Trygve Bratteli

Trygve Martin Bratteli  (11 January 1910 – 20 November 1984) was a Norwegian newspaper editor and politician with the Norwegian Labour Party. He served as the 26th prime minister of Norway from 1971 to 1972 and again from 1973 to 1976. He was president of the Nordic Council in 1978. [1]

Trygve Bratteli
PM Trygve Bratteli.jpeg
26th Prime Minister of Norway
In office
16 October 1973 – 15 January 1976
MonarchOlav V
Preceded byLars Korvald
Succeeded byOdvar Nordli
In office
17 March 1971 – 18 October 1972
MonarchOlav V
Preceded byPer Borten
Succeeded byLars Korvald
President of the Nordic Council
In office
1 June 1978 – 17 September 1978
Preceded byV. J. Sukselainen
Succeeded byOlof Palme
Leader of the Labour Party
In office
Preceded byEinar Gerhardsen
Succeeded byReiulf Steen
Minister of Finance
In office
28 December 1956 – 23 April 1960
Prime MinisterEinar Gerhardsen
Preceded byMons Lid
Succeeded byPetter Jakob Bjerve
In office
19 November 1951 – 22 January 1955
Prime MinisterOscar Torp
Preceded byOlav Meisdalshagen
Succeeded byMons Lid
Minister of Transport and Communications
In office
25 September 1963 – 20 January 1964
Prime MinisterEinar Gerhardsen
Preceded byLars Leiro
Succeeded byErik Himle
In office
23 April 1960 – 28 August 1963
Prime MinisterEinar Gerhardsen
Preceded byKolbjørn Varmann
Succeeded byLars Leiro
Member of the Norwegian Parliament
In office
1 January 1950 – 30 September 1981
DeputyHjalmar Larsen
Omar Gjesteby
Gunnar Alf Larsen
Trygve Bull
Thorbjørn Berntsen
Personal details
Trygve Martin Bratteli

(1910-01-11)11 January 1910
Nøtterøy, Vestfold, Norway
Died20 November 1984(1984-11-20) (aged 74)
Oslo, Norway
Political partyLabour
SpouseRandi Larssen (1924–2002)
Children3 (including Ola Bratteli)
Alma materUniversity of Oslo


Bratteli was born on the island of Nøtterøy at Færder in Vestfold, Norway. His parents were Terje Hansen Bratteli (1879–1967) and Martha Barmen (1881–1937). He attended school locally, having many jobs including: work in fishing, as a coal miner and on a building site. Over a 9- to 10-month period, Bratteli travelled with whalers to Antarctica, where he worked in a guano factory at South Georgia Island. He was a student at the socialist school at Malmøya in 1933. Oscar Torp, chairman of the Norwegian Labour Party, asked him to become editor of Folkets Frihet in Kirkenes and later editor of Arbeiderungdommen which was published by the Socialist Youth League of Norway. For a period during 1940, he also served as Secretary of the Norwegian Labour Party.

Following the Nazi invasion of Norway, the daily newspaper Arbeiderbladet was closed down during 1940 by Nazi officials. Bratteli subsequently participated in the Norwegian resistance movement. He was arrested by agents of Nazi Germany in 1942, and was a Nacht und Nebel prisoner of various German concentration camps; including Natzweiler-Struthof, from 1943 to 1945. He was also imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, north of Berlin.[2] He was liberated from Vaihingen an der Enz concentration camp on 5 April 1945, by the Swedish Red Cross White Buses along with fifteen other Norwegians who had survived.[3]

Political careerEdit

After the liberation of Norway in 1945, Bratteli was appointed as Secretary of the Labour Party. He became chairman of the Workers' Youth League, vice chairman of the party, served on the newly formed defence commission, and in 1965; was made Chairman of the Labour Party. Bratteli was elected to the Norwegian Parliament from Oslo in 1950, and was re-elected on seven occasions.

He was appointed as Minister of Finance in Oscar Torp's cabinet, and from 1956 to 1960 in the third cabinet of Einar Gerhardsen. From 1960 to 1963, during Gerhardsen's third period as Prime Minister, he was Minister of Transport and Communications. He was also acting Minister of Finance from January–February 1962. In September 1963, when Gerhardsen's fourth cabinet was formed, Bratteli was again made Minister of Transport and Communications, a post he held until 1964.

The centre-right cabinet of Borten held office from 1965 to 1971, but when it collapsed, Bratteli became Prime Minister. In social policy, Bratteli's premiership saw the passage of a law in June 1972 that lowered the pension age to 67.[4] Central to his political career was the question of Norway's membership of the European Community. Following the close rejection of membership in the 1972 referendum, his cabinet resigned. However, the successor cabinet Korvald only lasted one year, and the second cabinet Bratteli was formed following the 1973 Norwegian parliamentary election. Bratteli resigned as prime minister in January 1976 on the grounds of ill health. He was succeeded by fellow Labour member Odvar Nordli.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Trygve Bratteli was married to Randi Helene Larssen (1924–2002). They had three children: two daughters, Tone and Marianne, and one son, professor Ola Bratteli (1946–2015).[6] Bratteli's memoirs of his experiences in Nazi concentration camps was published in 1980. He died in 1984 and was buried at Vestre gravlund in Oslo. Trygve Bratteli was a member of Friends of Israel within the Norwegian Labour Movement (Venner av Israel i Norsk Arbeiderbevegelse) which planted a forest to his memory in Israel.[7]


  1. ^ Knut Are Tvedt (21 March 2018). "Trygve Bratteli". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  2. ^ Tillack-Graf, Anne-Kathleen (2012). Erinnerungspolitik der DDR. Dargestellt an der Berichterstattung der Tageszeitung "Neues Deutschland" über die Nationalen Mahn- und Gedenkstätten Buchenwald, Ravensbrück und Sachsenhausen (in German). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. p. 64. ISBN 978-3-631-63678-7.
  3. ^ Egil Helle. "Trygve Bratteli". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  4. ^ Growth to limits: the Western European welfare states since World War 2: Volume 4 by Peter Flora
  5. ^ "Trygve Bratteli, Prime Minister 1971–1972 and 1973–1976". 30 May 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  6. ^ "Trygve Bratteli".
  7. ^ "Randi Bratteli". Store norske Retrieved April 1, 2018.

See alsoEdit

Other sourcesEdit

Related readingEdit

  • Bratteli Trygve (1980) Fange I Natt Og Take (Oslo: Tiden Norsk Forlag) ISBN 978-8210020049


  • Thirteen Norwegians died at Vaihingen and were buried in a mass grave, according to: Ottosen, Kristian (2001-07-02). "Gjensyn med Vaihingen". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2008-02-21.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Norwegian Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Preceded by Norwegian Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Preceded by Norwegian Minister of Transport and Communications
Succeeded by
Preceded by Norwegian Minister of Transport and Communications
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Norway
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Norway
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Party secretary of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chairman of the Workers' Youth League
1945–1946 (acting)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chairman of the Norwegian Labour Party
Succeeded by