Hitler’s Belgian Partner

Robert Paxton

  • Collaboration in Belgium: Léon Degrelle and the Rexist Movement by Martin Conway
    Yale, 364 pp, £30.00, October 1993, ISBN 0 300 05500 5

Rexism was, if only for a while, the most successful pro-Fascist party in Western Europe between the wars. Léon Degrelle’s party won 11.5 per cent of the vote in the May 1936 parliamentary elections, and 29 per cent in the rural Francophone province of Luxembourg. His youth and pungent oratory assisted Degrelle in exploiting the growing disillusionment with a stagnant multi-party Parliament: the brooms his followers brandished at their rallies seemed to express it all. This flash of anti-incumbent anger dwindled rapidly, however, when the Catholic hierarchy made its disapproval public. Now, thanks to Martin Conway’s sensible judgments, and thorough researches in both Belgian and German sources, we know a great deal about what became of Rex and Degrelle under German occupation.

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