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Famous Norwegians

Knut Hamsun
The Chicago Tramconductor who won the Nobel Prize!

Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) was born in Lom (Fossbergom) in Oppland county at the entrance of Bøverdalen where the Sognefjell-road from Otta (in Gudbrandsdalen) continues SW up Leirdalen through Jotunheimen, past the highest mountains in Norway into Sogn og Fjordane passing the picturesque tourist spots Turtagrø and Fortun ending at Skjolden: the innermost part of Sognefjorden - this arm of the fjord being called Lustrafjorden.

When he was 3 years old, his parents moved to the farm named Hamsund on Hamarøy in Nordland where Hamsun grew up and started working as an assistant to the local shopkeeper on Tranøy and went on to odd jobs as travelling salesman, country policeman (lensmannsbetjent) etc. in Northern Norway. His first writings were published in Tromsø 1877 (by Knud Pedersen) and Bodø in 1878 (by Knud Pedersen Hamsund). In Hardanger in the summer of 1879 he wrote the story "Frida", but couldn't find a publisher and spent the winter in Christiania before going to America in 1882 where he stayed till 1884 - and again from 1886, working as a tram conductor in Chicago and journalist in Minneapolis. He went to Copenhagen in 1888 where he wrote and published the beginning of his most famous novel "Sult" (Hunger) - the book was first published in Copenhagen in 1890 signalling something totally new in Norwegian literature. The year before Hamsun had published his disrespectful studies "From the cultural life of modern America" etc. In 1891 Hamsun caused offence by his aggressive lectures about Norwegian litterature, aimed at "the 4 great", Henrik Ibsen in particular. Following a couple of writings - among them a critical review on the cultural attitude of young Norwegian writers - Hamsun went to live in Paris where he wrote the poem in prose "Pan" and several plays which were staged in Christiania. He then traveled to Eastern Europe, Persia and Turkey - travels which gave him inspiration for several stories and dramas. In 1907 Hamsun spoke to the Students' Union in Chr.ia. of the sovereignty and prerogatives of youth over the elders. In 1911 Hamsun went back to live on Hamarøy and his novels reflect life in Nordland.

The Hansteens
Men and Women of Compassion

Christopher Hansteen, 1784-1873, physicist and astronomer, professor of mathematics, president of Norges Geografiske Opmåling (institute of Geography) 1817-72 and the University Observatory from 1830 (inaugurated 1833). Conducted important measurements in Siberia 1828-30 on which we founded our basic understanding of Earth magnetism.

His daughter Asta Hansteen 1824-1908, painter - her painting of her father is at The National Gallery in Oslo) who used all her energy after 1870 in the fight for women's social rights and was the model for "Lona Hessel" in Henrik Ibsen's play "Samfundets Støtter".

His grandson Christopher Hansteen, 1865-1906, typographer and conspicuous anarchist.

Viggo Hansteen 1900-1941 barrister-at-law and legal advisor to the Norwegian National Worker's Union (LO) from 1935 joined the Norwegian Government and the Norwegian Army until the King and the Government left Norway June 7, 1940 after which he was the main power of LO's fight against the Nazi regime. On Sept 10, 1941 the Germans found an excuse to arrest him during the naxiimposed state of emergency following the worker's 'milk-strike' and Viggo Hansteen was executed by the Germans together with fellow patriot Rolf Wickstrøm on the same day.

Wilhelm Hansteen born 1896, General Major, B.L.L. military attaché to Tallin and Riga (in the Baltic) 1937-41, Norwegian Defence Chief of Staff in London 1942-44, Chief of Home Forces from Sept 1945, Commander in Chief of the Norwegian Occupation Force in Germany 1947. 

C. J. Hambro
The Jew who saved Norway!

Hambro, Carl Joachim born Jan 5, 1885, son of schoolmaster E.I. Hambro - journalist, politician and author, was the Editor in Chief of Morgenbladet (major conservative newspaper in Oslo) and elected member of Stortinget (Norwegian Parliament) in 1919 and the president of the Storting from 1926. President of the League of Nations from 1939 till it's abolishment in 1946.

When the air alarm sounded just after midnight April 9th, 1940 Hambro took the initiative to transport the Royal family, the Government and all members of the Storting by a special train leaving Oslo at 7.30 AM. Just 3 hours before the train departed, the Norwegian Foreign minister Koht had told the German ambassador Braüer that Norway would fight the German invasion. During this meeting the German cruiser "Blücher" - heading the German attack through the narrows of the Oslo Fjord - was hit by artillery and torpedo fire from the old fortress of Oscarsborg and sank in the flames of her burning oil leak. Abt. 1.000 of her crew, German Army troops and Nazi staff designated to have taken our capital and central institution perished in the attack.

Thanks to Hambro's quick action he could chair the meetings of the Storting at Hamar at 12.30 PM the same day and Elverum at 9.20 PM the same evening. At this meeting Hambro suggested "The Elverum Authorization" <> whereby "the Government were empowered to make such decisions as were deemed necessary for the sake of the future and safety of the country". This enabled Norway - even after our capitulation in Tromsø two months later - to continue the war against Germany from the refuge of our Government and Royal family in England and Canada.

Hambro followed the Government during it's transfer to London on June 7th, 1940 and continued himself to the US on July 12th, 1940 as the representative of Norway to the USA. During his stay in USA Hambro became honorary professor of several American Universities and was a delegate to the statutory general meeting of the United Nation in London in January 1946 and the General Assembly in New York in the fall of 1946. Hambro published several books before, during and after the war.

[See also picture on the Web: Den første norske kyrkja i {the first Norwegian church in} Muskego settlement, bygd i {built in} 1844.(Kjelde: {source:} C. J. Hambro: Amerikaferd. Av emigrasjonens historie. {Travelling to America. From the history of emmigration} Tanum, Oslo 1935.) at

<>. His wartime book "I saw it happen in Norway" was banned in Sweden. In 1943 he published "How to win the peace".

A different Carl Joachim Hambro 1807-1877 (son of Joseph Hambro 1780-1848 Danish businessman and banker of Jewish descent) founded the bank C.J. Hambro and Sons in London which in 1920 was merged with Hambro's Bank Limited (founded in 1912 under the name of The British Bank of Norhtern Commerce) - Carl Joachim Hambro became a Danish baron in 1851.

Source: Gyldendals nye konversasjonsleksikon 1948, and Paul Engstad: "Krigen vi aldri kan glemme" {the war we never can forget} Tiden Norsk Forlag 1990.

Wenche Foss
Primadonna of The National Theatre

Wenche Foss was born in 1917 and had her stage debut in 1935. She is truly the top star of the Norwegian stage and a living monument to her own success being celebrated even today at frequent appearances on Norwegian television and other cultural events. Personally I shall never forget the festivity of her glamourous "Czardas Princess" in the musical comedy by Emmerich Kalman. 

Sven Foyn
Father of Norway's Whaling Business

Sven Foyn 1809-94, whaler, businessman and inventor. Headed to sea in 1845 on board Norway's first specially constructed boat for catching seal thus founding a new trade for Norway; the tools and methods of the trade constantly beeing improved by Foyn's inventions. In 1863 he built the first steamship to catch whales, later on equipping it with the grenade-harpoon gun he had invented. In the years 1873-83 he had a monopoly on shooting whale with this grenade-harpoon and shot up to 100 whales a year, refining the raw materials (whalefat from whale oil; raw material used in the production of margarine and soap) at his own factories making a fortune. When the whales of Finnmark became protected by the Norwegian Law of June 19th 1880 thus preventing Foyn from hunting whales, he applied for rights to hunt whales from Iceland and in 1894-95 sent the Antarctic Expedition to the South Sea in search of whales. Sven Foyn left the major part of his fortune to religious and social causes. Foyn's Land abt 63 degrees West on Graham Land in the Antarctic discovered 1893 by C.A.Larsen and named after Sven Foyn. 

