Author Topic: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage  (Read 8863 times)

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Offline <k>

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Re: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2016, 11:23:55 AM »
Here is a "charity" stamp, issued during the war to benefit the "Norwegian Legion" of the Waffen-SS. You can vaguely see the symbol on the armband. Also, some official stamps showing the symbol of the Nasjonal Samling.

Offline <k>

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Re: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2016, 11:30:34 AM »
Relatively few Norwegians were pro-Nazi, compared to other occupied countries. The majority of them despised the collaborationist leader, Quisling. It helped that he was totally without any political acumen.

From Wikipedia:

In the course of the summer of 1942, Quisling lost any ability he might have had to sway public opinion by attempting to force children into the Nasjonal Samlings Ungdomsfylking youth organisation, which was modelled on the Hitler Youth. This move prompted a mass resignation of teachers from their professional body and churchmen from their posts, along with large-scale civil unrest. His attempted indictment of bishop Eivind Berggrav proved similarly controversial, even amongst his German allies. Quisling now toughened his stance, telling Norwegians that they would have the new regime forced upon them "whether they like it or not". On 1 May, the German High Command noted that "organised resistance to Quisling has started" and Norway's peace talks with Germany stalled as a result. On 11 August, Hitler postponed any further peace negotiations until the war ended. Quisling was admonished and learned that Norway would not get the independence he so greatly yearned for. As an added insult, for the first time he was forbidden to write letters directly to Hitler.

See: Vidkun Quisling.

Offline <k>

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Re: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2016, 11:45:39 AM »
Going back to <k>'s original post, I was also intrigued by the question of what the patterns are on the obverse either side of the shield. They appear to be a cross superimposed on two axes or hammers. I'm not aware that this symbol has any particular significance. The symbol used by Nasjonal Samling (Norway's equivalent of the Nazi party) as an equivalent to the swastika was solkorset, the sun cross (basically a circle with a cross in it). It's not a mintmark either, as the wartime issues carry the crossed hammers mark (underneath the date in this case) of Kongsberg mint.

For want of any other explanation, I tend towards the conclusion that they are just random Norse-inspired decorations, much like the triangular ones on the other side. They could even by a statement of subversion by the mint against Quisling and the Nazis - they are not entirely dissimilar to the H7 monogram used on pre-war and government-in-exile issues. As Thulium points out, pre-war Håkon VII coins enjoyed a status as subversive objects in Norway that analogous pre-war issues in, say, Denmark, Belgium and France didn't as far as I know.

I think you're right. Let's compare the symbols on the coin with the Hirden symbol:







Offline FosseWay

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Re: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2016, 11:56:17 AM »
Relatively few Norwegians were pro-Nazi, compared to other occupied countries. The majority of them despised the collaborationist leader, Quisling. It helped that he was totally without any political acumen.

There were many people in positions of power in the territories overrun by the Nazis who chose to collaborate with them to varying degrees, whether on the purely practical level as in Denmark or on a more ideological level as in France or Norway. But no other collaborator has been so definitively blacklisted by posterity as Quisling - he was as you say despised at the time by people who in other respects tolerated the German occupation and he certainly did not have the public trust that Pétain enjoyed (at least at first). And only Quisling's name has become a word in its own right denoting this kind of despicable puppet leader - not only in Norwegian but in other languages too. (It helps that the phonetics of his name, especially when pronounced with a v as in Norwegian rather than the English qu- sound, evoke something unpleasant and grasping, yet small and despicable. There isn't such a forceful "phonetic determinism" around the names Hitler, Mussolini or Franco, for example, though the similarities of Pétain's name with the French word for "to fart" come close.)

Offline <k>

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Re: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2016, 12:20:03 PM »
And only Quisling's name has become a word in its own right denoting this kind of despicable puppet leader - not only in Norwegian but in other languages too. (It helps that the phonetics of his name, especially when pronounced with a v as in Norwegian rather than the English qu- sound, evoke something unpleasant and grasping, yet small and despicable. There isn't such a forceful "phonetic determinism" around the names Hitler, Mussolini or Franco, for example, though the similarities of Pétain's name with the French word for "to fart" come close.)

