Knud Pedersen – 2

By Christopher Zoukis

At the age of 39, in 1898, Hamsun married Bergljot Goepfert.  The couple divorced in 1906 because of Hamsun’s bizarre perspective on life.  Bergljot found him difficult to be around, depressed much of the time, moody and demanding. 

Three years later, Hamsun married a very pretty, very sexy actress neamed Marie Andersen.  Planning on becoming farmers, thus realizing Hamsun’s dream of returning to the soil and a natural way of life, they bought a farm.  The reality of nature and farming quickly proved unpalatable to Hamsun.  The pure life was not nearly as much fun, nor as spiritually stimulating as he imagined.

They sold the farm.

Then they moved south, to Larvik, and shortly thereafter bought the manor house near Grimstad. 

Hamsun’s ultra-conservative political outlook, along with his personal history of growing up poor and hungry, led him to champion Hitler’s National Socialist movement in Germany.  He met personally with Hitler and with Joseph Goebbels.  Goebbels so impressed him, that Hamsun sent his Nobel Prize medal to Goebbels as a gift. 

Hamsun, in his zeal, made the mistake of writing and publishing Hitler’s obituary.  Published in the Aftenposten, Norway’s leading newspaper, he praised Hitler as a “warrior for mankind.”  Disgusted with such drivel, his irate countrymen burned Hamsun’s books or sent them back to him through the mail.

In the aftermath of the war, Hamsun was charged with collaboration and treason.  Supposedly, Hamsun was a member of Vidkun Quisling’s Nasjonal Samling.  Quisling, of course, was the Norwegian politician who betrayed his country to the Nazis.  As a reward, the Nazis made Quisling their puppet ruler in Norway.  On his part, Hamsun denied ever belonging to any political party in his memoir.

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