CareerTangen chaired the trade union Norwegian Union of Building Workers
Norwegian Union of Building Industry Workers
The Norwegian Union of Building Industry Workers was a trade union in Norway, organized under the national Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions....
from 1935, having been deputy chairman from 1933 to 1934. In 1940 he was a central member of Fagopposisjonen av 1940
Fagopposisjonen av 1940
Fagopposisjonen av 1940 was a grouping among Norwegian trade unionists in 1940, after the German invasion of Norway....
(Trade Opposition of 1940), for which he chaired the executive committee. The purpose of this Trade Opposition was to use the recent German occupation of Norway for the better, in the then-absence of a real "bourgeois" political authority. The Trade Opposition leader Håkon Meyer became more content with cooperating with the Nazis, including the Norwegian Fascist party, and on 28 September 1940 Tangen was ordered by the Nazis to assume the chairmanship
Leaders of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions
Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions was founded in 1899, and has had the following leaders:- Leaders :*1899-1900: Hans G. Jensen*1900-1901: Dines Jensen*1901-1904: Adolf Pedersen*1904-1905: Joh. Johansen*1905-1906: Adolf Pedersen*1906-1925: Ole O...
of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions
Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions
The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions is a national trade union center, decidedly the largest and probably the most influential umbrella organization of labour unions in Norway. The 21 national unions affiliated to the LO have more than 850,000 members of a Norwegian population of 4.8 million...
. He chose Ludvik Buland
Ludvik Buland was a Norwegian trade unionist. He chaired the Norwegian Union of Railway Workers, but was imprisoned and died during the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany.-Early life and career:...
as deputy chairman. Tangen had a certain degree of cooperation with the Nazis, and visited Germany in January 1941. He became unpopular with some, but never became popular with the authorities either.
ImprisonmentFollowing the milk strike
The milk strike was a strike in Nazi occupied Oslo on 8 and 9 September 1941. It led to strong reprisals from the German occupiers, in the form of martial law, court-martial, mass arrests, two executions and several long-term jail sentences.-Start:...
in September 1941, the Nazis took a tighter grip on society in general, usurped the Confederation of Trade Unions completely and installed Odd Fossum
Odd Fossum was a Norwegian shop assistant, and leader of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions from 1941 to 1945, under Nazi regime during the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany. He was also the leader of NS Faggruppeorganisasjon from 12 October 1940 to September 1944, when he was...
as new leader on 10 September. Tangen was arrested and imprisoned in Grini concentration camp from 10 September 1941 to 27 February 1942, and then at Møllergata 19
Møllergata 19 is an address in Oslo, Norway where the city's main police station and jail was located. The address gained notoriety during the German occupation from 1940 to 1945, when the Nazi security police kept its headquarters here...
for one week. After his release, he fled to Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....
, where he played no political role. Ludvik Buland was imprisoned and died in Germany, whereas the head of the judicial office in the Confederation, Viggo Hansteen
Harald Viggo Hansteen was a Norwegian lawyer who was executed by the Nazis during the five-year Occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany. -Biography:...
, was executed.
Post-warAfter the war, in 1946, Tangen was excluded by the Congress of the Confederation of Trade Unions for collaboration
Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, — for example, an intriguing endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing...
. His personal secretary, Martin Brendberg, was excluded as well. However, Tangen was acquitted of treason by Oslo City Court
Oslo District Court
Oslo District Court is the district court serving Oslo, Norway. Cases may be appealed to Borgarting Court of Appeal. As the largest district court in Norway, it handles about 20% of all cases in the country...
in 1949 as a part of the legal purge in Norway after World War II
Legal purge in Norway after World War II
When the occupation of Norway ended in May 1945, several thousand Norwegians and foreign citizens were tried and convicted for various acts that the occupying powers sanctioned...
. The court found that his degree of cooperation was acceptable.