Einar Gerhardsen

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Einar Gerhardsen
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)| predecessor = John Lyng| successor = Per BortenHaakon VII of Norway>Haakon VIIOlav V| term_start2 = 22 January 19551955228|28}})| predecessor2 = Oscar Torp| successor2 = John Lyng| monarch3 = Haakon VII | term_start3 = 25 June 194519452511|9}})| predecessor3 = Johan Nygaardsvold| successor3 = Oscar Torp| office4= President of the Storting| term_start4= 16 January 1954| term_end4= 22 January 1955| primeminister4= Oscar Torp| predecessor4=Gustav Natvig-Pedersen| successor4= Oscar TorpLabour Party (Norway)>Leader of the Labour Party| term_start5= 1945| term_end5= 1965| predecessor5= Oscar Torp| successor5= Trygve Bratteli| office6 = President of the Nordic Council| term_start6 = 1 January 1954| term_end6 = 31 December 1954| predecessor6 = Hans Hedtoft| successor6 = Nils Herlitz189710|df=y}}| birth_place = Asker, Akershus, Norway| birthname = Einar Henry Gerhardsen1987195df=y}}| death_place = Oslo, NorwayNorwegians>NorwegianNorwegian Labor Party>Labour Party| spouse = Werna GerhardsenRune Gerhardsen>Rune Truls| residence =| alma_mater =| profession = Civil servant, road worker}}{{Audio|Einar Gerhardtsen.ogg|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.

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 rodemesterWEB,weblink, Einar Gerhardsen – Norsk biografisk leksikon, 30 January 2017, 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 frequentlyvisited their home, and sometimes they would sing The Internationale and ["victory follows our banners"]"Seieren følger våre faner".NEWS, Tommy Sørbø, Så flaut, Klassekampen, 20 April 2016, 27, In 1932 he married Werna Julie Koren Christie (1912–1970), daughter of agent Johan Werner Koren Christie and Klara Rønning. 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.WEB,weblink - Store norske, NRK, 4 October 2014, 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".BOOK, Einar Gerhardsen: som en bror ser ham, Gerhardsen, Rolf, Rolf Gerhardsen, 1967, Aschehoug, Oslo, 50,weblink Norwegian,

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|date=February 2011}} 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.BOOK, Maurseth, Per, Per Maurseth, Gjennom kriser til makt 1920-1935, 1987, Volume three of Arbeiderbevegelsens historie i Norge, Tiden, Oslo, Norwegian, 82-10-02753-0, 502, 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.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.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.BOOK, Einar Gerhardsen: en politisk biografi, Olstad, Finn, 1999, Universitetsforlaget, Oslo, 8200128288, 158–176,weblink Norwegian, 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

File:Einar Gerhardsen (131919).jpg|thumb|Gerhardsen at a political rally in BergenBergenDuring 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.weblink {{webarchive |url= |date=December 23, 2011 }}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.BOOK, Raising the Global Floor: Dismantling the Myth that We Can't Afford Good Working Conditions for Everyone, Heymann, J., Earle, A., 2010, Stanford Politics and Policy, 9780804768900,weblink 37, 30 January 2017, 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.Growth to limits: the Western European welfare states since World War 2: Volume 4 by Peter Flora In 1957, universal basic pensions were introduced.BOOK, Normative Foundations of the Welfare State: The Nordic Experience, Kildal, N., Kuhnle, S., 2007, Taylor & Francis, 9781134272839,weblink 172, 30 January 2017, 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.BOOK, Growth to Limits: The Western European Welfare States Since World War II, Flora, P., 1986, 1, De Gruyter, 9783110111309,weblink 124, 30 January 2017, In 1964, a national widow’s benefit was introduced.BOOK, The Dilemmas of Lone Motherhood: Essays from Feminist Economics, Albelda, R., Himmelweit, S., Humphries, J., 2013, Taylor & Francis, 9781317998761,weblink 103, 30 January 2017, 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|date=May 2010}} especially within his own party,Jens Stoltenberg:Vi bygger landet Speech April 22, 2010, Office of the Prime Minister, retrieved 18 September 2012. 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.WEB,weblink TV 2 AS,, Einar Gerhardsen hadde KGB-kodenavnet "Jan", 30 January 2017, WEB,weblink, - Einar Gerhardsen hjalp statsrådvenn ut av KGB-knipa - Dagbladet, 30 January 2017,



Further reading

  • Wilsford, David, ed. Political leaders of contemporary Western Europe: a biographical dictionary (Greenwood, 1995) pp 164–70.

External links

  • {{findagrave|73107012}}
{{Norwegian Labour Party}}{{NorwegianPrimeMinisters}}{{Presidents of the Nordic Council}}{{Socialism}}{{Authority control}}

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