Nordahl Grieg
Our Literary WWII Hero

Nordahl Grieg 1/22-1902 - 20/2 1943 had his debut 1922 with the collection of poems "Round Cape of Good Hope" and later made a hit with the novel "The Ship Goes On" (1924) which gives a realistic description of life as a seaman. Later published collections of poems were staged at the National Theatre and several other stages in the Nordic countries. During WWII Nordahl Grieg fought in Norway and was a member of the special contingent who transported the gold reserves of Norway to North Norway and then on to England, where he was further trained and appointed Captain. Through his speeches on the radio and his inspiring poems of war, he made a unique effort among his compatriots both home and abroad. Nordahl Grieg was killed in action during a bombing raid over Berlin. His wartime prose and newspaper articles was published under the title "The Flag" (1945) and in 1947 "The Road Ahead", selected articles. His wife, actress Gerd Egede-Nissen b. 21/4 1895, made propaganda during WWII for Norway in England, USA and Iceland by readings, especially of Nordahl Grieg's poems.

At 03-01-98 Norway-List Member Rosemary wrote: Among the regular visitors to our Shetland home during the war I was particularly impressed by one man in khaki who was described as a poet and writer. We heard a few days later that he >had been in a plane shot down over Germany. His name was Nordahl Grieg. 

Edvard Grieg
Norway Great Composer

The art of Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) is closely connected to Norwegian folkmusic, at the same time demonstrating Grieg's own strong personality with regard to melody, rhythm and harmony. Already in his earliest compositions for the piano one hears the tone of Norwegian romanticism, but not until he became influenced by Nordraak did he try conscientiously develop a new Norwegian tone both with regard to rhythm and melody; folkmelodies and dances became his major inspiration. In spite of his increasing illness his "Pianoconcert in A-minor", the Ballad and the music for the stageplay "Peer Gynt" (by Henrik Ibsen) has truly become works that are admired all over the world. 

Hans Gude
The Friendly Masterpainter

Hans Gude 1825-1903, the friendly personality of Norwegian art gathered young talents around him as a professor at the Art Academies - Düsseldorf 1854, Karlsruhe 1864 and from 1875 to his death of the Art Academy of Berlin. Hans Gude was the central figure of Norwegian painting and his exquisite harmony and delicate composition may be admired today at the National Gallery of Norway. 

Norwegian Medieval Noble Family

Henrik Jenssøn Gyldenløve (abt 1450) was the owner of Austråt[Østråt] - famous manor at Ørlandet near the mouth of the Trondheim Fjord which has played an important role in the history of Norway and the families of Rømer, Bjelke and Holtermann - the last main buildings built in 1654-56 were damaged being struck by lightning in 1919, but have been restored.

Henrik's son Niels Henrikssøn Gyldenløve, rikshoffmester [National Court Master] had 5 daughters with Inger Ottesdatter Rømer. They married Danish noblemen, whereby the family estate came into the hands of Danish noble families. The Gyldenløve family was extinct by 1597. 

Fritz Heinrich Frølich
Bankers and Industrialists

Fritz Heinrich Frølich 1807-77 born in Poland, immgrant from Denmark to Norway 1823, co-founder of Handelens Venner (Friends of Trade) 1841 and Christiania Kreditkasse (now Christiania Bank, largest bank in Norway) and several other enterprises.

His three sons: Harald, Georg and Thorbjørn:

Harald Schreiner Frølich 1840-1916, engineer, became the pioneer of Norwegian home crafts.

Georg Ludvig Andreas Frølich 1844-1930 founded Nitedals Krudtværk on the invention of a new type of gunpowder used in WWI.

Thorbjørn Frølich 1848-1938 vicar and historian wrote about the developement of indistrialized Norway and published works on local and family history.

Georg's son Fritz Heinrich Frølich born 1872 changed the factory from making gunpowder to producing safety matches and was the president of Bryn-Halden & Nitedals Tændstikfabrik (even today the major match company of Norway). 

C. M. Falsen
The Man Who Wrote our Constitution in 1814

Christian Magnus Falsen 1782-1830 was county chief of Nordre Bergenhus County in 1814 when our national assembly was assembled at Eidsvold. Togther with J G Adler, Falsen wrote the basic proposal that became the basis of our Constitution. Falsen was president of the assembly May 1st - 16th 1814. In 1827 he became our Chief of Justice. 

Johan Falkberget
The Copperminer - Author - MP

Johan Falberget was born 1879 and started as a miner in his home town of Røros, ageold center of coppermining in Østerdalen. He wrote about the lives and conditions of miners and mountain farmers in a number of forcefull and colourfull stories - was editor of the Nybrott newspaper in Ålesund 1906-07 and Smaalenenes Socialdemokrat 1908 - member of the Norwegian parliament 1931-33 and has published several collections of novels, essays and folklore, poecy, popular rural novels, for instance Bør Børson (lately rewritten as a modern stage musical). Government salary from 1930. 

Hans Egede
The Vicar of Lofoten who Christened Greenland

Hans Egede called the Apostle of Greenland" 1686-1758 was vicar of Lofoten 1707-18 and the first missionary to visit Greenland and convert the eskimoes 1721-36. Appointed bishop of Greenland 1740 his activities had great importance tothe colonisation and developement of Greenland. 

Johanne Dybwad
Stage Genius - First Half of 20th Century

Johanne Dybwad born Juel in 1867 was the 1st wife of playwriting lawyer Vilhelm Dybwad who later married singer and cabaret master Bokken Lasson. Johanne Dybwad recognised as a true genius at her debut at the Nationale Scene in Bergen 1887. Came to the National Theatre in Oslo in 1899 and remained for the rest of her life. Specially remembered for her rendition of all the unforgettable females of Ibsen's plays. Government salary as from 1947. 

Olav Duun
The Poet from Namdalen

Olav Duun 1876-1939 worked as a teacher in Botne near Holmestrand, but in his writings Duun uses pictures of his birthplace Namdalen whose people and conditions he knew so well as and a superior describer of the spiritual, family and life in the nature he became regarded as one of the highest ranking poets of 20th century Norway. 

Johan Nordahl Brun
The Bishop who Wrote "The Bergen-Song"

Johan Nordahl Brun (1745-1816) who was vicar from 1774, then bishop in Bergen from from 1804, wrote the first national historic drama of any importance "Einer Tambeskielver", was one of the most important Norwegian psalmwriters and several of his songs are still popular: "For Norge Kjæmpers Fødeland", "Bor jeg på det høye fjell" and the Bergen-Song: "Jeg tok min nystemte cithar ihænde" [which is traditionally sung at the annual opening of The Bergen Festival Days - and which was was sung spontanously by the whole audience at the Festival opening ceremony this week in spite of the official program by "progressive" organisers having left the old song out of this year's Festival"]. Johan Nordal Brun was one of the few who took a friendly attitude toward Hans Nielsen Hauge, the lay preacher whose teachings had a big influence on the first Norwegian immigrants to the US. Bishop Brun was also opposed to the Norway's union with Sweden in 1814. 

The Bugge Family
The Scholars

Sophus Bugge 1833-1907 one of the great Norwegian philosophers, professor. Expert on old Norse litterature, the Rune-alphabet and studies of Nordic Legendary Gods and Heroes.

Alexander Bugge 1870-1929, son of SB, professor inhistory specialising in viking history and Norwegian maritime history.

Christian August Bugge 1853-1928, Dr in theology

Anders Bugge, 1889-?, son of CAB, professor in art history who published an important report on Norwegian Stave-churches.

Peter Olivarius Bugge 1764-1849 bishop, member of parliament and head of the Scientific Society (Det Kgl. Norske Videnskabernes Selskab).

Fredrik Molkte Bugge 1806-53, son of POB, Headmaster of Trondheim Cathedral School.

Fredrik Wilhelm Klump Bugge 1838-96, son of FMB, professor, bishop. 

Ole Bull
The Pioneering Violinist of Bergen

Ole Bull 1810-80, violinist and composer, founded the theater of Bergen: Den Nationale Scene (where Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson became the artistic leader) and then with enormous success went touring Europe from 1831 and the US from 1843. He wanted to create an ideal society in the US and in 1852 founded the colony "Oleana" or New Norway in northern Pennsylvania in cooperation with an American agricultural company. About 1,000 Norwegians settled there, but Ole Bull had to give up the scheme in 1853 as he had 'fallen in the hands of crooks' and lost his whole fortune. His best known composition is "Sæterjentens Søndag". 

