(1) The states involved were : - Within the Holy Empire : - The Austrian Netherlands (also Southern Netherlands or Pays belgiques) : encompassing the following principalities joined in a personal union by the Habsburgs : - the Duchy of Brabant and part of the County of Dalhem, - the County of Flanders, formally still one unit, but de facto divided into - Eastern Flanders - Western Flanders, - the County of Hainaut, - the Duchy of Limburg, - the Duchy of Luxembourg, - the Lordship of Mechelen, - the County of Namur, - the Town and Lordship of Tournai and the Tournaisis. - The County of Fagnolle, - The Lordship of Kessenich, - The Principality of Liège, to which were united the Counties of Horn (in the Netherlands) and of Loon, - The County of Rekem, - The Lordship of Sint-Pieters-Voeren, one of the possessions of the Teutonic Order in the area, - The Principality of Stavelot-Malmédy. - The Duchy of Bouillon, a French protectorate. The name Belgium The ancient name of Belgica was revived in the 16th century to indicate the lands which had been united under Burgundian rule. As such it referred to most of the present-day Netherlands and to present-day Luxembourg, but only to part of present-day Belgium. Gradually the word - mostly used by intellectuals - became a synonym of Netherlands and of all that was related to it. For instance : - Belgium Foederatum = The United Provinces. - Confessio Belgica = Protestant Church of the United Provinces. - Lingua Belgica = Dutch. - Nova Belgica = Nieuw Nederland = New Netherlands = New York It was only at the end of the 18th century that a derived French adjective - belgique - started to be used for the territories under Habsburg rule, which proclaimed their independence - as the États belgiques réunis - in 1790. Later the derived names of Belgique and België (sometimes also Belgenland) gradually also started to be used, but once again only for the (former) Austrian possessions : in 1814 the allies still made a difference between "Belgique" and "le Pays de Liège" (Furthermore the arbitrary frontiers of the governments general they then established prove also that they didn't consider the region as one unity). It was only after the revolt of 1830 that the names Belgique and België, started to cover all territories. (2) The other options that were rejected were : - the creation of an independent state. This possibility seems to have been briefly advanced by the allies, but it was rapidly dropped as the population showed little interest as : - there existed nothing like a common Belgian "feeling" or "indentity" at that moment, the different regions still being attached to their former particularisms, - those regions that had briefly experienced an independent "Belgian" state in 1790 feared that independence would once again bring them anarchy, chaos and war. - a restoration of Habsburg rule. This possibility was favoured by the local ruling classes, hoping that the return of conservative Habsburg rule would also mean the restoration of their former privileges, abolished during French rule. Austria itself showed however no interest at all, prefering extending its zone of influence in Italy. - a division of the area between the Netherlands (North of the Meuse river) and Prussia (South of the Meuse). As the fixation of the exact frontiers however caused problems, Prussia itself soon dropped the idea, prefering to keep its safe Rhine frontier. (3) The opponents to the Dutch regime included : - Catholics, who feared "Calvinist" domination, - Liberals, who were opposed to the authoritarian rule of King Willem I, - Francophones (both in Flanders and in Wallonia), who were opposed to the introduction of Dutch as the official language. But whatever the reasons for their opposition may have been, the principal aim of most of the insurgents - whose leaders nearly all were Francophones or French - seems to have been the reunion of "Belgium" to France (French flags were among the first to be used during the revolt). And it was only after this project had been rejected by the Great Powers, that they accepted the idea of an independent Belgian state, which came to be dominated by a Francophone and Francophile elite, despite the fact that the majority of its population didn't speak nor understand French (not only in Flanders, but also in parts of Wallonia and in German Old Belgium) For more on the all dominating linguistic aspect of Belgian history see : Flanders (to be added) (4) The successes of the insurgents were not only the result of French support, but also of the attitude of the two successive Dutch commanders sent to quell the revolt : - InfGen. Willem Frederik George Lodewijk, de prins van Oranje (1792 - 1849) did not commit his troops, hoping that negociations about the granting of administrative autonomy to the southern provinces would bring a solution. - ColGen. Willem Frederik Karel, Prins der Nederlanden, Prins van Oranje- Nassau (1797 - 1881), did not fully commit his troops, allowing by this error the insurgents to extend their power, especially in Wallonia. - InfGen. Willem Frederik George Lodewijk, de prins van Oranje (2x). Hoping to win a throne, he started negociations with the insurgents and on Oct 16 proclaimed the independence of Belgium with himself as head of state, ordering all Dutch troops in the area to depose their arms and to retreat north of the Rhine river. The first part of his proclamation had no real consequences and he was even forced to go into London exile by the Dutch king. There he at first confirmed his proclamation (Jan 11 1831), but later he made peace with his father and in Aug 1831 he even took command of the Dutch army trying to reconquer Belgium. The second part of his proclamation did however have serious consequences as the Dutch troops - with some exceptions - followed his orders, leaving the whole part of the kingdom south of the Rhine river open to Belgian conquest and by Nov 1830 the provisional government also ruled : - Flanders, except the fortress of Antwerp [Fortress Commander : LtGen. David Henricus, Baron Chassé "Generaal Bajonet" (1765 - 1849)], which held out until Dec 1832 when forced to capitulate by French troops. - the (Dutch-Flemish) province of Limburg, except the City of Maastricht - the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, except the City of Luxembourg. (Only the present-day Netherlands provinces of Zeeland and Noord Brabant escaped conquest, their military commanders - following the example of the local commanders of Antwerp, Luxembourg and Maastricht (s.a.) - refusing to follow the orders of Prince Willem) (5) Usually the date of Oct 04 1830 is given as the date of the proclamation of Belgian independence. But some authors - mainly Flemish nationalists looking for legal arguments against the existence of Belgium - contest this date and even pretend that - if one also excludes the proclamation of Oct 16 (s.a.) - there never was a declaration of independence (and that Belgium consequently is an illegal state only created and maintained by the major powers). Although not all of their arguments are convincing, it seemed useful - or at least interesting - to list them : - Many (most ?) countries have their National Day on the date independence was proclaimed. In Belgium this is not the case (Jul 21 instead of Oct 4) simply because there was nothing to commemorate on Oct 4, and one had to choose another date. (perhaps the weakest of the arguments) - the text of Oct 4 was not a formal declaration of independence which can be compared to other unilateral declarations of independence [like those of the United Provinces (1581), of the US (1776), of the États belgiques réunis (1789), of Ireland (1916), of Vietnam (1945), etc] as it gives no moral, political, legal or actual arguments to justify the secession, but only states that "separation of the Belgian provinces from Holland by force" took place. [According to Prof. Michel Magits ("Het zelfsbeschikkingsrecht tijdens de Belgische revolutie - een onderzoek naar de houding van de Belgische constituante 1830 - 1831", Brussels 1995) the text did deliberately not give justifications for the secession, mainly because the insurgents had no intention at all to establish an sovereign state, but simply saw their regime as a temporary administration - for which no legal justification was needed - until the annexation to France] - Likewise the text did not explicitely proclaim Belgian independence on Oct 4, once again simply stating that "the Belgian provinces ... will become an independent state". And according to the authors this vague statement was never followed by an actual dated independence declaration. The only attempt to do so was made on Nov 12 when delegate de Celles proposed the National Congress to issue a decree formally proclaiming independence. It was rejected four days later as being a waist of time and unnecessary. International position of Belgium 1830 - 1831 The original reactions of the major powers on the revolt and the secession were divided : - the UK was at first opposed to the secession, but later it supported the idea of a separate Belgian entity - if possible under the authority of the exiled Prince Willem (s.a.) - as