registering his objection with Krukenberg, Raybaud was given a delay of 10 hours.

Quickly, Stubaf. Raybaud organized his new unit; by the end of the day, 3 new battalions had been formed:

I. Battalion under the command of Ostuf. Fernet from the 57th SS Regiment.

II. Battalion under the command of Hstuf. Bassompierre from the division staff.

III. Battalion under Hstuf. de Bourmont, consisting of elements that were of dubious fighting value; survivors from badly depleted infantry companies, etc.

The men themselves were too weary to be of much help during the reformation process. During the night, “Charlemagne” moved on to Koerlin. The French SS men were given the job of protecting the vital road linking Koerlin to Stettin. Stubaf. Ray-baud was appointed “battle commandant” of Koerlin. The units of the “March Regiment” were met on arrival and directed to the right positions. [Editor’s note: The defences of Koerlin had been laid out somewhat in advance by Standartenführer Zimmerman, an engineering officer on the “Charlemagne” staff, and an ad hoc construction battalion consisting of French volunteers from dispersed units].

Because of the proximity of the Persante River, the city of Koerlin was planned to be a natural strongpoint — a fortress which could momentarily stop the enemy drive. The “March Regiment’s” staff came into the town with the rear-guard. The new “battle commandant” was disturbed by the apathy of his officers and to improve their functioning, he decided to dismiss his chief-of-staff and replace him with Hstuf. de Perricot, a veteran of the 1st World War. Some other soldiers and a German company joined the Frenchmen to help reinforce the defences of Koerlin. Communications were very bad because the telephone lines were often cut by saboteurs (i.e. Russian infiltrators).

At 1300 hours on 3 March 1945, the first Russian combat units were sighted. The bridges across the river were mined and the German engineers who wanted to evacuate the area, decided to blow them. Upon hearing that, the “battle commandant” went out to prevent them from doing so; chiefly because a French company was still on the other side of the Persante. It was at this moment that an enemy force appeared and opened fire and Stubaf. Raybaud was badly wounded in the leg. He was quickly evacuated to the rear in an ambulance and Hstuf. de Perricot took command.

Koerlin was eventually encircled by the enemy, and the French SS were forced to breakout in small groups. Only one such group made it to the safety of the German Baltic ports. The main body of the “Charlemagne” led by Oberführer Paud tried to escape to safety under the cover of fog but was caught in a bloody ambush when the fog suddenly lifted. Paud and many of his men were killed. Another battalion, led by Hstuf. Basompierre, spent several days wandering through the thick forests before being forced to surrender.

Ostubaf. Raybaud later had his leg amputated. After the war he was tried for being an ex-member of the “Milice.” He was nearly assasinated in prison but escaped death to be released some years later. He lives today in southern France where he was often visited by Brigadeführer Krukenberg, who held him in very high regard. Krukenberg died in 1980 at the age of 90.

After Koerlin, the survivors of “Charlemagne” were sent to the north of Berlin to be reorganized. When Krukenberg was called to Berlin to take command of the 11th SS Division “Nordland,” he asked for volunteers from the French SS to join him in the last battle for the German capital. Krukenberg noted that about 90 of them decided to join him, although the exact number of French volunteers who took part in the Battle of Berlin is still not known. Hstuf. Fernet who commanded the French SS in Berlin, reported in his memoirs that he had 4 companies of about 80 men each at his command or around 320 in total. But to Krukenberg the exact number was not important, as he remarked after the war: “90 or 300 men were the same. It was a symbol and it is senseless to evaluate a symbol.” Fernet, the commander of the French SS in Berlin was one of the “pure SS” and he was recommended for the Knight’s Cross decoration, but like another French volunteer and many Germans, the documentation for the reward either never survived the war or has yet to be found.

Raybaud only learned in 1970 that after Koerlin he had been promoted to Oberstrumbannführer and decorated with the Iron Cross, 1st Class. Given the chaos in Pomerania the news had never gotten through at the time!


“Charlemagne” Division shield.

Hitler and the Third Reich

by Anthony M. Ludovici
The English Review 63, 1936, pp. 35–41, 147–153, 231–239

The present temper of the German people, unlike that of their kinsmen before the Great War or under the Republic, is also unlike anything that Europe has witnessed probably since the Middle Ages.

The visitor to their country who fails to grasp this fact, like the stay-at-home Englishman whose Press does not enable him to appreciate it, misses the most fundamental feature in the whole of Nazi Germany.

For something akin to a new religious zeal has spread throughout the land, making the people wistful, but strangely light-hearted and confident in their earnestness. It is as if they had been not only raised from the dust, but also shown a star or ball of fire which will lead them to the fulfilment of their destiny.

