Frits Clausen

Frits Clausen (12 November 1893 – 5 December 1947) was leader of the National Socialist Workers' Party of Denmark (DNSAP) prior to and during World War II.

Born in Aabenraa, since 1864 a part of Prussia, Clausen served in the German Army during World War I. After the war, Clausen studied medicine in Heidelberg and became a doctor in 1924, after which he returned to Aabenraa, which had been voted back to Denmark in 1920, and set up a practice. Clausen initially became involved in politics as an advocate of Aabenraa once again becoming a part of Germany, but he eventually turned to Danish politics, advocating causes that favored the German minority in southern Jutland.

Clausen at first became a member of the conservative party, but he eventually resigned from the party and in 1931 joined the DNSAP. Two years later, Clausen ousted the leadership committee of the party (whose members were Einar Jørgensen, C. C. Hansen, and Cay Lembcke) from power and became the party's sole leader.

Under Clausen's direction, the party essentially espoused nationalism and called for a stronger relationship between Denmark and Nazi Germany. Clausen's policies were widely unpopular with the vast majority of Danes, and he essentially received what support he had from the German minority population in southern Jutland. At the height of its popularity, the DNSAP had about 20,000 members and 20,000 sympathizers. However, the party fared relatively poorly in the 1939 elections, winning only three seats in the Folketing. A year later, when Germany invaded Denmark, Clausen became a strong supporter of the German occupation and took credit for the lenient way in which Germany governed the country.

The Germans attempted to reward Clausen for his services by trying to persuade King Christian X to let Clausen and his followers have roles in the nation's government in 1940 and 1943, but the King opposed any such suggestions. Much to Clausen's chagrin, the German government was unwilling to forcibly put him in charge of Denmark for fear of angering its people, although there were talks of doing so in 1940 and 1942. The Germans did hope, however, that Clausen would legally seize power over the nation in the 1943 elections, but the DNSAP performed just as poorly in the elections as it did in 1939, once again winning only three seats in the Folketing.

After the elections, a bitter Clausen joined the German Army and saw active service on the Eastern Front as a surgeon, although he did not resign his position as chief of the DNSAP. Clausen returned to Denmark in the spring of 1944, after which time his political career was terminated.

Clausen's failure in the elections and his unwillingness to actively assist in forming a Danish branch of the Schutzstaffel alienated his German supporters, and as such SS Obergruppenführer Dr. Werner Best, the Plenipotentiary of the German Reich for Denmark, convinced Clausen to step down as leader of the party and replaced him with a three-man committee shortly after his return to Denmark.

After Germany's occupation of Denmark ended in May 1945, Clausen was captured and sent to Frøslev Prison Camp. He was later given a formal trial, but he died of a heart attack in the Vestre Fængsel, a prison in Copenhagen, before it could be completed.

Frits Clausen
Frits Clausen
Frits Clausen
Leader of the National Socialist Workers' Party of Denmark
In office


  • Ole Ravn, Fører uden folk : Frits Clausen og Danmarks National Socialistiske Arbejder-Parti, University of Southern Denmark, 2007. ISBN 978-87-7674-203-4. (in Danish).
  • John T. Lauridsen (ed.), "Føreren har ordet!" : Frits Clausen om sig selv og DNSAP, Museum Tusculanum, 2003. ISBN 87-7289-759-7. (in Danish).

External links

1939 Danish Folketing election

Folketing elections were held in Denmark on 3 April 1939, except in the Faroe Islands where they were held on 19 April. They followed a dissolution of both chambers in order to call a referendum on changing the constitution. The referendum was held on 23 May but failed due to a low voter turnout. The result of the elections was a victory for the Social Democratic Party, which won 64 of the 149 seats. Voter turnout was 79.2% in Denmark proper and 47.8% in the Faroes.

