On this day Josef Terboven, one of the most notorious Nazis, died. For many years he held the high function of “Reichskomissar” for Norway, where he was virtually a dictator during the German occupation. Terboven was one of the early Nazis. He joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP) back in 1923, i.e. the same year as Heinrich Himmler. Terboven married Joseph Goebbels’s former secretary and Adolf Hitler was the guest of honor at the wedding.
Josef Terboven became “Reichskomissar” for Norway in 1940, even before German troops completed the occupation of that country. This title meant that he was at the head of occupied Norway. He could rule practically by his own accord, which he, it seems, exploited abundantly. It is almost unbelievable that even the hardcore Nazi Goebbels criticized Terboven’s violent behavior in Norway, believing that his actions were turning the Norwegian population against the Germans.
The Third Reich had a total of five so-called Reichskommissariats. In addition to Norway, countries under such arrangement included the Netherlands, Ukraine, the Baltic states, and Belarus (aka Reichskommissariat Ostland), and for a short time also Belgium with northern France. Josef Terboven was the first and only Reichskomissar for Norway.
Terboven’s plans to convert Norway into the last stronghold of Nazism in Europe were very interesting. Specifically, he wanted to organize the so-called “Fortress Norway” (German: Festung Norwegen), where the Nazis could continue to resist in the event that Allies take control of the rest of Europe. There was also a plan to build the German capital in Norway, which would be called Nordstern (English: North Star). The city was supposed to be located in a strategically protected fjord position around Norway city of Trondheim. One of the few German projects that were actually completed in Norway was the German submarine base Dora 1, whose remains can still be seen today. Terboven also organized concentration camps in Norway.