– Mutual – Resumption of Vidkun Quisling Treason trial – September 5, 1945 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
With the war slowly fading into memory, the job of prosecuting the ones responsible for countless deaths and untold misery was now underway. Aside from the Nuremberg Trials, which took center stage for the most part, owing to the sheer number of criminals on trial and the somewhat more subdued trials in Japan, other trials for other notorious figures, who etched an indelible impression on the hearts and minds of millions were also having their day in court.
One of those was Widkun Quisling. Quisling was a Norwegian military officer, politician and Nazi collaborator who nominally headed the government of Norway during the country’s occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II. On 9 April 1940, with the German invasion of Norway in progress, he attempted to seize power in the world’s first radio-broadcast coup d’état but failed since the Germans sought to convince the recognized Norwegian government to legitimize the German occupation, as had been done in Denmark during the simultaneous invasion there, instead of recognizing Quisling. On 1 February 1942, he formed a second government, approved by the Germans, and served as minister president and headed the Norwegian state administration jointly with the German civilian administrator, Josef Terboven. His pro-Nazi puppet government, known as the Quisling regime, was dominated by ministers from Nasjonal Samling. The collaborationist government participated in Germany’s war efforts, and sent Jews out of the country to concentration camps in occupied Poland (General Government).
Quisling was put on trial during the legal purge in Norway after World War II. He was found guilty of charges including embezzlement, murder and high treason against the Norwegian state, and was sentenced to death. He was executed by firing squad at Akershus Fortress, Oslo, on 24 October 1945.
After a delay, the trial resumed on September 5, 1945. Here is a radio report via Mutual of the trial as it was getting underway.