CITIZEN OUTCASTS – THE PENALTY OF 'LOSS OF CIVIL RIGHTS' DURING THE NORWEGIAN TREASON TRIALS, 1945-1953
Scandinavian Journal of History
This article examines the role of the penalty of 'loss of civil rights' during the so-called treason trialsthe Norwegian authorities' reckoning with wartime collaborators after 1945. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the penalty had grown out of fashion for being out of line with 'modern' punitive theory. But during the occupation, the Norwegian exile government and resistance revisited the penalty ahead of their planned 'reckoning' with Nazi collaborators and significantly expanded
... icantly expanded its scope. The wartime provisions concerning the loss of civil rights were draconian. However, they were never fully implemented following the liberation. This article argues that for policymakers, the penalty of 'loss of civil rights' had 'two lives': during the war, they relied on it to signal to the Norwegian population that collaborators would be punished harshly, which they hoped would help prevent popular violence following a liberation. But after the war, political pragmatism, economic necessity, and an increasing desire for national reconciliation were key motivations for the government to begin ameliorating the effects of the penalty. The article demonstrates how the official handling of the penalty of 'loss of civil rights' points to the ways that the rationales for the punishment of collaborators during the treason trials changed over time.