Nazi leader Vidkun Quisling and his second wife, Maria, who is thought to have sold the passport. Photo: National Archives of Norway
A passport used by Norway's Nazi leader Vidkun Quisling has been put up for auction, seventy years after he was executed following the end of Germany's occupation in 1945.
Quisling served as minister-president for the pro-nazi puppet government established in Norway during German's occupation during the Second World War.
Oslo's Blomqvist auction house is now auctioning the passport he used while he was a diplomat stationed in Moscow between 1925 and 1930, a period in which he travelled extensively in the newly established Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
Trond Schøning, an expert at Blomqvist, denied that the passport would attract bids from Nazi sympathisers or Quisling admirers.
“It's about time that we shine some light on this," he told Norway's Dagbladet newspaper
. "We know that there is great interest in historical artefacts from the war, but it's not Nazi sympathisers who are obsessed by this. Our experience is that it is often the descendants of people who were in the resistance movement in Norway who are interested."
The auction house has previously sold a dagger and SS helmet that belonged to Jonas Lie, minister of police during the Quisling years.
Vidkun Quisling's widow Maria, who fell on hard times during the 1960s, is thought to have sold the passport, along with a number of other documents, through her lawyer, although according to Dagbladet passport may also have been first sold in 1983 when her estate was auctioned after her death.
“Both the sellers and we ourselves look at this material with great seriousness. There is a lot of tragedy behind this, both on a personal level and for the nation," Schøning said. "We need to show respect for the tragedies connected to Vidkun Quisling. We are talking about probably the most hated man in Norwegian history."