Martin Gunnar Knutsen
Knutsen, Martin Gunnar
Born Sept. 29, 1918, in Skien, in the fylke (county) of Telemark. Figure in Norwegian working-class movement.
The son of a worker, Knutsen was educated as a history teacher. He joined the Communist Party of Norway (CPN) in 1940. During the occupation of Norway by fascist German troops from 1940 to 1945 he took part in the resistance movement and organized sabotage groups. After being arrested by the Gestapo in November 1944, Knutsen was sentenced to be executed, but he was freed when the fascist German forces in Norway surrendered.
Knutsen worked as a teacher from 1945 to 1957. During this period he also served as chairman of the Buskerud fylke organization of the Communist Youth League of Norway and as editor of various local newspapers published by the CPN. He was elected to the Central Administration of the CPN in 1957 and was named a member of the Secretariat of the administration in 1971. Knutsen held the post of deputy chairman of the CPN in 1974 and 1975, and in November 1975 he was elected chairman.
In 1978, Knutsen was awarded the Order of Friendship of Peoples.