Min ære er troskap
invaded Norway on April 9th, 1940, and in September of that year Josef
Terboven was appointed Reichskommisar. Under him and representing the SS
in occupied Norway came a ”Higher SS and Police leader”, at first SS-Obergruppenführer
und General der Polizei Weitzel, but soon after replaced by SS-Obergruppenführer
und General der Polizei Wihelm Rediess. (”Der Höhere SS – und Polizeiführer
beim Reichskommisar für die besetzten norwegischen Gebiete”)
Abraham Lauritz Quisling (born 1887) was the Norwegian Minister of
Defence in the Agrarian Government (Bondepartiet), but when this fell in
1933 he formed a fascist-style political party called the Nasjonal
Samling (NS – National Union or Unity). His party with its para-military
troops the Hird (similar to the SA of the NSDAP in Germany) was consequently
in existence when the Germans invaded. (editor: there was a small nazi
party in Norway too, ”Det Norske Nasjonalsosialistiske Parti”). Quisling
was believed to have been a party to the German invasion, and the regime
he proclaimed upon their arrival so incensed the Norwegian people that
it lasted only a week. Quisling still continued to lead his Nasjonal Samling,
however, which was the only political party permitted in Norway by the
occupying forces. Reichskommisar Terboven was extremely hostile to Quisling
and as unco-operative as possible, but on Hitler´s orders did help
him to build up the strength of the N.S. The success of Quisling´s
efforts can be seen from the increase in N.S membership from 6 000 in September
1940 to it´s peak of between 45 000 and 60 000 in early 1943.
Under German occupation the Nasjonal Samling grew (the youth organization
was called N.S.U.F – Nasjonal Samlings Ungdoms Fylking) and with it the
Hird, which was then outfitted with uniforms and insignia similar to the
German S.A. There was, however, no Norwegian political SS organization
such as already had been formed in Holland and Flanders, as Quisling was
very much against the idea. For despite his shortcomings, Quisling was
fanatically pro-Norwegian and he rightly saw the political SS a movement
towards a Gerat German Reich, and a threat to Norway of being incorporated
into it as a mere district (Gau). But whereas Quisling was against the
formation of a Norwegian political SS, Himmler, his ”Higher SS and Police
Leader”, Rediess, and Reichscommisar Terboven
were strongly in favour of it.
and Terboven fought bitterly and the latter did all in his power to diminish
the importance of Quisling and his Nasjonal Samling. One of Terboven's
attempts was even to replace Quisling as ”Fører” (leader) of the
N.S in June 1940 by his old friend from the Saar Elections, Chief of Police
Lie (born 1899), who although not a member fo the party was a strong
sympathizer. (Editor: Lie is said to have joined the N.S in July
1940). It was only through the diplomacy of one of Quisling´s best
friends, Albert Viljam Hagelin, that the plan failed, for Hagelin stated
(quite without foundation) that Quisling had appointed him as deputy leader
of the N.S and that he should therefor take over the leadership and not
rivalry between Terboven and Quisling continued and in mid-1941 Terboven
and Lie once again got together and set about the formation of a Norwegian
political SS contingent behind Quisling´s back. According to subsequent
N.S propaganda, it was at a meeting of the 7th Hird Regiment ”Viking” in
Oslo on May 16th 1941, that the creation of such a unit was first suggested,
and it was a suggestion that appearently met with some enthusiasm, for
a number of Hird men present declared themselves willing to join at once.
They had not long to wait, for just one week later (May 21st 41) a Norwegian
political SS formation was established and called ”Norway's SS” (”Norges
SS”). On that day Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler flew in to Oslo
where he was met by Reichskommisar Terboven, a disgruntled Quisling, and
a number of senior SS and Wehrmacht officers, and then taken to the Nasjonal
Samling´s Party House.
ceremony opened with a speech by the Rikshird´s chief of staff, Orvar
Sæther, who spoke to his former Hird men that had volunteered to
be the first aspirants of the new Norwegian SS. He explained how they were
about to join SS comrades from all the other Germanic countries, and how
their role was to protect and safeguard the future of the Germanic race.