It was to be expected that a great proud nation, broken and humiliated, would respond with turbulent gratitude to anyone who helped her to recover her self-esteem and face the world once more without shame. But those who are inclined to see only thankful exultation over rescued vanity in the present mood of the German people would sadly misunderstand and therefore underrate what has happened. For in Germany today there is none of the truculence of a greedily recovered self-confidence, none of the self-complacency of a people basking in a light which their sense of superiority claims. On the contrary, everything is reserved, serene, almost reticent, as if beneath the inexpressible joy that everyone feels there stirred the constantly sobering reflection that the defeat, the humiliation and the shame of yesterday was a judgment, a penance for the mistakes of the older generation.

The Fuehrer never loses an opportunity of reminding them of this. But it is a thought that must form spontaneously in most of their minds, because their behaviour, even towards strangers and foreigners, bears the stamp of it. They appear to have reached a level of self-respect from which they look down with anxious dread upon any impulse, word, or action which might bear an a-social or negative interpretation. Petty deeds of mutual strife, hostility or exploitation, are naturally scorned as infra-dignitatem. Again and again the visitor is impressed by the scrupulous honesty, consideration, patience, and willingness of menials, public servants and the rank and file of government employees. I could mention scores of instances of this. The tone of the country seems to be set by the general consciousness that a great common good is being served, and that those who depart too conspicuously from the example of impersonal effort set by the Fuehrer may wreck his prodigious scheme. Thus a mood prevails which makes certain things – mean, ill-natured thoughts and actions – appear unworthy of a great nation stirred and united by a lofty purpose.

„Not individual gain, but the common good!“ This can be read on almost every hoarding. And it is no empty phrase. It genuinely inspires the mass of the people, and makes for a wholesome reluctance to indulge in ill-informed criticism and fault-finding, while the gigantic work of reconstruction is in progress. Indeed, the Fuehrer himself is the very last to claim infallibility in his function, and with a wisdom surely exceptional in history repeatedly takes the people into his confidence to remind them that, if he is to act with courage and a cheerful readiness to shoulder responsibilities, they must allow him occasionally to make mistakes.

The last great movement of anything like the same importance as National Socialism was the Reformation. With his teaching, the fire he put into it, and the music and song he used so skilfully to carry it into the hearts of the people, Luther swept the country. But he divided Germany and left it divided. Even the united Empire created by Bismarck, although it integrated a congeries of petty states whose rulers had often been dominated by mutual jealousies, left Germany in the grip of parties whose rivalries proved even more dangerous and disintegrating.

The Nazi movement, however, has united the country as no country has been united since the Renaissance. It has not merely destroyed the barriers between the states, it has obliterated the demarcations of factions. There are no parties today in Germany. Nor should there be in any so-called „nation“.

If the people naturally look up to their leader more as a saviour than a statesman, more as a Heaven-sent prophet than a politician, if at the loudspeakers fixed to almost every pillar and post in the land, they hang on his words and his voice and are ready to accept and do his bidding, and if to us in strife-ridden England they appear to be standardised, „conditioned“ on a scale no free Briton would tolerate, let us in this country remember two important aspects of this state of affairs:
The first is that over here we cannot pretend to be able to fathom the depths of the humiliation they suffered after the Great War and therefore cannot appreciate the extent of their devotion to their rescuer.

The second is that we, too, in this country are standardised and „conditioned“ on a vast and alarming scale. But whereas in Germany the standardising and conditioning powers are responsible and ready to answer for the effects they produce, over here these powers are wholly irresponsible and, as things are, could not by any conceivable means be made to answer for what their untrammelled use of publicity enables them to effect in the moulding of so-called „public-opinion“.

Herr von Ribbentrop assured me that if to-morrow the Fuehrer were to ask the German people to do without sheets on the beds, they would cheerfully accede to his request and, to a family, give up this form of comfort.

There seems to me not the slightest doubt that this is true. But before we call such a request tyranny, and the hearty response to it slavery, let us be quite sure that we understand the amount of mutual confidence, affection and respect it implies.
When I was asked by a prominent member of the government, a man who, in his day, had ruled over one of the smaller nominally autonomous States of the old Empire, to sum up in a line how the Germany of the Third Reich impressed me, I replied that I could think of nothing like it in recent history and could compare it only to what I imagined western Europe must have been when our great Gothic cathedrals were being built.

Nor is there anything factitious or perfunctory in the enthusiasm with which the people acclaim and welcome the enigmatical figure who has contrived to strike this deep religious note in their hearts. I witnessed two public appearances of the Fuehrer. I saw him drive into a vast stadium at half-past eight in the morning to address 80,000 children of the Hitler Youth Movement and a few thousand adults; and, an hour or two later, I saw him arrive at the Lustgarten in the centre of Berlin to address a vast assembly of working men and specially invited guests of both sexes.