Camilla Collett
Norway's First Lady of Letters

Camilla Collett 1813-95 was the sister of Henrik Wergeland (the nationalistic poet of whom children still sing "he's the one that invented the Day!" [May 17th - or National Day]). Camilla broke her heart in love for J.S. Welhaven (her brother's eternal competitor on the poetical stage) and married the litterary critic Peter Jonas Collett. His greatest contribution to our country was helping her along the thorny path as a female author. In 1854 she had the first Norwegian purposenovel "Amtmannens Døtre" published anonymously. After other titles and an autobiography, her later publishing were in favour of women's liberation. A most beautiful statue of her by Gustav Vigeland can be seen in Oslo where also one of the Palace's neighbouring streets is named after her. 

I. C. Dahl
First and Foremost Painter of Norwegian Landscapes

Iohan (Johan) Christian Dahl 1788-1857, is recognized as the founder of Norwegian national painting, the first to interpret Norwegian nature and the biggest Norwegian landscape painter of the century. ICD studied first in Copenhagen 1811-18, then went to Dresden in Germany, where he became a professor at the Academy and stayed for the rest of his life. His Norwegian landscapes which are the central part of his production, were created on the basis of five short summertrips to Norway. He worked incessantly to promote art in Norway and took the initiative that led to the foundation of Norway's National Gallery in Oslo and art associations in other major cities. His book on Norwegian stave-churches was the first propaganda for the preservation of Norwegian memorials of the past. 

Peter Dass
Vicar-Poet of North Norway

Peter Dass lived from 1647 to 1707 and was the vicar of Alstahaug in Nordland where he was authorical, patriarchal and legendary lord. His popular religious poetry was widely distributed and sung all over the country, even in Denmark. His main work "Nordlands Trompet" is a poetic desciption of Helgeland and Troms was first published in 1739 and became the literary "raison d'etre" for generations of the whole region. 

The Heiberg's
Painter, Businessman, Actress, Journalist, Stage Instructor, Poet, Lawyer, Professor, Industriaist

Painter: Astri Welhaven Heiberg b. 1883 In the Norwegian National Gallery

Businessman and patron of the arts Axel Heiberg 1848-1932 contributed massively to the polar expeditions of Nansen, Sverdrup and Amundsen. He was also the initiator of The Norwegian Forestry Association. Axel Heiberg Islands: 4 small islands near Cape Tseljuskin, Sibiria, discovered 1893 on the second of Fritjof Nansen's polar expeditions on board "Fram". Axel Heiberg Land, one of the Sverdrup Islands.

Actress Didrikke Heiberg (1863-1915) at Den Nationale Scene in Bergen 1882-1888. Married to: Journalist, author, stage instructor, dramatist, critic, poet essayist Gunnar Heiberg 1857-1929

Lawyer and politician Gustav Heiberg b. 1875 (a cousin of Gunnar Heiberg) council for the defense at the Court of Impeachment, social democrat.

Author, journalist and literary critic Hans Heiberg b. 1904, nephew of Gunnar Heiberg. Correspondent for Norwegian, Swedish and Danish newspapers in England, Ireland, Finland, China and Paris.

Professor Hjalmar Heiberg 1837-97, medical doctor, pathologist.

Painter Jean Heiberg b. 1884, the first Nordic artist that went to the atelier of Matisse and the most important Norwegian 'heir' to this important French artist. Represented at all the important art collections in Scandinavia.

Author and critic Johan Ludvig Heiberg 1791-1860 was Danish and introduced the French vaudeville into the Danish theater. His wife: Actress Johanne Louise Heiberg 1812-90 was the most important actress of the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen.

Author Peter Andreas Heiberg 1758-1841 was Danish and was exiled for his mockery of contemporary conditions in poetry, novels and comedies lived in Paris after 1799. Married to Thomasine Gyllembourg.

Industrialist Gerhard Heiberg former chairman of the board of Aker, of one of Norway's most important industrial corporations was president of the Organizing Committee of the 1994 Olympic Winter Games at Lillehammer. Olympic President Juan Antonio Samaranch at the close of these 17th Olympic Winter games - where Norway was awarded a total of 26 medals - announced to the world press: "These Games has been the best ever!". Heiberg is now Chairman of the Board of Directors of Den norske Bank AS and on the board of the Foundation Norway Export Council. 

Sonja Henie
Champion Figure Skater

Sonja Henie was born 1912 and reigned supreme in the Olympics and as World Champion in figure skating from 1927 to 1936 when she went to a film career in Hollywood. Married to American millionaire Dan Topping 1940, divorced him in 1945. Later married to Norwegian shipowner Nils Onstad. Sonja created the skating show "Holiday on Ice" which still tours the world every year manned with skating stars from amongst the sports championships.

Sonja and her husband built a lasting memorial in Oslo: the Henie Onstad Museum of Contemporary Art situated on the shores of Oslo Fjord at Høvik in the outskirts of Oslo. 

Henrik Ibsen
"Freud of the Theatre"

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) - poet and dramatist whose realistic dramas has been translated into all cultural languages of the world. His plays was characterized by a revolutionary dramatic technique in which the previous plot and the character of the persons in the play was gradually revealed as the play unfolded. The litterature about Henrik Ibsen himself, his works and ideas is overwhelming. Among his major productions: "Peer Gynt", "A doll's house", "Ghosts", "Pillars of Society", "An enemy of the people", "The wild duck", "Rosmersholm", "Hedda Gabler". His last work "When We Dead Awaken" (1899).

Read more about Ibsen by professor Bjørn Hemmer on:

Thor Heyerdahl

Thor Heyerdahl born 1914, zoologist, set out from Peru on a balsawood float in 1947 on the Kon Tiki Expedition with five others Norwegians (the radio operator was Knut Haugland famous WWII veteran of Heavy Water Sabotage at Rjukan, Norway that prevented Hitler's attempt to construct an atomic bomb) to drift 6000 kilometers westward across the Pacific to prove that Polynesian settlement had originated in South America.

The original Kon Tiki fleet is on exhibit next to the vikingships museum in Oslo, Norway. Thor Heyerdahl is still an active scientist.

Jonas Lie

Jonas Lie 1833-1908 master of family novels typically from the homes of Norwegian government officials on the middle of 19th century: "Familien på Gilje", "Kommandørens Døtre" etc.

His son was the author Erik Lie 1868-1943 whose son was:

Jonas Lie 1899-1945 who as SS-Standartenführer was the commander of the Norwegian nazi-organization "Germanske SS Norge" and head of the Norwegian nazi police during the WWII German occupation of Norway. During the liberation in May 1945 Jonas Lie entrenched himself with other nazi leaders and committed suicide.

Trygve Lie, not related, born 1896, was secretary of the Norwegian Labour Party 1919, Secretary of Justice 1935-39, then Secretary of Trade and Supplies. Left Norway 1940 together with the King and the government to take charge of Norwegian shipping from London. Norway's Secretary of State 1941-46. The United Nation's first Secretary General in 1946.

The Krag's

Hans Peter Schnitler Krag 1794-1855 clergyman and educator ("Vågåpresten") published "Tales of Gudbrandsdalen" and other historical works. Founder of the Eidsvollsgalleriet (1849).

His sons: Hans Hagerup Krag, 1829-1907 Norwegian Road Commissioner and cofounder of the Norwegian Tourist Association.

Ole Herman Krag, 1837-1916 officer and President of Kongsberg Ammunitionworks, Chief of Armory, designed together with gunmaker E. Jørgensen the famous sharpshooters' rifle "Krag-Jørgensen" model 1894 with an adjustable sight up to 2200 meter.

Other notable members of the Krag family are the lyricists brothers Thomas 1868-1913 and Vilhelm 1871-1933 and Thomas' son Erik b. 1902 professor of Russian litterature at the University of Oslo.

Alexander Lange Kielland

Alexander Lange Kielland 1849-1906 belonged to an old patrician merchants/shipping society in Stavanger where most of his best novels are based; ran Malde Brickwork 1872-84. Kielland 's first great novel Garman and Worse was published 1880. In addition to plays and many short stories, Kielland fought "den sure mørkemandsreligiøsiteten" [the frowning, negative religiousness], and was one of Norway's foremost man of letters, but in spite of backing from Bjørnson was never awarded the State Scolarship. Kielland was Mayor of Stavanger in 1891 and Chief Commissioner [fylkesmann] of Romsdal from 1902.

Pro-Swedish nobility

Løvenskiold, a Danish-Norwegian family emigrated from Germany about 1650 - the progenitor Herman Leopoldus d. 1696 came from Bremen to Christiania where he settled as a merchant. His son Herman Leopoldus 1677-1750 was made a baron in 1739 with the name Løvenskiold (Lion's Shield) and through marriage became the owner of large pieces of land (owned most of the present forest recreational park of Nordmarka which with Holmenkollen etc. constitutes a major part of the nation's capital Oslo's acreage) and the Fossum and Bolvik ironworks. (Fossum in Telemark was probably Norway's oldest ironworks when it was discontinued in 1860. The main mansion built 1811-18 is one of the county's finest examples of the first Empire style.)

Løvenskiold, Carl Otto 1839-1916 politician and landowner, originally naval officer, member of government 1884 and of parliament 1889-97, established two foundations to benefit university students.

Løvenskiold, Herman Leopold b. 1887 ornithologist and author of books on Norwegian birds.

Løvenskiold, Herman Severin 1815-70 Danish composer born in Norway.

Løvenskiold, Severin 1777-1856 lawyer and politician, county commissioner for Bratsberg, manager of the county of Larvik (Laurvigen) 1805-11. Took part as an eager member of the pro-Swedish group in the constitutional national assembly at Eidsvoll 1814, prime minister and head of the prime ministry in Stockholm 1828, fined in 1836 for not protesting the dissolution of the Norwegian parliament. Viceregent 1841-56. 

Masters of Timber and Ice!

Mathiesen, Haagen 1759-1842 landowner and businessman with extensive forestry and timber trade owned the large estate of Linderud in Østre Aker. Politically pro the French revolution and the alliance with Sweden. Settled in Denmark in 1826. His son:

Mathiesen, Haaken Christian 1829-1913 established together with Chr. Tostrup the large timber company of Tostrup & Mathiesen which he ran alone from 1892 and the following year also bought Eidsvold Verk (the former owner of E.V. was Carsten Anker who hosted the national constitutional assembly in 1814. The mansion at Eidsvold was taken over by the government in 1836 and made a national property in 1854) . His son:

Mathiesen, Christian Pierre b. 1870 landowner and politician ran Linderud as a model farm from 1893, Member of Parliament 1900-03, Secretary of Agriculture 1903-04.

Other Mathiesens: Mathiesen, Charles b. 1911. Olympic skating champion 1500m in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936, European champion 1938, world record holder 10,000m 1940. One of our best and most popular speed skaters.

Mathisen, Oscar b. 1888, speed skater, Norwegian champion 1907, 1909, 1912, 1913, 1915,, Eurpean champion 1909, 1912, 1914, world champion 1908, 1909, 1912, 1913, 1914. Held a total of 25 records. Went professional in 1925 and became the professional world champion in 1920 when he beat Bobby McLean in Oslo. His statue at the Frogner Ice Skating rink commemorates the Great Master. 

The Munch's

Munch, Edvard 1863-1944, this century's most important Nordic visual artist, worked as painter and graphic designer. Originally a student of Chr. Krogh and Bonnat, Krogh at an early stage developed his strong personal style already apparent in works from his youth like "Sick child" 1886 and "Spring" 1889. In the 90's he displayed a definite opposition to realistic painting in the cycle names "Frieze of Life", pictures from the modern soul life, incorporating "The Scream", "Madonna", "Ashes", "Puberty", "Death at the Sickbed", "Dance of Life" and others. Motifs from these paintings are found also in his early graphics: "Vampire", "Madonna", "Sick Girl", a series of depictions of man and woman as well as a series of portraits which in spiritual analysis are unequalled in graphic art: "Strindberg", "Obstfelder", "Helge Rode", "Gunnar Heiberg", "Drachmann" and others and the large self-portrait in litho from 1895. Until 1908, apart from summer vacations in Norway, Edvard Munch lived mostly abroad, particularly in Germany where he won admiration and became famous. From 1909 he lived for several years near Kragerø. From this period we have several portraits in full body size adding up to an imposing gallery of personalities, a series of landscapes painted with great strength in color and clarity and pointing to the work of the Aula (university main auditorium), Munch's great decorative work which he finished in 1915. In spite of the great opposition this caused, it still marks his final official acceptance in Norway, and places his gigantic work of a lifetime next to van Gogh. In the National Gallery we find 30 works by Munch. After his death his large collection of paintings, etchings, lithos, woodcuttings, drawing and sculptures were donated to the City of Oslo which now on display at The Munch Museum in Oslo, one of Norway's major cultural attraction.

Munch, Jacob 1776-1839, officer and portrait painter of patrician families during the Norwegian Empire period, represented by his large painting of the coronation of King Karl Johan which hangs in the Royal Palace in Oslo.

Munch, Johan Storm 1778-1832 clergyman and author, bishop of Christiansand from 1823. Poetry, drama, classic literature and translation of vikingsagas and articles on the old norse language. His son:

Munch, Andreas 1811-84, poet. Won the competition in 1837 to stage the first show at Norway's new National Theater with "King Skule's Youth" over Henrik Wergeland's "The Campbells". Editor of "The Constitutional" 1841-46. Large production of theatrical plays. 1860 allowed the first government paid artist's wage.

Munch, Peter Andreas 1810-63, historian, professor from 1841 and from 1846 also Chief Inspector of Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings. His is the greatest name in the Science of Norwegian history. In his gigantic main work "History of the Norwegian People", 8 volumes 1851-63 which covers the period up to 1397, he has given a broad in depth presentation of the older history of Norway based on his personal perusal of hitherto unedited, partly unknown spource material in collections at home and abroad (the Vatican's archives and others). Munch was also a man of letters and language (science of rune deciphering) archeologist and geographic scientist, influential and famous far beyond the borders of Norway. He was the central figure of Norwegian intellectual life during "the national breakthrough" in the middle of the 19th century. 

The Lunds
Painters and Politicians

Bernt Lund 1812-85 officer, painter and author, wrote "Trysil-Knut" in 1882 and represented at The national gallery in Oslo.

Diderich Hegermann Lund b. 1888 grandson of Bernt Lund, engineer and manager of Eeg-Henriksen Contractors, had to escape from Norway to Sweden during WWII, worked in England preparing the rebuilding of Finnmark and head of the Finnmark Reconstruction Bureau in Harstad from 1946.

Fredrik Macody Lund 1864-1943. historian whose main work Norway's economic and value systems during the Middle Ages (1909) as well as a geometric system to interpret and direct the completion of Nidaros Cathedral (Trondheim) was placed in house arrest in Farsund by the Germans in 1941.

Fredrik Stang Lund 1859-1922, lawyer and politician (Liberal) mayor of Oslo 1895, Secretary of labour of the Hagerup government 1895-98, Supreme Court judge 1898 - and his brother:

Jens Michael Lund, 1872-1934, lawyer (hr.adv.) chairman of the National Arbitrational Court (riksmeglingsmann) 1916-20, chairman of the Boycot-court from 1933

Hagbarth Lund b 1877, lawyer, politician and administrator, country concillor of Finnmark 1922, Vest-Agder 1928-47, member of Parliament 1913-24, had to escape to Sweden from Norway in 1944. Recovered over his administration June 7, 1945.

Hedvig Lund, 1824-88, painter, married to Bern Lund, educated in Stockholm and Düsseldorf, represented at The national gallery in Oslo.

Henrik Lund, 1879-1935, painter and graphic artist who was a pupil of Harriet Backer and inspired by Munch, Chr. Krogh, Karsten and the French impressionists soon found his personal, strong and elegant form, especially in portraits, not least in the graphic field, represented at The national gallery in Oslo.

Ivar Lund, 1871-1904, painter especially known for his motifs from Akerselva and the easterns (working class) parts of Oslo, represented at The national gallery in Oslo.

Jochum Brinch Lund 1744-1807, businessman in Farsund, built Husan in Farsund.

John Lund, 1842-1913, businessman and politician (Liberal) member of Parliament 1882-1900 president of the Lagting of parliament from 1893, published "Ole Bull" (1910)

Per Lund, b. 1878, journalist and politician (Liberal), lawyer 1908, mayor of Trondheim 1926-33, Secrretary of Finance 1928-31 and 1933-34, director of Internal Revenue Service from 1934. 

Julenissen and Julemannen
Nee Santa Claus

Today we have blended two widely different traditions into one extremely popular figure symbolizing the commercial and homily traditions for Christmas. Yes, the friendly guy who some claim lives in Greenland, some say in Lappland the sleighriding elderly, bearded gentleman bringing gifts to all the children on Christmas night whom we meet in the department store, on giftwrappings, greeting cards, at company parties throughout December +++

He (Julenissen) is actually on one hand the modern version of a thousand years old country tradition of the leprechaun, vette, nisse, that reigned in the dark nooks of every farm, the loft, stabbur and fjøsnisse. He belonged to the underworld of demons that you'd better handle with care, lest they'd ruin your harvest, cast evil spells and other ghastly displays of bad behavior but could protect you food, livestock, children etc. if you treated them so as to have them side with you. The tradition of serving a plate of julegraut with a lump of butter on top, placing the dish so nissen would easily find it in the stabbur or on the loft - that simply made good sense. Call it medieval insurance, if you like.

The other guy (Julemannen) was a Christian Saint named Saint Nicholaus who was introduced in Scandinavia not long before Reformation. In Denmark they actually consecrated some 30 churches in his time before Luther struck, Reformation hit and Saints were banned. Saint Nicklas however, made it over the pond and became a really bug hit in America. And following in the traditions exported back from the "land of promises" to the Norwegian, Danish and Swedish shores the smiling Santa Claus came to supplement and update our Scandinavian Christmas traditions, what with extravagant, manufactured Christmas gifts in exchange for the homespun, carved or knitted little niceties that was put under the Christmas tree 100 years ago, usually with a small handwritten note in verse.

Today we still sing "På loftet sitter nissen med sin julegrøt" and all the children also know the song about Rudolf the rednosed reindeer, but not all of the are aware that they are


The Mustad's

Ole Hovelsen MUSTAD 1810-84 founded in 1832 a steelrolling mill for the production of wire and nails at Vardal near Gjøvik.

His son Hans MUSTAD 1837-1918 entered his father's company adding several factories around Norway and major European countries that grew to become the world's largest manufacturer of fishing hooks, one of the leading producers of horseshoenails etc. Also started manufacturing margarine in Norway and Sweden. After his death the company was continued by his sons:

Ole MUSTAD, born Aug 7, 1870 Clarin MUSTAD, born Nov 22, 1871 Halfdan MUSTAD, born June 9, 1874 Wilhelm MUSTAD, born Feb 8, 1877 and Christian MUSTAD born Dec 26, 1878

Read more about today's hooks and the company history at: 

The Nansen's
The skiing Nobel Peace Prize winner of Northpole fame and more!

Fridtjof NANSEN 1861-1930, was an associate curator of zoology at the Bergen Museum 1882, dcor of philosophy 1888 and undertook the same year an expedition on ski across Innlandsisen, the worlds largest gletcher which covers almost entirely the largest island in the world, Greenland. At it's most, the ice is 3 km deep. Nansen crossed the ice from the east in 42 days to the westcoast where the expedition camped with the eskimos during the winter 1888-9. Nansen then worked as a curator at the zoological museum in Chr.a. 1889-93. From 1883 to 1896 Nansen led expeditions with his polar exploration vessel "Fram" (see more below) from the coast of Siberia towards the North Pole. His plan was to let the ship drift with ocean currents across the Pole to Greenland. As the currents let "Fram" drift on a more southerns course than expected, Nansen accompagnied by Hjalmar JOHANSEN in 1895 attempted to reach the North Pole by dogsleigh and kayaks. They had to turn around at 86 degrees, 14 seconds North - the most Northers point reached by anyone. After having spent the winter on Frantz Josef's Land they teamed up with the British polar scientist who took them to Vardø on board his vessel. In the meantime "Fram" commanded by Otto Sverdrup had reached Spitsbergen.

In 1897 Nansen was a professor of zoology at the University, from 1908 in oceanography during which time he conducted a series of studies in the Norwegian Sea.

In 1905 - when the Union between Norway and Sweden was beeing dissolved - Nansen wrote several articles (and published a series of brochures) in the world press in which he explained the postion of the Norwegian government and later took part in several conferences that led to the recognition of various foreign countries of the dissolving of the Union.

In 1906 to 1908 Nansen was Norway's first ambassador to Britain.

During WWI Nansen chaired talks with the US conserning supplies of food and raw materials to Norway. After the war, on the request of the League of Nations, Nansen organized the repatriation of approx. 450,000 prisoners of war still remaining in Europe and Russia.

During the famine in the Volga vally in 1921, Nansen was the chief initiator in a largescale aid-operation wich came to be highly respected by the people of Russia (where he was appointed an honorary citizen of the Moscow Soviet). In 1922 Nansen took the initiative of a large exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey.

Nansen received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922.

Already in 1914 Nansen had spoken for Norway's defence and in 1925 he joined in the etsablishment of Fedrelandslaget (The National League). Nansen, however, did not side with any one political party. From 1920 till hus death Nansen represented Norway at the meetings of the League of Nations.

Nansen wrote masterfully about his travels, partly illustrated by his personal sketches and drawings. His articles and speaches were published in Norway in 1942 and became some of the most popular books during the German occupation of Norway in WWII.

"The Fridtjof Nansen Foundation To The Furthering Of Science" was established on the initiative of W C Brøgger (the first rector of the University of Oslo 1907-11 and President of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences 1815-23) in memory of Nansen's successful return from the Pole consisting of several of Norways more important scientific funds based on private contributions increased by Parliamentary grants from the income of State Lotteries etc.

"Nansen Aid To People Without Citizenship" was establish on the initiative of Odd NANSEN in 1937 as an apolitical institution with the aim of giving additional support to "The Nansen Office" to aid the hundreds of thousans who at the end of WWI was left without citizenship and an inhuman way of life. Besides helping with the aid of collected funds, food and clothing, work began by informative action to establish a judicially and economically responsible solution of the problem and and ad hoc protection of these people against their treatment in conflict with international law. As their first project "Nansen Aid To People Without Citizenship" made a great effort to assist the 10,000 refugees without citizenship in Vienna and obtained - after Anschluss (Hitler's joining of Austria to Germany on March 13, 1938) and the German takeover in Prague on March 13, 1939 - immigration permits to Norway for about 500 refugees from Central Europe. After the German occupation of Norway in April 1940 this organization aided the committee for aid and repatriation of refugees within Norway starting in May 1940 a fundraising to aid wartorned areas in Norway untill it was banned by the Nazi police in 1942. The work was continued after the liberation of Norway in 1945.

"The Nansen Office" was an international office established in 1931 by The League of Nations to complete Nansens's work for the refugees from Russia, Armenia and Turkey, later also Austria, Czekoslovakia. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1938, after which is was dissolved and the activities transferred to a supreme commission.

"The Nansen School" opened in Lillehammer in 1939 to train young people over 18 from all social classes 6 month courses to understand humanistic values in fulfilling tasks in society. Shut down by the Germans during WWII and reopened in 1946.

Eva NANSEN, neé Sars 1858-1907, married to Fridtjof NANSEN, ballad singer, gave several conserts in major Scandinavian cities. ---- Odd NANSEN born 1901, son of Fridtjof and Eva NANSEN. Architect (large building projects in Oslo) who took part in humanistic projects before WWII, but was arrested by the Germans and held as hostage in various Germans jails 1942-43 when he was transferred to the consentrationcamp Sachsenhausen in Germany till liberated by the Swedish count Folke Bernadotte (following Bernadotte's trade with Himmler to buy out Scandinavian prisioners in March 1945). Headed the national fundraising effort Nasjonalhjelpen (the rebuilding fund) in 1945.

FRAM - polar exploration vessel, 3-masted schooner built expressly for arctic purposes by Colin Archer (famous Norwegian yacht designer) in 1892, LOA 39 meter, with 11 m deplacement 900 tons. 200 HP auxilliary steam engine originally built for coal/oil. FRAM was first used in the Arctic by NANSEN 1893-96 then by SVERDRUP 1898-1902 and finally by Roald Amundsen in the Antarctic 1910-11 on Amundsen's expedition where he conquered the South Pole. The ship was fully restored after damages inflicted in the Antarctic and put on display in the FRAM Building at Bygdøy in Oslo, where next to the Viking Ships she and the balsa fleet "Kon Tiki" used by Heyerdahl on his expedition across the Pacific to Easter Island, is the most visited tourist attraction in Oslo.

COLIN ARCHER, 1832-1921, Norwegian designer and boatbuilder, born in Larvik, Vestfold. After a short stay in California and Hawaii CA travelled in 1850 to Australia where he remained till 1862 when he returned to his birthplace in Norway establishing himself as a designer and boatbuilder. In the following years CA won nationwide fame for his improved version of the Norwegian pilotboats (losskøyter), for his rescueboats (redningsskøyter) as well as fishing and pleasureboats and became one of the founders of "Norsk Selskab til Skibbrudnes Redning" (The Norwegian Association for the Rescue of Shipwrecked). As the designer and builder of the polar vessel FRAM (1892) Colin Archer's name will for ever be remembered in connection with the North Pole expedition of Nansen and the Polar expeditions of Otto Sverdrup and Roald Amundsen. 

Hans Nielsen Hauge
Norwegian freethinker

Hans Nielsen Hauge 1771-1824, Norwegian freethinker predicant, born on the Hauge farm in Tune, Østfold was the son of godfearing and enlightened farmpeople. Hans Christian Hauge is the single person who has had the greatest influence on Norwegian churchlife since the Reformation.

In 1756 he had a religious experience and felt called upon by God to convert people to the Lord, wrote two books on "Rules for living evangelic" and "Thoughts on the evil ways of the world" which he published in Christiania the same year. Next year he started travelling all over Norway, crisscrossing the entire country up to Tromsø through 1804, talking in private assemblies and maintaining an extensive series of publishing which were often reprinted and obtained a wide circulation. Hauge was arrested several times for breaking the Konventikkelplakaten [A regulation introduced in 1741 making private religious assemblies illegal if not expressly permitted by the local clergy. This regulation was abolished in 1842]. Hauge was usually released after a few days or weeks. Besides his religious activity, Hauge had an unusual sense of enterprise - he regarded idleness as one of the important sins that any Christian should avoid - and carried himself a load of knitware which he sold along the road besides taking part in the daily work at the farms where he stayed. On his initiative, one of his friend started a printing shop and another a paper mill. In 1801 he took citizenship in Bergen and aiming to secure a sound economic basis for his activities, he started an extensive trade on Nordland. This made the authorities regard his combination of religion and business as an attempt to enrich himself "under the guise of Sanctity". Bishop Peder Hansen of Kristiansand and others complained to the government in Copenhagen about the increasing distrust in the established authorities and the official clergy that was caused by Hauge's teaching.

Hans Christian Hauge was still widely regarded as a dreamer, but there is no doubt that his character and motives was pure and that his teaching aimed only at conversion and sanctification. He was an orthodox Lutheran who stressed the importance of God's words for the life of Christians and of obeying God's rules much stronger than orthodox Lutherans had previously done. Hauges maintained that Belief without Deeds were Death! He separates himself from the pietists by his high regard for worldly vocational work.

>From "Uncle Rasmus" *) page 46... : "During the time of which we are now speaking, Norway, and particularly the southwest coast district contained a large number of semi-dissenters from the established church, the so-called Haugians or Readers, followers of Hans Nielson Hauge, a refermer born in Smaalenene, in Norway, April 3, 1771. Though he had only a common peasant's education he began to preach in 1795. He protested against the rationalism and secularization then prevalent among the clergy of Norway. He advocated the right of laymen to preach, and laid special stress upon the spiritual priesthood of all believers, while he was on the other hand charged with the extravagant undervaluation of the educated ministry, of ordination, and of the cermonies adopted by the state church. As indicated, his zeal secured him many followers, particularly among the peasants, who did not, however, like the Quakers, withdraw from the established church. Still there were looked upon with disfavor by the governing class, and their leader, Hans Nielson Hauge, was imprisoned from 1804 to 1814. He died March 29 1824. It will be readily seen that the Haugians looked upon their leader as a martyr, and this fact intensified the strained relation existing between the Haugians and the civil and religious rulers of the kingom.

It may be said without the least exaggeration that many of the government officials, not only those who had charge of secular affairs, but also the servants of the church, were inclined to be arbitrary and overbearing, and all dissenters from the Lutheran church, which was the state religion, were more or less persecuted by those in authority. The treatment accorded to Hans Nielson Hauge is evidence of this. Although he was guilty of no crime known to the code of morality, and although he was one of the most earnest and sincere Christians in all the land, he, like John Bunyan in England, was made to languish for 10 long years within the wall of a prision, simply because he held profound religious views and insisted on practising them. All the followers of Hauge were made to feel more or less the keen edge of scorn from their superiors. But the persecution of the Quakers is particularly a dark chapter in the modern ecclesiastical history of Norway. On a complaint of the state priest, the sheriff would come and take the children by force from Quaker families and bring them to the priest to be baptized. People were fined for not going to the holy communion. Parents were compelled to have their children confirmed, and even the dead were exhumed from their graves in order that they might be buried according to the Lutheran ritual. These cruel facts are perfectly authenticated, and there is not a shadow of doubt that this disgraceful intolerance on the part of the officials in Norway, as in the case of the Huguenots in France and the Puritans in England, was one of the main causes of the first large exodus from Norway to the United States of America. The very fact that Norwegian emigration began in Stavanger county, and that the emigrants were dissenters from the established church, is conslusive proof of the correctness of this view. Here it was that Lars Larson, Elias Tastad and Thomas and Metta Hille had founded the Quaker society. In the city of Stavanger and in the adjoining county many had been converted to the Quaker doctrine, and there were no Quakers in Norway outside of Stavanger county. As in all lands and times, the beginning of emigration can often be traced to religious intolerance and persecution. Did not France lose half a million of her most desirable citizens on account of the persecution of the Huguenots? Did not the Huguenots flee to Switzerland, Holland, England and to America? Wherever they settled they brought with them art and manufacture and the refinements of civilization, and so they enriched their adopted countries. And what of the pilgrim fathers (and mothers) who landed at Plymouth in 1620 and founded the first settlement in New England? Were they not men (and women) of strong minds, good judgement, and sterling character, and did they not rigidly conform their lives to their principles? (Well Rasmus, except for the occasional only semi-tolerant witch hunt. But who's perfect.) Persecution led them to emigrate and in New England they embodied their principles in a framework of government, on which, as a most stable foundation, our own great American republic has been built up. History repeats itself in Norway in the early years of this century (1800's), and the sloop, Restuarationen, of which we are soon to speak, left Norway in 1825, because Quakers were not permitted to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. The story of William Penn is repeated in Norway. "

*) "Uncle Rasmus" is Rasmus B. Anderson who was a famous Norwegian-American in the last century. He was my great grandmother's younger brother. He was occupied the first chair in Scandinavian Language in America at the University of Wisconsin. At one point he was ambassador to Denmark. He promoted all things Norwegian- American and took sides in every controversy in the last century. He was a real character. He wrote and edited several books. The one I am quoting is a very rare book he wrote in 1895 on Norwegian immigration from 1821 to 1840. This eminent book is available from Norway-List. Send OFFLINE(!) request to Debbie Haughland Chan []

Norway-Lister Neil Hofland has a copy of "The Hauge Movement in America" published by The Hauge Inner Mission Federation in 1941. 

Knute Nelson
First US Senator of Norwegian blood

Knute Nelson 1843-1923, was born in Evanger sogn, Voss, Hordaland, Norway and came to the US in 1849, took part in the Civil War 1861-64, was wounded and taken prisoner. After the war, he studied legal science becoming a solicitor in 1867 and a member of the legislative assembly of Wisconsin 1868-69. In 1871 Knute Nelson moved to Alexandria, Minnesota serving as DA for Douglas County 1872-74 and as a member of the Minnesota Senate 1875-78. In the term 1883-89 Nelson was a member of the House of Representatives belonging to the Republican Party. In 1892 he was elected Governor of Minnesota, and was reelected for another term in 1894. From 1895 till his death he was a member of the the United States' Senate. Knute Nelson was the first Norwegian-American playing a significant role in US politics; even if he was a devout republican, he none the less often took an independent stance. He was member of important committees and influenced questions of both home and foreign policy. 

Nielsen or Nilsen?

AMALDUS Nielsen, 1838-1932: the open air painter admired especially for his pictures of islands and and coastal scenes from Sørlandet, pupil of Gude from the Karlruhe-school. Look for him at the National Gallery in Oslo.

LAILA SCHOU Nilsen, born 1919 top athlete in skating, skiing and tennis. National champion in women's speed skating 1935, 1937, 1939, 1940 and World champion 1937 and 1938. At the 1936 Winter Olympics, the 16 year old Laila won gold in downhill skiing and bronze in combined downhill and slalom. Champion in slalom 1939 and champion of slalom and combined in 1940. In tennis Laila won several championships in both single, double and mixed. She was also a national champon in handball and played on the national team several times. Laila has a total of more than 100 national chapionships, has been awarded 7 'Kongepokal' (The King's Cup) and is the only woman who has been awarded the Egeberg Honorary Award (1936). Laila has also managed her private skifactory. In 1969 she was elected vice president of the Norwegian Athletic Association. "Hurra for Laila!" I say.

ANTHON Bernhard Elias Nilsen, 1855-1936, businessman, author and Stortingsmann (member of the Norwegian Parliament). His company was exporters of all kinds of lumber manufacture (chemical pulp, wood pulp, paper, cardboard, carton, wallboard, furniturecomponents, doors, wallsections etc.) and canned goods, operating paper mill, packing factories and an insurance company. Anthon B. was also the writer/publisher of enormously popular collections of shortstories from a fictitious small coastal town "Trangvig" under the pseudonym Elias Kræmmer (Elias the tradesman and had comedies shown at the National Theatre. His collected works were republished in 12 volumes in 1949. 

Wilhelm Nygaard
Publishing Icon

William Martin Nygaard 1865-1952, after studying languages and working in a bookstore the son of school headmaster Marius N in 1888 teamed up with friend Th. Lambrechts to buy H. Aschehoug & Co, publishers and bookstore. In 1900 William continued as sole proprietor, and having started the Norwegian Publishers Association in 1895. William played an important role in Norwegian publishing, settling the system of contracts, Norway's membership of the Bern Convention, fighting the Danish publishing houses, shaping the laws protecting authors' rights, serving in Oslo City Council and as member of the Parliament and as chairman of the National Theatre. Always fighting for authors' rights, William Nygaard would have nodded in in approval if he had lived to see his son William who took over the house and was a primary force in publishing the "Satanic Verses" the made Iran's Khomeini issue the "fatwa" death sentence for Salman Rushdie. This resulted in an assasination attempt on Nygaard outside his Oslo home i 1993 that has never been fully cleared up, but all clues so far point to the Iranian authorities. William Nygaard luckily survived and in 1998 he received the Torgny Segerstedt Award by the Swedish- Norwegian Cultural Institute established in memory of Torgny Segerstedt, Swedens foremost nazi opponent and a primary force in the movement to help Norway liberation efforts during WWII.

Aschehoug and Gyldendal, the two major publishing houses of Norway, today join forces in Kunskapsforlaget which is the publisher of most major encyclopedias and dictionaries in Norway. 

Aksel Sandemose
"Father of the "Law of Jante"

Aksel whose father was a Dane and his mother a Norwegian, was born in 1899 and raised in the town of Nykøbing in Jutland, Denmark. After a debut in 1923 (Fortællinger fra Labrador[Labrador Tales]), Ross Dane (about pioneers in Alberta) 1928, Sandemose moved to Norway where his first book in Norwegian "En sjømann går i land" came in 1931 as the first book about the young man, Esben Arnakke from Jante, who is in constant search of himself. In "En flyktning krysser sitt spor" [A fugitive crosses his own trail], 1933, which is one of the most creative novels of the period, we get the story of Esben Arnakkes youth in the small town Jante and this is the book where Sandemose formulates "The Law of Jante" which has since become a basic idea within social psychology:

1. Du skal ikke tro du er noe. 2. Du skal ikke tro du er like meget som os. 3. Du skal ikke tro du er klokere enn oss. 4. Du skal ikke innbille deg at du er bedre enn oss. 5. Du skal ikke tro at du vet mer enn oss. 6. Du skal ikke tro at du er mer enn oss. 7. Du skal ikke tro at du duger til noe. 8. Du skal ikke le av oss. 9. Du skal ikke tro at noen bryr seg om deg. 10. Du skal ikke tro du kan lære oss noe.

I actually don't know if the book has been published in English and beg to excuse if this is the case and I violate an authorized translation of the "Law of Jante" - but just so that you can see what it's about :-) ...

1. You shall not believe you are anything. 2. You shall not believe you are as much as we. 3. You shall not believe you are smarter than us. 4. You shall not fancy yourself better than us. 5. You shall not believe that you know more than us. 6. You shall not believe that you are more than us. 7. You shall not believe that you are good at anything. 8. You shall not laugh at us. 9. You shall not believe that anybody cares about you. 10. You shall not believe that you can teach us anything.

During W.W.II Sandemose lived as a fugitive in Sweden and after the war settled in Kjørkelvik in Søndeled, a picturesque little village in the south coast of Norway, publishing series of articles, memoirs and more novels and tales, some of which were published after his death in 1965.

"The Law of Jante" for which Sandemose has gained immortality, has recently been rewritten in the 'opposite' and is used by many as a source of motivation(!) 

Anders Sandvig
Recreated the Farms your Ancestors Left

Anders Sandvig, 1862-1950, dentist and conservationist was borne in Bud in Romsdal. Learned first the trade of goldsmith, later dentistry and studies in Berlin. Settled in Lillehammer 1885 where he would remain the rest of his life. A pioneer in his field of dentistry, gold medal winner in London and author of a dentist newsletter, Sandvig became famous for his establishment of De Sandvigske Samlinger [The Sandvig Collections] at Maihaugen in Lillehammer, his leadership in creating local history museums around the country and the publishing of several book about old Norwegian farm culture, farm buildings and history.

De Sandvigske Samlinger is a cultural museum for Gudbrandsdalen originally based on the private collection of old buildings that Sandvig had secured up and down the valley. Today the collection displays about 100 old buildings especially from the period 1500-1850. The Garmo church, originally built in the first half of 11th century, rebuilt in 1730, torn down in 1882 and recreated on Maihaugen in 1921, is one of the oldest stave churches in Norway. Bjørnstadgården is a large farm from Gudbrandsdalen from the 1700s with a total of 26 houses grouped around two farmyards. Øygarden from Skjåk with it's 19 buildings shows what a mountain farm looked like. In 1927 Sandvig opened a collection of 60 workshops from around the country. In 1937 the 'seter'-facility was opened around 4 small lakes on the top of the Maihaugen hill. The collection is operated today as a separate foundation funded by state, local and private sponsors.

Besides Norsk Folkemuseum at Bygdøy, Oslo, Maihaugen is the most important museum of cultural history in the field of Norwegian farm life. 

