- Access et consultation : The collection is open during the opening hours of the reading room. Its content is freely available.
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- Research tools : Inventory
Collection description :
Passionate as he was, Gijsels gathered from the late 1970s onwards some thirty running meters of documents on all aspects of the (extreme) right in Flanders and French-speaking Belgium, from the Vlaams Blok to Van den Boeynants and Nivelles’ gang.
He used this material in his articles written for Humo and in publications such as VlaamSSche Kronijken (in cooperation with Johan Anthierens and others) (1987), De Barbaren. Migranten en racisme in de Belgische politiek (1988), Het Vlaams Blok 1938-1988 – Het verdriet van Vlaanderen (1989), De Bende en Co (1990), Het leugen paleis van van den Boeynants (1990), Netwerk Gladio (1991) et Open je ogen voor het Vlaams Blok ze sluit (1994).
A connoisseur of the far right
Well before the "Zwarte zondag" ("Black Sunday") of 1991 and the first scientific publications on the phenomenon - such as Herfsttij van de 20e eeuw - extreem-rechts in Vlaanderen, moreover the result of a Ceges symposium - Gijsels was one of the first to predict the rise of Vlaams Blok. Some even described him as the "inventor" of the cordon sanitaire. But he kept pounding that the whole far right was threatening society. Destabilization and power grab scenarios were not unimaginable in the 1980s.
Not always was he thanked for his disturbing publications; thus, VDB led to a legal confrontation from which Gijsels emerged as a loser. He was also denied access to the brtn's antenna after some harsh comments against the Blok. However, he was still involved in the 1990s as an adviser for the “Centre pour l'égalité des chances et la lutte contre le racism” (Centre for Equal Opportunities and the Fight against Racism).
The conclusions drawn by Gijsels from the material he had collected were not always scientifically sound and may have seemed hasty at times. This does not prevent the documentary collection presented here from being of great value, especially because a number of sources from individuals and public authorities on the recent past are not accessible. For the analysis of the rise of the extreme right in Western Europe from the 1970s onwards, the Gijsels collection is therefore particularly useful.
For more information :
- Gijsels, Hugo. Het Vlaams Blok. Leuven: Kritak, 1992.
- Gijsels, Hugo. Netwerk Gladio. Leuven: Kritak, 1991.
- Gijsels, Hugo. De Bende & co: 20 jaar destabilisering in België. Leuven: Kritak, 1990.
- Anthierens, Johan, Hugo De Schampheileire, Hugo Gijsels, Carl-Jan Toornvliet en Jan Willems. De VlaamSSche kronijken. Berchem: EPO, 1987.