On both occasions something more than ordinary enthusiasm was displayed and no visitor required to understand the language in order to feel the magic of the moment.

Long before the actual appearance of the smart black touring car bearing the Leader, the ringing cheers of the populace could be heard in the distance drawing gradually nearer and nearer, until, when the car entered the arena, the whole gathering of thousands took up the cry and, standing with right arms raised, shook the May morning with their greetings.

Sieg!“ (Victory) he cried.

Heil Hitler!“ the throng roared in return.

Sieg!“ he cried again.

Heil Hitler!“ came the response once more.

Sieg!“ he cried for the third and last time.

Heil Hitler!“ was thundered back by 100,000 voices.

No sense of humour! – No! But we should be thankful that there are still occasions, even in modern England, when a sense of humour would be thought out of place. We still see no humour in the death of a beloved relative or in a broken heart, or a lost love. And is not possible for the degree of passion behind the love for a relative or a betrothed to be equalled by the love for a figure which stands for the salvation of a people’s native land, their pride and their hopes?

I certainly saw no sign of a sense of humour in the reception given to the Fuehrer on these two occasions. But I witnessed instead something bordering on the magic, something which, although beyond reason, was anything but madness.
I saw bent old men and women who must have known Bismarck, the Kaiser William I, and the glorious early seventies of last century, and I saw crowds of educated and uneducated middle-aged people, young men and women and adolescents, thousands of whom could never have seen the days of the Empire. But one and all displayed the same passionate affection of children in the presence of the Fuehrer, and to watch them was to learn what miracles can still be wrought with the ultra-civilised and often effete populations of modern Europe if only they are given a lofty purpose.
This is surely the secret of the perpetual hold religions have on men, and it explains Adolf Hitler’s magic influence. To exhort men to commercial and industrial prosperity is not enough. To stimulate them to make good in individual enterprise, in profit-making, in self-help, ultimately leaves the best elements of the nation cold – not merely cold, but fractious, restless, mutually negative and given to petty criticism and fault-finding. In fact, it creates the populace which is typical of modern democratic politics, and makes possible every kind of large-scale fraud, from a general election to the vast advertisement hoardings of a city like London.

The religious appeal, however, by giving men a higher, impersonal purpose, sets humanity at one stroke above the market-place, above considerations of merely individual gain, with all that these mean in internecine and suicidal struggle. And to have given his nation such a purpose, to have persuaded them that such a purpose can be worthwhile, is the secret of the Fuehrer’s magic. To my mind, this constitutes his chief importance to the German nation.

It is perhaps a pure coincidence that this man who, according to his own admission, moves and acts in state affairs with the somnambulistic certainty (nachtwandlerische Sicherheit) of a sleep-walker – that is to say, whose most important decisions spring from the mysterious strata of the Unconscious – should have chosen for the badge of his party and his movement the ancient mystic sign known as the Gammadion, Fylfot or Swastika. But when we bear in mind that this very badge was once the symbol of a mysterious cult, and has for countless ages stood as the sign of a particularly instinctive and deep-seated form of worship, the choice of the symbol seems particularly apt. For the fact that Germany is to-day stirred by a purpose super-personal and therefore religious, is beyond question.

Whether the conspicuous diminution in crime all over the country is to be ascribed to this religious mood, I cannot pretend to judge. If, however, I throw my mind back, as I like to do, to the days in western Europe when our great cathedrals were springing up in almost every large town, I imagine that they, too, must have been times of a low incidence of crime. For it is impossible to believe that all that anonymous, impersonal work, which must in millions of cases have offered no hope of being completed before those engaged upon it died, could have been performed in any mood which promoted the negativism of crime.

When, therefore, we learn from Liebermann von Sonnenberg, the head of the Criminal Investigation Department of the German government, that since 1932, crime in Germany has declined 50 per cent., and in some districts actually as much as 60 per cent., and that in all Prussian towns of over 50,000 inhabitants murders have declined 32 per cent., robberies by violence 63 per cent. and burglaries 52 per cent., it ought not to surprise us.

To suppose that, in such a mood and with such impersonal strivings, the German nation can now entertain purely predatory and venal aims would be wholly to misunderstand the feat Adolf Hitler has performed, and the metamorphosis his magic has effected.

He has effected this transformation on a foundation of repentance, on the constant reminder that Germany’s defeat and humiliation were a judgment and a penalty. Those who have been chastened by his appeal, and they represent over 90 per cent. of the German nation, cannot therefore be insincere in their desire for a relationship of peace and friendship with their neighbours and particularly with England.