1943 Danish Folketing election

Folketing elections were held in Denmark on 23 March 1943 alongside Landsting elections, except in the Faroe Islands where they were held on 3 May. They were the first elections during the German occupation, and although many people feared how the Germans might react to the election, the event took place peacefully. The voter turnout was at 89.5%, the highest of any Danish parliamentary election, and became a demonstration against the occupation. The Social Democratic Party remained the largest in the Folketing, with 66 of the 149 seats. After the elections, leading German newspapers expressed disappointment and indignation with the lack of political evolution among the Danish voters.The Communist Party of Denmark had been banned since 1941 and could not participate in these elections.

95% of the vote went to the four biggest, traditional democratic parties. In the years since, there has been some debate about whether this can be seen as democratic support for the government's "cooperation" policy (samarbejdspolitikken) with the German occupation authorities. Some have argued that the result showed a broad unity of opinion in the population and among politicians in support of the relatively cooperative line taken by the government. Bertel Haarder, citing Knud Kristensen, has argued that the vote was sold as one of solidarity with the Danish constitution, democracy, and a rejection of totalitarian elements in society, and cannot therefore be seen as an explicit endorsement by the population of the government's line.


Aabenraa or Åbenrå (Danish pronunciation: [ɔːbənˈʁɔːˀ]; German: Apenrade, pronounced [aːpn̩ˈʁaːdə]; Sønderjysk: Affenråe) is a town in Southern Denmark, at the head of the Aabenraa Fjord, an arm of the Little Belt, 26 kilometres (16 mi) north of the Denmark–Germany border and 32 kilometres (20 mi) north of German town of Flensburg. It was the seat of Sønderjyllands Amt (South Jutland County) until 1 January 2007, when the Region of Southern Denmark was created as part of the 2007 Danish Municipal Reform. With a population of 15,814 (1 January 2014), Aabenraa is the largest town and the seat of the Aabenraa Municipality.

The name Aabenraa originally meant "open beach" (Danish: åben strand).


Bovrup-kartoteket ("The Bovrup File") is a partial transcript of the member file of the National Socialist Workers' Party of Denmark (Danish: Danmarks Nationalsocialistiske Arbejderparti; DNSAP) created in 1945 by Danish resistance members and published as a book in 1946. The transcript is named after Bovrup, the hometown of DNSAP's leader Frits Clausen who created the actual DNSAP member file.

The transcript is incomplete with 22,795 entries, while the actual DNSAP member file had 50,000 entries.

The year the Bovrup File was published, the court of Copenhagen classified the file leaving only historians with access to it.

In November 2018 an association of Danish genealogists published the subset of 5,265 entries for members born in 1908 or before, i.e. at least 110 years ago.

Cay Lembcke

Cay Lembcke (15 December 1885 – 31 January 1965) was a co-founder of the Danish Boy Scouts Organization in 1910 and the National Socialist Workers' Party of Denmark in 1930. He was captain of the Danish Guard Hussars until his resignation in 1923, following public disagreement with the Danish government over budget cuts in the Danish defence.Lembcke was co-founder of the Danish Boy Scouts Organization (Det Danske Spejderkorps). He wrote a Danish adaptation of Robert Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys in December 1910, titled "Patrouilleøvelser for Drenge" (Patrol exercises for Boys). He left the Danish Boy Scout movement in 1923, after many years of disagreement because of his fascist tendencies.Following the success of the National Socialist German Workers' Party in the 1930 German federal election, Lembcke was the co-founder of National Socialist Workers' Party of Denmark (Danmarks National Socialistiske Arbejderparti) and the first leader of the party. After a disappointing 1932 Danish general election result, Lembcke was replaced as leader by Frits Clausen in July 1933.


Clausen is a Danish patronymic surname, literally meaning child of Claus, Claus being a German form of the Greek Νικόλαος, Nikolaos, (cf. Nicholas), used in Denmark at least since the 16th century. The spelling variant Klausen has identical pronunciation (as does the often interchangeable Claussen).

