This article by Professor Dr. Philos. Torgrim Titlestad does not include footnotes, as documented references can be found in several of his books, with a complete bibliography available in Titlestad's book "Ustoppelig" published by Omnibus forlag in 2020. Titlestad's top-secret Moscow documents are now electronically accessible in English at Arb-ark in Oslo.

In this presentation, you will become acquainted with one of Norway's most colorful and charismatic political leaders of the 20th century. The remarkable thing is that he has been erased from Norwegian textbooks and the collective memory of the resistance struggle in Norway from 1940 to 1945. For five years, he fought a life-and-death battle to avoid being killed by the Gestapo in Norway and became a role model for surviving the illegal struggle against the overwhelmingly powerful German occupation and its Norwegian collaborators in the NS. At the same time, during the war in Norway, he engaged in a secret and dangerous battle to end Stalin's domination over Norwegian communism.

Previously, these contradictions with Moscow were portrayed as an unclear conflict between Furubotn and the Russian Communist Party and opponents within the NKP. Today, research has come much further. More and more, we see that the Soviet Communist Party, the Russian one, was not an ordinary party but increasingly fell under the personal control of Josef Stalin from 1929 onwards. Through secret intelligence organizations, he ruled with ruthless and nearly invisible methods. He did not hesitate to carry out brutal assassinations outside of Russia; the most well-known being the assassination of Leon Trotsky in Mexico in 1940. This research realization underlies the frequent use of Stalin's name in the NKP struggle throughout this article. For Stalin, the communist parties were his personal tools to exert influence in international politics. Whether the party was small or large was of little importance to him; his main goal was to have domestic communist leaders blindly follow his sometimes absurd orders, as seen during the Moscow Trials in the 1930s and the pact between Hitler and Stalin from 1939 to 1941. We have numerous indisputable pieces of evidence showing that he closely monitored the actions of various communist leaders in the West, especially based on open Russian documents made available for a short period in the 1990s. His most important tool was the use of systematic lies and planted rumor campaigns to bring down his opponents, a fact that is well-documented today. We must not forget that Josef Stalin was behind the formation of the Russian disinformation institute as early as 1923.

The Norwegian protagonist in our context

Peder Furubotn, born on August 28, 1890, and died on November 19, 1975, was born into a western Norwegian family from Sunnhordland and Nordhordland, and grew up in Vaksdal near the Bergen Line railway. He would become one of Norway's foremost specialists in international politics during his time.

He completed his apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker in Bergen. Due to his craftsmanship skills, he was elected early on to the city's committee for approving new cabinetmakers. He became involved in the radical part of the labor movement and the Labour Party, and became one of the leaders of the revolutionary faction within the Labour Party that chose to join the Communist International (Comintern) in Moscow in 1919. When the Labour Party split in 1923, he was narrowly defeated by Einar Gerhardsen for the position of party secretary. Consequently, he left the Labour Party and became the general secretary of the newly formed Norwegian Communist Party in November 1923. He served as the chairman of the NKP from 1925 to 1929. However, the NKP was in constant decline, and in 1930, he was invited for an extended stay in Moscow.

Early international top leader

He was a member of the presidium of the Comintern, the global communist leadership, from 1927 to 1928. He had his first meeting with Josef Stalin in 1924 but was later demoted to a member of the Executive Committee (EKKI). Then, from 1931 to 1935, he experienced a small organizational boost as a candidate member of the presidium. After eight years, he had to leave the leadership of the Comintern.

Trapped in Moscow for 8 years

In Moscow, starting from 1931, he came into internal conflict with the Stalinist line and was dismissed from his position at Lenin School due to political "deviations." He taught what was called the national question there. Extensive stenographic transcripts in German, stored in the Moscow archives, show that he faced severe criticism from Stalin's leadership in the autumn of 1931. The leadership "sentenced" him to work in a furniture factory for one year. This was a common Stalinist method of punishing "disobedient" communist leaders at that time. Along with his family, his wife, son, and two daughters, he found it increasingly difficult to survive in Moscow, both financially and otherwise. In 1934, he applied for permission to return home, but the Comintern (with the support of the NKP) rejected it. From then on, Stalin's mass terror with executions and large-scale concentration camps began.

