Einar Gerhardsen

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Einar Gerhardsen
Einar Gerhardsen 1945.jpeg
15th Prime Minister of Norway
In office
25 September 1963 12 October 1965
(2 years, 17 days)
Monarch Olav V
Preceded by John Lyng
Succeeded by Per Borten
In office
22 January 1955 28 August 1963
(8 years, 218 days)
Monarch Haakon VII
Olav V
Preceded by Oscar Torp
Succeeded by John Lyng
In office
25 June 1945 19 November 1951
(6 years, 137 days)
Monarch Haakon VII
Preceded by Johan Nygaardsvold
Succeeded by Oscar Torp
3rd President of the Storting
In office
16 January 1954 22 January 1955
Prime Minister Oscar Torp
Preceded by Gustav Natvig-Pedersen
Succeeded by Oscar Torp
President of the Nordic Council
In office
1 January 1954 31 December 1954
Preceded by Hans Hedtoft
Succeeded by Nils Herlitz
Personal details
BornEinar Henry Gerhardsen
(1897-05-10)10 May 1897
Asker, Akershus, Norway
Died 19 September 1987(1987-09-19) (aged 90)
Oslo, Norway
Nationality Norwegian
Political party Labour Party
Spouse(s) Werna Gerhardsen
Children Rune
Profession Civil servant, road worker

Loudspeaker.svg   Einar Henry Gerhardsen   (10 May 1897 – 19 September 1987) was a Norwegian politician from the Labour Party of Norway. He was Prime Minister for three periods, 1945–1951, 1955–1963 and 1963–1965. With 17 years in office, he is the longest serving Prime Minister in Norway since the introduction of parliamentarism. Many Norwegians often refer to him as "Landsfaderen" (Father of the Nation); he is generally considered one of the main architects of the rebuilding of Norway after World War II. He also served as the second President of the Nordic Council in 1954.

Norway constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northwestern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.

Prime Minister of Norway

The Prime Minister of Norway is the head of government of Norway and the most powerful person in Norwegian politics. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the monarch, to the Storting, to their political party, and ultimately the electorate. In practice, since it is nearly impossible for a government to stay in office against the will of the Storting, the prime minister is primarily answerable to the Storting. He or she is almost always the leader of the majority party in the Storting, or the leader of the senior partner in the governing coalition.

The Father of the Nation is an honorific title given to a man considered the driving force behind the establishment of his country, state, or nation. Pater Patriae, also seen as Parens Patriae, was a Roman honorific meaning the "Father of the Fatherland", bestowed by the Senate on heroes, and later on emperors. In monarchies, the monarch was often considered the "father/mother of the nation" or as a patriarch to guide his family. This concept is expressed in the Divine Right espoused in some monarchies, while in others it is codified into constitutional law as in Spain, where the monarch is considered the personification and embodiment, the symbol of the unity and permanence of the nation. In Thailand, the monarch is given the same recognition, and demonstrated loyalty is enforced with severe criminal statutes.


Early life

Einar Gerhardsen was born in the municipality of Asker, in the county of Akershus. His parents were Gerhard Olsen (1867–1949) and Emma Hansen (1872–1949). His father was rodemester [1] in Public Roads Administration and was foreman of a trade union committee - fanekomiteen for Veivesenets arbeiderforening, and during Gerhardsen's childhood the trade union's leader Carl Jørgensen frequently visited their home, and sometimes they would sing The Internationale and ["victory follows our banners"]"Seieren følger våre faner". [2]

Asker Municipality in Akershus, Norway

Asker is a municipality in Akershus county, Norway. It is part of the Greater Oslo Region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Asker. The municipality was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838.

Akershus County (fylke) of Norway

Akershus[²ɑːkəʂˌhʉːs](listen) is a county in Norway, bordering Hedmark, Oppland, Buskerud, Oslo, and Østfold; it also has a short border with Sweden (Värmland). Akershus, with a little over 614,000 inhabitants, is the second most populated county by population after Oslo. The county is named after Akershus Fortress. The county administration is in Oslo, which is not part of the county per se.

Norwegian Public Roads Administration

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration is a Norwegian government agency responsible for national and county public roads in Norway. This includes planning, construction and operation of the national and county road networks, driver training and licensing, vehicle inspection, and subsidies to car ferries.

In 1932 he married Werna Julie Koren Christie (1912–1970), daughter of agent Johan Werner Koren Christie and Klara Rønning. [1] The married couple had two sons, Truls and Rune and a daughter Torgunn. His brother was Rolf Gerhardsen and with him Einar Gerhardsen also had a lifelong working relationship. From the age of 17, Gerhardsen went to meetings in the Labour party's youth movement. [3] In 1918, during the Finnish Civil War, Gerhardsen resigned his membership in the Church of Norway after the church sided with the "Whites" against the "Reds". [4]

Rune Gerhardsen Norwegian politician

Rune Gerhardsen is a Norwegian politician, representing the Norwegian Labour Party.

Rolf Eilert Gerhardsen was a Norwegian journalist and leader of the Oslo branch of the Norwegian Labour Party.