The two variants are number 34 and 85 on the top100 of surnames in Denmark. Occurrences of Clausen/Klausen as a surname outside Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein are due to immigration. Immigrants to English-speaking countries sometimes changed the spelling to Clauson.

Danish People's Defence

The Danish People's Defence (Danish: Dansk Folke Værn or Dansk Folkeværn) was the civilian arm of the Danish Schalburg Corps active from April 1943 to August 1944, in support of the German occupation of Denmark. It was made up of civilians, some of whom were expected to provide financial backing.

The founding of Dansk Folkeværn commenced in April 1943, with Knud Børge Martinsen among the first Dansk Folkeværn leaders. Dansk Folkeværn functioned as the political propaganda arm of the Schalburg Corps, and was open to both men and women. Dansk Folkeværn was formally working independently of the Schalburg Corps, though they shared the same address, and Dansk Folkeværn was described by one of its leaders as "Schalburg Corps' Group II".Many of Frits Clausen's former supporters in the National Socialist Workers' Party of Denmark (DNSAP) were recruited. For example, a group led by Max Arildskov called Landstormen, which had broken away from the DNSAP after Clausen's poor results in the March 1943 election. In December, Arildskov put his men at the disposal of the Schalburg Corps as regular soldiers, but only around 50 were accepted. The others were put into the Danish People's Defence. In May 1944, DNSAP banned all DNSAP members who were also active in Dansk Folkeværn, Landstormen, Schalburg Corps, among other groups. In August 1944, Dansk Folkeværn was disbanded, and the members went on to join Dansk National Samling.

Danish resistance movement

The Danish resistance movements (Danish: Modstandsbevægelsen) were an underground insurgency to resist the German occupation of Denmark during World War II. Due to the initially lenient arrangements, in which the Nazi occupation authority allowed the democratic government to stay in power, the resistance movement was slower to develop effective tactics on a wide scale than in some other countries.

By 1943, members of the Danish resistance movement were involved in underground activities, ranging from producing illegal publications to spying and sabotage. Major groups included the communist BOPA (Danish: Borgerlige Partisaner, Civil Partisans) and Holger Danske, both based in Copenhagen. Some small resistance groups such as the Samsing Group and the Churchill Club also contributed to the sabotage effort. Resistance agents killed an estimated 400 Danish Nazis, informers and collaborators until 1944. After that date, they also killed some German nationals.

In the postwar period, the Resistance was supported by politicians within Denmark and there was little effort to closely examine the killings. Studies were made in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and people learned that there was sometimes improvised and contingent decisionmaking about the targets, with some morally ambiguous choices. Several important books and films have been produced on this topic.

Free Corps Denmark

Free Corps Denmark (Danish: Frikorps Danmark) was a Danish volunteer free corps created by the Danish Nazi Party (DNSAP) in cooperation with Nazi Germany, to fight the Soviet Union during the Second World War. On June 29, 1941, days after the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the DNSAP's newspaper Fædrelandet proclaimed the creation of the corps. Its formation was subsequently sanctioned by the democratically elected Danish government which authorized officers of the Danish Army to join the unit. The corps was disbanded in 1943. During the course of the war, approximately 6000 Danes joined the corps, including 77 officers of the Royal Danish Army.

Frits (given name)

Frits is a masculine given name and also a diminutive form (hypocorism) of Frederik (or Frederick, Fredericus, Frederikus). Quite common in the Netherlands, it also occurs in Denmark and Norway. It may refer to:

Frits Agterberg (born 1936), Dutch-born Canadian geologist

Frederik Frits Korthals Altes (born 1931), Dutch politician and former Minister of Justice

