Holocaust-Era Assets

RG 84: Norway

State Department and Foreign Affairs Records

Records of the Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State (RG 84)


When World War II began Norway attempted to maintain its neutrality.  But on April 9, 1940, Germany invaded Norway.  In two months Norway, despite receiving the assistance from Anglo-French forces, was defeated.  King Haakon VII and his cabinet escaped to London and formed a government-in-exile there.

The Germans made Norway a Reich Commissariat under the rule of Josef Terboven.  In September Terboven abolished all political parties except the pro-Nazi National Unit party, headed by former Norwegian Minister of War Vidkun Quisling.  Quisling's followers instituted a reign of terror against Norway's 1,800 Jews, 300 refugees from Central Europe; seizing their businesses for themselves.

On February 1, 1942, Terboven named Quisling Minister-President.  Among his first acts were to abolish the country's constitution and make himself dictator.  In June 1942 Jewish businesses were placed under the control of commissioners and that September a roundup of Jews began.  In October Quisling ordered the confiscation of all Jewish property.  Some 800 Jews were deported, most to Auschwitz, and a smaller number to slave-labor camps in Germany.  Most of the remaining Jews fled to Sweden.

Although the Germans at first did not significantly exploit Norway, Norway increasingly suffered during the occupation.  As the war increased so did German exploitation of Norway's resources. One-third of the national income went to pay occupation costs.  About 40,000 Norwegians were imprisoned or put in concentration camps; 8,000 sent to camps in Germany, where about 2,000, including at least 700 Jews, perished.

It was not until May 1945 that the Germans surrendered in Norway.  (Note 86)

Records of the Oslo Legation and Embassy

     General Records 1936-1940, 1945-1955 (Entry 3051)

          Boxes 1-5

     Classified (Confidential) General Records 1945-1955 (Entry 3052A)

          Boxes 1-24

     Top Secret Records 1947-1952 (Entry 3053)

          Boxes 1-2

Records of the U.S. Mission to Norwegian Government in Exile, London

     General Records 1940-1942 (Entry 3055)

          Boxes 1-3

     Classified General Records 1943-1945 (Entry 3056)

          Box 1