the only way to prevent annexation of the area by France. - France was immediately in favour of the secession, hoping to annex all or at least part of the area. - Austria, Prussia and Russia were strongly opposed. Russia even prepared a large army to march on Brussels to help the Dutch, but the Polish rising prevented its departure. To find a solution a conference started in London in Nov 1830. At first there was little support in favour of an independent Belgian state and the French even proposed a new partition of the area : - the province of Antwerpen - except the city itself - and the province of Limburg west of the Meuse river - except Maastricht - would remain to the Netherlands, as was a small part of the province of (Southern) Brabant, the former Oranje Lordship of Diest, - the parts of the provinces of Liège, of Limburg and of Namur east of the Meuse river as well as the cities of Maastricht and of Liège (both west of the river) and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg would be assigned to Prussia, - part of the province of Oost-Vlaanderen, nearly all of the province of (Southern) Brabant, the province of Hainaut and the province of Namur west of the Meuse would go to France, - the provinces of West-Vlaanderen and of Zeeland, most of the province of Oost-Vlaanderen and the city of Antwerpen were to form the Free State of Antwerpen (or more or less a restored County of Flanders), under British protection. But finally the Powers - headed by the UK, possibly still hoping to install Prince Willem on the throne - decided to give a Belgian state a chance and by the Protocols of London of Jan 1831, the separation of the southern provinces was confirmed, the exact conditions having to be fixed by a Belgian -Dutch Treaty : - a first Treaty ("of the XVIII Articles") of Jun 1831 was seen as too favourable to Belgium by the Dutch. It was rejected and followed by a Dutch attempt of reconquest (Aug 1831). - although defeated the Dutch now obtained a much more favourable Treaty ("of the XIV Articles") which they however also rejected (Nov 1831). Belgium and France 1831 In early 1831 the provisional rulers of Belgium hadn't given up the idea of a union with France. 1830 Dec 24 : the Belgian authorities proposed annexation to France. 1831 Jan 11 : Fearing problems with the UK, France rejected the proposition. (but continued agitation for the annexation of some frontier regions - Bouillon, Mariembourg, Philippeville and even the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg - until Apr) Instead, two French princes were proposed as candidates for the Belgian throne : - Auguste Charles Eugène Napoléon (August Karl Eugen Napoléon) Duc de (Herzog von) Leuchtenberg (1810 - 1835), son of Eugène de Beauharnais, a bonapartist candidate no longer supported by the French government after Jan 21 - Louis Charles Philippe Raphaël d’Orléans, duc de Nemours (1814– 1896), son of Louis-Philippe, King of the French Feb 03 : the Duc de Nemours was elected King by the Belgian Congress. But as the UK immediately reacted and threatened to support an Orangist revolt, Louis-Philippe declined the offer. After this most Francophile leaders rallied to the new Belgian state, getting leading positions in the administration and in the army of a state which for a long time was as French as France could be. The idea of a union with France however never completely disappeared and is still (2004) advocated by minor Walloon groups and political parties, like the Rassemblement Wallonie-France (RWF) [headed by Paul-Henri Gendebien, a descendant of Alexandre Gendebien - one of the principal leaders of the revolt of 1830 - and proposer of the annexation in 1830]. (althouogh leaders of the major Parti Socialiste sometimes also threaten to unite with France when discussions with the Flemings are not going the way they want ...) Orangists Orangists (Orangisten) was the name given to the inhabitants of the southern provinces remaining loyal to the Dutch king after the start of the revolt in Aug 1830. They included : - Dutchspeaking Flemings fearing that a new, Francophone dominated, entity would endanger the existence of their language and culture. They would later be among the founders of the so-called "Flemish Movement" - Francophone members of the economical elite - as well in Flanders as in Wallonia - who feared that secession of the Netherlands would end their lucrative business with the Dutch oversea dependencies. In the first stage of the revolt the Orangists continued to head the local administrations in those territories where Dutch troops remained present. But once these were gone, Belgian administrators easely took over. In early 1831 there was a brief revival of the movement and a revolt - to be headed by Jakob, Baron Van der Smissen (1788 - 1856) and to be supported by the British - was even prepared in Feb 1831, but nothing came of it. The Orangists were now eliminated from the local positions they still held and after the Treaty of 1839 and a last failed coup attempt - once again headed by Baron Van der Smissen (s.a.) - the movement gradually faded away, most members joining the Belgian Liberal Party. The idea of the re-establishment of the union with the Netherlands however survived - and still survives - among some Flemish nationalist groups and parties, like the present-day (2004) Flemish Interest (Vlaams Belang). (6) The principal clauses of the Treaties of London of 1839 : - the creation of a neutral state of Belgium, guaranteed by the Great Powers (Ended de facto in 1914, when Germany invaded Belgium and de jure in 1919 when the Treaty of Versailles was signed), - the partition of Limburg and Luxembourg, - the Belgian navigation on the Schelde (Scheldt) river - the only way out for the important port of Antwerpen - was made subject to the payment of a toll of 1.5 guilders per ton. (Ended in 1863 when Belgium payed a sum of 17,141,640 guilders - see also below : Iron Rhine) Despite this treaty it took some Belgians quite some time to give up all claims on the frontier regions : - in 1914 - 1919 political and military leaders asked for the annexation of the Netherlands provinces of Limburg and Zeeland and of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, - in 1918 - 1919 nationalist groups - like the Comité de Politique nationale - asked for the annexation of parts of Limburg, Noord Brabant and Zeeland, of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as well as of parts of the Prussian Rhine Province (including cities like Köln and Düsseldorf). But all the Belgians eventually got by the Peace Treaty of Versailles of 1919 were : - the so-called Eastern Cantons - Neutral Moresnet (claimed since 1831) - a mandate over Ruanda-Urundi (all this completed by an economic and financial union with Luxembourg in 1922) Iron Rhine (1839 - 2005) As a compensation for the Dutch right to impose the navigation on the Scheldt river, the treaties of 1839 authorized Belgium to use a direct landway linking the port of Antwerp to the German industrial zones on the Rhine. Based on this clause Belgium constructed in 1869 a railway - running from Antwerp to Mönchengladbachon in Germany - passing through the southern Netherlands. The exploitation of the line started however only in 1879 after the signing in 1873 of a treaty between the two states (giving Belgium a lease of 99 years on the used area). The railway - which became known as the Iron Rhine [Ijzeren Rijn, from the ancient Dutch word for railway (ijzerweg/iron way)] - never enjoyed any extraterritoriality and was runned by a Belgian private company - the Grand Central belge - until 1897 when it was sold to the Dutch State Railways. As a consequence of WWI the use of the line partly declined as most of the goods were now transported by other ways. Passengers traffic continued however to be among the most important of Europe until after WWII, when it also declined. The tract was later only used for military transports and in 1991 it was completely abandoned. In the late 1990's the Belgian and Flemish governmnents - confronted with the growing importance of the port of Antwerp and inspired by the European instructions concerning of the transports of goods by land - started negociations with the Dutch government for the re-opening of the tract. All failed and the matterr was therefor submitted to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, which in May 2005 : - rejected the Dutch arguments (the treaty of 1873 had expired, the Dutch State Railways owned the tract since 1897, part of the concerned area had become a nature reserve) - followed the Belgian argumentattion (the treaties of 1839 had never been abolished and are therefor still valid) - imposed a comprmise for the practical execution of the ruling (Belgium had to pay the modernization of the tract, the Netherlands had to pay its maintainance and both countries were to take common measures for the protection of the nature area) Normally a first part of the railway should have been actived by Nov 2005. But new Dutch opposition to the re-activation has postponed it.



In Aug 1914 German troops invaded Belgium and for the next four years most of the country was under foreign rule.