This is not to say, however, that peace and friendship do not impose certain duties of mutual consideration on the parties concerned. But it struck me that it is only to that feeling of duty, and not to ideals of force and violence, that modern Germans now look with hope for the redress of their wrongs and the relief of their domestic difficulties.
Thus the greatest of the Fuehrer’s reforms and most creative of his innovations, as I hope to show, have aimed at construction and development at home. And if, in this work, Hitler and his advisers have in the last three years performed miracles, about which we in this country hear little, and appear to care less, it is to the rigorous press-censorship now prevailing over here that we must ascribe both our ignorance and indifference.

It is difficult to give an adequate impression of the enormous assistance afforded to the Fuehrer’s various schemes of construction by the spirit he has contrived to stimulate in the German people.

In a country uninspired by his personal leadership, many of his reforms, particularly those deriving from his biological revaluation and his wise attitude towards women, manual labour and agriculture, would undoubtedly have provoked the likeliest opposition. And if so many of his fundamental innovations have passed smoothly into the everyday life of the people to transform their sentiment and outlook, he has to thank the religious mood with which he first infected his nation.
Nowhere, however, has the change of point of view and life-habits been more conspicuously displayed than in the movement which led to the so-called „Labour“ camps, of which there are now 1,300 for men alone all over Germany.
Designed, on the cultural side, to reduce class cleavage, to whittle down the marked difference of esteem in which manual and mental work are held throughout Western civilization, and to promote health and manliness in all classes, these Labour Camps are, economically, one of the greatest assets of the new régime. For by providing the means of concentrating unpaid labour at all these points in the land where it is most needed, either in order to develop or reclaim existing wastes, or to help newly settled urbanites to make good as farmers, market-gardeners, fruit-growers, etc., it has given an impetus to agricultural development which, without it, would have been quite unrealisable.

It is not generally appreciated in England that the problems in the sphere of agriculture alone which the Fuehrer had to face, and which had actually been studied by him and his advisers before his Party came into power, were manifold and complicated.

The Treaty of Versailles deprived Germany of 9.5 per cent of her people and over 13 per cent of her area. Thus the ratio of population to territory was in any case less favourable than it had been before the war. Over and above this, however, the land lost on her eastern and western frontiers was of a very high grade, and therefore made the total decrease of her agricultural area more than it seemed – i.e., nearer 30 per cent than 13 per cent in actual value.

In addition, about one million of her nationals returned to the Reich from ceded territories, and, owing to the increasing use and perfection of labour-saving machinery, ever larger numbers of industrial workers were being turned out of work every year. So that, failing a wise and drastic policy calculated to improve the state of agriculture and provide fresh employment for the workless (numbering 6,000,000 before 1933), it seemed as if disaster must soon overtake the country.
Two things were clear – thousands of recently urbanized families must at all costs be restored to the land, and the arable areas of the Reich must be increased.
A „Back-to-the-land“ movement was therefore immediately inaugurated on a grand scale, while under the slogan that Germany, if she chose, could conquer a whole new province for herself within her own borders, another movement was started to improve the quality and yield of existing agricultural areas, to reclaim millions of acres of existing marsh, heath and moor-land in various parts of the country, and shoals and flats along the North Sea coast, to regulate the course of small rivers, to plant and grub, and to transform waste woodland into profitable forests.

In connexion with the first movement an administration known as the Reichstelle für die Auswahl deutscher Bauernsiedler, was soon set up for selecting desirable people for settlement in rural districts as farmers, farm labourers and peasants, which, working on the lines of the new biological revaluation, granted permits, land and sometimes credits, only to the best people from the standpoint of descent, health and capacity.

Thus favour is invariably shown to:–

(a) Men who in their family line and blood have long had some close relationship to the soil and been lately separated from it – for instance, farmers who have been recently uprooted or lost their farms through no fault of their own.

(b) Men who have large families. (Only men over 25 and married are considered.)

(c) Men who served in the late war, or who are known to have served in the S.A. (Hitler’s Sturmableitung) or the S.S. (the biological cream of the S.A.).

(d) Men who have served in the Reichswehr (the post-war German army).