Furubotn was also affected. In 1937, during a major investigation of the NKP in Moscow, he interfered in the discussion and was sternly reprimanded by the Comintern leaders for criticizing the leadership in a discussion where he was not allowed to participate. He was threatened that his "silent sabotage" and disciplinary breaches would be dealt with as a separate case after the meeting. In the autumn of 1937, Furubotn's son, Gilbert, was targeted with Comintern accusations that endangered his life. He was saved at the last minute, but the attacks on him could be seen as an attempt to "increase pressure on the controversial father Peder Furubotn," as Morten Jentoft wrote in 2012. In a secret Comintern meeting, he was accused of being a spy for Britain, which he vehemently denied. In March 1938, over three columns on the front page of Tidens Tegn in Oslo, it was claimed that Furubotn would be executed in the aftermath of the Moscow Trials. This unidentified "leak" likely saved Furubotn's life. It is still unclear why he avoided arrest, physical torture, and execution. Stalin reluctantly allowed him to return to Norway in the autumn of 1938 after 8 years in Moscow. His son, Gilbert, and his family had to stay behind as hostages (Gilbert was able to return home in 1946, but Stalin kept his wife and two children in his custody).

To Norway and into the war in 1940

During the German occupation of Norway, Furubotn became the first civilian Norwegian to openly call for resistance against the German occupation (Vestlandskonferansen, July 1940). He was arrested on August 16, 1940, but managed to negotiate house arrest. As soon as he was released from the Gestapo house in Bergen after a little over an hour of interrogation, he fled and went into hiding. The leadership of the Norwegian Communist Party (NKP) in Oslo ordered him to return to his legal existence since his illegal fight against the Germans in Norway threatened the credibility of the pact between Hitler and Stalin, which the NKP supported. Furubotn eventually became a leading force in the resistance and worked for an alliance of cross-political forces, primarily in Western Norway. The opposition within the NKP in the Oslo area supported him and had him elected as the new national political leader of the NKP on December 31, 1941. Some of his opponents in the party expected that the Germans would quickly arrest him and eliminate him, allowing the NKP to get rid of the "problem" Furubotn with the help of the Germans.

Moscow was against his new leadership position and ordered him to go to Sweden "for safety" early in 1942. Furubotn once again defied Stalin's will and fought under the motto "Here we shall live, here we shall die." The contradictions with the Comintern/Stalin, along with the intense pursuit by the Gestapo, led to a dramatic conflict with Stalin's saboteur leader in Norway, Asbjørn Sunde ("Osvald"). Sunde worked under the leadership of the NKVD, Stalin's secret police. Sunde refused to comply with Furubotn's demand to break ties with the Russian high command and come under his Norwegian resistance leadership. Sunde's loyalty to Stalin was unbreakable. Furubotn's differences with the Russians continued while the fight against the Germans remained the focus.

An illegal resistance center in the Norwegian mountains

From his illegal, hidden headquarters, Furubotn led a significant resistance organization in Norway with an estimated 6,000 underground collaborators until May 8, 1945. Furubotn did not want to have radio contact with Moscow, unlike most other communist leaders in Europe. As a result, he avoided direct Russian control. However, Moscow intrigues were planted in his headquarters by Torolv Solheim in the fall of 1943. (Solheim was one of the three founders of the Socialist People's Party in 1961 and served as its chairman from 1969 to 1971). He was part of a family network connected to Moscow, and Solheim gave a secret lecture at the central hideout about Furubotn as a Norwegian Genrikh Yagoda, sentenced to death and executed in Moscow along with Nikolai Bukharin in 1938. Bukharin had long been one of the leading liberal Soviet leaders after the revolution in 1917, and his trial attracted significant international attention. We now know that it was based on false "evidence" extracted through brutal torture, which Stalin had coerced.

Solheim also hinted that the leadership of the NKP was infiltrated by the Gestapo, implying that Furubotn should be removed from his position. Solheim's accusations created great unrest in the hideout and greatly contributed to the guard personnel breaking away from Furubotn and joining Asbjørn Sunde. The breach in the military security of the hideout was seen by Furubotn's supporters as an obvious desertion. By the spring of 1944, Furubotn was without protection in the event of a German attack. There had been some unrest within the hideout, especially when Furubotn had slammed his fist on the table and said, "I don't give a damn about Stalin and Moscow!" In the fall of 1942, Furubotn had felt so pressured by Moscow that he had considered the idea of forming a new Communist Party.