Finnish Civil War 1918 civil war in Finland

The Finnish Civil War was a conflict for the leadership and control of Finland during the country's transition from a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire to an independent state. The clashes took place in the context of the national, political, and social turmoil caused by World War I in Europe. The civil war was fought between the Reds, led by a section of the Social Democratic Party, and the Whites, conducted by the conservative-based Senate and the German Imperial Army. The paramilitary Red Guards, composed of industrial and agrarian workers, controlled the cities and industrial centres of southern Finland. The paramilitary White Guards, composed of farmers, along with middle-class and upper-class social strata, controlled rural central and northern Finland.

Political work, imprisonment

Originally a road worker, Gerhardsen became politically active in the socialist labour movement during the 1920s. He was convicted several times of taking part in subversive activities until he, along with the rest of the Labour party, gradually moved from communism to democratic socialism.[ citation needed ] He participated in the Left Communist Youth League's military strike action of 1924. He was convicted for assisting in this crime and sentenced to 75 days of prison. [5]

Communism socialist political movement and ideology

In political and social sciences, communism is the philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state. Opposed to capitalism and liberal democracy, communism is placed on the far-left within the traditional left–right spectrum.

Democratic socialism is a political philosophy that advocates political democracy alongside social ownership of the means of production, with an emphasis on self-management and democratic management of economic institutions within a market or some form of decentralized planned socialist economy. Democratic socialists espouse that capitalism is inherently incompatible with what they hold to be the democratic values of liberty, equality and solidarity; and that these ideals can only be achieved through the realization of a socialist society. Democratic socialism can be supportive of either revolutionary or reformist politics as a means to establish socialism.

By the middle of the 1930s Labour was a major force on the national political scene, becoming the party of government under prime minister Johan Nygaardsvold from 1935 until the German invasion in 1940. Gerhardsen was elected to Oslo city council in 1932 and became deputy mayor in 1938. He was deputy leader of the Labour Party from 1939.

Johan Nygaardsvold Norwegian politician

Johan Nygaardsvold was a Norwegian politician from the Labour Party who served as Prime Minister of Norway from 1935 to 1945. From 1940 until 1945, he oversaw the Norwegian Government-in-exile from London as head of the Nygaardsvold cabinet during the Occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany.

After the German occupation of Norway in 1940, Gerhardsen became acting chairman of the Labour Party, as the chairman, Oscar Torp had gone into exile. Gerhardsen became mayor of Oslo on 15 August 1940, but was forced to resign by the Germans on 26 August the same year. In September, the occupation government banned all parliamentary political parties, including the Labour party.

Oscar Torp Norwegian politician

Oscar Fredrik Torp  was a Norwegian politician for the Norwegian Labour Party. He was party leader from 1923 to 1945, and mayor of Oslo in 1935 and 1936. In 1935 he became acting Minister of Defence in the government of Johan Nygaardsvold. He was also Minister of Social Affairs from 1936 to 1939, and then Minister of Finance from 1939 to 1942. He was appointed Minister of Defence again in 1942 in the London-based Norwegian exile government. He continued until the election in 1945 when he became Minister of Provisioning and Reconstruction until 1948.

During World War II, Gerhardsen took part in the organised resistance against the German occupation of Norway, and was arrested on 11 September 1941. Having already been under suspicion for a long time, Gerhardsen had been detained and subjected to interrogations on 31 previous occasions since the summer of 1940. Initially he was sent to Grini concentration camp in Norway. In February 1942 he was accused of leading resistance work from his imprisonment, and removed from the camp for interrogation. Initially interrogated at the police station at Møllergata 19, he was soon transferred to the Gestapo headquarters at Victoria Terrasse. At Victoria Terrasse he was tortured to reveal information on the resistance, but did not break. In April 1942 he was sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany. In September 1944 he was transferred back to Grini, where he spent the rest of the war. [6]

After the war, Gerhardsen formed the interim government which sat from the end of the occupation in May 1945 until the elections held in October the same year. The elections gave Labour an absolute majority in Parliament, the Storting, which it retained until 1961. Gerhardsen served as President of the Storting from 10 January 1954 to 22 January 1955.

Domestic and Foreign Policy from 1945

Gerhardsen at a political rally in Bergen in the late 1960s Einar Gerhardsen (131919).jpg
Gerhardsen at a political rally in Bergen in the late 1960s

During and after his periods in office he was greatly respected by the people, even those not sharing his social democratic views. The administrations he led forged an eclectic economic policy in which government regulation of commerce, industry and banking was combined with market economics. Abject poverty and unemployment were sharply reduced by his government's policies of industrialisation and redistribution of wealth through progressive taxation, together with the creation of a comprehensive social security system. [7]