That's a very subjective argument. Words come with associations. In English, a "Quisling" could sound merely like a little fellow who writes quizzes.  :D  But because you know who he was, the word acquires unpleasant overtones, and I have myself used it as an insult. For some Brits, "Thatcher" is all but a swear word and can produce apoplexy in her detractors. Some sounds do have negative connotations, though: many pejorative English words begin with "sl": slimy, slovenly, slut, to slight somebody. "Slim" would be an exception. But I'm well off-topic now.  :)

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2016, 12:51:19 PM »
That's a very subjective argument. Words come with associations. In English, a "Quisling" could sound merely like a little fellow who writes quizzes.  :D  But because you know who he was, the word acquires unpleasant overtones, and I have myself used it as an insult. For some Brits, "Thatcher" is all but a swear word and can produce apoplexy in her detractors. Some sounds do have negative connotations, though: many pejorative English words begin with "sl": slimy, slovenly, slut, to slight somebody. "Slim" would be an exception. But I'm well off-topic now.  :)

Subjective it may be, but it seems that the editor of The Times (19.4.1940) agreed with me:

Quote
To writers, the word Quisling is a gift from the gods. If they had been ordered to invent a new word for traitor... they could hardly have hit upon a more brilliant combination of letters. Aurally it contrives to suggest something at once slippery and tortuous.

This was written before the full extent of the crimes committed by any of the Nazi-like organisations of the WW2 era had become clear.

As you point out, letter combinations do provoke psychological reactions independent of other factors. I mentioned various other totalitarian leaders from that era - their names all conjure up imagery of what they stood for and did, but, with the possible exception of Hitler, their names have not endured as words used in a wider sense, outside the specifics of WW2 and/or extremist right-wing politics.

(On "slim": its German cognate, schlimm, means "bad". A similar change of meaning is apparent in "svelt", which is a positive attribute in English but is cognate with Swedish svälta, "to starve".)

Offline <k>

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Re: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2016, 12:58:08 PM »
Subjective it may be, but it seems that the editor of The Times (19.4.1940) agreed with me:

You're not old enough for him to have agreed with you.   ;)  His piece was propaganda, and very good propaganda, aimed at patriotic Brits. They would have despised the Nazis and their supporters well enough by then, though their worst atrocities, and public knowledge of them, were still years ahead, as you imply.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2016, 01:18:53 PM »
You're not old enough for him to have agreed with you.   ;) 

Haha, touché  :)

Offline <k>

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Re: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2016, 06:03:32 PM »
So, now we know what the symbols on the coin are NOT. I looked in Gerhard Schön's world coin catalogue (German language), but it doesn't include a description of them. Nor does Numismaster. I suppose the answer may be hiding in some specialist Norwegian catalogue, but since we appear to be without a forum member in Norway, we may never find out. Though if we leave these questions posted, it's often the case that somebody comes along months or years later and posts the answer. Even if we still don't know the answer, I certainly did enjoy the ride.  :)

Offline Thulium

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Re: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2016, 06:31:47 PM »
Solkorset with two swords is specifically the emblem of Hirden (Nasjonal samlings answer to the Nazi SA). More info on how NS used the symbol is here on Norwegian Wikipedia.

Going back to the symbols on the coin: While the cross is similar to the cross in solkorset, without the circle it isn't a solkors. The circle is an essential part of the symbol. I'm therefore not convinced that it has any overt references to Quisling's government other than possibly vague implications of tradition, militarism and mythology that often infuse far-right imagery from that era.

Thanks for clarification on the symbol from that poster. Your argument regarding the solkorset makes total sense. And I would agree--if these symbols meant anything specific, we would see them used elsewhere during the occupation. My knowledge on this subject is very limited--if I find anything else, I'll post here.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2016, 08:10:50 PM »
The only thing that resembles this is the emblem of the Church of Norway (a budded cross laid over two St. Olaf's axes)..

Offline <k>

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Re: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2016, 08:16:12 PM »


You're right!

The son of a Church of Norway pastor, Quisling blended Christian fundamentals, scientific developments and philosophy into a new theory he called Universism.

Vidkun Quisling.

Offline Thulium

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Re: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2016, 08:47:01 PM »
The only thing that resembles this is the emblem of the Church of Norway (a budded cross laid over two St. Olaf's axes)..
I'm a little surprised I didn't make the connection--it must be the shield. Well, I'm now convinced that would be recognized as such on these occupation coins.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage
« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2016, 09:48:33 AM »
Well done - that is conclusive, I think.

Somewhat ironic, given the Norwegian church's opposition to Quisling.

Offline <k>

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Re: Norway, World War 2, government-in-exile coinage
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2016, 12:59:18 PM »
Given that Quisling considered himself a Christian (though he was a particularly warped one, from any perspective), it may well have been his decision. Or he may at least have influenced the decision.