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King saved Norway from joining Nazis: biography

Published: 25 Oct 2013 10:01 GMT+02:00

Tor Bomann-Larsen, the book's author, claims that Norway has largely forgotten the extent that its elite was willing to cooperate with Germany after it invaded in April 1940, and as a result the importance of Haakan's stand has not been fully appreciated. 
 
"It must be the most important draft paper in Norwegian history," he said of the response Haakan scribbled down in just ten minutes from his rooms in Buckingham Palace, where he had been exiled. 
 
"I can not be of assistance to facilitate the arrangement for introducing riksråd [the medieval Scandinavian system of government] by abdicating," the king wrote. 
 
"The summer and autumn of 1940 was a time when the whole of administrative Norway was on the German side," Bomann-Larsen writes. "Mainland Norway had begun a collaboration with Nazi Germany." 
 
According to Bomann-Larsen, the king's refusal was a crucial reason why the Norwegian parliament refused to recognise the puppet government run by Vidkun Quisling, unlike the next-door Denmark, 
 
During the way King Haakon became a symbol of resistance, broadcasting regular speeches to occupied Norway, while Norwegians would signal; their opposition to the Nazi regime by wearing jewellery made form coins bearing the King's monogram. 
 

Richard Orange (richard.orange@thelocal.com)

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