German AdministratorsBelgian AdministratorsAdministrators of Relief Organizations
GERMAN ADMINISTRATORS Initially the administration was entrusted to the Etappenverwaltungen attached to each of the five armies operating in the area. From North to South this were : - 1st Army (in Northern Belgium) - 2nd Army (in Central Belgium) - 3rd Army (in Southern Belgium) - 4th Army (in Southern Belgium) - 5th Army (in Southern Belgium) Commander of the 1st Army Befehlshaber der I Armee 1914 - 1915 ColGen. Alexander Heinrich Rudolf von Kluck 1846 - 1934 Commander of the 2nd Army Befehlshaber der II Armee 1914 - 1915 GenFieldMarsh. Karl Wilhelm Paul von Bülow 1846 - 1921 Commander of the 3rd Army Befehlshaber der III Armee 1914 ColGen. Max Clemens Lothar Freiherr von Hausen 1846 - 1933 Commanders of the 4th Army Befehlshaber der IV Armee 1914 - 1918 See below. Commander of the 5th Army Befehlshaber der V Armee 1914 - 1916 LtGen. Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Otto Ernst von Hohenzollern, Kronprinz von Preussen "Deutscher Kronprinz" 1882 - 1951 By early Sep 1914 all armies - except the 4th, which was transferred to the Belgian -German front in Flanders - had moved to France and until 1916 - when some Belgian territories where transferred to their Etappenverwaltungen (1) - they were no more concerned with Belgium's administration. Belgium itself was now divided into three administrative zones : - the Etappengebiet of the 4th Army - the Government General of Belgium (1) - the Neutral zone of the castle of Boechout at Meise (near Brussels) (2) ADMINISTRATORS OF THE ETAPPENGEBIET OF THE 4th ARMY Commanders of the 4th Army Befehlshaber der IV Armee (Until 1916 directly subordinated to the military authorities in Berlin, thereafter to the Army Group "Kronprinz Rupprecht") (The Etappengebiet was ruled by its own military laws and laws promulgated by the Governor General were applied only when the commander of the 4th Army confirmed them) 1914 - 1917 GenFieldMar. Albrecht Maria Alexander Philipp Joseph Herzog von Württemberg 1865 - 1939 1917 - 1918 InfGen. Friedrich Sixt von Arnim 1851 - 1936 Chiefs of Staff Stabschefs (also supervised civil and administrative affairs) 1914 LtGen. Walter Karl Friedrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz 1859 - 1942 1914 - 1917 LtGen. Emil Eduard Karl Ilse 1864 - 1943 1917 - 1918 MajGen. Friedrich "Fritz" Karl von Lossberg 1868 - 1942 Regional Military Administrators The Etappengebiet was divided into Feldkommandanturen (Brugge, Dendermonde, Gent, Lokeren, etc) Civil Administrators See the Civil Presidents of Oost-Vlaanderen en West-Vlaanderen ADMINISTRATORS OF THE GOVERNMENT GENERAL Governors General Generalgouverneure 1914 Generalfieldmar. Colmar Wilhelm Leopold Freiherr von der Goltz 1843 - 1916 1914 - 1917 ColGen. Moritz Ferdinand Freiherr von Bissing 1844 - 1917 1917 - 1918 ColGen. Ludwig Alexander Friedrich August Philipp Freiherr von Falkenhausen (3) 1844 - 1936 Head of the Administration Verwaltungschef (also controlling the Belgian administrations) 1914 - 1917 Maximilian Karl Peter Joseph von Sandt, Regierungspräsident of Aachen 1886 - 1918 Head of the Political Section Chef der Politischen Abteilung [in charge of international issues resulting from the occupation, of internal and church affairs and of the so-called "Flamenpolitik" (for which see Flanders - to be added)] 1915 - 1918 Oscar Freiherr von der Lancken-Wakenitz, since 1914 representative of the German Department of Foreign Affairs 1867 - 1939 Head of the Bank Section and Commissioner General for the Banks Chef der Bankabteilung und Generalkommissar für die Banken (controlling the activities of the Belgian banks and as such also de facto in charge of financial affairs) 1914 - 1918 Carl von Lumm 1864 - 1930 Commissioner of the Colonial Office Kommissar des Kolonialamts (in charge of colonial affairs) 191. - 1918 Edmund Brückner 1871 - 1935 Regional German Administrators See here BELGIAN CENTRAL ADMINISTRATORS For regional and local administrators see here A the moment of its departure into exile, the Belgian government appointed Édouard Michel Levie (1851 - 1939) head of all ongoing administrations in Belgium (4). In 1918 two assistants - Paul-Émile Janson (1872 - 1944) and Charles Henri Joseph Wauters (1842 - 1929) were assigned to him. PERIOD 1914 - 1917 In this period most Belgian Ministries - except those of Foreign Affairs, War and Colonies, which were abolished - continued to work. They were now headed by their administrative heads under the authority of German Directors. RERIOD 1917 - 1918 In 1917 - as a preparation for a possible division of the country into two separate autonomous or independent polities - Belgium was divided into two administrative regions : - Flandern (Vlaanderen) - capital : Brussels - covering : - the provinces of Antwerpen, Limburg, Oost-Vlaanderen and West-Vlaanderen - the districts (arrondissementen) Brussel and Leuven of the province of Brabant - Wallonien (Wallonie) - capital : Namur - covering : - the provinces of Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg and Namur, - the district (arrondissement) Nivelles of the province of Brabant. Each region was under the supervision of a German office (the Superior Commission until 1918, then renamed Main Commission) and was administered by its own Flemish or Walloon ministries, created by the division of the former Belgian ministries. (5) Chief of the Administration of the Superior Commission/Head Commission for Flanders Verwaltungschef der Oberkommission/Hauptkommission für Flandern 1917 - 1918 Alexander Schaible 1870 - 1933 Chief of the Administration of the Superior Commission/Main Commission for Wallonia Verwaltungschef der Oberkommission/Hauptkommission für Wallonien 1917 - 1918 Franz Haniel ADMINISTRATORS OF RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS ADMINISTRATORS OF THE COMMISSION FOR RELIEF IN BELGIUM Alarmed by the suffering of the Belgian civil population after the German invasion, some US citizens decided to create a relief organization, the American Commission for Relief in Belgium, which was soon transformed into the Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB) under the patronage of the Netherlands, Spain and the US. After agreements had been made with Allied and German officials (6) the CRB started its work in close collaboration with the National Committee. At first confined to the Government General, its activities were later extended to the Etappengebiete of Belgium and France. (7) After the US entered war in 1917 all US officials were forced to leave Belgium and the CRB had to stop its activities in the country. Its tasks were however taken over by the so-called Spanish-Netherlands Committtee. After the German defeat the CRB resumed its activities until 1919, when its liquidation started (ended by 1930) (8) Diplomatic Patrons and Honorary Chairmen 1914 - 1919 -Brand Whitlock, US Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Belgium since 1913 (absent 1917 - 1918) 1869 - 1934 -Walter Hines Page, US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the UK since 1913 1855 - 1918 -Henry van Dyke, US Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Netherlands 1913 - 1917 1852 - 1933 -John Work Garrett, US Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Netherlands since 1917 1872 - 1942 -Alfonso Merry del Val y Zulueta, Marques Merry del Val, Spanish Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the UK since 1913 1864 - 1943 -Rodrigo de Saavedra y Vinent, Marques de Villalobar, Spanish Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Belgium since 1913 1864 - 1926 -Jonkheer H. De Weerde, Netherlands Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Belgium since 1913, later accredited to the Belgian Government in exile and represented in Brussels by : Minister Resident 191. - 1918 Maurits Willem Raedanck van Vollenhoven, Heer van Cleverskerke 1882 - 1976 Honorary Vice Chairmen 1914 - 1919 -Robert Peet Skinner, US Consul General in London 1866 - 1960 -Hugh Simons Gibson, Secretary at the US legation in Brussels until 1917 1883 - 1954 -José Congosto, Spanish Consul General in London Chairman 1914 - 1920 Herbert Clark Hoover 1874 - 1964 Directors Directors in London (possibly incomplete) The London office coordinated all activities, collected money and goods from over the world and organized their transport to Rotterdam. 