He and his staff came close to being crushed on several occasions (with "Operation Almenrausch" being the largest in June 1944). Over 800 German soldiers and officers surrounded Valdres to capture Furubotn but failed, despite several members of Furubotn's staff being killed or arrested. However, from Valdres, Furubotn organized the largest sabotage operation in Norway during the war in the fall of 1944 (Oslo harbor). This massive operation shocked the Norwegian Nazi leadership and reverberated in Hitler's Berlin. Furubotn's organization specialized in printing illegal newspapers in large quantities (sometimes around 50,000 copies) as a countermeasure to the German censorship of news for the Norwegian people. This activity, which carried the death penalty from the German side, greatly contributed to keeping the hope of liberation alive among Norwegians. One single underground newspaper circulated under the threat of punishment to numerous readers.

The fact that Furubotn had to find approximately 50 different hiding places for himself and his headquarters over five years indicates the immense difficulties he had to overcome to carry out his unique resistance struggle in Norway. Never before had a Norwegian had to live on the run for five years from such a formidable opponent as the Germans and the Gestapo. He signed his full name in the illegal press, becoming a symbol of resistance for many during that time.

Assassination attempts with Russian origin?

It is also possible that Furubotn was the target of at least one assassination attempt from Stalin's side, especially in connection with Operation Almenrausch, when the guard personnel had previously abandoned their duty to protect the central hideout. One of those who fled to Sunde was captured by the Gestapo and revealed Furubotn's whereabouts, as well as Sunde's. However, after the Gestapo raided Sunde's location, in which Sunde barely escaped during the gunfire, he had eight days to warn Furubotn about the German attack. However, the Moscow agent Sunde did not warn Furubotn, even though he was in close proximity. It is possible that Sunde's behavior was a form of what can be called "indirect denunciation." In any case, it is interesting that in the Soviet Union, a command group of Norwegian partisan volunteers was ready to be airdropped in the Eastern Norway area if the leadership of the NKP was captured. They were supposed to continue the work of the NKP headquarters if the Germans crushed the leadership, as they almost did during Operation Almenrausch. Furubotn and his leadership miraculously survived against all odds. Investigations in the 1970s could not demonstrate that the Russians had long-range aircraft capable of dropping off the command group and returning. However, in 2017, information emerged that Britain had a secret bomber aircraft collaboration with the Soviet Union after 1941 at a base near Arkhangelsk (Jagodnik). This suggests that the aforementioned airdrop was likely since the British provided large and long-range Lancaster aircraft for Russian use in exchange for the base. If the Germans had captured and killed Furubotn and all his collaborators in 1944, the Russians could have had their way and sent in a new and "acceptable" leadership from Moscow. Stalin could have controlled the NKP as he already led other European communist parties from Moscow.

Liberation and ongoing struggle for independence from Moscow

On May 8, 1945, the war was over in Norway. Furubotn's dramatic illegal existence for five years came to an end: the German Nazi agents were defeated, and the threat of their weapons was gone. But new dangers loomed, this time primarily from the east—from the capital of world communism and its agents in Norway. Its agents primarily consisted of former NKVD and GRU agents, as well as at least 30 of the nearly 120 Norwegian women and men who had been indoctrinated with unconditional Soviet loyalty at special schools in Moscow during the interwar period. Josef Stalin could rely on a network of about 50 willing collaborators in and around the NKP after 1945.

First, the first parliamentary elections since 1936 were approaching. In September 1945, the NKP went from being an insignificant small party before the war to achieving a surprising breakthrough with 11% of the votes, even though the party did not run candidates nationwide. Thousands of new members flocked to the party, and the party's main organ, Friheten, had a daily circulation of over 100,000 for a while. When the first regular party congress after the war took place, the party had 34,000 members nationwide.

