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Dr. Carl Emil Vogt of the University of Oslo


Research interests

International humanitarian work and institution building. My studies have been conducted on the Nobel Peace Prize winner Fridtjof Nansen’s international and humanitarian work 1920-1930. That is his engagement in the League of Nations, his work for Russian famine victims, refugees and repatriation of prisoners of war after World War I. Under Nansen, institutions were built. An international refugee regime was constructed which, though it collapsed in the 1930s, served as the basis for the UNHCR and later international refugee law. The empirical material has been gathered over several years, and is based on Norwegian and Russian sources as well as League of Nations and Red Cross Archives (both Geneva). I now hope to supply this research with material from Ukrainian archives. This is groundbreaking work which hopefully will uncover new primary sources, not only on Nansen but on humanitarian work in Ukraine during the famine of 1921–22, possibly also on the Nazi collaborator Prime Minister Vidkun Quisling’s person; Quisling worked for Nansen in Ukraine.

Ideology and foreign policy – countries as ideology. More specifically: I am interested in Norwegian attitudes towards Russia 1890–1945. What did Russia represent as an idea? Russia was by many seen as a country of enormous opportunities before the revolution. Many Norwegians engaged in business with Russia. After the revolution, the picture changed. For parts of the Norwegian left, Russia became the Promised Land. Even on the right Russia to some still stood out as a country of the future, a new America. Others saw Russia as the home of the Bolshevik peril. Russia has for centuries played a special part in Norwegian foreign relations. The widespread positive attitude in Norway to Russia is probably unique in a bordering country to Russia. The contrast is enormous to for example Sweden, where Russia since the 17th century was seen as the most dangerous key enemy. The project on Norwegian attitudes is a project in its beginning. I know much about Fridtjof Nansen’s and some of his collaborators’ (for instance Quisling) thoughts on Russia. The little investigated plans of the Norwegian Fascist Party’s (NS) Government for a Norwegian “colony” in a Nazi-occupied Russia, where Germanic Norwegians should rule “inferior” Slavonic people, is here for instance of some interest. Through contacts, I will have access to a wide range of unpublished sources (memoirs, letters, etc.). Published Norwegian books and literature on Russia will be a main source. Much will also be drawn from easily accessible private archives after Norwegians who has been living in Russia.