Frits Bernard (1920–2006), Dutch clinical psychologist and sexologist

Frits Beukers (born 1953), Dutch mathematician

Frits van Bindsbergen (born 1960), Dutch road cyclist

Frits Bolkestein (born 1933), Dutch politician

Frits Bülow (1872-1955), Danish politician and Justice Minister

Frits Castricum (1947–2011), Dutch journalist and Labour Party politician

Frits Clausen (1893–1947), Danish collaborator with Nazi Germany

Frits Dantuma (born 1992), Dutch footballer

Frits van Dongen (born 1946), Dutch architect

Frits Dragstra (1927–2015), Dutch politician

Frits Eijken (1893–1978), Dutch rower

Frits Fentener van Vlissingen (1882–1962), Dutch businessman and entrepreneur

Frits Goedgedrag (born 1951), first Governor of Curaçao and former Governor of the Netherlands Antilles

Frits Goldschmeding (born 1933), Dutch businessman

Frits Hansen (1841–1911), Norwegian educator, newspaper editor, biographer and politician

Frits Hartvigson (1841–1919), Danish pianist and teacher

Frits Heide (1883–1957), Danish botanist and science writer

Frits Helmuth (1931–2004), Danish film actor

Frits Henningsen (1889–1965), Danish furniture designer and cabinet maker

Frederik David Holleman (1887–1958), Dutch and South African ethnologist and jurist

Frits Holm (1881–1930), Danish scholar and adventurer

Frits Hoogerheide (born 1944), Dutch racing cyclist

Frits Janssens (1898-?), Belgian wrestler who competed in the 1920, 1924 and 1928 Olympics

Frits Kemp (born 1954) is a Dutch attorney, receiver and activist

Frits Kiggen (born 1955), Dutch sidecarcross passenger

Frits Korthals Altes (born 1931), Dutch Minister of Justice

Frederik Kortlandt (born 1946), Dutch linguistics professor

Frits Kuipers (1899-1943), Dutch footballer, rower and physician

Frederik Lamp (1905–1945), Dutch sprinter

Frits Landesbergen (born 1961), Dutch jazz drummer and vibraphonist

Frits von der Lippe (1901–1988), Norwegian journalist and theatre director

Frits Lugt (1884-1970), Dutch collector of Dutch drawings and prints and authority on Rembrandt

Frits Meuring 1882–1973), Dutch swimmer

Frits Mulder, Belgian sailor at the 1928 Summer Olympics

Frederik Muller (1817–1881), Dutch bibliographer, book seller, and print collector

Frits van Oostrom (born 1953), Dutch historic philologist

Frits van Paasschen (born 1961), Dutch and American chief executive

Frits Pannekoek (born 1947), Canadian historian and university dean

Frits Peutz (1896–1974), Dutch architect

Frits Philips (1905-2005), Dutch chairman of Philips electronics and Righteous Among the Nations

Frits Pirard (born 1954), Dutch retired professional road bicycle racer

Frits Poelman (born ca. 1930), Dutch-born New Zealand footballer

Frits Potgieter (born 1974), South African retired discus thrower and shot putter

Frits Purperhart (1944–2016), Surinamese football player and manager

Frits de Ruijter (1917–2012), Dutch middle-distance runner

Frits Ruimschotel (1922–1987), Dutch water polo player

Frits Schalij (born 1957), Dutch retired speed skater

Frits Schlegel (1896-1965), Danish architect

Frederik Carl Gram Schrøder (1866–1936), Danish civil servant

Frits Schuitema (born 1944), Dutch chief executive and football director

Frits Schutte (1897–1986), Dutch swimmer

Frits Schür (born 1954), Dutch retired cyclist

Frits Sins (born 1964), Dutch slalom canoer

Frits Smol (1924–2006), Dutch water polo player

Frits Soetekouw (born 1938), Dutch footballer

Frits Staal (1930–2012), Dutch Indologist

Frits Thaulow (1847–1906), Norwegian Impressionist painter

Frits Thors (1909–2014), Dutch journalist and news anchor

Frits van Turenhout (1913–2004), Dutch sports journalist

Frits Van den Berghe (1883-1939), Belgian expressionist and surrealist painter and illustrator

Frits Vanen (born 1933), Dutch painter and sculptor

Frederik Vermehren (1823–1910), Danish genre and a portrait painter

Frits Went (1863–1935), Dutch botanist, father of Frits Warmolt Went

Frits Warmolt Went (1903–1990), Dutch biologist and botanist

Frits Zernike (1888-1966), Dutch physicist and Nobel Prize winner

Frøslev Prison Camp

Frøslev Camp (Danish: Frøslevlejren, German: Polizeigefangenenlager Fröslee) was an internment camp in German-occupied Denmark during World War II.