(e) Finally, rural labourers whom adverse conditions have driven from the soil.
I have not the statistics for 1935 at hand; but in 1934 the Office for Selecting German Settlers on the Land received 15,948 applications of which 11,094 were accepted and provided for; and since the inauguration of the movement (not reckoning 1935) 67,000 new farmsteads have been established, covering about 1,827,800 acres. Altogether, up to the end of 1934, about 2,964,000 acres had been secured for settlement purposes.
The Government reckons that it takes about five years for these newly settled farmers and peasants to make good, and during their first years of endeavour, every kind of assistance is given them provided they display the right spirit and energy.
Now in the work of reclaiming the soil for the reception of these new agricultural workers, and in the task of helping them to make good, the Reich Labour Service finds its principal functions; and, apart from the cultural advantages the camps secure for the whole male population, as described above, it is in these principal functions that they constitute one of the greatest assets of the new régime.

Briefly stated, the conditions of the service are these:–

Every young German must enter the Labour Service between the end of his seventeenth and the end of his twenty-fifth year; he is enrolled only after a thorough physical examination and has to serve for six months, after which his year’s military service begins.

Life in the camps is divided between manual labour with spade and hoe, in which all must take part, strenuous drilling exercises, and periods of leisure given to reading and the study of contemporary events and problems. The day starts at 5 a.m. in the summer and 6 a.m. in the winter, and ends at 10 p.m. – the time after supper (7 p.m.) and short intervals during the day being devoted to rest and leisurely pursuits.
Each camp consists of 152 men, and there are at present about 1,300 camps for men in Germany. Thus, year in year out, the country can command the work of 200,000 young men whose labour is to all extents and purposes unpaid. Actually, they do receive about 3d. a day in pocket money.

A similar organisation exists for German girls. But, so far, the service has not been made compulsory. Nevertheless, such is the impersonal spirit prevailing in Germany to-day that, on the present voluntary basis, these Reich Labour Service girls have come forward in sufficient numbers from all classes of society to form 500 camps which, like those of the men, provide unpaid labour devoted to assisting the newly settled peasants and farmers all over the land.

As to what these men’s labour camps have done, let it suffice to say that, out of an area of 15,437 square miles (about half the size of Portugal) of swamp land, half has already been reclaimed for agricultural purposes; hundreds of thousands of acres of waste land and waste woodland, of no use to the peasants, have already been transformed into profitable forests; and drainage and irrigation, now being carried out, is expected to double the value of more than 46,312 square miles of existing agricultural land of poor quality.

It is, in fact, reckoned that the net annual proceeds derived from the work done by the Labour Service organisation have already exceeded 10 per cent. of the cost of the organisation. But the full value of what they are now creating in the form of new agricultural areas, new farmsteads and a new peasant population will, of course, not be realized for perhaps a generation or two.

I visited several of these men’s camps in the Havelländische Luch and questioned men whom I saw at work. As I had been led to expect, there were among them representatives of every class of the community, and they all appeared to be enjoying their labours and flourishing under the discipline of the camps. They were young enough to relish the hard work and the rough life as an adventure, and they all looked healthy enough to thrive under Spartan conditions.

Their camp officers who, without exception, attracted attention by their unusually fine physique and manly bearing, are men specially picked from the standpoint of psycho-physical standards. They do not separate from their men at meals or during the hours of leisure, as Army and Navy officers do, but have to live every moment of their waking hours with them, setting them an example of good manners, correct speech, and a cultured outlook.

In the women’s camps the girls are subjected to much the same camp discipline, but their work is of course different. They may, if called upon, help the newly settled farmers and peasants in light work in the fields, but their principal function is to give the rural families help in the home as unpaid domestic servants, dairymaids, nursemaids, etc. In this way, the newly settled farmers who are trying to make good, are substantially assisted at no cost to themselves, and are often able to have the more skilled work of their wives in the fields, while the voluntary Reich-Service workers look after the home and the children and do the cooking, mending and washing.
Valuable by-products of both the girls’ and the men’s Labour Camps are, of course, the excellent discipline that all these young people have to undergo at a period in their lives when discipline is most salutary, the breaking down of class barriers by the mixing of the various social strata in the camps, and the benefit to all concerned derived from the closer acquaintance made by the children of middle and upper-class families with manual labour, its hardships, its advantages and its immense importance in the economy of the nation.

„Work ennobles!“ (Arbeit adelt!) – that is the device of this branch of the National Service. And, thanks to the right spirit and the right values, and in spite of a world that has too long worshipped only money and the successful stockbroker and financier, it somehow comes true. It can already be seen in the faces and manners of the people, and it is evidenced in every relationship of high and humble in the life of modern Germany.

