Berit Ruud Retzer


 Arne Treholt and Jens Evensen

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Jens Evensen has been one of the most important Norwegians in the second half of the 20th century. The book paints a portrait of an influential and powerful man who has brought enormous wealth to Norway by securing large areas of the continental shelves for oil and gas exploration but who was involved with several espionage affairs in Norway. The book is an excellent review of modern Norwegian history. It is a thrilling story about power and betrayal, jealousness and intrigues, greatness and narrow-mindedness

Jens Evensen was born in 1917 as son of a poor sausage maker who built up one of Norway’s largest supermarket chain and became a multi-millionaire. The book describes Jens Evensen`s career that begun as a lawyer, police inspector and public prosecutor, involved in the arrest of Vidkun Quisling in 1945. It describes his rise in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, his fight against the Junta dictatorship in Greece, his leading role in the establishment of the international 200 nautical miles economic zones and in the modernization of the international law of the sea, his role as negotiator with the former Soviet Union, his fight for Northern Europe as a nuclear weapons-free zone, and his involvement in a number of espionage cases.

The book provides a very intimate insight into Jens Evensen`s lonely life in The Netherlands as judge at the United Nations International Court of Justice, after his closest friend and ”un-adopted son” Arne Treholt, was arrested in 1984 for espionage and later sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Jens Evensen died on 15 February 2004, 86 years old.  
Norway mourns death of Jens Evensen (Aftenposten,  Norwegian newspaper)

The United States Library of Congress has included the biography in its selection as an important document about Norwegian history, politics and politicians (library control number: 11875315).

In August 2004, the Russian translation of the book was published by IMPETO, Moscow, supported by the NORLA, the Marketing Unit for Norwegian International Non-Fiction Literature. and by the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries. The book is not yet available in English.

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Last update 17-Jan-09