Photo de J. A. Goris : Conseiller de l’ambassade belge à Washington de 1937 à 1945, de Gruben participe aux activités de la colonie belge aux Etats-Unis, ici présente lors de la lecture à New York le 31 mai 1942 de la proclamation du bourgmestre de Bruxelles Joseph Vandemeulebroek aux occupants allemands, photo 31688, copyrights CegeSoma/Archives de l'Etat.

Archives of Baron Hervé de Gruben

  • Access and consultation : The fonds Hervé de Gruben 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 AA699

Archive fonds description:

Archives Hervé de Gruben, diplomat, director-general and secretary- general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The archives of Baron de Gruben were deposited at CegeSoma in 1972 and have been chronologically sorted so as to have a clear overview of the career of this trained diplomat. The fonds contains various documents, ranging from handwritten notes cables and wires to proceedings. However, despite the richness of this archival holding and the crucial information it may provide, no file can be considered as complete. The fonds remains a major starting point for research nevertheless.

In addition to personal archives, the baron also gathered many documents of various nature and about subjects that were not directly related to his official tasks. For example, during a visit to Washington as economic and financial advisor, he got particularly interested in the tensions between the king and the government, and collected wires sent between the Pierlot government, Cartier de Marchienne, Theunis and the Belgian ambassador in Washington, Mr van der Straten-Ponthoz. This collection enables us to better understand and document the background of these different key players.

The career of Hervé de Gruben (Booischot, 1 June 1894 - Brussels, 20 November 1967) is of high interest for researchers. He was first employed in Berlin, where he described the entrance of Adolf Hitler into diplomatic circles and the preparations for the meeting between Van Zeeland and Ribbentrop during the World Fair of 1935. After the war, he was recalled to Brussels and charged with the Belgian economic relations with the United States and Germany. He was also a very prolific author who published many articles in journals such as La Revue Générale, Res Publica and Chronique de Politique Etrangère.

For more information :

  • Jean-François Crombois, Camille Gutt et le gouvernement de Londres: aspects politiques, économiques et financiers de la participation belge à la Seconde Guerre mondiale,Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1998.
  • Vincent Delcorps, Dans les coulisses de la diplomatie: histoire du ministère belge des Affaires étrangères (1944-1989), Louvain-La-Neuve, Presses universitaires de Louvain, coll.« Scène internationale », 2018.
  • Fernand Vanlangenhove, La Belgique et ses garants, l’été 1940: contribution à l’histoire de la politique extérieure de la Belgique pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Bruxelles, Palais des Académies, coll.« Académie royale de Belgique », 1972.
  • Els Witte, Alain Meynen et Dirk Luyten, Politieke geschiedenis van Belgïe: van 1830 tot heden, Antwerpen, Manteau, 2016.