Norwegian Government Ministries 1940 - 1945

Under German occupation in Oslo

After Norway had been occupied by Nazi Germany on 9 April 1940, and King Haakon VII and Johan Nygaardsvold's Government had left the capital together with central civil servants, the leader of the National Socialist party Nasjonal Samling (National Unity, NS), former minister of defence Vidkun Quisling, declared himself head of a new government that same evening.

Mr. Quisling’s government did not manage to gather in plenary before it was forced to resign by German occupation authorities on 15 April. Several members resisted being appointed by Mr. Quisling, while some arrived at ministry offices, acting as ministers. Mr. Quisling’s government was intended to have had the following members:

Prime Minister
Quisling, Vidkun Abraham Lauritz, former councillor of state.
Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Ministers
Meidell, Birger Øivind, professor.
Chief of the Ministry of Church and Education.
Lie, Jonas, chief superintendent.
Chief of the Ministry of Justice and the Police. Did not take office.
Lunde, Gulbrand Oscar Johan, director.
Chief of the Ministry of Social Affairs. Did not take office.
Hagelin, Albert Viljam, director.
Chief of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and of the Ministry of Provisioning.
Hustad, Tormod Kristoffer, architect.
Chief of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Skancke, Ragnar Sigvald, professor.
Chief of the Ministry of Labour. Did not take office.
Prytz, (Anton) Frederik Winter Jakhelln, landowner.
Chief of the Ministry of Finance. Did not take office.
Hvoslef, Ragnvald, major.
Chief of the Ministry of Defence. Did not take office.

Secretary to the Government
Christie, Wilhelm Frimann Koren
, lawyer.

Control of ministry offices was taken over by German occupation authorities.


Administrative Council
In conjunction with German occupation authorities, the Supreme Court – the only legal power present in Oslo - on 15 April appointed an administrative council for the civil management of occupied areas, primarily in the Oslo area. The Administrative Council was politically neutral and had the following members:

Christensen, Ingolf Elster, former councillor of state.
Council chairman, responsible for matters concerning the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence (non-military and non-political matters). Also responsible for matters concerning the Ministry of Labour 4 June 1940.
Seip, Didrik Arup, university president.
Responsible for matters concerning the Ministry of Church and Education.
Harbek, Ole Fingalf, district stipendiary magistrate.
Responsible for matters concerning the Ministry of Justice and the Police.
Diesen, Andreas Melchior Seip, chief medical officer.
Responsible for matters concerning the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Mork, Rasmus Johannes, senior lecturer.
Responsible for matters concerning the Ministry of Agriculture.
Bache-Wiig, Jens, director.
Responsible for matters concerning the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Provisioning.
Jahn, Gunnar, former councillor of state.
Responsible for matters concerning the Ministry of Finance, and for matters concerning the Ministry of Labour until 4 June 1940.

Administrative Council Secretary
Schei, Andreas, senior executive officer. Secretary May-June 1940.
Salvesen, Kaare, executive officer. Secretary June-September 1940.



On 24 April 1940 German Chancellor Adolf Hitler appointed Mr. Josef Terboven as national commissary for the occupied areas in Norway. Mr. Terboven organised a German civil administration, and started talks with the Storting’s presidency on a new central body of administration, a council of the realm (government).

On 25 September 1940 the administrative council for the occupied areas was dismissed by the German national commissary, following the breakdown of negotiations on a council of the realm. On the same day Mr. Terboven appointed 13 provisional councillors of state to lead the ministries, with restricted authority. Six of the councillors had been on Mr. Quisling’s government list of 9 April. Nine - later ten - of the councillors were members of the NS; four – later three – were not members of any party. Two of the ten ministries – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence - had no provisional councillor of state.

Mr. Terboven now established five new ministries: a ministry of culture and enlightenment was separated from the Ministry of Church and Education, the Ministry of Justice and the Police was split into a ministry of justice, a ministry of the police and a ministry of the interior (which also had matters transferred from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Social Affairs), and a ministry of shipping was separated from the Ministry of Trade. A ministry of sports and labour was also established.

