Fritt Folk

Fritt Folk ("Free People") was a Norwegian newspaper, published in Oslo. It was the official organ of the fascist party Nasjonal Samling, and came to prominence during the Second World War.


Fritt Folk had a predecessor in a party newspaper for Nasjonal Samling. The party was founded in 1933 and the party newspaper in 1934. Fritt Folk was published for the first time on 26 March 1936, and had the tagline "Riksorgan for Nasjonal Samling" ("national organ for Nasjonal Samling"). The first editor-in-chief was Herolf Harstad. Funded by party members and the Kingdom of Italy's legation in Oslo, it was published daily. However, after Nasjonal Samling suffered a large defeat in the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1936, effort dwindled and it was an obscure, weekly newspaper. Editor from 1937 to 1944 was Arnt Rishovd. From 1 April 1940 it was again published daily, this time with funding from Nazi Germany.[1]

On 9 April 1940 Norway was invaded by Nazi Germany, and an occupation started. Two days after the invasion, Fritt Folk was sent out as a supplement to popular newspapers such as Aftenposten. This ended on 15 April when Quisling was intermittently deposed and the Administrative Council was installed, but the newspaper continued to prosper under Nazi rule. It had certain competitors in that many existing newspapers were usurped by Nazis, including Aftenposten, and they brought the same kind of news as Fritt Folk. Other newspapers were stopped, and when Arbeiderbladet was stopped in August 1940, Fritt Folk usurped its offices and printing press. A prerogative for Fritt Folk was that Norwegian businesses and companies were forced to advertise in the newspaper, which boosted the economy. The circulation was secret, and this and some other administrative aspects of the newspaper has not yet been unveiled.[1]

Even though the newspaper was controlled by Presseabteilung, it had a certain tendency to not follow German directions in all cases.[2] Among others, it allowed Johannes S. Andersen to respond to rumours that he was a Nazi by printing his statement "although I have done many wrong things in my life, a Nazi I am not. Yours sincerely Johs. S. Andersen".[3] The newspaper sometimes criticized decisions made by Nasjonal Samling, especially under its last editor (1944–1945), Odd Erling Melsom.[1] The German occupiers issued their own, German-language newspaper, Deutsche Zeitung in Norwegen with a circulation of about 40,000 copies.[4]

The last issue came on 7 May 1945.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Dahl, Hans Fredrik (2010). "Fritt Folk". In Flo, Idar (ed.). Norske aviser fra A til Å. Volume four of Norsk presses historie 1660–2010 (in Norwegian). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. p. 134. ISBN 978-82-15-01604-7.
  2. ^ Hjeltnes, Guri (1995). "Fritt Folk". In Dahl, Hans Fredrik (ed.). Norsk krigsleksikon 1940-45. Oslo: Cappelen. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  3. ^ Bjørnsen, Bjørn. "Johannes Andersen". In Helle, Knut (ed.). Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  4. ^ Nøkleby, Berit (1995). "Deutsche Zeitung in Norwegen". In Dahl, Hans Fredrik (ed.). Norsk krigsleksikon 1940-45 (in Norwegian). Oslo: Cappelen. Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
Albin Eines

Albin Konrad Eines (9 June 1886 – 19 May 1947) was a Norwegian newspaper editor and politician for the Labour and Communist Labour parties. He later became a Nazi, working for Norwegian and German Nazis during the Second World War.

Battle of Napue

The Battle of Napue (Finnish: Napuen taistelu, Swedish: Slaget vid Storkyro, Russian: Битва при Лапполе) was fought on February 19, 1714 (O.S.) / March 2, 1714 (N.S.) at the villages of Napue and Laurola in the Isokyrö parish of the Swedish Empire (modern Finland) between the Swedish Empire and the Tsardom of Russia. It was the final land battle of the Finnish campaign in the Great Northern War. The Swedish detachment, consisting almost entirely of Finnish troops, were defeated by the numerically superior Russian force. As a result, all of Finland fell under Russian military occupation for the rest of the War; a seven-year period of hardship known in Finland as the Great Wrath.

