Illegal ministers in Oslo 1940-1942

25. September 1940–1. February 1942

On 25 September 1940, Nazi Germany’s reichskommissar in Norway, Josef Terboven, appointed 13 illegal acting ministers to lead the ministries in Oslo, with restricted authority and without a leading minister.

Six of these had been on the list of Vidkun Quisling’s illegal government on 9 April 1940. Nine - later ten - of them were members of Norway’s Nazi party Nasjonal Samling (NS), four - later three – had no party affiliation.

Two of the ten ministries in Oslo, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence, were closed down, as was the Office of the Prime Minister. A group of civil servants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued as a department of foreign affairs in the new Ministry of the Interior (NS).

Terboven now established five new ministries. Parts of the Ministry of Church and Education became a new Ministry of Culture and Enlightenment (NS). The Ministry of Justice and the Police was divided into a Ministry of Justice (NS), a Ministry of the Police (NS) and a Ministry of the Interior (NS), and had affairs transferred from the abolished Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the abolished Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Social Affairs (NS). Parts of the Ministry of Trade (NS) became a Ministry of Shipping (NS). Also, a Ministry of Sports and Labour Services (NS) was established.

As leader of the Nazi party Nasjonal Samling (NS), Vidkun Quisling from October 1940 met with the illegal NS ministers on Thursdays – on 2 October 1940 at the NS office in Oslo and from 15 October 1940 at the abandoned Office of the Prime Minister in the Government Building. Quisling had no formal influence on the work of the illegal ministers. Still, during the first months of 1941, he also participated as «NS leader» in their illegal ministerial conferences on Fridays, in the Council of State Conference Hall at Victoria Terrasse 1. The conferences were led by the senior minister.

After it was agreed between Nazi-German occupation authorities and NS that parts of the responsibility for the civil administration of Norway should be transferred to a government headed by Quisling, the illegal ministers handed in their resignations on 30 January 1942. They requested Quisling to form a «national government». This was done, and was celebrated by Nazi-German occupation authorities and the new illegal government at Akershus Palace in Oslo on 1 February 1942. As illegal head of government, Quisling took the title ministerpresident (premier). With the exception of three, the new illegal government consisted of the illegal ministers who had handed in their resignations. All were now NS members.

About the Government

Prime Minister: