Source: Aftenposten English Edition
A Norwegian newspaper has disclosed the only known interview given by Maria Quisling after the execution of her husband, Vidkun Quisling, the man whose name has become synonymous with national treason. |
The interview was begun with the American journalist Ron Laytner for the American magazine Reader's Digest in 1970. It was never printed.
Laytner remembers having had the help of Vidkun Quisling biographer Ralph Hewins in forming the questions, but was forced to abandon the project while awaiting answers from Maria. Now the newspaper Telemarksavisa has printed the interview after having seen Quisling's widow's answers via her trustee and executor, Finn Thrana.
Maria Quisling explained her husband's life and background, and told a bit about their life together. She said her husband had been a brave man who was ready and willing to sacrifice his life for his people.
"I believe my husband is a martyr and not a traitor. He loved his country and his people more than his own life," Maria Quisling said in the Telemarksavisa report.
She also quoted a letter Vidkun Quisling wrote to his brother just ten days before his execution.
"It is strange and tragic that it should go like this. But it surely has its deeper meaning. It must have, when I, who have worked and fought so hard for Norway's cause, should suffer such frighteningly unjust treatment."
Laytner told Telemarksavisa that he remembered his meeting with Maria Quisling, and that she had been protected by a group of personal guards.
"They were tough guys, I understood they were ex-storm troopers. Maria Quisling must have been very vulnerable, even then," Laytner told Telemarksavisa.
He delivered the questions and remembers vividly the sight that met his eyes when he first entered the apartment - Quisling and Hitler's portraits side by side on the wall, with a burning candle on a kind of altar under each picture.