Londres (février 1942). from right to left : Gutt, Spaak, Pierlot, De Vleeschauwer.

Archives Albert de Vleeschauwer

  • Access and consultation: The fonds De Vleeschauwer can be accessed during the opening hours of the reading room. Its content is freely accessible. Reservation.
  • Reproduction:  The content of the fonds can be reproduced freely in our reading room. For any information about requests for a document reproduction carried out by CegeSoma staff can be found here.
  • Research instruments: Inventory AA658

Archive fonds description :

Archives Albert de Vleeschauwer, Minister for Colonies

The fonds Albert De Vleeschauwer was given its final composition in 1978, a few years after the person whose name it bears died in 1971 and his archives were transferred to the centre. The creation of this archive fond sis largely due to De Vleeschauwer himself, as he met on several occasions with the director of the centre, Jean Vanwelkenhuyzen. The fonds is mainly composed of the archives about the time when he joined the Ministry of Colonies during the Second World War. However, it also contains documents about his taks as head of the Justice and Public Education departments and about his mandate as administrator-general of Belgian Congo and Ruanda Urundi (1940-1942). During this mandate, he was in charge of implementing the military, economic and financial agreements Belgium concluded with the Allies.

The fonds is composed of two parts. The first one bears on the period during which he took part in the council of ministers in London, and the second one is about his mandate as minister of colonies, which in turn is subdivided into a part about information and propaganda on Congo and another about issues that the resistance faced in logistics and in travelling to and from Africa. Finally, there is a last part containing pre- and postwar administrative documents about Albert De Vleeschauwer. The archive fonds as a whole mainly bears on the legislative work of the council of ministers, the image of Belgium at international level and the Belgian military effort in London and Leopoldville.

The career of Albert De Vleeschauwer mainly takes place at international level. He left Bordeaux and the Belgian government in exile in France and arrived in London on 4 July 1940 where he was charged with the administration of Belgian Congo. As a strong supporter of the fight against Germany, he defended the involvement of Congo in the British war effort and the reinforcement of the economic ties between Belgian Congo and its allies through the United Kingdom. During the war, he spent long periods of time in Congo in order to coordinate the war efforts with the governor-general, notably during two visits between 5 December 1940 and 22 February 1941 and between mid-July 1941 and 29 October 1942. Furthermore, he authorized the participation of the Belgian resistance in the campaign of Al-Habash.

Albert De Vleeschauwer also held other offices such as Minister of Justice in 1941 and 1942 and Minister of Public Education from 1942 to 1944. He also participated in the conclusion of the Benelux Customs Convention in September 1944.