Externally, it seemed like the party could have a bright future ahead: The political radicalization in the 1945 elections had given the NKP a prominent position in the country's politics, with two ministers in the national unity government. (Furubotn himself did not want a ministerial position; he wanted to build the new party, his life's great opportunity.) Although the national average was "only" nearly 12%, the average percentage in urban areas was 17%. In several Norwegian cities, there were "Southern European" political conditions: NKP received 25% of the votes in Bergen, 20% in Trondheim and Oslo. In a municipality like Kjelvik, they received over 50%. In 20 municipalities, they had between 30 and 50%. Looking at an industrial city like Stavanger, where the communists had barely 1% before the war, the average percentage was 15%, while in the industrial district of Nylund, it was 25%. Over 50% of male voters there voted communist. In practice, it meant that the NKP was a dominant party in several workplaces and trade unions. The radicalization was reflected in the fact that the NKP had between 30 and 40% of the members of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) as their supporters in 1945-46. The strong communist trend continued to increase until the beginning of 1947 when the NKP's national average on Gallup polls rose from 12% to 15%.

Moscow intervenes again in 1946

However, internally within the party's old membership ranks, there was a boiling dissatisfaction with Peder Furubotn as the undisputed leader of the party. He was also applauded in other Western communist parties for his wartime efforts. His clear national profile during the war and in most of the current political issues in Norway in 1945-1946 broke with the pre-war indoctrinated mentality of the NKP, which emphasized class struggle and blind loyalty to the leaders in Moscow. Access to secret Soviet documents from 1992 to 1994 reveals that some of the leading pre-war NKP leaders frequently visited the Soviet embassy in Oslo and urged the Russians to intervene against Furubotn's leadership of the NKP. The Russian notes from some of these appeals show some restraint in these direct appeals to remove Furubotn as the leader of the NKP.

However, behind the scenes, the Russians intervened through previous and new channels, and we can demonstrate that Moscow was behind an organized campaign to remove Furubotn as the leader of the NKP at the first regular party congress in 1946. Despite extensive efforts, the Russians and their Norwegian allies did not succeed in overthrowing Furubotn through the elections, but they managed to establish a majority group loyal to Løvlien in the party's central committee. It was impossible to undermine Furubotn's personal reputation as the party leader during the war.

Nevertheless, the intrigues against him continued unabated. Furubotn noticed the internal machinations and their approaches to the Russian representatives in Norway. As he sensed the changing international climate with an impending Cold War, he realized that this could also put his liberal national-communist line on the blacklist. He ensured that he received an invitation to the East German Communist Party congress in 1947 to present his own policies and have them discussed and accepted. In Berlin, he met Mikhail Suslov, who was one of the prominent younger party leaders in Moscow, often referred to as "Stalin's heir" and a right-hand man to Stalin. Remarkably, there exists an iconic photo of a tall and upright Peder Furubotn extending his large carpenter's hand to greet a stooped Mikhial Suslov with his slender hands.

In Moscow again in 1947

After this meeting, Furubotn was invited to Moscow in December 1947, about a month after the formation of the Cominform, which was to serve as the international leadership of all communist parties. However, Furubotn was not invited to that meeting. In Moscow, Furubotn did not get to meet any of the Soviet leaders he desired, and he realized that he had already fallen into disfavor with Stalin, with severe unpleasantness awaiting him. Immediately, he resigned from his position as the leader of the NKP, a silent protest against the Russians' evident lack of trust in him. As a result, he was scandalized by his opponents in the NKP leadership, as they believed that a party leader did not have the right to step down without the approval of the party leadership, which now consisted of Løvlien's supporters.

Secret attack on Furubotn in Moscow in 1947

Furubotn had a keen political instinct for the dangers that awaited him, but he was unaware that the Moscow leadership had already prepared a decisive document to destroy him as the leader of the NKP. In the Scandinavian Moscow office of the communist parties, they had compiled extensive material in 1947 to "expose" him as a Trotskyist. Since the Moscow Trials in the 1930s and Stalin's assassination of Leon Trotsky in distant Mexico in 1940, Trotskyists were branded as despicable scum who, according to the Moscow prosecutor, deserved to be shot like rabid dogs. The typical Stalinist method of combating unruly party leaders was to orchestrate the action plan in Moscow and then have famous Western European communist leaders publicly denounce them. This Moscow document included a draft to be signed by some of the most prominent communist leaders in Western Europe. In other words, while Furubotn was a guest in Moscow and isolated from conversations with individuals in the Soviet party leadership, plans were being made to politically destroy him. Interestingly, the documents were addressed, among others, to Suslov, in short, they were presented to Joseph Stalin. That was the state of affairs at the end of 1947. However, the confrontation with Josip Tito in Yugoslavia came next, and Furubotn had been compared to him several times since the war. Tito became Stalin's new archenemy. Consequently, the stack of documents in Furubotn's case in 1947 was turned around: he had to be portrayed as a Titoist and a Trotskyist, and consequently as a Gestapo agent and after the war: an American agent.