The Kyrö Distillery Company named its Napue rye gin after the battle in 2014.

Charles Hoff

Charles Hoff (9 May 1902 – 19 February 1985) was a Norwegian athlete, coach, sports journalist, novelist and sports administrator.

As an active athlete he competed in pole vault, long jump, triple jump, sprints and middle distance running events. He set four world records in the pole vault during his career, became Norwegian champion ten times in different events, and competed in the 1924 Summer Olympics. In 1926 he was excluded from the sport for professionalism.

After his time as an athlete he took up a career as a sports journalist. During World War II he was a sports leader under the Nazi rule, leading the Norwegian Confederation of Sports from 1942 to 1944.

Communist Party of Norway

The Communist Party of Norway (Norwegian: Norges Kommunistiske Parti) is a small Marxist–Leninist communist party in Norway.

It was formed in 1923, following a split in the Norwegian Labour Party. The party was pro-Stalinist from its establishment and as such supported the Soviet Union and its government, while opposing Trotskyism. During the Second World War, the party initially opposed active resistance, due to the non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany. After Germany terminated the pact and entered into war with the Soviet Union, the Communist Party of Norway engaged in resistance to the German occupation, and the party experienced a brief period of political popularity in some segments of society in the years immediately after the war. The popular support quickly waned with the onset of the Cold War, and the Labour Party took a harsh line against the communists, culminating in Prime Minister Einar Gerhardsen's Kråkerøy speech in 1948, in which he condemned the Communist Party.

Since the late 1940s, the party has played a mostly marginal role in Norwegian politics. While it held a single seat in the parliament as late as 1961, it has not been represented in any elected bodies in the last decades, receiving only a few hundred votes in elections. The party supports traditional Soviet historiography and pro-Russian political views, and opposes NATO, the European Union and the United States. During the Cold War, the party was officially considered extremist by Norwegian authorities and was under extensive surveillance by the Police Surveillance Agency for the entire Cold War.


Dagsavisen is a daily newspaper published in Oslo, Norway. The former party organ of the Norwegian Labour Party, the ties loosened over time from 1975 to 1999. After having been owned by an independent foundation for a few years, it is as of 2016 indirectly owned partly by Christian groups. It has borne several names, and was called Arbeiderbladet from 1923 to 1997.

Folk og Land

Folk og Land ("People and Country") was a Norwegian newspaper, published in Oslo. It was an organ of Historical revisionism (negationism) for Norwegians who were found to be Nazi collaborators during the Second World War.

Fritt Folk (Communist)

Fritt Folk (lit. "Free People") was a Norwegian newspaper, published in Høyanger in Sogn og Fjordane county.

Jens Hundseid

Jens Falentinsen Hundseid (6 May 1883 – 2 April 1965) was a Norwegian politician from the Agrarian Party. He was a member of the Norwegian parliament from 1924 to 1940 and Prime Minister of Norway from 1932 to 1933.

Hundseid felt forced to join Nasjonal Samling who supported the Nazis in 1940, a choice he later called "cowardly". In the legal purge in Norway following World War II he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Pardoned in 1949 he lived a recluse in Oslo until his death in 1965.

Johannes Kringlebotn

Johannes Kringlebotn (3 July 1898 – 1959) was a Norwegian newspaper editor. He edited Folketanken and, during the Nazi era in Norway, Stavanger Aftenblad. After serving a treason sentence he returned in the 1950s to edit the historical revisionist newspaper Folk og Land. He was involved in politics and organizational life in the interwar period, and was also among Norway's top-ten middle distance runners.

Johannes S. Andersen

Johannes Sigfred Andersen (9 July 1898 – 29 July 1970) was a Norwegian resistance fighter during the Second World War, a member of the Norwegian Independent Company 1 (NOR.I.C.1). He was nicknamed "Gulosten"; 'The Yellow Cheese'. He also used the surname Ostein during the war. Andersen was a controversial character, because of his pre-war life as a well-known career criminal and a series of incidents that occurred during the war years. These incidents included Andersen working as an assassin during the war, and shortly after the war killing two German prisoners of war during a drinking binge. After the war, Andersen started a wood furniture business. He was supported financially by King Haakon VII of Norway, whose friendship he had gained during the war. Andersen was repeatedly accused of crimes after the war, and on one occasion convicted.

