Quisling, Vidkun(kwĭz`lĭng, Nor. vĭd`ko͝on kvĭs`lĭng), 1887–1945, Norwegian fascist leader. An army officer, he served as military attaché in Petrograd (1918–19) and Helsinki (1919–21) and later assisted Fridtjof Nansen in relief work in Russia. He was Norwegian minister of defense from 1931 to 1933. He then left the Agrarian party to found the fascist Nasjonal Samling [national unity] party. In 1940 he helped Germany prepare the conquest of Norway. Remaining at the head of the sole party permitted by the Germans, he was made premier in 1942. Despite his unpopularity and difficulties with his German masters and within his own party, he remained in power until May, 1945, when, after the Germans in Norway surrendered, he was arrested. He was convicted of high treason and shot. From his name came the word quisling, meaning traitor.
See biography by P. M. Hayes (1972).
Born July 18, 1887, in the village of Fyresdal, the county of Telemark; died Oct. 24, 1945, in Oslo. Leader of the Norwegian fascists. Son of a clergyman.
Quisling received a military education and was a major in the Norwegian Army. In April-December 1918 he was military attaché in Petrograd, a post he also held in Helsinki from October 1920 until May 1921. In 1931–33 he was minister of war. In May 1933 he organized a fascist party, the National Union. Quisling helped fascist Germany to occupy Norway (April 1940). On Feb. 1, 1942, he became prime minister of Norway’s puppet government; he dealt severely with the Norwegian patriots. After the liberation of Norway he was shot by order of a Norwegian court. His name has become a synonym for traitor.