Martin Tranmæl
Martin Olsen Tranmæl was a radical Norwegian
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 socialist leader.


Martin Tranmæl grew up in a middle-sized farm in Melhus
Melhus is a village and municipality in Sør-Trøndelag county, Norway. It is part of the Gauldalen region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Melhus...

, in Sør-Trøndelag
- References :...

 county, Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. He started working as a painter
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 and construction worker
Construction worker
A construction worker or builder is a professional, tradesman, or labourer who directly participates in the physical construction of infrastructure.-Construction trades:...

. In the early 20th century, Tranmæl lived for a while in the USA where he came into contact with the American workers movement. When he moved back to Norway he became active in the Norwegian Labour Party
Norwegian Labour Party
The Labour Party is a social-democratic political party in Norway. It is the senior partner in the current Norwegian government as part of the Red-Green Coalition, and its leader, Jens Stoltenberg, is the current Prime Minister of Norway....

  where he soon became one of the main leaders of the Party's left wing and worked for many different socialist papers.

Tranmæl became a Communist after learning of the Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

, and he attended Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

 meetings in Russia and encouraged the Norwegian Labour Party to join the Communist International organization and accept the Twenty-one Conditions
Twenty-one Conditions
The Twenty-one Conditions, officially the Conditions of Admission to the Communist International, refer to the conditions given by Vladimir Lenin to the adhesion of the socialists to the Third International created in 1919 after the 1917 October Revolution. The conditions were formally adopted by...

 for membership. Eventually Tranmæl led the Norwegian Labour Party out of the Comintern after a conflict with its chairman Zinoviev
Grigory Zinoviev
Grigory Yevseevich Zinoviev , born Ovsei-Gershon Aronovich Radomyslsky Apfelbaum , was a Bolshevik revolutionary and a Soviet Communist politician...

 in 1923. The Party was split in two and the Communist Party of Norway
Communist Party of Norway
The Communist Party of Norway is a political party in Norway without parliamentary representation. It was formed in 1923, following a split in the Norwegian Labour Party. The party played an important role in the resistance to German occupation during the Second World War, and experienced a brief...

 was formed that year by people who wanted to stay in the Comintern.

He participated in the Left Communist Youth League
Left Communist Youth League
Left Communist Youth League was the youth organization of the Norwegian Labour Party from 1923-1927. VKU published Den røde ungdom...

's military strike
Military strike
A military strike is a limited attack on a specified target. Strikes are used, amongst other things, to render facilities inoperable , to assassinate enemy leaders, and to limit supply to enemy troops. A strike can often be the prelude to a war or siege, whose initial strike is for a strategic or...

 action of 1924. He agitated for it through the newspaper Arbeiderbladet
Dagsavisen is a daily newspaper published in Oslo, Norway. The former party organ of the Norwegian Labour Party, the ties loosened over time from 1975 to 1999, and it is now fully independent...

, and was convicted for this crime and sentenced to 5 months days of prison.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and the Nazi occupation of Norway
Occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany
The occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany started with the German invasion of Norway on April 9, 1940, and ended on May 8, 1945, after the capitulation of German forces in Europe. Throughout this period, Norway was continuously occupied by the Wehrmacht...

, Tranmæl lived in exile in Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

, 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....

. He had many friends there like Zeth Höglund
Zeth Höglund
Carl Zeth "Zäta" Konstantin Höglund was a leading Swedish communist politician, anti-militarist, author, journalist and mayor of Stockholm ....

 and Ture Nerman
Ture Nerman
Ture Nerman was a Swedish socialist. As a journalist and author, he was a well-known political activist in his time. He also wrote poems and songs.Nerman was a vegetarian and a strict teetotaler...

. After the war he returned to Norway, and while still a socialist, had more moderate views and supported the Norwegian membership in NATO in 1949.

Selected works

  • De faglige kampmidler og organisasjonsformer, (1911)
  • Hvad fagopposisjonen vil, (1913)
  • Hvem vil borgerkrig?, (1915)
  • Socialisme og de socialistiske fremgangslinjer, (1918)
  • Revolutionær fagbevægelse, (1920)
  • Cellebetragtninger, (1922)
  • Arbeiderungdom! Et alvorsord fra fengslet, arbeiderungdommen og kommunismen, (1925)


  • Olsen, Bjorn Gunnar (1991) Tranmæl og hans menn
  • Zachariassen, Aksel (1979) Martin Tranmæl
  • Lie, Haakon (1988) Martin Tranmæl

External links

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