1914 - 1916 Edgar Rickard 1874 - 1951 1916 - 1919 William Babcock Poland 1868 - Directors in New York The New York office collected money and goods in the US. 1914 - 1915 Lindon Wallace Bates 1883 - 1915 1915 - 1916 John Beaver White 1874 - 1916 Capt. John F. Lucey 1916 - 1918 William L. Honnold 1918 - 1920 Edgar Rickard s.a. Directors in Rotterdam The Rotterdam office organized the transport of collected goods and money to Belgium 1914 Capt. John F. Lucey s.a. 1915 - 1916 Carl A. Young 1916 - 1919 Walter Lyman Brown 1865 - Directors in Brussels The Brussels office took care of the distribution of the received goods and money and was in charge of the relations with the German officials 1914 Dannie N. Heineman 1872 - 1962 -14 - 1915 Capt. John F. Lucey s.a. 1915 Albert Neumann Connett 1859 - 1933 1915 Oscar Terry Crosby 1861 - 1947 1915 Vernon Lyman Kellogg 1867 - 1937 1915 - 1916 William Pabcock Poland s.a. 1916 Vernon Lyman Kellogg (2x) 1916 - 1917 Warren Gregory 1864 - 1927 1917 Prentiss Nathaniel Gray 1884 - 1935 1917 - 1918 none Belgian Representative in charge 1917 - 1918 Fernand Baetens 1918 - 1919 Frederick Huntington Chatfield 1890 - Joint Liquidators 1920 - 1930 -William Babcock Poland s.a. -Edgar Rickard s.a. ADMINISTRATORS OF THE SPANISH-NETHERLANDS COMMITTEE In 1917-1918 the work of the CRB was continued by the newly created Comité Hispano -Hollandais pour 1a Protection du Ravitaillement de la Belgique et du Nord de la France (Spanish-Netherlands Committee for the Protection of the Supply to Belgium and Northern France) under the patronage of the Netherlands and Spain. Patrons Honorary Patrons 1917 - 1918 -Alfonso XIII, King of Spain 1886 - 1931 -Wilhelmina, Queen of the Netherlands 1880 - 1962 Diplomatic Patrons 1917 - 1918 -Alfonso Merry del Val y Zulueta, Marques Merry del Val, Spanish Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the UK since 1913 s.a. -Rodrigo de Saavedra y Vinent, Marques de Villalobar, Spanish Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Belgium since 1913 s.a. -José Congosto, Spanish Consul General in London s.a. -John Loudon, Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs 1912 - 1918 1866 - 1955 -Jonkheer Herman Adriaan van Karnebeek, Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs since 1918 1874 - 1942 -Maurits Willem Raedanck van Vollenhoven, Heer van Cleverskerke, Netherlands Minister Resident in Brussels (apparentely no longer as representative of De Weerde) s.a. Directors The Spanish Directors were in charge of the Government General, the Dutch in charge of the Etappengebieten in Belgium and France. Spanish Director in London 1917 - 1918 José E. Roura Dutch Director in The Hague 1917 - 1918 Jonkheer E. Michiels van Verduynen Directors in Brussels Director of the Spanish section 1917 - 1918 Pedro Saura Director of the Dutch section 1917 - 1918 G. C. W. Langenbergh ADMINISTRATORS OF THE BELGIAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE The Comité National de Secours et d'Alimentation/Nationaal Hulp- en Voedingscomité (National Committee of Relief and Alimentation - in short Nationaal Comité/ Comité National/National Committee)) was created when several local relief organizations - established immediately after the German occupation - merged into one organization, under the protection of the Dutch, Spanish and US envoys to Brussels. The National Committee also took charge of the distribution of the food and other relief goods imported by the CRB. Although formally only concerned with humanitarian assistance the National Committee - held in high esteem by the Belgians, to whome it soon became a symbol of national unity - also gained some political influence. It was therefore somewhat distrusted not only by the Germans (fearing its semi-independent position under international protection) but also by the Belgian government in exile (fearing that its executive committee would evolve into a kind of provisional government of occupied Belgium). After the end of the war the National Committee continued to function until 1919. As it was the only organization having large stocks of food and other relief goods it remained very powerful and when Léon Delacroix (1867 - 1929) formed the first postwar government, he had to include members of the National Committee (Franck as Minister of Colonies, Harmignie as Minister of Arts and Sciences, Masson as Minister of War and Ruzette as Minister of Agriculture - s.b. for full names) Protecting Ministers (also in charge of the relations between the Committee and the German authorities) 1914 - 1918 -Brand Whitlock, US Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Belgium (until 1917) s.a. -Rodrigo de Saavedra y Vinent, Marques de Villalobar, Spanish Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Belgium s.a. -Jonkheer H. De Weerde, Netherlands Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Belgium represented in Brussels by : Minister Resident 191. - 1918 Maurits Willem Raedanck van Vollenhoven, Heer van Cleverskerke s.a. Members of the National Committee Chairman 1914 - 1919 Ernest Gaston Joseph Solvay 1838 - 1922 Vice Chairmen 1914 - 1919 -Jean Jadot, Governor of the Socièté Générale de Belgique 1862 - 1932 -Léon Van Der Rest, Vice Governor of the National Bank Other Members [Memebership at the end of 1918 - (o) = original member in 1914] -José Allard -Louis Bertrand -Ed. Bunge, Vice President of the Relief and Alimentation Committee of the province of Antwerpen -Evence, Baron Coppée (o) -Jean de Hemptinne, President of the Relief and Alimentation Committee of the province of Oost-Vlaanderen 1861 - 1934 -G. de Laveleye, Chairman of the Board of the Banque de Bruxelles (o) -Jean Charles Victurien Ghislain, Prince de Mérode, Comte du Saint Empire, Grand Marshal of the Royal Court, President of the Relief and Alimentation Committee of the province of Brabant (o) 1864 - 1933 -Emmanuel, Chevalier de Wouters d'Oplinter, Administrator of the Banque Belge pour l'Étranger -Albert, Baron d'Huart, President of the Relief and Alimentation Committee of the province of Namur -Louis Marie François Franck, President of the Relief and Alimentation Committee of the province of Antwerpen 1868 - 1937 -Lucien Joseph Émile Francqui, Director of the Socièté Générale de Belgique and Chairman of the Board of the Banque d'Outremer (o) 1863 - 1935 -Auguste, Baron Goffinet, Grand Master of the Household of former (Mexican) Empress Charlotte, President of the Relief and Alimentation Committee of the province of Luxembourg (o) 1857 - 1927 -Max Hallet, President of the Alimentation Department of the Committee of the Brussels Agglomeration 1864 - -Eugène Hanssens -Alphonse Félix Auguste Harmignie, President of the Relief Committee of the province of Hainaut 1851 - 1931 -Constant Heynderickx, Vice President of the Relief and Alimentation Committee of the province of Oost Vlaanderen -W. Hulse, Administrator of the Compagnie Mutuelle de Tramways (o) -... Baron Janssen, Vice President of the Socièté Générale de Belgique (o) -Emmanuel Janssen -Édouard Michel Levie, President of the Board of the Socièté Nationale des Chemins de Fer Vicinaux, President of the Board of the Caisse de Reports et Dépôts s.a. -Fulgence Paul Benoît Masson, President of the Alimentation Committee of the province of Hainaut 1854 - 1942 -Alfred, Baron Orban de Xivry (o) 1857 - 1922 -Clément