Sæther had handed over his Hird men to the SS, Heinrich Himmler took
the stand and described to them the development of the SS in Germany from
its establishment in 1925 until the present day, and also how the SS stood
as a guarantee for the future of the Germanic communities. Having referred
to the achievements of the Norwegian volunteers in the SS Regiment ”Nordland”
(5.SS-Panzerdivision Wiking) which had been raised in January 41, Himmler
stated that the formation of the Norges SS was a new and important step
toward for the Germanic community. The honour for its foundation, he told
his audience, would fall upon Norway.
then appointed cabinet minister and Norwegian Chief of Police Jonas Lie
as SS-standartfører and leader of the Norwegian SS – Lie was a sympathizer
of the N.S but not a party member and was a man disliked and distrusted
by Quisling.The oath of allegiance was taken by Lie, who then administered
it to his men, and was given to both Hitler and Quisling.
after the ceremony the new SS aspirants travelled to the SS school at Elverum,
where they recieved a beginners course lasting six weeks.
May 11th, 1941, the Department of Justice issued an order in which it outlined
the rights the participant in the SS had with respect to his previous civilian
work and his pay in civilian life.
sum up, although the Norwegian SS was created as a subdivision of the Nasjonal
Samling it was very strongly opposed by Quisling, and recruiting by Jonas
Lie was at first carried on behind Quisling´s back, and later in
direct defiance to his orders. Loyal N.S members were urged to oppose Lie´s
recruiting drive and this met with partial success at first, but the Norwegian
SS was too strongly backed by both Lie´s State Police and Terboven´s
Reichskommisariat to be blocked in this way. Whether Quisling liked it
or not, and he certainly did not, the political SS had arrived in Norway,
and there it was to stay until the very end of the war.
June 22nd, 1941, Germany and her allies attacked the Soviet Union, and
the Norwegian SS was presented with an ideal opportunity to further its
anti-communist and pan-Germanic convictions. Upon the declaration of war
with Russia some 85% of the Norwegian SS under sveitfører Captain
Berg, as well as their leader Jonas Lie, volunteered for the Norwegian
Volunteer SS Legion (”Freiwilligen SS-Legion Norwegen”, or ”Den Norske
Legion”.) and almost all were eventually promoted to officer (editor: those
who had Norwegian pre-war officer education) or N.C.O rank (editor: those
who had served as sergeants in the pre-war Norwegian army or navy)
Some confusion existed in contemporary Norwegian publications as to the
exact number of Norwegian SS men that volunteered for the Legion. Of the
original 130 members – and one report gives this as 151 – some sources
state that 85% joined, whereas other give 85 men.)
Norwegian SS thereby provided five company commanders, one of whom had
been killed and two wounded before the end of 1943. In fact, the majority
of the leaders of the Legion were drawn from the Norwegian SS.
February 1st, 1942, Vidkun Quisling was appointed Minister President of
Norway, and his personal power and that of his Nasjonal Samling and its
para-military organizations was increased from that date, for he was no
longer the leader of a political party tolerated by the Germans – he was
the leader of the Norwegian Government.
months after its establishment the title ”Norges SS” was altered on July
21st, 1942, to ”Germanske SS Norge” (”Germanic
SS Norway – G.S.S.N”) by a Party Order signed by Quisling. This document
is worthy of full translation:
order of the Germanic SS Norway dated July 21st 1942.
May 21st, 1941, the ”Norges SS” was established. In addition to the rules
and regulations laid down at the time the following new rules and regulations
The name ”Norges SS” shall be changed to ”Germanske SS Norge”.
”Germanske SS Norge” is a National Socialist military organization which
shall consist of men of Nordic race and mentality. It is an independent
subdivision of the Nasjonal Samling, which is directly subordinated to
the N.S fører (Leader of the NS, i.e Quisling) and is responsible
to him. It is at the same time a subdivision of the Greater Germanic SS
and shall contribute its part to pointing out before the Germanic people
the road to a new future and create the foundation for a Germainic peoples´association.
The following may be accepted as members of the ”Germanske SS Norge” if
they otherwise comply with the conditions covering membership in the SS:
male members of the Nasjonal Samling
Norwegian citizens who have served at least one year in the Waffen-SS or
in the Norwegian Volunteer Legion.
Other Norwegian citizens provided that the General Secretariat of the Nasjonal
Samling approves their application.
The transfer of the various subdivisions and special organizations of the
Nasjonal Samling to the”Germanske SS Norge” or vice versa may be effected
to the extent as may be deemed necessary. In the event the consent of the
Fører to the special organization or subdivision must be secured
covering the proposed transfer.
Members of the SS cannot at the same time belong to the Rikshird or NSUF.
An exception to this rule is made in regard to party officials and leaders
in the mentioned special organizations.
Oslo, July 21st, 1942
(signed by Quisling and R.J Fuglesang)”
from the racial and political requirements, volunteers for the Germanske
SS Norge had to be between 17 and 40 years of age and not less than 170
cm in height.