Jonas Nordin

Jonas Nordin (born 1968) is a Swedish author and historian, and from October 2018 professor in History of books and Libraries at Lund University.

Nasjonal Samling

Nasjonal Samling (Norwegian pronunciation: [nɑʂʊˈnɑːl ˈsɑmlɪŋ], NS; literally "National Rally") was a Norwegian far-right party active from 1933 to 1945. It was the only legal party of Norway from 1942 to 1945. It was founded by former minister of defence Vidkun Quisling and a group of supporters such as Johan Bernhard Hjort – who led the party's paramilitary wing (Hirden) for a short time before leaving the party in 1937 after various internal conflicts. The party celebrated its founding on 17 May, Norway's national holiday, but was founded on 13 May 1933.

Odd Erling Melsom

Odd Erling Melsom (10 February 1900 – 9 June 1978) was a Norwegian military officer and newspaper editor.

Per Reidarson

Per Reidarson (27 May 1879 – 21 January 1954) was a Norwegian composer and music critic.

In the early twentieth century he was an acknowledged composer. For his body of work he was granted kunstnerlønn, a guaranteed minimum income for artists, by the Norwegian state in 1938. He had also worked as a music critic in the newspapers Tidens Tegn and Arbeiderbladet.However, he eventually joined the political party Nasjonal Samling and began writing for their official publication Fritt Folk. In 1941–1942, while Norway was occupied by Germany, he held the lecture Norsk og unorsk i musikken ('Norwegian and Un-Norwegian in Music'), anger directed at the perceived "Jewish and Marxist" Modernist music.In 1945, when the occupation of Norway ended, Reidarson was marginalized and immediately lost his artist's income.


The Presseabteilung was a press department created shortly after the German occupation of Norway in April 1940. Through the department, Germans controlled the content of Norwegian newspapers.

Both the Norwegian fascist party Nasjonal Samling and the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Enlightenment wanted to control newspapers, but the German occupants used the press department to get the final power of decision. The department consisted of bureaus for general press policy, daily newspapers, illustrated press, culture and economy journalism, news and information.

The work was based on political control of the press, meaning direct interference, closing, firing of editors and journalists, and even arrests.

Oslo papers that were being published got the messages of what to print through the daily press conferences, other papers got classified daily orders by telephone or teleprinter, the latter an innovation brought to Norwegian newspapers by the Germans. Orders went into detail about how the occupant power wanted each piece of news handled, as well as what events were not to be covered at all. NS papers were also established. The largest and best known was Fritt Folk ("Free People"), which took over the offices of Arbeiderbladet after this Oslo paper was closed down in August 1940.

Several papers that refused to follow guidelines were shut down for longer or shorter periods. Some were made subject to prior restraint rather than the normal censorship after the fact. However, perhaps the most effective sanction was paper rationing.

The department managed to reduce the number of publications, which made its censorship work easier. Towns that had more than one newspaper before the war, were usually left with one.

SS Irma (1905)

SS Irma was a 1,322-ton steamship built by the British shipyard Sir Raylton Dixon & Co. Ltd. in Middlesbrough in the north-east of England. She was delivered to the Norwegian passenger ship company Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab of Bergen in 1905. Irma sailed for the company until she was attacked and sunk by two MTBs belonging to the Royal Norwegian Navy on 13 February 1944.

SS Sanct Svithun

SS Sanct Svithun was a 1,376 ton steel-hulled steamship built by the German shipyard Danziger Werft and delivered to the Norwegian Stavanger-based shipping company Det Stavangerske Dampskibsselskab on 1 July 1927. She sailed the Hurtigruten route along the coast of Norway until she was lost in an air attack on 30 September 1943 during the Second World War.

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