As leader of the NS, Mr. Quisling from December 1940 met with the party’s provisional councillors of state on Thursdays, for conferences at the Office of the Prime Minister in the Government Building at Akersgaten 42. Mr. Quisling had no formal influence on the work of the provisional government, but would now and then be present at their “cabinet metings” on Fridays, in the Council of State Hall at Victoria Terrasse in Oslo. On 25 September 1941 Mr. Terboven appointed the provisional councillors of state as provisional ministers.

Norway's "national government"
Following agreement between German occupation authorities and the NS, that parts of the civil executive power be transferred from Mr. Terboven to a government headed by Mr. Quisling, the provisional ministers on 30 January 1942 handed in their resignation applications. They then elected requested Mr. Quisling to form a "national government". Mr. Quisling did so, an act that was marked by Terboven in a ceremony at Akershus Palace.

As head of government, Mr. Quisling chose the title of government president ("ministerpresident").  With the exception of three, the new government consisted of the persons that had handed in their resignation the day before. All were now NS members.

Mr. Quisling now claimed to possess ”the powers which according to the Constitution rested with the King and the Storting”. On Fridays he presided at ”cabinet meetings” at the Royal Palace. During the last months of the war these meetings ceased to take place.

On 1 April 1943 the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Provisioning were merged to a ministry of industry. On 1 February 1944 the Ministry of Labour was re-named the Ministry of Communications. On 12 June 1944 the Ministry of Shipping merged with the Ministry of Industry.

From 25 September 1940 the ministries in Oslo had the following Nazi leadership:

Government President (from 1 February 1942)
Quisling, Vidkun Abraham Lauritz, former councillor of state.
NS Government President 1 February 1942-8 May 1945. (NS)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Did not exist as a ministry in Oslo 25 September 1940-8 May 1945. A nucleus of civil servants continued as a foreign affairs departement in the new Ministry of the Interior. Matters were also transferred to the Ministry of Trade, the new Ministry of Shipping and the new Ministry of Culture and Enlightenment.

Ministry of Church and Education
Skancke, Ragnar Sigvald, professor.
Provisional NS Councillor of State 25 September 1940. NS Minister 25 September 1941-1 February 1942 and 1 February 1942-8 May 1945. (NS)

Ministry of Justice
Riisnæs, Sverre Parelius, public prosecutor.
Provisional NS Councillor of State 25. September 1940. NS Minister 25 September 1941-1 February 1942 and 1 February 1942-8 May 1945. (NS)

Ministry of Finance and Customs
Sandberg, Erling
, managing director.
Provisional NS Councillor of State 25 September 1940. NS Minister 25 September 1941-1 February 1942. (Not member of NS)
Prytz, (Anton) Frederik Winter Jakhelln, provisional NS county governor.
NS Minister 1 February 1942-19 February 1945. (NS)
Hirsch, Per Einarsøn von, provisional secretary general.
Acting NS Minister 19 February- 8 May 1945. (NS)

Ministry of Defence
Did not exist as a ministry in Oslo 25 September 1940-8 May 1945. Remaining matters were transferred to the Ministry of the Interior, in December 1944 to the Ministry of Finance.

Ministry of Social Affairs
Meidell, Birger Øivind
, professor.
Provisional NS Councillor of State 25 September 1940-25 September 1941. (NS)
Lippestad, Johan Andreas, director.
NS Minister 25 September 1941-1 February 1942 and from 1 February 1942. Leave of absence 8 October 1944.(NS)Astrup, Christian, economist. Acting NS Minister 8 October 1944-8 May 1945. (NS)

Ministry of Public Labour
re-named Ministry of Traffic 1 February 1944
Hustad, Tormod Kristoffer, architect.
Provisional NS Councillor of State 25 September 1940. NS Minister 25 September 1941-1 February 1942 and 1 February 1942-1 February 1944. (NS)
Skarphagen, Hans, director general.
NS Minister 1 February 1944-8 May 1945. (NS)

