Quisling Then and Now
Repeating History

George Santayana said, “History is the great teacher. Thus, it is that those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” He was an American thinker and writer with a very long name, Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás.

George Santayana

Since I am still teaching at the college level, this essay is History 101. My students are all those that read this article essay. The topic for our first class deals with the time just prior to my birth to just after it. It is about another man with a very long name, Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonsson Quisling. To be honest with you, I had no idea what any of those first four names were, but I am quite familiar with his last name.

Vidkun Quisling

Vidkun Quisling was born in 1887 and died 1945. I was just a toddler waiting for my father to return from WWII when Quisling died. He was in the military, worked as a diplomat prior to the war, and was in the Norwegian government until the early 30s. Then he started the Nasjonal Samling Party, which in English was the National Union Party, which had basically two things that they didn’t like. One was the unions and the other the communists. Essentially, these Norwegians were fascists.

In late December of 1939, he had a meeting with Hitler. He was pushing Hitler to invade his country. Quisling had problems with the Norwegian government, and the Germans could liberate them from themselves. The Germans did invade Norway several months later. Then Quisling appointed himself as the head of the new Norwegian government, which didn’t last long. Nonetheless, the German occupying forces named him minister president in early 42. However, in 1945, the Allies liberated Norway, and Quisling was killed by a firing squad for treasonous acts.

Quisling prior to the firing squad

Enter again Santayana’s dire warning, “History is the great teacher. Thus, it is that those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” Am I the only one that sees the past repeating itself? Nearly 75-years after the execution of Quisling, we have not just one American Quisling, we have most of the Republican Party including representative and senators.

Unfortunately, we don’t have Winston Churchill telling the republicans what he said of the Norwegian Quisling. He was “hired to fawn upon the conqueror, to collaborate in his designs and to enforce his rule upon their fellow countrymen while groveling low themselves.”

Our American autocratic president has nearly his entire party fawning all over Trump. Do you want some illustrations? Senator Lindsey Graham is the paradigm of the other Queslings. Graham went from calling Trump a jackass four years ago to one of his greatest supporters today.