Peten, Heer van Velm, Vice President of the Relief and Alimentation Committee of the province of Limburg 1866 - 1929 -Franz Moses Philippson (o) 1851 - 1929 -F. Portmans, President of the Relief and Alimentation Committee of the province of Limburg -Albert Emmanuel Henri Maria Ghislain, Baron Ruzette, Vice President of the Relief and Alimentation Committee of the province of West-Vlaanderen 1866 - 1929 -Louis Solvay -Firmin van Bree 1880 - 1960 -E. Van Elewijck -Paul Van Hoegaerden, President of the Relief and Alimentation Committee of the province of Liège 1858 - 1922 -J. Verstraete, President of the Relief and Alimentation Committee of the province of West-Vlaanderen Presidency of the Executive Committee of the National Committee President 1914 - 1918 Lucien Joseph Émile Francqui (sometimes styled the "uncrowned king of Belgium") s.a. Vice Presidents (at the end of 1918) -Emmanuel, Chevalier de Wouters d'Oplinter s.a. -Emmanuel Janssen s.a. -Firmin Van Bree s.a. (1) The frontiers between the Government General, the Etappengebiet of the 4th Army and the Etappengebieten in France were subject to several changes : Initially the Government General covered all of Belgium except : - the Neutral zone of Boechout - the province of Oost-Vlaanderen (Etappengebiet 4th Army) - most of the province of West-Vlaanderen (Etappengebiet 4th Army) It also covered parts of France. Changes included : (GG = Government General - Et. = Etappengebiet) 1916 : - the part of the province of West-Vlaanderen till then part of the GG was transferred to the Et. 4th Army - part of the province of Hainaut was transferred from the GG to the Et. 6th Army. - part of the province of Oost-Vlaanderen was transferred from the Et. 4th Army to the GG. - French Maubeuge was transferred from the GG to the Et. 1st and 2nd Armies 1917 : - part of the province of Hainaut - including its capital Mons - was transferred from the GG to the Et. 1st Army - part of the province of Luxembourg - including its capital Arlon - was transferred from the GG to the Et. 5th Army 1918 : - French Fumay and Givet were transferred from the GG to the Et. 1st Army - part of the province of Hainaut was transferred from the GG to the Et. 4th Army. (2) The castle of Boechout was declared neutral as it was (since 1879) the residence of Princess Maria Charlotte Amélie Auguste Victoire Clémentine Léopoldine (1840 - 1927), former Empress of Mexico (1864 - 1867) and sister-in-law to the Austrian Emperor Franz-Josef. (3) On Nov 10 1918 a Central Soldiers' Council (Zentraler-Soldatenrat) seized power in Brussels and took over the admiinistration from the Government General. At first it tried to establish a revolutionary government with the help of the Belgian Socialists, but as these showed little interest, the council soon restricted its activities to the saveguarding of law and order, to the cooperation with the authorities in the distribution of food and other relief goods and to the return of the German soldiers to their homeland. It seems to have ceased to function ca Nov 16. Chairman of the Central Soldiers' Council 1918 Hugo Freund (4) As such he was the formal head of the provincial administrations (1914), the ministries (1914 - 1917) and the municipal administrations (1914 - 1918) He also supervised the work of the courts and of the National Committee (1914 - 1918) and also had unformal reunions with parliamentarians who had not left the country. (5) The division of the Belgian ministries into Flemish and Walloon ministries actually already started in 1916, when the Ministry of Sciences and Arts was divided. Later the Ministries of Agriculture and of Public Works, of Industry and of Labour, of the Interior, of Justice and of Marine, Posts and Telegraphs followed (all in 1917). The Minstry of Railways - important to German communications - was not divided and the Ministry of Finances only in 1918, after long hesitations and even then Germans retained direct control over financial affairs. The Flemish ministries were headed by Secretaries General (Secretarissen- Generaal), who were at the same time the heads of the same departments in the co-existing administration of Independent Flanders established by the Council of Flanders. (incumbents will be listed under Flanders - to be added) As in Wallonia no high officials were found to head the ministries, they were only headed by subaltern employees. (6) German offices in charge of the relations with the CRB were : 1914 - 1915 : - the Civil Administration for the general supervision. - the Political Section for diplomatic affairs 1915 - 1916 : the Political Section alone 1916 - 1918 : the newly created Liaison Office (Vermittlungsstelle) Head 1916 - 191. Capt. ... Merton In the Etappengebiet of the 4th Army relations with the CRB were handled by the offices of the Chief of Staff (s.a.) (7) In 1915 - 1917 an attempt was made to extend the activities of the CRB to Poland, but as a consequence of the opposition of the local German military leaders, it failed. (8) All remaining stocks were sold by auction. The proceeds of the sale were then used to create the Universitary Foundation (Universitaire Stichting/ Fondation Universitaire) and the Belgian American Educational Foundation both concerned with university education and scientific research. __________________________________________________________________________________


In 1940 Belgium was once again invaded by German troops and as Hitler had postponed a decision about the political place of Belgium in the New Europe until after the end of the war, it remained under "temporary" military rule until 1944 when civil rule was imposed.
Belgian Administrators 1940 - 1944German and Belgian Administrators 1944 - 1945Leaders of the Resistance - Allied Representatives
GERMAN ADMINISTRATORS 1940 - 1944 Commanders of the invading Forces Commander of Army Group A Oberbefehlshaber Heeresgruppe A Orerating in the southern sector (also part of France and Luxembourg) 1940 GenCol. Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt 1875 - 1953 Commander of Army Group B Oberbefehlshaber Heeresgruppe B Operating in the northern sector (also part of France and the Netherlands) 1940 GenCol. Fedor von Bock 1880 - 1945 Once the conquest was ended the government of Belgium was entrusted to a military governor. Some independent offices were not under his authority and were dependent either of their head offices in Berlin or of the same offices in Paris. German Military Commander in Belgium and Northern France Deutsche Militärbefehlshaber in Belgien und Nord Frankreich (Subordinated to the High Command of the Armed Forces - OKW ) 1940 - 1944 InfGen. Alexander von Falkenhausen (1) 1878 - 1966 Central Administrators Heads of the Command Staff Chefs des Kommandostabes (in charge of military affairs) 1940 - 1943 Col. Bodo Christian Anton Mogens von Harbou 1880 - 1943 1943 - 1944 ... Head of the Administrative Staff / Military Administration Leiter des Verwaltungstabes / Militärverwaltung (in charge of civilian affairs) 1940 - 1944 SS-Gruppenf. Eggert Hans Reeder 1894 - 1959 Heads of the Administrative Sections (Leiter der Abteilungen Verwaltung) (in charge of finances, police and justice, culture, etc) 1940 - 1943 SS-Brigadef. Harry Georg von Craushaar 1891 - 1970 1943 - 1944 ... Heads of the Economic Sections (Leiter der Abteilungen Wirtschaft) (in charge of agriculture, forestry, banking, foreign trade, etc) 1940 - 1941 Col. Hans Nagel 1941 - 1943 SS-Brigadef. Karl Schlumprecht 1901 - 1970 1943 - 1944 ... Heads of the Sipo-SD Office - Brussels (Leiter der Sipo-SD Dienststelle Brüssel) (2) 1940 SS-Sturmbannf. Karl Hasselbacher 1... - 1940 1940 - 1942 SS-Standartenf. Carl Constantin Canaris 1906 - 1942 - 1944 SS-Gruppenf. Richard Jungclaus 1905 - 1945 Regional Military Administrators The Military Government of Belgium and Northern France was divided into 5 Oberfeld- kommandanturen : - Brüssel : covered the Belgian provinces of Antwerpen, Brabant and Limburg - Charleroi : covered the Belgian provinces of Hainaut and Namur - Gent : covered the Belgian provinces of Oost- and West Vlaanderen - Lille : covered Northern France - Lüttich : covered the Belgian provinces of Liège and Luxembourg. Oberfeldkommandanten of the Oberfeldkommandantur Brüssel 1940 - 1941 ... 