Archives of Henri De Man

  • Access and consultation: The fonds Henri De Man 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: Inventary AA624

Archive fonds description:

Archives de Hendrik De Man, 1917-1975.

The deposit of the archives of Henri De Man at CEGESOMA can be considered as one of the biggest accomplishments of CEGESOMA during its first years of existence. While archives from public institutions of the Second World War are usually deposited at the centre without further ado at this period, researchers and archivists become aware of the potential of private archive holdings that was out of reach so far. Jean Vanwelkenhuyzen concluded an agreement with the descendants of Henri De Man by virtue of which the archives were deposited at the centre. Unfortunately, the fonds remains incomplete to this date. It is arranged by topic and date, and provides insight into the different facets of De Man’s personality.

Only four files bear on the pre-war period and are centered around De Man’s implication in military and international policy, documenting the numerous international relations he fostered outside the official circles. For example, the holding contains various handwritten letters and proceedings of unofficial missions dating back to Christmas 1938 and thereafter. The fonds also holds many documents about the Battle of Belgium and the departure of De Man to Switzerland. The last part of the fonds bears on the postwar period, containing correspondence and political analyses about various topical issues.

Henri De Man Henri De Man (Antwerp, 17 November 1885 - Greng (Switzerland), 20 June 1953) marked the interwar period through his office as minister for public works (1934-1935) and minister of finance (1936-1938). He was also very close to the royal family. During the occupation, De Man disbanded the Belgian Labour Party and set up the Union of Manual and Intellectual Labourers. He was forbidden to make public addresses by the occupant and fled to France. In 1944, he went to Switzerland where he remained in exile until his death.

Read more:

Stutje Jan Willem, De Man Henri, in Belgium WWII.

Brélaz, Michel. Henri de Man: Une Autre Idée Du Socialisme. Geneva: Antipodes, 1985.

Claeys-Van Haegendoren, Mieke. Hendrik de Man: persoon en ideeën. Antwerpen: Standaard Wetenschappelijke Uitgeverij, 1974.

Van Haegendoren, Mieke. Hendrik de Man: Een Biografie. Mens En Tijd. Antwerpen: De Nederlandsche boekhandel, 1972.