Meanwhile, promoting and consolidating the „Back-to-the-land“ and „Reich-Labour-Service“ movements, laws have been passed which make it difficult, particularly for young rural women, to swell the throng of country folk who annually try to migrate to the large towns; and a very important series of laws – not based on abstract principles or theory, but rooted in peasant custom – which came into force in September, 1933, and are known as the Reichserbhofrecht (the Law relating to the Inheritance of Landed Property) now provide for the hard-working and capable peasant a security in his holding, which no usurious or other kinds of creditors can defeat (Paragraphs 37–39 of above law). The test appears to be not whether the creditor has a lien on the land, but (a) whether the present debtor has defaulted through any fault of his own, and (b) whether the peasant debtor is a capable, knowledgeable and diligent farmer and has shown that he can keep his land in a proper state. The general idea inspiring the whole measure is that land cannot and should not be treated as moveable property, to be bought and sold in the open market.

It is impossible in the space at my disposal to describe in detail what this law has done to secure the peasant landowner in this holding, to regulate the inheritance of land so as to keep it in the hands of worthy families, and generally to enhance the prestige of conscientious and painstaking husbandry; but anyone who wishes to study the law in detail can do so in the excellent handbook on the subject by Otto Baumecker (Handbuch des Gesamten Reichserbhofrechts) the third edition of which was published in Cologne in 1935.

Great as are the reforms discussed in my last article, and wonderful as is the tribute their success pays to the inspiration of the Fuehrer, they are, however, as nothing compared with his innovations in a far more difficult and pitfall-strewn field – the field of human biology.

Three influences – urbanisation, industrialism and the negative Socratic values which began to prevail with the spread of Protestantism, and happened to be favourable to the two former – have now, for almost two centuries, been inclining the people of Europe, and all countries like Europe, to set their faces ever more and more steadfastly against a biological attitude towards man. And this has resulted in the tendency of modern civilisation not only to neglect and despise the body but also to exalt as praiseworthy all those practices which favour the multiplication of biologically inferior human beings.

To deal with urbanisation first, it must be clear, even to those who are unfamiliar with the contempt in which boroughs and their inhabitants were held by the rural populations of the Middle Ages, that the city and town do not and cannot breed the healthiest, sturdiest and most active members of the community and cannot, therefore, cultivate a very fastidious taste in standards of human desirability. The kind of occupation open to the town-dweller – quite apart from the air he breathes and the food he tends to live on – neither selects nor is calculated to maintain the soundest of types. Moreover, by withdrawing the human being from a close touch with the realities of Nature’s work and laws, from the everyday and obvious lessons to be learnt by watching cultivated plants and animals grow, and observing the conditions essential to their prosperity, town life must in time foster a fantastic or unrealistic attitude to life and its problems, which of itself constitutes mental or intellectual unsoundness.

Over and above this, however, in towns and cities, the very roots of human life tend to wither. In the country there is always some way in which the child only just past toddlerdom can help in the general impersonal work of Nature, even if it is only to scare the sparrows from the ripening corn. Thus children are always welcome and quickly become a further asset to the house in which they are born. But in towns the child tends to become more and more a luxury, an undesired by-product of the sexual adaptation of its parents. The result is that an unnatural relationship begins to grow up between married couples, and women as a whole incline to neglect and despise maternal occupations. In fact, society reaches a condition known as Feminism, on the one hand, in which, as even the Feminist Havelock Ellis admits, „Motherhood is without dignity“ – indeed, how could it have dignity when children are unwanted? – and, on the other, a condition known as Pornocracy, in which the taste of the harlot, and the outlook of the harlot, necessarily tend to prevail.

Industrialisation, even under the most humane and solicitous factory laws and regulations, confirms and intensifies most of the worst influences of urbanisation. It cannot help so doing, because, in addition to offering the urban crowds unhealthy occupations, it has not reached that stage of enlightenment when it would necessarily regard it as a duty to protect the character and minds of the so-called proletariat from the besotting and degrading influence of mere machine-minding, or of performing, year in year out, unskilled, repetitive and often merely fragmentary tasks. Besides, the factory can be adequately served by types which would not have the stamina or endurance for heavy farm work, and this again exercises with the town a preferential selection in favour of unsoundness.

On its occupational side, therefore, it undermines the garnered qualities of a national constitution and character. It lives on the spiritual and physical capital of the people, without making a single contribution of value to either from one generation to another. Thus, it creates among a mass of physically deteriorated, uprooted and traditionless individuals, already removed from the instructive realities of life by their urban habits, a standardized type of mind and character, which is steadily becoming more and more helpless, passive, colourless and servile. It means that a race is being reared which in character, body and mind is hardly civilised.
Turning now to the third influence – that of Socratic values – which has made the two former influences possible, it is difficult for the modern man of Western Europe to appreciate the extent to which he has become saturated, „conditioned“, and disciplined both in body and mind by the values which tend to underrate and neglect body standards. If we have ceased to look with horror on a man or woman who, although under thirty, has false teeth, if we have ceased to demand an apology from people with foul breath, and if we imagine that human rubbish and human foulness can give us good laws, good poetry, good science and good art, it is wholly and exclusively due to Socrates and his influence.