1941 - 1943 LtGen. Günther Freiherr von Hammerstein-Equord 1877 - 1965 1943 - 1944 LtGen. Friedrich Karst 1893 - 1975 Oberfeldkommandanten of the Oberfeldkommandantur Charleroi 1940 - 1942 MajGen. Otto Gullmann 1887 - 1963 1942 - 1944 ... Oberfeldkommandanten of the Oberfeldkommandantur Gent 1940 - 1941 Col. Bernhard von Claer 1888 - 1953 1941 ... 1941 - 1942 MajGen. Bernhard von Claer (2x) 1942 - 1944 MajGen. Walter Bruns 1889 - 1967 Oberfeldkommandanten of the Oberfeldkommandantur Lüttich 1940 - 1942 LtGen. Gustav Keim 1876 - 1955 1942 - 1943 LtGen. Georg Bertram 1882 - 1953 1943 - 1944 LtGen. Bernhard von Claer s.a. INDEPENDENT OFFICIALS (incomplete) Heads of the Bureau of the Foreign office in Brussels and Representatives of the Foreign Office to The Military Commander in Brussels Leiter des Dienststelle des Auswärtiges Amtes in Brüssel und Vertreter des Auswärtiges Amtes beim Militärbefehlshaber in Brüssel 1940 - 1943 Werner von Barger 1898 - 1975 1943 - 1944 none Heads of the Railway Administrations The administration of the Belgian railways was at first taken over by the military. In 1942 it was transferred to the Imperial Railway Administration (Reichsbahn), at that moment united with the Imperial Traffic Ministry. (all officials subordinated to the head offices in Paris) Head of the Traffic Direction of the Armed Forces Brussels Leiter der Wehrmachtverkehrsdirection Brüssel 1940 - 1942 ... Chairman of the Main Traffic Direction Brussels Vorsitzende der Hauptverkehrsdirektion Brüssel 1942 - 194. ... Bauer BELGIAN ADMINISTRATORS 1940 - 1944 Like during WWI the Germans - especially Reeder, the head of the Verwaltung (s.a.) - once again supported the Flemish Movement. But unlike in WWI they didn't authorize a separate Flemish administration. (3) Consequently most Belgian local, regional and central administrations continued to function during the whole occupation, with these retrictions that they were under full German supervision and that many original incumbents were gradually replaced by more reliable ones, mostly members of one of the only two authorized political organizations : - Rex (Christe Roi - Christ King) - the Vlaamsch National Verbond (Flemish National Alliance - VNV) (4) Secretaries General The Secretaries General were the traditional administrative heads of the Ministries. As such the first of them - already in office at the moment of the invasion - can hardly be seen as collaborators. Things changed in the course of the following years as most of the first incumbents were replaced by more cooperative ones, the most important of these being Gerard Romsee (1901 - 1976), VNV Secretary General of the Interior . (5) (the ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Defence were abolished) Presidents of the Committee of the Secretaries General Voorzitters van het Comité van Secretarissen-Generaal Présidents du Comité des Secrétaires-Généraux 1940 Alexandre Delmer 1940 - 1941 Antoine Ernst Baron de Brunswyck 1941 Alexandre Delmer (2x) 1941 - 1944 Oscar Plisnier Secretaries General of Home Affairs and (1940) Public Health Secretarissen-Generaal van Binnenlandse Zaken en Openbare Gezondheid Secrétaires-Généraux de l'Intérieur et de la Santé publique 1940 - 1941 Jean Vossen 1941 ... Bajart* 1941 ... Librecht* 1941 - 1944 Gerard Romsée (VNV) s.a. Secretaries General of Justice Secretarissen-Generaal van Justitie Secrétaires-Généraux de la Justice 1940 Jean Hubrecht* 1940 - 1941 Antoine Ernst Baron de Brunswyck s.a. 1941 E. Wauters* 1941 - 1943 Gaston Schuind 1943 - 1944 Robert De Foy Secretary General of Finances Secretaris-Generaal van Financiën Secrétaire-Général des Finances 1940 - 1944 Oscar Plisnier s.a. Secretaries General of Economic Affairs and Middle Classes Secretarissen-Generaal van Economische Zaken en van Misddenstand Secrétaires-Généraux des Affaires Economiques et des Classes moyennes 1940 George Raven* 1940 - 1944 Victor Louis Leemans (VNV) 1901 - 1971 Secretaries General of Public Works Secretarissen-Generaal van Openbare Werken Secrétaires-Généraux des Travaux publics 1940 - 1941 Alexandre Delmer s.a. 1941 - 1942 ... De Cock 1942 - 1944 ... De Meyer Secretaries General of Agriculture and (1940) Supply Secretarissen-Generaal van Landbouw en Bevoorraading Secrétaires-Généraux de l'Agriculture et du Ravitaillement 1940 ... Van Orshoven* 1940 - 1944 Emiel De Winter Secretaries General of Communications Secretarissen-Generaal van Verkeerswezen Secrétaires-Généraux des Communications 1940 G. Van Overstraeten* 1940 - 1941 E. Castriau 1941 - 1944 Gaston Claeys Secretaries General of Labour and Social Security Secretarissen-Generaal van Arbeid en Sociale Voorzorg Secrétaires-Généraux du Travail et de la Sécurité sociale 1940 - 1942 Carl Verwilghen 1942 ... De Voghel 1942 ... Vervaeck 1942 - 1943 ... Bisqueret 1943 - 1944 ... Olbrachts 1944 ... Nys Secretary General of Poblic Health and Supply Secretaris-Generaal van Openbare Gezondheid en Bevoorrading Secrétaire-Général de la Santé publique et du Ravitaillement 1940 Raymond Delhaye* 1940 : divided between the Interior (Public Health) and Agriculture (Supply) Secretary General of Public Instruction Secretaris-Generaal van Openbaar Onderwijs Secrétaire-Général de l'Instruction publique 1940 - 1944 M. Nyns Secretaries General of the Colonies Secretarissen-Generaal van Koloniën Secrétaires-Géneraux des Colonies (The Secretaries General of the Colonies were only concerned with colonial affairs in Belgium itself : the payment of pensions and allocations to colonial agents in Belgium, the payment of bills, etc. Actual management of the colonies was handled by the Minister of the Colonies in exile) 1940 M. Van Hecke* 1940 - 1941 E. De Jonghe* 1941 - 1943 M. Van Hecke* (2x) 1943 - 1944 M. Van den Abeele* (prevented the abolition of the Ministry of Colonies by the Germans) GERMAN AND "BELGIAN" ADMINISTRATORS 1944 - 1945 After the allied landing in Normandy, the military administration was replaced by a civilian (Jul 1944), a prelude to a complete integration into the German Empire. Some months later (Dec 1944) Belgium was divided into three parts : - the District of Brussels : covering the city of Brussels and remaining under the direct authority of the German Reichskommissar (s.b.) - the Reichsgau Flandern - capital Antwerpen - covering : - the provinces of Antwerpen, Limburg, Oost-Vlaanderen and West-Vlaanderen - the districts (arronissementen) of Brussel (except the town of Brussels) and of Leuven of the province of Brabant. - the Reichsgau Wallonien - capital Liège - covering : - the provinces of Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg and Namur - the district (arrondissement) of Nivelles of the province of Brabant. Except for a very brief period in Dec 1944-Jan 1945 - when parts of the provinces of Liège and Luxembourg were re-occupied during the so-called Battle of the Bulge/ Von Rundstedt Offenive - the listed administrations existed on paper only, Belgium having been liberated in Sep 1944. (6) GERMAN ADMINISTRATORS Imperial Commissioner of Belgium and Northern France Reichskommissar Belgien-Nord Frankreich 1944 - 1945 Josef Grohé, also NSDAP Gauleiter of Köln-Aachen 1902 - 1988 Commanders of the Armed Forces in Belgium and Northern France Wehrmachtsbefehlshaber Belgien-Nord Frankreich 1944 InfGen. Martin Grase 1891 - 1963 1944 - 194. The HSSPF s.b. Higher SS and Police Leaders in Belgium and Northern France Höhere SS und Polizeiführer Belgien-Nord Frankreich (HSSPF) The office of HSSPF was