The Norwegian State Housing Bank Law of March 1946 introduced relatively cheap loans for cooperative housing societies and individual private builders. The Child Allowances Law of October 1946 introduced allowances for second and subsequent children under the age of 16, while also providing allowances for single-parent families for the first child. Under a July 1947 law, unemployment insurance coverage was extended to agricultural workers and certain other groups. In 1947, a loan fund for students was introduced. [8] That same year, housing allowances were introduced for families with two or more children below the age of 16, “who live in dwellings financed through Housing Bank and in municipalities which pay one-third of the allowance.” The Comprehensive Schooling Law of July 1954 established 9-year comprehensive schooling on a trial basis, while the Sickness Insurance Law of March 1956 introduced compulsory insurance for all residents. A law of January 1960 introduced an invalidity pension scheme and a law of June 1961 extended accident coverage to military personnel and conscripts. [9] In 1957, universal basic pensions were introduced. [10] In 1957 an orphans’ pension scheme was established, and in 1958 university occupational injury insurance was introduced. In 1957, housing allowances were made available for single-parent families with children, and that same year, and income and property means test was introduced while the Housing Allowances Law was made compulsory for all municipalities. [11] In 1964, a national widow’s benefit was introduced. [12]

In foreign policy, he aligned Norway with the Western powers at the end of the 1940s after some initial hesitation within the governing party, and Norway became a founding member of NATO. Documents from 1958 reveal that the Gerhardsen's government knew that Israel was going to use heavy water supplied by Noratom for plutonium production, making it possible for Israel to produce nuclear weapons.

In November 1962 an accident in which 21 miners died occurred in the Kings Bay coal mine on Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago. In the aftermath, the Gerhardsen government was accused of not complying with laws enacted by parliament. In the summer of 1963 a vote of no confidence passed with the support of the Socialist People's Party and a centre-right minority coalition government was formed, under John Lyng. Although this new government lasted only three weeks, until the Socialist People's Party realigned itself with Labour, it formed the basis for an opposition victory under the leadership of Per Borten at the 1965 elections. Gerhardsen retired from national politics in 1969 but continued to influence public opinion through writing and speeches.

Gerhardsen's political legacy is still an important force in Norwegian politics,[ citation needed ] especially within his own party, [13] although some of the social policies of his government have been revised. (See also Economy of Norway)

Soviet intelligence operative

According to Vassily Mitrokhin Gerhardsen became a Soviet intelligence operative during his visit to the USSR. [14] [15]

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  1. 1 2 "Einar Gerhardsen – Norsk biografisk leksikon". nbl.snl.no. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  2. Tommy Sørbø (20 April 2016). "Så flaut". Klassekampen. p. 27.
  3. NRK. "NRK.no - Store norske" . Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  4. Gerhardsen, Rolf (1967). Einar Gerhardsen: som en bror ser ham (in Norwegian). Oslo: Aschehoug. p. 50.
  5. Maurseth, Per (1987). Gjennom kriser til makt 1920-1935. Volume three of Arbeiderbevegelsens historie i Norge (in Norwegian). Oslo: Tiden. p. 502. ISBN   82-10-02753-0.
  6. Olstad, Finn (1999). Einar Gerhardsen: en politisk biografi (in Norwegian). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. pp. 158–176. ISBN   8200128288.
  7. Archived December 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine .
  8. Heymann, J.; Earle, A. (2010). Raising the Global Floor: Dismantling the Myth that We Can't Afford Good Working Conditions for Everyone. Stanford Politics and Policy. p. 37. ISBN   9780804768900 . Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  9. Growth to limits: the Western European welfare states since World War 2: Volume 4 by Peter Flora
  10. Kildal, N.; Kuhnle, S. (2007). Normative Foundations of the Welfare State: The Nordic Experience. Taylor & Francis. p. 172. ISBN   9781134272839 . Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  11. Flora, P. (1986). Growth to Limits: The Western European Welfare States Since World War II. 1. De Gruyter. p. 124. ISBN   9783110111309 . Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  12. Albelda, R.; Himmelweit, S.; Humphries, J. (2013). The Dilemmas of Lone Motherhood: Essays from Feminist Economics. Taylor & Francis. p. 103. ISBN   9781317998761 . Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  13. Jens Stoltenberg:Vi bygger landet Speech April 22, 2010, Office of the Prime Minister, retrieved 18 September 2012.
  14. TV 2 AS. "Einar Gerhardsen hadde KGB-kodenavnet "Jan"". tv2.no. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  15. "- Einar Gerhardsen hjalp statsrådvenn ut av KGB-knipa - Dagbladet". dagbladet.no. Retrieved 30 January 2017.

Further reading

Political offices
Preceded by
Trygve Nilsen
Mayor of Oslo
Succeeded by
Rolf Stranger
Preceded by
Rolf Stranger
Mayor of Oslo
Succeeded by
Rolf Stranger
Preceded by
Johan Nygaardsvold 1
Prime Minister of Norway
Succeeded by
Oscar Torp
Preceded by
Oscar Torp
Prime Minister of Norway
Succeeded by
John Lyng
Preceded by
John Lyng
Prime Minister of Norway
Succeeded by
Per Borten
Party political offices
Preceded by
Martin Tranmæl
Party secretary of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Martin Tranmæl
Preceded by
Martin Tranmæl
Party secretary of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Ole Øisang
Preceded by
Oscar Torp
Chairman of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Trygve Bratteli