His exclusive claim to notoriety is that, thanks to his own wretchedly poor physical endowments in the midst of a population of beauty-venerators, he found himself forced in self-defence to discover a dialectical method of excusing every kind of physical disreputability, degeneracy and putrescence.

He argued, after the manner of the fox who had lost his tail, that the beauty of the body is but a slight affair, and that man’s greatest achievement is to set a higher value on the beauty of the soul, and he declared to Glaucon, „If there be any merely bodily defect in another, we will be patient of it and love the same“.

„Merely bodily defect“! – These three words epitomise the whole savour and trend of Socratic teaching.

Thus radiant and flawless health is everywhere rare among human beings, and wherever Western civilisation has spread the minority of the sound are taxed out of existence and sacrificed in order to preserve, succour and pay honour to the unsound.
Now to set one’s face against this deeply implanted bias, to invite modern men, and particularly modern women, in the teeth of their morbid sentimentality, to change their attitude and to honour and look up to the sound, to protect the sound from extermination by the unsound, and to resist their being sacrificed for the latter – in fact, to assume towards humanity the very attitude which, to a farmer contemplating his animals and his crops, is a commonplace of good husbandry, is to-day one of the most difficult and precarious of undertakings, particularly for the head of a State.
In the lives of the people, Socratic values, by inculcating a contempt for bodily considerations, leads to all kinds of perverted tastes and unwise matings – marriage with cripples, with the hereditarily blind, with the hereditarily deaf and dumb, the diseased and malformed. Three popular works, such as Lytton’s Pilgrims of the Rhine, George Eliot’s Mill on the Floss and Charlotte Yonge’s Pillars of the House, in which diseased or crippled persons are solemnly held up as marriageable or as objects to be specially honoured (and there are hundreds of lesser English novels which do the same), could hardly have been written or read unless a culture had lost its sanity in mating.

Now the fact that Adolf Hitler, as soon as he seized the reins of Government at the beginning of 1933, did not hesitate to grapple with Socrates and, at least in Germany, to discredit him, is surely one of his most remarkable achievements.
True, his assault on urbanisation and industrialism would have been imperfect and abortive had he failed to attack the values based on Socratic teaching which enable both to flourish. But, apart from the measures he has framed to restore a healthy agricultural life to Germany and arrest the flight to the cities, his daring attack on the traditional „glory“ of fifth-century Athens should alone have sufficed ultimately to sweep unhealthy tastes and prejudices from his country.

For to-day the sound in health and mind are the honoured of the German nation and, as the guarantors of a desirable posterity, are granted many privileges. Although to us over here this cannot help seeming slightly odd, it is, of course, the most elementary wisdom.

Among the principal measures framed to secure a healthier generation, I would refer to the Law of July 14, 1933, to Prevent the Transmission of Hereditary Diseases. By means of this law it became possible through sterilisation to prevent men and women suffering from certain hereditary diseases specified in the law from having progeny. Such diseases are congenital feeble-mindedness, certain mental diseases such as schizophrenia and manic depression, hereditary epilepsy, blindness, deaf-mutism and severe malformations.

All cases are tried before a Eugenics Court, consisting of one judge assisted by two doctors, and their decisions are reached only after a thorough and conscientious inquiry into each case. In the report for the year 1934, published on July 3, 1935, we find that in all 84,525 petitions were filed in the 205 eugenics courts, i.e., about one case per 771 of the population. There were 42,903 males and 41,662 females[1]. Of this number, 64,449 or about 75 per cent. were heard before the courts, and sterilisation was ordered in 98.8 of the cases, i.e., 56,244 persons. In 3,692 cases (6.2 per cent.) the petitions were rejected, while in 4,563 the petition was either withdrawn or else referred to a superior Eugenics Court, of which twenty-six participated in the ultimate decisions.

Of 8,219 appeals taken against a court order for sterilisation, only 377 were allowed. In 438 cases, appeals were made against the rejection of sterilisation petitions ordered by the Eugenics Court of first instance. And of these, 299 heard before the end of 1934 ended in the granting of the petition in 179 cases, and the reversal of the decision of the first Court.

In regard to pregnant women, it has been decided that if a valid Court has ruled that sterilisation should take place, the pregnancy may be interrupted provided that this is done before the sixth month of pregnancy.