created out of the pre-existing Sipo-SD Dienststelle(s.a.) 1944 SS-Gruppenf. Richard Jungclaus s.a. 1944 - 1945 SS-Obergruppenf. Friedrich Jeckeln, 1895 - 1946 also HSSPF of Ostland and therefore represented by : 1944 - 1945 SS-Brigadef. Christoph Diehm 1892 - Commanders of the German troops in Eastern Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge (Subordinated to the Commander-in-Chief West) Commander of the 5th Armoured Army Befehlshaber der 5. Panzer Armee (operating in the southern part of Liège and in Luxembourg) 1944 - 1945 LtGen. Hasso Eccard Freiherr von Manteuffel 1897 - 1978 Commander of the 6th Armoured Army Befehlshaber der 6. Panzer Armee (operating in Liège) 1944 - 1945 SS-Oberstgruppenf. Josef "Sepp" Dietrich 1892 - 1966 HEADS OF THE FLEMISH AND WALLOON REICHSGAUE (in exile in Germany) Landleader of the Flemish People - Head of the Flemish Liberation Committee Landsleider van het Vlaamsche Volk - Hoofd van het Vlaamsche Bevrijdingscomité (Landsleiter des Flämischen Volkes - Leiter des Flämischen Befreiungskomitees) 1944 - 1945 SS-Obersturmbannf. Jef Van de Wiele, Landsleider of DeVlag (see Flanders) 1902 - 1979 Leader of the Walloon People Chef du Peuple Wallon (Leiter der Wallonischen Volksgruppe) 1944 - 1945 SS-Obersturmbannf. Léon Degrelle, Leader of Rex, also briefly entrusted with the civil administration of the Belgian areas occupied by the German forces during the Battle of the Bulge 1906 - 1994 LEADERS OF THE RESISTANCE - ALLIED REPRESENTATIVES LEADERS OF THE RESISTANCE The first resistance movements were created nearly immediately after the defeat in 1940. Despite sounding names - the Black Hand, the Black Legion, the White Phalanx, Victory and Freedom, etc - many of them only had a minor and/or local importance. Major exceptions were the: - Belgian National Movement - Group G - Independence Front - Liberation Army of Belgium - National Royalist Movement - Secret Army - White Brigade Originally the relations berween the Belgian Government in exile and the resistance movements - especially with the important Secret Army (s.b.) - seem to have been tense. And it was only after this movement had given up its support to King Leopold III, that an agreement could be reached : - the Secret Army was recognized as the military branch of the government in exile in Belgium, - the Independence Front was (unformally) recognized as the leading civil movement. (7) Head of the 2nd Direction of the Ministry of Defence in exile (in charge of the relations with the Secret Army) 1942 - 1944 Col. Jean Marissal Head of the State Security (Formally under the Ministry of Justice in exile but de facto under Prime Minister Pierlot - In charge of the relations with all other movements) 194. - 1944 Fernand Lepage* In 1942 two failed attempts were made to regroup different movements : - Mathieu François Camille Joset (1879 - 1958), the leader of the Belgian National Movement tried to create a Patriotic Front regrouping his own organization, the National Royalist Movement, the Secret Army and some other groups like the Black Legion. The attempt ended when he was arrested. - Troops of the Secret Army, of the National Royalist Movement and of other groups united briefly to form the Belgian Free Corps (Belgisch Vrijkorps - Corps Franc Belge). Its existence ended in 1943, when its leader was arrested. Commanders of the Belgian Free Corps 1942 - 1943 Cmdt. Charles Claser, Leader of the Secret Army, arrested 1... - 1944 1942 - 1943 Col. ... Siron, arrested 1... - 1943 A new attempt in 1944 had more results as the Belgian National Movement, the Group G, the Independence Front, the Liberation Army of Belgium and the Secret Army agreed to coordinate their activities. Chairman of the National Coordination Committee Voorzitter van het National Coördinatie Comité Président du Comité national de Coordination 1944 Pierre Charles Jean Joseph Clerdent, Leader of the Liberation Army of Belgiumn 1909 - Leaders of the Belgian National Movement The Belgian National Mouvement [Belgische Nationale Beweging - Mouvement National Belge (MNB/BNB)] was founded in 1940. This ultraconservative movement opearted in Flanders (Antwerpen, Limburg) as well as in Wallonia (Luxembourg). 1940 - 1942 Aimé Dandoy, arrested 1908 - 194. 1942 Mathieu François Camille Joset, de facto leader since 1940, arrested s.a. 1942 - 1944 Raymond Defonseca Leaders (Coordinators) of Group G Group G [Groupe G - Groep G, until 1943 known as Group Gérard and General Sabotage Group] was founded in 1941. This political neutrally movement originated in Brussels, but later it extended its activities to Flanders (Antwerpen) and Wallonia (Liàge, Namur) 1941 - 1944 Jean Burgers 1917 - 1944 1944 Robert Leclerq Leaders of the Independence Front Although also including non-communist organizations and members, the Independence Front [Front de l'Indépendance - Onafhankelijkheidsfront (FI/OF)], founded in 1941 was largely dominated by the Belgian Communist Party. The Front operated in the whole country and was - as already mentioned - recognized as the leading civilian resistance organization in 1943. Secretaries of the Belgian Communist Party The Belgian Communist Party [Parti Communiste Belge (PCB)] only started resistance after the German invasion of the USSR in 1941. Its Politburo then ceased to function and actual leadership of the party then passed to a secretariat of four members. 1941 - 1944 -Constant Colin (until apr 1943 when arrested) 1903 - 1945 -Jef Van Extergem, Secretary of the Flemish Communist Party (8), (until apr 1943 when arrested) 1898 - 1945 -Joseph Leemans (until jul 1943 when arrested) 1901 - 1976 -Xavier Relecom "Renard, etc" (until jul 1943 when arrested) 1900 - 1977 -Andrei Berei "Pépé, etc", Representative of Komintern in Brussels (since may 1943) 1900 - 1979 -Edgar Lalmand "Maréchal 02, etc" Secretary of the Flemish Communist Party (since may 1943) 1894 - 1965 -Raymond Dispy (since aug 1943) 1903 - 1980 -Jean Terfve "Radoux" (since aug 1943) 1907 - 1978 Leaders of the Independence Front Members of the National Committee (Highest organ of the Front) 1941 - 1944 -René De Cooman (Socialist) -Marcel Grégoire (Catholic) -Norbert Hougardy (Liberal) -Jean Terfve (Communist) s.a. Members of the National Secretariat (Managed daily affairs) 1941 - 1944 -Fernand Sylvain Demany (Secretary General) 1904 - 1977 -Norbert Hougardy s.a. -Jean Terfve s.a. Military Leaders of the Independence Front Commanders of the Belgian Army of the Partisans - Armed Partisans The Belgian Army of the Partisans - Armed Partisans [Armée belge des Partisans - Partisans Armés (ABP-PA)/Belgisch Partizanen Leger - Gewapende Partizanen (BPL/GP)] - was formally only the armed branch of the BCP, not of the Front. 1941 - 1943 Joseph Leemans s.a. 1943 Pierre Joye 1943 - 1944 Jean Terfve s.a. 1944 Henri Buch 1910 - 1944 Raymond Dispy s.a. Commander of the Patriotic Militias The Patriotic Militias (Milices patriotiques - Patriottische Milities) - the armed branch of the Front - were only establshed in 1944. 1944 ... Leader of the Liberation Army of Belgium The catholic Liberation Army of Belgium (Armée de Libération de Belgique - (AL) was founded in 1940. It operated mainly in the province of Liège. 1940 - 1944 Pierre Charles Jean Joseph Clerdent, in 1944 also president of the National Coordination Committee s.a. Leaders of the National Royalist Movement The National Royalist Movement [Nationaal Koningsgezinde Beweging - Mouvement National Royaliste (MNB/NKB)] was founded by members of Rex opposed to collaboration with the Germans. They nevertheless remained ultraconservative and advocated an authoritarian kingdom to be headed by King Leopold III. It later also gained some support among Catholics, the military and the nobility. The movement operated mainly in Flanders (Antwerpen, Brabant and Oost-Vlaanderen). 