"The prisons of the continent no longer suffice. The concentration camps are overcrowded. Every dawn German volleys crack. Czechs, Poles, Dutchmen, Norwegians, Yugoslavs and Greeks, Frenchmen, Belgians, Luxemburgers make the great sacrifice for faith and country. A vile race of Quislings—to use a new word which will carry the scorn of mankind down the centuries—is hired to fawn upon the conqueror, to collaborate in his designs and to enforce his rule upon their fellow countrymen while groveling low themselves. Such is the plight of once glorious Europe and such are the atrocities against which we are in arms."Joseph Goebbels was so dismayed to see the name of the Nazis' man in Norway being used as a synonym for "collaborator," he used his propaganda machine to try to similarly tar the names of pro-Allied politicians as synonyms for a people leading their country to disaster.
It didn't work. Quisling's unpopularity couldn't be reproduced. He was already disliked in the 1930s, when Quisling created the Norwegian fascist party and embraced Hitler. Quisling was more enthusiastic about the Nazis invading Norway than Hitler had been, and had to convince him.
That only deepened when the war broke out and Quisling handed his country over to the Germans, infecting a group you might not expect: his supposed masters. The Nazis also grew to hate and distrust Quisling, because he couldn't get things done. He was too disliked. When Quisling was installed as prime minister in February, 1942, his popularity was estimated at 1 percent, and was met with terror bombings and the resignation of the Supreme Court, en mass. He was more an annoyance than an asset; eventually the Germans had to forbid Quisling from writing to Hitler.
Not that much of this sank in. The vanity of the traitor knows no bounds. Even as the war ended, Quisling assumed he could slip out of this misunderstanding. He always had Norway's best interests at heart. In May, 1945, he surrendered himself, arriving at prison in the silver-plated Mercedes-Benz limo that Hitler had given him. Quisling complained about being kept in an ordinary cell, and that its chair was too small. His captors were not sympathetic.
Sullen and defiant, Quisling shouted out at his trial that he was the "Savior of Norway!"
He was sentenced to death before a firing squad, and executed in October, 1945. His last words were the very Trumpian, "I am convicted unfairly and die innocent."
Which leads to an interesting question: will it be "Trump," as in, "If he sells those secrets he'll become a Trump." Or the lowercase "trump"? And how many of his collaborators will share his deathless shame? Time will tell.