It is interesting to note that the formation of the Norwegian political
SS, in contrast to the other three branches of the Germanic SS, paralleled
on the surface at least that of the Allgemeine SS in Germany, for the SS
in both cases was an élite force created within – and later from
– the original party para-military organization (the S.A in Germany and
the Hird in Norway). Evidence of the strong connections between Hird and
Norwegian SS can be found in the fact that for some time they shared the
same newspaper – ”Hirdmannen” (”The Hird Man”). For from the issue dated
May 24th, 1941, to that of April 4th, 1942, ”Hirdmannen” was sub-titled
”Kamporgan for Rikshird og Norges SS” (”Combat journal for the national
Hird and the Norwegian SS”). It was over a year after the formation of
the Norwegian SS that they founded their own newspaper, and the first issue
of ”Germaneren – Kamporgan for Germanske SS Norge” appeared on July 25th,
the war progressed and the Axis powers´chances of victory faded,
the Norwegian SS was used more as a front line formation than the political
organization that it had been intended for. It has been seen that as Germany
went to war with the Soviet Union the majority of the original members
of the Norwegian SS volunteered for service in the Norwegian Volunteer
Legion – this was to be the first of many such contributions. On March
11th, 1943, members of the Germanske SS Norge joined SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment
”Norge”. Soon afterwards the Germanske SS Norge formed a full company of
their own to fight on the Eastern Front, and this paraded before Quisling
on May 6th, 1943, under the command of SS-Obersturmführer and Deputy
Leader of GSSN, Olaf T Lindvig (he
had been appointed as such on March 13th, 1943).
T. Lindvig marching
front of the GSSN in Oslo.
May 20th, 1943, Jonas Lie was awarded the SS-Totenkopfring by Himmler.
On August 16th, 1943, after the ”SS Day in Oslo” (SS-Dagen 14-15 August)
Quisling spoke to units of the Norwegian SS on parade at Slottsplassen,
and on the following day (August 17th) the Norwegian SS, together with
the Police, National Hird and Quisling´s bodyguard (Editor: Førergarden
- led by Kapt. Henschien, later Sophus Kahrs) were integrated into the
Norwegian armed forces. (NOTE: According to Keesing´s the law was
dated August 14th, 1943).
total strength of the Norwegian SS at September 30th, 1944 was 1 247, of
which 330 were at the front, 245 in the police and 511 in emergency units.
Thus the Norwegian SS then consisted of only 161 men, but with 3422 aiding
members (”S.M.”) and 9 137 subscribers to their newspaper ”Germaneren”.
some time Himmler thought that Lie was leading the Norwegian SS in a somewhat
disinterested manner and was not giving this task the attention and devotion
it deserved. He therefor replaced Lie on January 1st 1945, by (Minster
of Justice) Sverre Riisnæs.
(Editor: Riisnæs probably was one of the most extreme characters
in N.S. He avoided getting death penalty in ´45 due to insanity.
He died in 1988, never giving up his N.S beliefs)
March 1st, 1945, Olaf T Lindvig (then an SS-Hauptsturmführer) again
took up the post of Chief of Staff of the Norwegian SS (”Stabsleder GSSN")
which had previously been held by Leif Schøren.
May 1945 Norway was liberated by the Allies, and the German capitulation
was broadcast on the 7th. Two days later Terboven and Rediess drank large
quantities of akevitt and beer and comitted suicide by sitting down on
a land mine in a bunker on the Crown Prince´s property (Skaugum).
Lie also consumed more akevitt than was good for him, for it induced a
heart-attack and he died of malarial shock. Vidkun Quisling declined offers
of escape and, unlike Terboven, Rediess and Lie refused to commit suicide
and stood trial for treason. He was executed on October 24th 1945.
the last days were truly bizarre. Rediess shot himself, and Terboven hid
the body for 12 hours in his bedroom, before he dragged it with him into
the bunker. The Norwegians gathered in two ”camps”, the N.S men stayed
with Quisling, and the ”germanics” Lie, Riisnæs and Rogstad teamed
up together. They were found by Norwegian police soldiers, only Riisnæs
was then alive.)