1940 - 1942 Eugène Mertens de Wilmars, arrested 1942 - 1944 LtGen. Ernest Ghislain Graff 1882 - 1976 Leaders of the Secret Army In 1941 three groups formed in 1940 by members of the defeated Belgian troops - the Belgian Legion (Comm.: Cmdt. Charles Claser - s.a.), the Phalanx (Comm.: Xavier, Comte de Grunne 1... - 1944) and the Reconstructed Belgian Army (Comm.: Col. Robert Lenz)- united under the name Belgian Legion (Belgisch Legioen - Légion belge). The organization operated in the whole country and as mentioned, was recognized as the military branch of the Belgian government in exile in Belgium in 1943. It then changed its name into Army of Belgium [Armée de Belgique - Leger van België (AB/LB)]. To avoid a confusion with the returning Belgian Army in exile it adopted the name Secret Army [Armée secrète/Geheim Leger (AS/GL)] in 1944. Commanders of the Belgian Legion 1941 - 1942 Cmdt. Charles Claser, arrested s.a. 0942 - 1943 Col. Jules Bastin 1889 - 1944 Commanders of the Army of Belgium 1943 - 1943 Col. Jules Bastin s.a. 1943 - 1944 Col Ivan Gérard 1944 LtGen. Jules Joseph Pire "Pygmalion" 1878 - 1953 Commander of the Secret Army 1944 LtGen. Jules Joseph Pire s.a. Leaders of the White Brigade The liberal White Brigade - renamed White Brigade-Fidelio (Witte Brigade - Fidelio) in 1944 - was founded in 1940. It operated mainly in the province of Antwerpen, but also extended its activities to other areas (Oost-Vlaanderen,...). It seems to have been the only of the major movements having a Flemish leadership, the others being Francophone or formally bilingual (in practice also Francophone). It was one of the best known movements and "Witten" (Whites) soon became the name given to all resistance movements (as opposed to "Zwarten" - Blacks, the name given to collaborating movements) 1940 - 1944 Lt. Marcel Louette, arrested 1902 - 1978 1944 ... ALLIED REPRESENTATIVES At the Liberation in 1944, a SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) Mission was sent to Belgium to serve as a liason office between the headquarters, the allied forces operating in Belgium and the Belgian authorities and to administer the country in co-operation with these Belgian authorities until the country was considered "save". Head of the SHAEF Mission - Belgium 1944 - 1945 MajGen. Sir George Watkin Eben James Erskine (UK), in 1945 also Head of the SHAEF Mission - Luxembourg (9) 1899 - 1965 Belgian Delegate to the SHAEF Mission - Belgium 1944 - 1945 LtGen. Paul Marie Joseph Raymond Tschoffen 1878 - 1961 Head of the Civil Affairs Section 1944 - 194. Col. John Ford Bygott 1895 - (1) While still being Militärbefehlshaber of the Netherlands (until May 29), von Falkenhausen assumed command of the Belgian provinces of Antwerpen, Brabant, Hainaut and Limburg on May 20. On May 30 he assumed command of all of Belgium. Northern France was added to his command on Jun 15 as was Luxembourg from Jun 26 to Aug 07. The so-called Eastern Cantons were detached from it on Jun 01. [Northern France was added to the Belgian command for : - economical reasons : the industrial zones of Hainaut and of the Nord formed a whole, - military reasons : the shores of both areas were at a same distance of the UK, justifing a single command - political reasons : the area could be used to exert pressure on Vichy France (fearing to lose it) and on the Flemish nationalists in Belgium (hoping to reincorporate French Flanders, once a part of the County of Flanders)] (2) The Sipo-SD (Sicherheitspolizei-Sicherheisdienst) Office was a branch of the RSHA (Reichssicherheitshauptamt) of the SS. It was in charge of security, intelligence, Jewish affairs, etc. Formally subordinated to the military government, it actually acted independently, being in fact dependent of the SS commander in Paris until 1941. (3) This was a consequence of the fact that - as mentioned - Hitler had postponed a final decision about the future of Belgium until after the war. [At the same time he however instructed the occupation authorities to conduct once again a very active Flamenpolitik. (for which see Flanders - to be added)] Consequently an attempt to create a Reichgau Flandern in Jun 1940 - to be headed by SS-Gruppenf. Karl Kaufmann, Reichsstatthalter and Gauleiter of Hamburg (1900 - 1969) - was immediately stopped by the military. (4) The VNV was the most influential of the two and this resulted in a bizarre situation whereby a Flemish narionalist party - that had always stand for the end of Belgium - now actually became a kind of guardian of its unity. (For more on the history of this party see Flanders - to be added) In 1941 both parties signed a cooperation agreement, whereby they also divided the country between them : - Rex would only operate in Wallonia and Brussels, - the VNV would only operate in Flanders and Brussels and also be allowed to establish organizations for the Flemings living in Wallonia (another evidence of its supremacy was the fact that - unlike Rex, which Reeder intensely disliked - it was allowed to appoint Secretaries General). (5) The legal position of the Secretaries General during the war was a problem. Although a Belgian urgency law of May 1940 had authorized them to continue in office, it had not well defined their powers : were they only executive officers managing affairs based on laws existing before the occupation or did they have the right to issue new rules (what most did)) ? Although the Court of Cassation in 1942 more or less decided in favour of the second option - it ruled that in view of the execeptional situation, the secretaries general (formally only executive officers) were empowered to perform legislative acts on condition that these didn't endanger public order or result in fundamental changes - the Belgian government resolved the problem in 1944 by simply abolishing nearly all decisions made by the war time Secretaries General... (6) Only a small German pocket survived for nearly two months at Knokke on the Belgian coast. Commander of the 64th Infanterie Division 1944 MajGen. Knut Eberding 1895 - 1978 (7) The Belgian government in exile was represented since 1942 in Belgium by a Political Committee of the Resistance (Comité politique de la Résistance - Politiek Comité van het Verzet), which seems not to have taken leadership of the resistance movements, but rather to have been a liaison office bewteen the government and officials (magistrates, secretaries general, etc) and other influential persons (bankers, industrials, etc) in Belgium. The Committee was chaired by Charles Marie Joseph de Visscher (1884 - 1973) but its most influential member seems to have been Walter Jean Ganshof van der Meersch (1900 - 1993), since 1943 High Commissioner for State Security (and after the Liberation in charge of the punishment of collaborators) (8) The Belgian Communist Party - founded in 1921 - was originally a nearly exclusive Walloon organization. In an attempt to extend communist influence in Flanders a separate Flemish Communist Party (Vlaamsche Kommunistische Partij) was created in 1937 as a separate member of the Communist International. To gain popular support the party was authorized to defend Flemish demands and to use Flemish symbols, like the Lion Flag. After the Liberation it survived until 1945, when the PCB once again also assumed full responsability for Flanders. (9) Until the arrival of the Erskine on Sep 10, SHAEF authority in Belgium was represented by the commanders of the armies operating in Belgium and their Civil Affairs sections : - Northern Zone (more or less Brussels and Flanders) - The British 21th Army Group with : - the British 2nd Army (in the East) - the Canadian 1st Army (in the West) - Southern Zone (more or less Wallonia, also including the Grand Duchy) - The US 12th Army Group with : - the 9th US Army - the 1st US Army (also in The Grand Duchy) (More information will be found under ALLIED ADMINISTRATIONS DURING WWII - to be added)