In order to avoid deportation of Danes to German concentration camps, Danish authorities suggested, in January 1944, that an internment camp be created in Denmark. The German occupation authorities consented, and the camp was erected near the village of Frøslev in the south-west of Denmark, close to the German border. From mid-August until the end of the German occupation in May 1945, 12,000 prisoners passed through the camp's gates. Most of them were suspected members of the Danish resistance movement, Communists and other political prisoners. Living conditions in the camp were generally tolerable, but 1,600 internees were deported to German concentration camps, where 220 of them died (approximate numbers).

Towards the end of the war, the Swedish count Folke Bernadotte tried to get all Scandinavian concentration camp prisoners to Sweden. Simultaneously the Danish administration negotiated with the Germans about rescue of the Danish prisoners in Germany. As a result of these efforts many Scandinavian prisoners came with the White Buses from the German camps. In March and April 1945 10,000 Danish and Norwegian captives were brought home from Germany. Some of the returning prisoners came to Frøslev Prison Camp. Among those were some of the 1,960 deported Danish policemen, which had been arrested and deported on 19 September 1944.

Grethe Bartram

Maren Margrethe Thomsen, known as Maren Margrethe "Grethe" Bartram and "Thora" (23 February 1924 – January 2017), was a Danish woman who informed on at least 53 people from the Danish resistance movement during the Second World War, resulting in the early communist resistance groups being dismantled and many of their members being sent to Nazi concentration camps. Bartram informed on her brother, husband and close acquaintances.Bartram was given the death penalty after the war. The sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1947. In 1956 she was released and moved to Halland in Sweden where she lived under her married name.

HIPO Corps

The HIPO Corps (Danish: HIPO-korpset) was a Danish auxiliary police corps, established by the German Gestapo on 19 September 1944, when the Danish civil police force was disbanded and most of its officers were arrested and deported to concentration camps in Germany. The majority of HIPO members were recruited from the ranks of Danish Nazi collaborators. The word HIPO is an abbreviation of the German word Hilfspolizei ("auxiliary police").

The purpose of HIPO was to assist the Gestapo as an auxiliary police unit. HIPO was organized under, and along quite similar lines to, the Gestapo. Some men were uniformed in order to be visible awhile others worked secretly in plain clothes. The uniformed men wore a black uniform with Danish police insignia. HIPO, like the Gestapo, had their own informers. The major difference was that most of the Gestapo were Germans working in an occupied country, while the HIPO Corps consisted entirely of Danes working for the German occupiers.

During the last winter of the war a number of HIPO members were tortured and killed. In retaliation and as a warning, the corps terrorized the civil population and blew up houses, factories, and even the Tivoli Gardens.

The Lorenzen Group, also known as section 9c, was an armed paramilitary group of Danes subordinate to the HIPO Corps.

After the war, service in the HIPO corps was one of the crimes of collaborationism that retroactively became capital offenses. Some two to three hundred HIPO members were prosecuted under these laws. About a dozen were executed between 1946 and 1950. A somewhat larger number received death sentences that were later reduced to long prison terms or parole.

Lorenzen Group

The Lorenzen group (Danish: Lorenzengruppen) was an armed paramilitary group of Danish collaborators, subordinate to the HIPO Corps, which was active during the period December 1944 - May 1945.

The group is named after its founder Jørgen Lorenzen, who in 1944 began service in the Nazi German secret police and created the group as section 9c to the HIPO Corps. The group were ordered mainly to fight the Danish resistance movement.