The Russians prepare to attack Furubotn in 1948

Stalin himself was, of course, involved in determining Furubotn's fate. The expulsion of Furubotn had to be thoroughly prepared to prevent any failure. In the spring of 1948, the Soviet military attaché in Oslo, Nikolai Petrenko, and Asbjørn Sunde met during a Soviet-initiated vacation in the mountains. Sunde became involved in efforts to remove his old enemy, Furubotn, from the NKP. He could prepare some of his most trusted comrades for an upcoming operation. In the spring of 1949, he was constantly observed traveling by Egil Berg, the trade union secretary of the NKP.

Furubotn did not help his cause when he publicly proclaimed a strong rhetoric in defense of the Soviet Union. The contradiction between his official pro-Soviet loyalty and his true attitude was clearly expressed in the provocative brochure, printed in Norwegian colors, that was published in 1948: "The Struggle for Norway's Sovereignty." In it, he declared that the issue of Norway's sovereignty held a unique position compared to similar issues in other countries. It played a role that made it the foundation for all politics in Norway. His opponents in the party immediately understood the implications: Furubotn prioritized Norway's interests above the class struggle and the Soviet Union. Consequently, they believed he had proven himself to be a class traitor and worse.

The NKP congress that Stalin lost in 1949

While this process is underway, Furubotn's enemies in the party leadership are actively preparing for the next congress in 1949, where Furubotn was to be seriously ousted and condemned. The same process was taking place in all Eastern European states where the Russians had gained control over state power after 1945. Thousands of members, particularly those who had participated in the resistance movements in their respective countries, were subjected to systematic false accusations, torture, and execution - at best, they were imprisoned under dire conditions. Before the NKP congress, the Soviet Embassy in Norway prepared a 120-page report that was sent to GRU's commander, Matvej Zakharov. All of Furubotn's supporters among the Norwegian congress delegates were marked with a red checkmark. The report was signed by the Soviet military attaché in Oslo, Nikolai Petrenko.

In February 1949, the congress took place amidst intense debates for and against Furubotn and his supporters. Several well-known European communist leaders participated, but no Soviets were present. They stayed in the background to keep the traces leading to Moscow hidden. Stalin consistently maintained that all confrontations with "party enemies" should be seen as originating from within the country. As in 1946, the Russians were involved, albeit as discreetly as possible. A secret memo from the Finnish Communist Party, which was represented at the congress, reveals that the well-known Danish party leader Aksel Larsen organized a secret meeting during the congress to crush Furubotn's faction with the help of several renowned European communist leaders. For Larsen, it was important to demonstrate that Furubotn had been a follower and collaborator of Nikolai Bukharin, who was executed as a "traitor" in 1938, and that he had filled the NKP with individuals who were not true communists. Therefore, Furubotn had been working for the "class enemy." Moreover, since 1948, he had been a thorn in Stalin's side, being referred to as a Nordic Tito, and Russian secret documents accused him of being a Nordic Bonapartist with ambitions to play a leading role in European communism.

Despite intense conflicts during the 1949 congress, with a threatening authority from the East German party, Anton Ackermann, leading the accusations against Furubotn, the Furubotn faction emerged victorious with a 2/3 majority. What was Stalin to do now, given the concurrent conflict with Tito's obstinacy? There was only one option left: to forcibly remove the Furubotn majority and subject him to a barrage of accusations of all kinds of betrayals against the Soviet Union and socialism.

NKP's withdrawal from the Norwegian Parliament in the 1949 election

The opportunity arose with NKP's significant electoral defeat in 1949: the party was swept out of the Norwegian Parliament, receiving only 5.9% of the vote. No one was a more suitable scapegoat than the party leader, Furubotn. On October 6th, the former NKP minister and parliamentarian Johan Strand Johansen forcibly took over NKP's offices in Klingenberggata, Oslo. He was physically assisted by the Soviet NKVD agent Asbjørn Sunde and a group of 14-15 men. Sunde appeared to be armed, which was intimidating for the Furubotn supporters present. Simultaneously, Johansen and his group occupied the premises of the daily newspaper Friheten to prevent Furubotn from accessing information about the power seizure.