Ministry of Agriculture
Fretheim, Thorstein John Ohnstad, district veterinary.
Provisional NS Councillor of State 25 September 1940. NS Minister 25 September 1941-1 February 1942 and 1 February 1942-21 April 1945. (Member of NS from 15 May 1941)
Laurantzon, Trygve Dehli, editor.
Acting NS Minister 21 April-8 May 1945. (NS)

Ministry of Trade, Industry, Crafts and Fisheries,
re-named Ministry of Industry 1 April 1943
Johannessen, Sigurd Halvorsen, secretary general.
Provisional NS Councillor of State 25 September 1940. Minister 25 September 1941-1 February 1942. (Not member of NS)
Blehr, Eivind Stenersen, provisional NS county governor.
NS Minister 1 February 1942-12 June 1944. (NS)
Whist, Alf Larsen, NS Minister.
NS Minister 12 June 1944-8 May 1945. Also chief of the Ministry of Shipping until 12 June 1944. (NS)

Ministry of Provisioning,
merged with Ministry of Industry 1 April 1943
Ravner, Øystein, director.
Provisional NS Councillor of State 25 September 1940. NS Minister 25 September 1941-1 February 1942. (Not member of NS)
Blehr, Eivind Stenersen, provisional NS county governor.
NS Minister 1 February 1942-12 June 1944. (NS)

Ministry of the Interior
Hagelin, Albert Viljam, director.
Provisional NS Councillor of State 25 September 1940. NS Minister 25 September 1941-1 February 1942 and 1 February 1942-8 November 1944. (NS)
Vasbotten, Arnvid Birger Liljedahl, provisional NS supreme court judge.
NS Minister 8 November 1944-8 May 1945. (NS)

Ministry of Culture and Enlightenment
Lunde, Gulbrand Oscar Johan, director.
Provisional NS Councillor of State 25 September 1940. NS Minister 25 September 1941-1 February 1942 and 1 February-25 October 1942. (NS)
Fuglesang, Rolf Jørgen, NS Party Minister.
NS Minister 1 December 1942-8 May 1945. (NS)

Ministry of the Police
Lie, Jonas, chief superintendent.
Provisional NS Councillor of State 25 September 1940. NS Minister 25 September 1941-1 February 1942 and 1 February 1942-8 May 1945. (NS)

Ministry of Shipping
merged with Ministry of Industry 12 June 1944
Irgens, Kjeld Stub, captain.
Provisional NS Councillor of State 25 September 1940. NS Minister 25 September 1941-1 February 1942 and 1 February 1942-12 June 1944. (NS)

Ministry of Labour and Sports
Stang, Axel Heiberg, landowner.
Provisional NS Councillor of State 25 September 1940. NS Minister 25 September 1941-1 February 1942 and 1 February 1942-8 May 1945. (NS)

Minister without ministry
Whist, Alf Larsen, NS ombudsman.
NS Minister without ministry, responsible for the coordination of provisions and industrial war efforts 4 November 1943. Chief of the Ministry of Industry 12 June 1944. (NS)


Secretary to the Council of State/Secretary to the Government
Formally under the Ministry of the Interior 25 September 1940-20 October 1941, then a separate secretariate which from the summer of 1944 was seen as part of the Chancery of the Leader and Premier.
Title changed to Secretary to the Government on 1 December 1942.
Fuglesang, Rolf Jørgen, general secretary.
NS Secretary to the Council of State 25 September 1940. NS Party Minister and Chief of the Council of State Secretariat 25 September 1941- 1 February 1942 and from 1 February 1942. Chief of the Ministry of Culture and Enlightenment 1 December 1942. (NS)
Thrana, Finn, head of division.
Acting NS Secretary to the Government 1 December 1942. Resigned 1 July 1944. (NS)
Lundesgaard, Ørnulf, chief of chancery.
NS Secretary to the Government 1 July 1944-8 May 1945. (NS)

Last updated: 27.03.2014