The group performed numerous murders and accounted for 600-800 arrests of suspected resistance fighters and often took advantage of torture.

Much of the Lorenzen group fled on May 4, 1945 to a cottage in Asserbo in Nordsjælland. Here they were planning to wait for daily life to return to normal in Denmark. A group of 19 men and women were discovered, however, and local resistance fighters with homemade armoured vehicles arrested the group after a heavy shelling of the cottage. Under fire, 2 were killed, 1 committed suicide, 5 were seriously wounded, while the remaining 11 survived with minor injuries.

10 of its members were sentenced to death after the war, including the leader Jørgen Lorenzen who was executed May 10, 1949. Six of these death sentences were however reduced to life imprisonment. The last imprisoned members of the group were released in 1959.

Max Johannes Arildskov

Max Johannes Arildskov (17 February 1896 – 1986) was a Danish National Socialist political activist and collaborator prior to and during World War II.

National Socialist Workers' Party of Denmark

The National Socialist Workers' Party of Denmark (Danish: Danmarks Nationalsocialistiske Arbejderparti; DNSAP) was the largest Nazi Party in Denmark before and during the Second World War.

Nationalist Party (Iceland)

The Nationalist Party (Icelandic: Flokkur Þjóðernissinna) was a minor Icelandic political party that espoused a limited form of fascism before and during the Second World War.

Peter group

The Peter group (Danish: Petergruppen) was a paramilitary group created in late 1943 during the occupation of Denmark by the German occupying power. The group conducted counter-sabotage, also known as Schalburgtage, in response to the Danish resistance movement sabotage actions. The group was named after its German instigator Otto Schwerdt aka Peter Schäfer.

Later it also became known as the Brøndum gang in reference to one of its members, Henning Brøndum, decisive role in numerous actions.

It made a point of using captured or diverted resistance weapons in its operations: there are several documented cases where individuals were killed with the Welrod "silent pistol" - an SOE assassination weapon air dropped to the Resistance but recovered by the Gestapo and then supplied to the Peter Group. The Museum of the Danish Resistance has this to say of the Peter Group:

"In an effort to fight and suppress the resistance activity, SS Standartenfürer Otto Anton Rolf Skorzeny on behalf of Heinrich Himmler created a “Sonderkommando Dänemark” which[sic] sole purpose was to kill famous or otherwise well-known or productive Danish citizen, and perform terror by blowing up amusement parks, cinemas, trains, trams and other public friendly places. It was also decided that for every German killed in Denmark, 5 Danish citizens were to be killed in retaliation.

The group is infamous for the murder of Kaj Munk on January 4, 1944 and the destruction of the lookout tower Odinstårnet in Odense on December 14, 1944.

Seven members, including Henning Brøndum and Kai Henning Bothildsen Nielsen, of the group were sentenced to death in April 1947 and executed in May 1947.

Supreme leader

A supreme leader typically refers to the person among a number of leaders of a state, organization or other such group who has been given or is able to exercise the most – or complete – authority over it. In a religion, this role is usually satisfied by a person deemed to be the representative or manifestation of a god or gods on Earth. In politics, a supreme leader usually has a cult of personality associated with them, such as below:

Adolf Hitler (Führer) in Germany

Benito Mussolini (Duce) in Italy

Emperor Hirohito (Tenno) in Japan

Joseph Stalin (Vozhd) in the Soviet Union

The Supreme Leader of North Korea

The Paramount Leader and leadership core of China

General Secretary of the Communist Party in Communist states

The Supreme Leader of IranThere have been many dictators and political party leaders who have assumed such personal and/or political titles to evoke their supreme authority. World War II, for example, saw many fascist and other far right figures model their rule on Hitler's Führer or Mussolini's Duce personae. On the far left, several communist leaders adopted "Supreme"-styled titles and/ or followed Stalin's Vozhd example.

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