On October 20th, one of the most fanatical and largest member meetings in a Norwegian party after the war took place. Furubotn and his supporters were vehemently condemned. Strand Johansen shouted to the shocked audience that they were traitors who should be publicly hanged. The gathering consisted of 270 of NKP's trusted members in Oslo. Knut Willoch, the chairman of the Oslo branch, recognized that Johansen was mentally unstable and went to Løvlien, another prominent figure in the party, to stop him. It was then that the foremost Moscow agent at this meeting emerged: party veteran Just Lippe whispered to the two of them, "Let him run his course." This is how Stalin's secret apparatus worked around the world: individuals who were mentally unstable often became the most effective agents and could be neutralized after carrying out their deeds.

An Armed Attack on Furubotn in Autumn 1949?

What hardly anyone knew on that day was that the Soviet military attaché, Petrenko, had assigned the Norwegian embassy worker, Nikolai Danielsen, to keep a close watch on Johansen's actions. Danielsen was given half a bottle of spirits, just in case he needed to calm Johansen down. Johansen had a familiar relationship with Danielsen and placed his trust in him. As the evening wore on, Johansen grew agitated and expressed his intention to gather armed individuals and search for the evidence he believed implicated Furubotn as an American agent. He planned to forcibly enter Furubotn's home with weapons in hand. Danielsen became anxious because he knew that Furubotn possessed a pistol and a submachine gun from the wartime period. Initially, Johansen convinced Danielsen to join him and approached Asbjørn Sunde, seeking his participation in the planned armed intrusion. However, Sunde claimed he was not adequately prepared for such an operation. They then sought out Ragnar Sollie, a prominent saboteur and one of Furubotn's primary adversaries, who was also armed. Together, Sollie and Danielsen managed to somewhat calm Johansen and intoxicated him, causing him to abandon his attack plans. The following morning, Johansen suffered a breakdown and was taken for medical care. After a few years, he was sent to the Soviet Union and never returned to Norway. He passed away in the Soviet Union in the 1960s.


NKP's role in the post-war period culminated in complete madness that has only been fully revealed now. While the meticulous agents of the Gestapo in Norway from 1940 to 1945 failed to eliminate Furubotn, Moscow's agents succeeded in just five years. At the extraordinary national convention of the NKP in February 1950, sand was thrown on Strand Johansen's unbalanced outburst and the forcible takeover of NKP by the Løvlien faction, an extraordinary and scandalous exercise of power in Norwegian political history. Furubotn was officially condemned on all counts. A brief and moderate message of support for the purge of Furubotn was sent from Moscow, signed by Mihail Suslov, who had been dealing with this matter for at least four years. Few knew that he was Stalin's right-hand man in this case.

After the convention, Just Lippe approached Hans Møllersen, who had been a delegate from Mo i Rana, and asked him to attend an important conference at the party headquarters in Oslo. Møllersen arrived on time and was seated in the middle of a large room. Surrounding him were some of the prominent new leaders of the NKP: former parliamentarian and veteran of the Spanish Civil War, Randulf Dalland, Just Lippe, and Johan Strand Johansen. NKVD agent Asbjørn Sunde served as the doorman. Johansen declared that Møllersen should consider the meeting as a people's court. Møllersen was suspected of being one of the few Furubotn supporters at the convention. Johansen played the role of interrogator, supported by an aggressive Just Lippe. Johansen said, "If this were a people's democracy, you would be hanging next to László Rajk!" The meeting lasted for a couple of hours without a break. Emotionally shattered, Møllersen left this nightmarish "trial" on Norwegian soil. Through Møllersen, the new Løvlien leadership set an example within the NKP. It was fortunate that Norway was not an Eastern European "people's democracy." Otherwise, he and many other NKP members would have faced death, as happened on October 6, 1949, when Rajk was executed as an enemy of the people in Hungary. Rajk had previously been a prominent communist resistance member against the Nazis and served as the Minister of Interior in the communist regime after the war.

The financing of the NKP national convention was provided through 6,000 Norwegian kroner from 1949, which Emil Løvlien had sought from Moscow. This is confirmed by previously declassified Soviet documents. Today, this sum would be equivalent to several hundred thousand Norwegian kroner.

