Jens Christian Hauge

Jens Christian Hauge

Jens Christian Hauge (15 May 1915 - 30 October 2006) was a Norwegian World War II resistance figure and politician who was the leader of the secret military organization Milorg during WWII. Hauge was a lawyer and started his resistance work in 1941, and was jailed for some months in the autumn of that year.

Out of prison in 1942, he quickly advanced within the resistance movement, and within a year he was the secret leader of the clandestine organisation. Hauge worked hard to have a good relation with the Norwegian government in exile, and made a number of trips to Stockholm and London to achieve this.

In the last months of the war, Hauge had secret talks with Wehrmacht officers that gave information about the German plans for Norway. These talks facilitated the smooth transition to peace when the Germans surrendered in May 1945.

Hauge had a number of political positions in Norway after the war, and was a central player within the ruling social democrats, the Norwegian Labour Party. He became Norway's youngest Defence Minister in 1945, only 30 years old, and had that position until 1952 during the governments of Prime Ministers Einar Gerhardsen and Oscar Torp. For a brief period he was also Minister of Justice in 1955.

Hauge was instrumental in having Norway leaving its position as neutral and join the NATO alliance in 1949. After leaving government he was still central within Norwegian society and had a number of important positions.

Hauge has been described as one of the most interesting and powerful persons in 20th-century Norway. He is also controversial, and has been criticised for not giving more information regarding central parts of the Milorg activities, such as assassinations of Norwegian collaborators. Hauge has also been in question in relation to the strange circumstances regarding the death of the Milorg member Kai Holst in Stockholm just after the war.

Hauge was involved in the establishment of the Norwegian state oil company Statoil, which currently is the largest Nordic company in terms of revenue, and in the startup of the airline Scandinavian Airlines System where he was a board member for more than 20 years. Hauge was also instrumental in arranging the foundation Fritt Ord which works for maintaining freedom of expression in Norway.

18 august 2008 Norwegian national newspaper Aftenposten reported that Jens Christian Hauge was on the OSS (today CIA) employee list.

His name is often spelled Jens Chr. Hauge.

External links

* [ New York Times: Jens Christian Hauge, Guide of Modern Norway, Dies at 91 ]

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