Elverum was opened on the day of the foundation of the Norwegian SS, May
21st, 1941, and the first batch of volunteer aspirants went there directly
for a six weeks course. In August 1942 the Kongsvinger Fortress was opened
as a school for the Germanske SS Norge and in that month 42 recruits were
admitted. The course lasted four weeks and the instruction comprised both
military and political subjects. On October 16th 1942, more SS men were
admitted to what is assumed to have been the second course. In December
1942 a third course was held which was subdivided into three parts, comprising
a short course for front line soldiers; a non-comissioned officers´course
for SS men, and a recruiting course. An officer from Vest-Oppland named
Karsten Sveen was in charge for these courses.
not actually attending training courses, members of GSSN continued their
normal civilian activities. They were trained within their local SS-Storm
during off-hours each Wednesday evening and every second Sunday.
1942 a riding school for the Germanske SS Norge (”SS-Rideskolen”) was opened
in Oslo at Drammensvegen 1. It was commanded by Major Henschien, and Herr
Dryander was ”Leiter des Rennstalles”. Based upon this riding school a
cavalry section of the Norwegian SS was formed under Major Henschien with
September 1942 a riding meeting for German and Norwegian SS was held at
Porsgrunn, and Major Henschien, Captain Waksvik, Bernt Anker and Dryander
took part. Mention has also been found of the ”Norges Rideskole” at Vinderen
(Hippodromen), in connection with the Germanske SS Norge.
SCHOOLS: SS-Skole Elverum, SS-Skole Kongsvinger Festning, SS-Rideskole
Oslo, and Norges Rideskole, Vinderen. (Editor: for a period there was a
SS school at Holmestrand too. SS Vaktbataljon Norge was educated there.)
FIRST PATTERN UNIFORM
130 volunteers for the Norwegian SS that assembled at the N.S party house
on May 21st, 1941, wore German Army field grey uniforms, with German SS
belts, Hird shoulder straps and brassards.
of the volunteers wore collar patches. The newness of the shoulder straps
suggest that they were specially made in one batch and issued with the
uniforms, and it is therefor probable that while they followed the style
of Hird rank strap, they used white and silver piping and braid in place
of red and gold.
Lie wore shoulder straps of a Hird regimental commander, and a field grey
SS leaders peaked cap with the SS version of the national emblem, ”Solørn”
or ”N.S. Riksørn” – ”Sun Eagle”.
volunteers wore field grey field caps with a white metal button in front
(which may have had the Death´s Head on it) and the emblem of N.S
machine embroidered in grey silk on a black cloth base on the left side.
uniform was worn until replaced on, or shortly before September 25th, 1942,
by the black service uniform of the German General SS.
uniform was made up of: SS Service tunic, overcoat, breeches, Ski trousers
(black), SS Ski cap (the SS peaked cap was not issued), steel helmet M35,
Leatherwear (from June 42 the German SS buckle was worn), SS Service Dagger
(an example with the Norwegian version of the SS civilan badge on the top
of the grip does exist!)
rank insignia was worn. Badges of rank appeared on both shoulder straps
only and consisted of silver braid bars of differest widths for NCO ranks.
From September 1942 the GSSN wore German badges of rank.
was shown on the left collar patch in the usual way, but all ranks wore
the circular swastika (”Solhjulet” – ”Sun Wheel”) on the right patch.
the unit within the Norwegian SS was not shown on the right collar patch
as in the Dutch and Flemish branches, but then this is not surprising as
the GSSN never constituted a full regiment.
only recorded awards of the Germanic Proficiency Runes in Norway were made
at the Norwegian SS School on August 16th, 1944, when SS-Obergruppenführer
Rediess, acting upon instructions from Himmler, awarded ten in silver and
fifteen in bronze to members of GSSN Also present were SS-neststandartfører
Riisnæs, and the leader of the Germanische Leitstelle in Norway,
Proficiency Rune in Bronze (Repro)
Germanske SS Norge (Organization)
complexity of the Staff of the Norwegian SS at first increased as the organization
itself grew and eventually decreased as the war drew to a close and more
desk-bound members were called to the front.
illustrate this fact the organization of the Staff is set out below at
three (3) different dates:
(Office) Drammensveien 1, Oslo
(Commander) Minister Jonas Lie, Akersgata 44, Oslo.
(Substitute) SS-stormfører Olaf T Lindvig (ref. ”N.S.
(H.Q. Staff) Drammensveien 105, Oslo
(Commander) -SS-standartfører Jonas Lie.
(Chief of Staff) -Leif Schøren.
-SS-stormfører Hallvard Svelle.
& propaganda -SS-neststandartfører Sverre
(Organization Section), -SS-stormfører Hallvard Svelle.
(Economics Section) -SS-mann, advokat (lawyer) Arne Schultz.