Per Sivle
The People's Poet from Voss

The poet Per Sivle was born in Aurland in 1857, but grew up at Vossestrand with an anonymous debut in 1878 of some religious lyrics which did not create much interest. He then worked as a journalist and editor in Drammen and Kristiania. In 1887 he published "Vossa-stubba", in 1894 "Nye Vossa-stubbar" and in 1895 "Sivle-stubbar" - collections of humorous shortstories courageously written wholly or partly in the local dialect of Voss. His fame as a poet of the people is however mainly due to his historical and political 'kvad' [songs] where in a manly and stylistically confident petical style Sivle presents the characters and events of bygone days as inspiration or warning in the political conflict of the time: the union with Sweden. Sivle used both Norwegian languages, but is most recognized for his works in nynorsk. In 1902 Parliament gave him an author's grant, but revoked it in 1904. His disappointment combined with illness and a broken body and mind led to dispair and Per Sivle took his own life in 1904. 

Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Quisling
The Man who became a Synonym!

Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Quisling 1887-1945, Norwegian officer and politician, served on the general staff 1916-23, military attaché in Petrograd, Russia 1918-19, Helsinki, Finland 1919-21. Took part as the closest assistant to Fridtjof Nansen in the humanitarian aid operations in Russia, Asia Minor and the Balkans 1922-26, at the Norwegian Legation in Moscow 1927-29. Resigned as officer in 1923 and became unsalaried major of the reserve in 1931. In his book "Russia and we", 1930, he characterized bolshevism as a plot against Nordic inspired civilization. Ran for the Farmer's Party in the 1930 elections and served as Secretary of Defense 1931-33. Founded Nasjonal Samling [National Unity, the Norwegian version of the National Socialist [Nazi] Party] in 1933 for which he was appointed the absolute 'Fører' (same as Hitler's title 'Führer'). From 1936 Q. maintained close relation with Alfred Rosenberg, Hitler's manager of party-political foreign affairs.

At the outbreak of W.W.II, Q. started negotiations with German leaders with a view of having Norway occupied by the Germans under a nazi government. As the Germans occupied Oslo on April 9th, 1940, Quisling appointed himself as prime minister and recalled the order for mobilization that had been issued by the legal government of Norway. Six days later his 'government' had to step aside for the Administrative Council established by the Germans in cooperation with the Norwegian Supreme Court. Quisling then made personal appeals to Hitler to regain power. When in September 1940 Hitler's Reichkommissar Terboven dismissed the Administrative Council and appointed 13 "kommissarian ministers", 10 of these were nazis directly under the command of Quisling who himself in 1942 was appointed "Ministerpresident". Q however did not succeed in having Terboven removed so he could himself be the "Reichskommissar". He did however, issue a command that transferred the former powers of the King and Parliament to him personally and introduced even sharper measures than the Germans deemed necessary. Q. was the driving force behind the oppression of schools and church and personally took part in the organization of forced labor, deportation of Jews and enlistment of Norwegians troops to German SS Regiments deployed to Eastern front in Russia.

After the German capitulation in May 1945, gave himself up to the police. In September 1945 the Norwegian District Court sentenced him to death for high treason. The Supreme Court refused his appeal and on October 24th, 1945 Quisling was executed before a firing squad at Akershus Festning in Oslo.

Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary: quis-ling\'kwiz-lin\ n. TRAITOR, COLLABORATOR, quisling-ism \lin-i-zem\ n.

Famous caricature by Ragnvald Blix working under the pseudonym Stig Höök in the Swedish anti-nazi newspaper "Göteborg Handels- och Sjöfartstidning" shows Qusling arriving at Hitler's headquarter in 1943 with his right hand raised in Nazi salute saying: "I am Quisling!". Guard replies: "Yes, Sir. But what's your name?" 

Navigators of Oceans and Skies

Petter Olsen owned sailing ships based in the small town of Hvitsten, just north of Moss in the Oslo Fjord.

His son Fred. [Thomas Fredrik] Olsen 1857-1933 was himself a seaman and had captained several of his father's vessels when in 1885 he became a partner in the shipowner business, started his own limited company and moved to Oslo in 1899. After a few years he ran an important business with regular routes in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea and built up his corporation through boy-ups and mergers. From 1916 the company name was Fred. Olsen & Co. At Freds death in 1933 the company had 60 vessels and owned the majority share of Akers Shipbuilders in Oslo.

Now Fred's son Rudolf took over and in 1935 started DNL (Det norske luftfartsselskap) which was later to become the Norwegian part of SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System). Fred. Olsen Flyselskap - the company's own airline was also established in the thirties. By 1970 they ran regular sailings on Germany, Holland, Belgium, England, France, Portugal, the Mediterranean, Marocco and the Canary Islands and were part owners of Widerøes Flyveselskap. Rudolf's son Fred is now heading the company which has extended it's affairs into offshore oil, industry (owners of Timex and other corporations) and tourism (Fred Olsen owns the major part of Gomera - one of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic just off the northwestern corner of Africa). 

Olaf Rye
The General who refused the Swedes in 1814

Olaf Rye 1791-1849 was a Norwegian lieutenant (and skijumper!) who in 1814 - when Norway undefeated was taken over by Sweden after Denmark's policies in the Napoleonic wars had failed - refused to swear allegiance to the Swedish king and joined the Danish Army. Olaf Rye won fame during his brilliant conduct as Brigade Commander at Nybøl and Dybbøl in South Jutland during the war between Denmark and Prussia in 1848 and was appointed to Major-general in 1849. He fell in the defense of Fredericia (Funen, Denmark) in 1849 and the famous painting of "General Rye on horseback at Fredericia" belong to the most cherished memorabilia of the Danish national history.

Olaf's brother was Johan Henrik Rye, 1787-1868, Norwegian government official and politician, member of the Storting 1836-45, President of the Storting 1836-37.

Helge Ingstad (1899-2001)
The only Norwegian of our time who forced history to be rewritten died this week!

The lawyer, scientist and author Helge Marcus Ingstad (born in Meråker, Trøndelag in 1899) died in Oslo March 29th 2001 at the age of 101 and will have a State Funeral. Having lived as a trapper in the Canadian northwest 1926-30, he was appointed District Governor of the Norwegian occupied Greenland ("Eirik Raudes Land") 1932-33, but after Norway lost the legal case against Denmark for the International Court in Hague, he was District Governor of Svalbard until 1935. 1936-38 was spent with the apaches  hunting for the lost tribe of Geronimo in New Mexico and Arizona. After WWII he and his archeologist wife Anne Stine returned to Greenland to study the remains of the Viking settlers. In the 1960s, following a series of scientifically planned excursions to the eastern coast of Canada , they succeeded in locating the Viking settlement at L'Anse Aux Meadows in northern Newfoundland. Using "C-14" analysis the Ingstad's dated the remains to about AD 1.000, thus supplying scientific proof of the legendary claims that Norwegians discovered America 500 years before Columbus.
Only two months ago Helge Ingstad was present at the Viking Ships museum at Bygdøy, Oslo for the unveiling of a monument of himself and his wife Anne Stine Ingstad. Helge Ingstad was honorary doctor of the University of Oslo and several foreign universities, and one of only a handful of living Norwegians (among the Thor Heyerdahl of Kon Tiki fame) to have been awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav.
Ingstad published several books (many translated to foreign languages) and was, next to Hamsun, the bestselling author of his publisher Gyldendal:
1931: Pelsjegerliv - 1935: Øst for den store bre - 1939: Apache-indianerne. Jakten på den tapte stamme - 1941: Klondyke-Bill - 1948: the Svalbardbook Landet med de kalde kyster - 1951: Nunamiut -  blant Alaskas innlandseskimoer -  1959:  Landet under Leidarstjernen - 1965: Vesterveg til Vinland - 1985:  The Norse Discovery of America - 1987: Lunamiut Stories - 1991:  The Viking Discovery of America.

(Sources: Aschehoug Konversasjonsleksikon 1974, Arvid Bryne in Dagbladet 03-30-01.) 

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