Ragnar Skancke

Ragnar Skancke

Infobox Politician
honorific-prefix =
name = Ragnar Sigvald Skancke
honorific-suffix =

imagesize =

caption =
office = Minister for Church and Educational Affairs
term_start = 1 Februar 1942
term_end = 8 May 1945
office2 = Minister for Church and Educational Affairs
term_start2 = 25 September 1941
term_end2 = 1 February 1942
office3 = Provisional NS Councillor of State for Church and Educational Affairs
term_start3 = 25 September 1940
term_end3 = 25 September 1941
office4 = Minister of Labour (did not take office)
term_start4 = 9 April 1940
term_end4 = 15 April 1940
birth_date = 1890
birth_place = Ås, Norway
death_date = August 28, 1948
death_place = Akershus Fortress
nationality = Norwegian
party = Nasjonal Samling
spouse =
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater =
occupation =
profession = Professor of electrical engineering
religion =

website =
footnotes = Information on Skancke's political positions acquired at [Norwegian Government Official Website: [http://www.regjeringen.no/en/The-Government/Previous-governments/The-Structure-of-the-Registry/Governments/norway-at-war/ministries-1940---1945---under-german-oc.html?id=438672 Ministries 1940–1945 - Under German occupation in Oslo] ]

Ragnar Sigvald Skancke (1890 - August 28, 1948) was the Norwegian Minister of Labour (appointed, but never accepted the position) and Minister for Church and Educational Affairs in Vidkun Quisling's government of the Nasjonal Samling party during World War II.

Before the war, Skancke was a highly respected professor of electrical engineering at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim and a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. [Norwegian University of Science and Technology: [http://www.ntnu.no/ime/om/elektrotrappegangen/ragnar_sigvald_skancke Ragnar Sigvald Skancke] no icon]

World War II collaboration

Political positions

April 1940 "coup" government

The first political position given to Professor Skancke was that of Minister of Labour in Vidkun Quisling April 1940 "coup" government, the latter's attempt at seizing power in Norway following the German invasion of 9 April. Skancke, at time in Trondheim, only heard of his appointment when it was announced on the radio and reacted with opposition to Quisling's attempt to form a government, refusing to assume the ministry allotted to him. [Dahl, Hans Fredrik and Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife: [http://books.google.com/books?id=GaR-7WVcVjgC&pg=PA179&dq=%22Ragnar+Skancke%22&client=firefox-a&sig=L4OIlcQem5VeJ98l81KYMLu0bUI "Quisling: A Study in Treachery"] , page 179]

Terboven council and NS government

Skancke only became Reichskommissar Josef Terboven, the leading civilian German leader in occupied Norway, on 25 September 1940 appointed a council of Norwegian ministers to assist him in governing Norway. Skancke was appointed as Councillor of State for Church and Educational Affairs, and was given the title Minister for Church and Educational Affairs exactly a year later. [Norgeslexi.com: [http://www.norgeslexi.com/krigslex/k/k3.html#kommisariske Commissariat Councillors] no icon]

Acts during war

During his collaborationist work in occupied Norway Skancke mostly acted in passive way, but did not hesitate to enact countermeasures if he met opposition to his work. Although not taking a leading part in attempted nazification of the Norwegian Church and school system, he did take full responsibility for the sacking of bishops, priests and teachers opposed to National socialist teachings. [Time Magazine: [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,791745-4,00.html "The Bishop and the Quisling"] , Monday, December 25, 1944] He also ordered Norwegian teachers and school children to attend a Hitler Youth exhibition in Oslo in February 1941, which led to the first school strike of the occupation, [Norgeslexi.com: [http://www.norgeslexi.com/krigslex/n/n4.html#ns-barne Nasjonal Samling's youth and children efforts] no icon ] and ordered the confiscation of books by authors opposed to Quisling. [Cohen, Maynard M.: [http://books.google.com/books?id=7cmx6u2GF80C&pg=PA109&dq=%22Ragnar+Skancke%22&client=firefox-a&sig=rlpWNXVoq77c2ZrtcRy9XtJsBt8#PPA109,M1 "A Stand Against Tyranny: Norway's Physicians and the Nazis"] , page 109] Skancke, however, was completely opposed to the deportation to Finnmark of teachers who would not institute the new teaching programmes.NorgesLexi.com: [http://www.norgeslexi.com/krigslex/s/s4.html#skancke-ragnar Skancke, Ragnar (Sigvald) (1890—1948)] no icon] In one instant of refusal to cooperate fully with the German authorities Skancke delayed acting on an order from Reichskommissar Terboven issued on 5 July 1941 that all Norwegian church bells were to be sent to Germany for smelting and use in the war industry. The case dragged out until handed over to minister of trade Eivind Blehr in 1942, Blehr refusing to release the bells, leading to several confrontations with Terboven until the Germans were later persuaded to drop the demands, saving all the bells. [Norgeslexi.com: [http://www.norgeslexi.com/krigslex/k/k2.html#kirkeklokkene The Norwegian church bells] no icon]

Post-war conviction and execution


Following the May 1945 German capitulation in Norway and the rest of Europe Skancke was put on trial for treason and given the death penalty in 1946. In March 1947 the Norwegian Supreme Court rejected Skancke's appeals and confirmed the sentence. In response to the confirmation of his sentence Skancke attempted to get a retrial, presenting new evidence and witness testimonies. During this process the mood in Norway largely changed with many calls for clemency for the former collaborationist minister.


As all calls for clemency were rejected Skancke was executed by firing squad at Akershus Fortress on August 28, 1948, the last person to be executed in Norway, which has since abolished the death penalty for all crimes, including war crimes and treason. Before his execution, the Norwegian High Court had received letters from 668 priests who begged for mercy on Skancke's behalf. [Nuav.net: [http://www.nuav.net/personalitiess.html Personalities relating to Norway during World War 2 - S] ] Ragnar Skancke was one of only three Norwegian Nazi leaders to be executed for political crimes in the post-war legal purge, the others being Quisling and Internal affairs minister Albert Viljam Hagelin, [University of Oslo: [http://www.media.uio.no/forskning/prosjekter/1945/prosjekter/vaale.shtml#II Use of the death penalty in the 1945-1948 legal purge] no icon] all the 35 other people executed having been convicted of murder, torture or systematic informing. [Norgeslexi.com: [http://www.norgeslexi.com/krigslex/d/d3.html#dodsstraff Death penalty] no icon]

Published works

In addition to professional works on electrical engineering in the 1930s, Skancke also wrote a book on Vidkun Quisling. [ WorldCat book finder: [http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=au%3ARagnar+Skancke&qt=hot_author "Ragnar Skancke"] ]

* "Theorie der Wechselstrommaschinen mit e. Einl. in d. Theorie d. stationären Wechselströme nach O. S. Bragstad", J. Springer, Berlin 1932 de icon

* "Über ultraakustische Schwingungen in zylindrischen Stäben", Brun, Trondheim 1935 de icon

* "Boken om Vidkun Quisling", Blix, Oslo 1941 no icon

* "Ein Buch über Vidkun Quisling", Blix, Oslo 1941 (German translation) de icon


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