(Personell Section) -SS-lagfører Karl G. Blomfeldt.
(Staff Doctor) -SS-nestlagfører Johan Fasting.
(Sport Leader) -SS-nestlagfører Bertel Paaske.
(Administration Leader) -SS-nestlagfører Rolf Woye Pedersen.
og radio (Culture & Radio) -SS-nesttroppfører Karl Aagaard
rådgiver (Legal Consultant) -SS-nesttroppfører, høyesterettdommer
og skoleheftene -SS-nestlagfører Egil Holst Torkildsen
medlemmer (Aiding members) -Mari Selle
Rideskole (Norwegian Riding School) Vinderen, Oslo. (Hippodromen)
Akersgaten 8, Oslo
(SS-School) Kongsvinger Festning (Fortress)
In addition to the above, the following relevant entries are to be found
in ”Germaneren” dated January 30th, 1943:
(Head Office) Colbjørnsens gt. 1, Oslo
(SS Riding School) Drammensveien 1, Oslo
(Ref. ”Nasjonal Samlings telefonliste og adressebok”, Januar 1945)
(H.Q. Staff) Drammensveien 105, Oslo
(Chief of Staff)
Akersgt. 8, Oslo
(SS School) Kongsvinger Festning (Fortress).
Norwegian SS was subdivided into units in exactly the same manner as the
Allgemeine-SS in Germany, but of course on a much smaller scale, and a
comparison between the two can be seen from the following chart:
SS Norge -Allgemeine SS -English Eqivalent
following comments can be made on the units of the Norwegian SS:
the rank of SS-standartfører was held, there do not appear to have
been any units of this size in the Norwegian SS.
referred to as ”Fylking”, only one is recorded and that SS-stormbann Oslo-Akershus.
(possibly the result of a fusion of SS-storm Oslo with SS-storm Akershus)
an SS-stormbann could contain up to 4 SS-stormer.
basic local unit of the Norwegian SS which was established as a volunteer
unit. It was commanded by an SS-stormfører and carried the name
of the district. Late in the war an attempt was made to number each SS-storm
and that of Oslo recieved the number ”1”. The others, however, do not appear
to have been so numbered. The SS-storm contained 3 or 4 tropper and combined
all the units of a ”fylke”.
”tropp” was commanded by a troppsfører and although in theory it
could contain 3 or 4 lag, in practice it contained only 3. It was arranged
that the leader of the ”tropp” and the leaders of the subordinate ”lag”
should as far as possible live in the same district.
by a ”lagfører” who should, as far as possible live in the same
district as his troppsfører. It contained 9 men. A ”rode” contained
15 Møre og Romsdal
4 Hedmark og Oppland
Kracht Hallvard Svelle
P. Hoff / Knut Solberg
Oslo was eventually remnamed SS-storm 1, Stor-Oslo, and at times was known
as SS-storm Stor-Oslo. It was the first formed SS company and was originally
commanded by Police Lieutenant Arne Juel Odde. It contained 3 ”tropper”.
one time there was just one SS company in N.S. District 9, called ”Agder”,
at another time there were two, ”Aust-Agder” and ”Vest-Agder”.
The name ”Bergen” appeared on an SS Company flag, yet although Norway´s
second largest town, no company has been found bearing this name. The 12th
N.S. District included Bergen and Hordaland, and although the SS company
formed there carried the second name, the first appears to have been used
on the flag.
Originally N.S District 4 included both Hedmark and Oppland, but in accordance
with the regional reorganisation law of October 29th, 1943, Oppland was
made into a separate District and numbered 5.
The 13th, 19th and 20th N.S Districts appear never to have contained formations
of the Norwegian SS.
outstanding expert of SS, and he is a well-known author on the subject.
He welcomes comments or additions / corrections to the article.
thanks to Bjørn Jervaas.
Research Unit (H.R.U.), London. H.R.U.
& Greene Ltd., London.
Mollo -(c) Windrow & Greene Ltd., London.
volunters in the wehrmacht and Waffen-SS (Nuav)
Norske Legion - Frw. Legion Norwegen (Nuav)
who got the Iron Cross 1.class
All pictures/material unless
otherwise stated, are owned or supervised by NDWW2/NUAV's webmaster.
You are not allowed to copy, publish or in any way distribute material
from these pages without the webmaster’s written permission.This
site do not represent any kind of political statement, it is made by people
with the historical interest of Norway in the period between 1940 - 1945.
Copyright 1999, 2002 © Kurt Monsen.