Eugen Nielsen (1884-1963)

was an architect and property owner who lived in Oslo. He was also involved in publishing, and was an ardent fascist and National Socialist. In 1927, he came across a book by the German General Erich Ludendorff. The Norwegian title of the book was Frimureriets avsløring [Destruction of Freemasonry through revelation of their secrets] and it convinced Eugen Nielsen that the Masonic Order was an evil, Jewish organization which prepared to take control of the world. This was his major cause, politically. He became fiercely anti-Masonic and started his own publishing house, Antiforlaget, to publish Ludendorff’s books and other books with the same theme. In 1932, he founded a Norwegian National Socialist Party, but withdrew shortly thereafter because the other party members were not as concerned with the anti-Masonic cause as he was.

What do you think Eugen Nielsen did when the Nazis occupied Norway?

Eugen Nielsen assisted the Nazis in their work to seize properties belonging to the Norwegian Order of Freemasons.

Masonry was banned in Germany in 1935. When the Germans came to Norway, they immediately and actively worked to abolish Norwegian Freemasonry as well. The German security police seized all property belonging to the Norwegian Masonic Lodge immediately after arriving in the country, and used the premises of the Masonic Grand Lodge in the middle of Oslo’s city centre to billet soldiers. The soldiers eventually found new places to stay, but the Freemasons’ assets were not released. In September, Freemasonry was banned in Norway.

Eugen Nielsen assisted the German security police in all matters pertaining to the Norwegian Freemasons. Starting in the summer of 1940, he was tasked with managing the Freemasons’ assets. He prevented parts of the Freemasons’ assets from being sent to Germany, but in the autumn of 1941, large portions of the Masonic library of 5,400 titles were nevertheless sent to the German security police headquarters in Berlin. Here, the literature was catalogued and studied by scientists - Gegnerforscher - who were to map what the Nazi’s main enemies stood for. In the beginning of the war, studies were made and theses written about what the Freemasons stood for; exhibitions were produced which showed the Freemasons’ secrets and the propaganda against this group was intensified. Later during the war, this research was discontinued as there was more need of the men who worked on this as soldiers.

Parts of the Norwegian Masonic library is still to be found abroad; among other places in the National Library of the Czech Republic.

Eugen Nielsen joined the NS and participated in the persecution of Freemasons as a party member.

Eugen Nielsen never joined the Nasjonal Samling. He was personally convinced that the NS was infected by Freemasons, and besides, he had never liked Hitler and the German occupation as NS did. In the interwar years and during the war, there were many people who had variations of Fascist and Nazi convictions. Nielsen was one of those who stood out.

What happened to Eugen Nielsen?

After the liberation, large quantities of the Freemasons’ assets were discovered in Eugen Nielsen’s Frogner home in Oslo. He was arrested and convicted of treason. He died in 1963.