Archives VNV (Vlaamsch Nationaal Verbond)

  • Access and consultation: The fonds VNV 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 AA156

Archive fonds description:

The fonds is mainly composed of documents from the general military prosecutor (Auditorat général) and reflects the organisation of the Vlaamsch Nationaal Verbond (VNV), its central structure, local sections, female division, youth organisation and workers’ organisations. The fonds also comprises archives about various other organisations closely linked to the movement.

The archives are sorted according to the internal structure of the movement. A second part contains documents about the period 1939-1940, and the international links of VNV, its relations with Verdinaso, the events surrounding the les death of Staf De Clercq and internal opposition at VNV. The last part bears on the perception of the VNV movement by the Belgian authorities.

The fonds is not exhaustive, as it only contains documents from the Auditorat général, and some documents are still under the discretionary authority of the latter and therefore subject to access conditions. Furthermore, a significant number of archive documents are still at the hands of private individuals. Finally, the photo collections and archives of the journal Volk en Staat, the publication of the movement, are conserved elsewhere.

VNV was the main collaboration movement in Flanders. It was founded in 1933 by Staf De Clerq and inspired by international fascism. Its goal was to abolish Belgium and replace it by a Greater Netherlands. Before the war, VNV counted about 25,000 members and 185,000 voters. Despite being a relatively small party, before the German invasion (about 12.5% in Flanders), VNV benefited from the occupation to establish itself on the political stage. It joined the Verdinaso adn the Felmish section of Rex as from 10 May 1941 and became a unified movement. These changes brought about problems through which VNV was forced to adapt its manner of functioning while keeping its organisation centralised around its leader.

After the German invasion and the Belgian capitulation, VNV abandoned its Greater Netherlands project, recognised the Führer as supreme leader and became a privileged partner of the occupant. In April 1941, the collaboration movement even recruited soldiers for the German army, most of which were committed to the eastern front. In Juy 1944, when Hitler ordered the annexation of Flanders to Germany, the VNV lost its political power and became a privileged target of the Resistance.

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