Some additional information and details about the sources of the account

Peder Furubotn never received any medal or public recognition for his significant contributions during the struggle for freedom from 1940 to 1945. Norwegian authorities and political parties have deliberately silenced his achievements in all accounts of the resistance history up until the present day. They have actively contributed to erasing him from our Norwegian collective tradition regarding the heroic aspects of the resistance struggle from 1940 to 1945.

It was only in his final years that he managed to obtain a war pension, an initiative he did not pursue himself. After a painful battle with the Norwegian state bureaucracy, he was granted the pension. The only place that has honored him with a monument so far is Vaksdal municipality. This tribute took place in his hometown, 43 years after his death.

The Furubotn archives make use of, among other things, classified original documents from Josef Stalin's archive in Moscow. They were accessible to a few researchers from 1992 to 1994. Torgrim Titlestad, as the only Norwegian historian, managed to copy a significant number of these documents and transfer them to Norway. Most of them are electronically available in English at Arbark in Oslo. These documents are now closed to public access in Russia. They reveal how Stalin labeled Furubotn as a Gestapo agent since he constantly evaded capture during the intense Gestapo manhunt over five years. Stalin, of course, knew that Furubotn was not a Gestapo agent, but he systematically employed such destructive suspicions to neutralize independent communist leaders in Europe. Stalin also had his own liquidation groups in Western Europe that killed communist leaders he doubted. He even utilized pre-war members of the NKP to spread suspicions of Gestapo collaboration.

Josef Stalin's Secret Plan in Norway 1947-1950

Mihail Suslov, Stalin's close associate from 1946 and responsible for international affairs with communist parties, initiates the Furubotn case in the summer of 1947 in consultation with Stalin. Goal: to remove Furubotn as the leader of the NKP (Norwegian Communist Party), based on previously secret documents in Moscow from 1947.

The GRU, Russian military intelligence service, is an important tool abroad.

The Russian embassy in Oslo, with its own military attaché:

Colonel Nikolai Petrenko, GRU.

Petrenko engages Asbjørn Sunde, a Russian NKVD agent in Norway from 1940 to 1945, during Easter 1948. Sunde is a saboteur and specialist in liquidations.

NKP's regular national convention in February 1949, Stalin's planned organizational and political confrontation with Furubotn and his followers: Plan A. Despite massive support from well-known foreign communist leaders against Furubotn at the convention itself, Furubotn received a vote of confidence from 2/3 of the convention. Plan A: unsuccessful for Stalin.

Coinciding with Stalin's loss in the struggle against President Josip Tito in Yugoslavia in 1949. Furubotn was erroneously labeled as his closest ally in Norway. Stalin feared "Titoist" influence from Norway that would threaten his international monopoly of power within communism.

Plan B comes into effect: The Russian agent Asbjørn Sunde is observed traveling in the spring of 1949 by E. Berg, NKP's labor secretary.

Stalin's Norwegian and Russian agents plan a physical confrontation with the elected Furubotn leadership after the 1949 parliamentary elections. NKP is almost halved in size: Furubotn becomes the scapegoat. It is of international importance for Stalin to crush Furubotn. Plan B is put into action.

Former NKP minister in 1945 and Member of Parliament Johan Strand Johansen takes over NKP's offices in Oslo by force, supported by Asbjørn Sunde. They drive out the elected leadership's officials and seize their possessions. Furubotn's faction is condemned at a large NKP members' meeting in Oslo: they should be sentenced to death and hanged. The "new" NKP leaders do not distance themselves from Johansen, and shortly after, he is hospitalized due to a mental breakdown.

The night before, he had attempted to organize an armed attack on Furubotn's home, believing he would find evidence that Furubotn was an American agent. A bloody tragedy is narrowly avoided. Johansen's mental breakdown is blamed for the scandalous confrontation in NKP, which was Stalin's goal. It helps cover up the traces leading to Moscow.

Johansen's mental breakdown is used as a platform for a new extraordinary NKP national convention in February 1950. Johansen's illegal acts of organization are downplayed. The new NKP leadership receives Moscow's blessing and hundreds of thousands of kroner in support after Emil Løvlien, the new leader of NKP, applies for it. Plan B: successful for Stalin.

This is marked by a short telegram with greetings from the Russian Communist Party, commending the convention's decision to get rid of Furubotn.


Strand Johansen is sent to a hospital in Moscow, where he remains under Russian control until his death in 1970, born in 1903.