In September 1941, Ragnhild Vogt Hauge joined Nasjonal Samling (NS), the Norwegian Nazi party. She described her reasons in a newspaper article in December 1943 (13). She wrote that she had always remained a convinced socialist, but could not join any of the socialist parties, since they were anti-Christian. She underscored that she was opposed to politics because of the corrupted party system, and that she had become aware of NS only on 9 April 1940, when her political awareness was stirred. She portrayed Quisling as a virtual saviour: 'When the fatherland was in the gravest peril and a man came forward who claimed to be able to save the country, the least I could do was to find out who he was and what he had to offer. Then I learned that in spite of all defamation of his character, this man is an idealist and a genius, that his programme concurred with the ideas that I have held since entering adulthood, and that through NS our fatherland could be free and independent again.'
The article was part of a series that was printed in a number of newspapers in the years 1943–44. Here, party members described their path into NS. We have reviewed the first 35 contributions in Aftenposten from November 1943 to January 1944. Vogt Hauge's contribution was number 18 in a series that started with Marie Hamsun. Their length and written style varied considerably. Most likely, the articles were penned by the contributors themselves. Their reasons for joining NS varied, most authors citing multiple reasons; the inability of capitalism to solve the problems of the day or an intense anti-bolshevist attitude were the most common, along with a deep distrust of the established parties and great admiration for Quisling. Some stated anti-Semitic views, and about as many voiced their Christian faith.
The decision to join NS had not been easy for her. The first time she heard an NS presentation in the autumn of 1940 she had gone to the lecturer accusing him of all the evil things NS was doing. The answer was: 'When the programme is good and the will is there, you should help us implement it in the right manner.' Another year went by before she joined. The decisive factor was that her husband joined the party: 'So when my husband left with the first Norwegian legion to fight against bolshevism, I was exposed to such an abominable pressure from Christian quarters and such a coldness from my friends and relatives, that it was impossible for me to belong to that section of the Norwegian people who engage in pressure, coldness and hatred.'
Most likely, her account of the experience of coldness on the part of relatives and friends is true. Her brother Fredrik (1892–1970) was rector at the Norwegian College of Technology, but had resigned in 1941 in protest against the occupation. Johan (1900–91) was arrested the same year and imprisoned at Grini, and Jørgen (1900–72), who was a communist, was also arrested and spent the remaining war years in prisons and prison camps. Her sister Margit (1897–1975) had been married to the resistance fighter Martin Linge (1894–1941) (2), who was killed in a battle against German forces in 1941, the same year Ragnhild joined NS.
During the legal purge after the war, questions were raised as to whether it had been her husband who had brought her into the NS movement. This was not so, she maintained. He had been a member from October 1940 until November 1943, and advised her against joining to be spared the unpleasantness associated with it. On numerous occasions, he had suggested that she withdraw, but she was convinced that she would be in a better position to help others by remaining a member. For example, she made an effort to help her brother Jørgen, who was at risk of deportation to Germany in September 1944. And she remained a member until her withdrawal in April 1945 (14).