The importance of these measures will be appreciated, as Dr Burgdörfer points out, when it is remembered that according to the last census there were 2,000,000 sufferers from incurable disease, crippledom and insanity in the country. The cost of maintaining them was 1,000,000,000 Reichsmarks, or about £76,000,000 a year – a burden which is not only useless but also actively pernicious, seeing that under it the sound cannot have the number of desirable healthy children they might otherwise give the country. To continue suffering such a burden and allowing it to increase, as it inevitably would if it were not dealt with, amounts to sacrificing the sound for the unsound. And this only a nation that has forgotten the laws of good husbandry through generations of urbanisation could ever tolerate.

A further measure, known as the Law to Protect the Hereditary Health of the German People (October 18, 1935), provides for the refusal of marriage certificates to all applicants who fail to reach certain standards of health. Thus a marriage certificate must be refused (1) to all parties suffering from an infectious disease which may affect the other partner or the children of the marriage; (2) to all parties suffering from a mental disorder which would make it contrary to public policy for them to marry; and (3) to all parties affected with a hereditary disease within the scope of the law of July 14, 1933, described above.

If both of the parties to the proposed marriage are foreigners, or if the prospective husband is a foreigner, the law does not apply. But if a foreign woman wishes to marry a German citizen, she must subject herself to a medical examination and obtain her Ehetauglichkeitszeugnis – her certificate of fitness for marriage.

The law makes it compulsory for these certificates to be obtained from the local bureau of health, and all people contemplating marriage have to undergo a medical examination before they can obtain their certificates.

But these purely negative measures do not satisfy the present rulers of Germany, and, side by side with them, they have instituted positive measures, not merely for encouraging marriage and large families, but also and above all for giving such encouragement only to desirable and sound couples. Thus, the unhealthy and pornocratic tendency of town life is stigmatized, and honour is given where it is due, i.e., to those who are a guarantee of a desirable coming generation and who, as married couples, are fit to lead to lead normal lives as parents.

The first measure dealing with this policy, formed part (para. x) of the Law for the Reduction of Unemployment of June 1, 1933. It provided that all young couples who desired to marry, and who had not the means to do so, could obtain from the government a loan to the extent of 1,000 marks in order to help them set up a home. But other measures have since confirmed and amplified these provisions, as, for instance, those of July 1933, August 1933, and March 1934.

The conditions under which the loan is granted are, however, severe. The parties to the marriage contract are required to be of German blood, hereditarily sound, and free from any disease, infectious or otherwise, which would make their marriage incompatible with the best public interest.

From August 1933 to March 1935, 400,738 such loans were made, of an average of 600 marks apiece, and the statistics show not only a sudden increase in marriages throughout the Reich, but also – and this was one of the objects of the measure – a corresponding decline in unemployment, owing to the number of posts vacated by the girls concerned. The number of marriages encouraged under this law were far more numerous in the urban that in the rural districts, and rose to the level of 12.6 per thousand in towns of more than 100,000 inhabitants.

The loans carry no interest, but are repayable at the rate of 1 per cent. per month. Thus, a loan of 600 marks is repaid by 100 monthly instalments of 6 marks. If, however, children are born of the marriage, a quarter of the loan is remitted for each child, and the repayments are suspended for a year. Of the 400,738 marriages which took place under these conditions, 182,355 children were born by end of March 1935, and a large proportion of the recovery of the German birthrate may justly be ascribed to these measures.

But these are not the only measures adopted by the government to promote soundness and good health in the nation. From the Health Record books of the Hitler Jugend – the corps of young Germans constituting the Youth Movement in Germany – to the biological selection of the S.A. (Sturm-Abteilung) known as the S.S., all of whose members strike the onlooker by the splendour of their health, build and looks, no detail is lost sight of which can transvalue the Socratic values still latent in the people, and make them honour, seek and favour the sound in mind and body.
The S.S. men may be encountered in every walk of life, and before the stranger, familiar with the spectacle of widespread degeneration at home, has learnt to read the signs or symbols proclaiming their order, his attention is usually drawn to them by their exceptionally fine condition and bearing. Our chauffeur on one occasion happened to be a man of this type, whose biological rank was obviously high, and as I was then unaware of the significance of the various badges worn in present-day Germany, I commented to my host on the healthy manly appearance of his servant.
„He belongs to the S.S., the biological cream of the S.A.“, replied my host. And he proceeded to inform me that not only did the young man belong to highest biological class, but that his wife, too, when he took one, would require to be the same. In fact, no marriage certificate would be granted either to him or his fiancée unless she could satisfy the relevant authorities that she came up to his standard.

No sense of humour? – Lucky Germany!

[1] The total according to these figures should be 84,565 and not 84,525. But the fault lies with the original German report and not with the present extract from it.