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Quisling's estate goes to charity

By
OLE WALBERG

OSLO, Norway -- Vidkun Quisling, the Norwegian Nazi leader whose name became an international synonym for traitor, has contributed thousands of dollars to a Christian charity _ 35 years after he was executed for high treason and war crimes.

The property and effects of the World War II puppet leader were sold at an auction Friday and Saturday and while experts called most of the furniture and art objects 'trash,' the items fetched $500,000 for the Christian Home Mission.

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Quisling, who served as a Norwegian minister-president in occupied Norway under Nazi commander Josef Terboven, was executed for high treason at the Akershus Castle in Oslo on Oct. 24, 1945.

He left all his personal belongings to his Russian-born wife Maria who lived a secluded life in a small Oslo apartment until her death earlier this year at the age of 80.

Mrs. Quisling lived on government welfare for the last five years of her life and received money from her local church after she let it be known she could not even afford milk for her coffee.

Her will specified that her late husband's entire estate be sold at auction and the money given to the Christian Home Mission, one of Norway's largest private charitable institutions which runs schools, hospitals and clinics for alcoholics and drug addicts.

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Among the 400 items in the auction catalogue was the desk from Quisling's wartime office which was sold to an anonymous buyer for $25,000.

'This was where Quisling signed the death sentences,' a dealer at the auction explained to potential buyers.

A dining table and six chairs went for the same price, while a single office chair described as a 'fuhrer (leader) stool' sold for $3,000).

A number of paintings by unknown artists _ some unsigned and in poor condition _ brought prices ranging up to $10,000.

'The paintings were utterly boring and solid bourgeois,' the Dagbladet newspaper said.

The Norwegian Nazi party was dissolved after World War II, but a neo-Nazi group started up in Norway during the early 1970s and some of its members were among the bidders at the auction.

Not all the personal belongings of the former Nazi leader were sold at the auction. Some of the most valuable pieces were bought up by Sotheby's of London before the sale opened to the public.

There was one other item which escaped the gavel and remained securely in the hands of those who have owned it since the war ended.

A huge carpet which adorns the main hall of the Norwegian government guest house in Olso was a prize possession of Quisling, a fact not always pointed out to the offical visitors who stay at the house.

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Another fact not always revealed is that the carpet was a gift to Quisling from one of his admirers _ Adolf Hitler.

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