De personeelspolitiek van de Militärverwaltung te Brussel gedurende het eerste halfjaar der bezetting (juni-december 1940). Bijdrage tot de studie van de Duitse Flamenpolitik in Wereldoorlog II.

The Personnel Policy Of The Military Administration In Brussels During The First Six Months Of The Occupation (June-December, 1940), Contribution To The German Flamenpolitik (Flemish Policy) During The Second World War: During the first six months of the occupation, the German Flamenpolitik is characterized by an undeniable reserve on the part of the Brussels military administration with regard to the "Vlaams Nationaal Verbond" (V.N.V., Flemish National League), though, according to the occupier, the only Flemish political organisation that could be taken into account for collaboration. Originally, the Militärverwaltung, preferred an administrative collaboration, within the legal framework, with the committee of the secretaries-general, which then constituted the provisional government of the occupied country. Not until November, 1940, when a crisis treatened the relations between the military administration and the Committee of secretaries-general, did Reeder (head of the Militärverwaltung) think of appealing to the V.N.V. and - though to a less extent - to Rex as a counterbalance. Anyway, the reticence towards the V.N.V., as an organisation, does not mean that the Militärverwaltung neglected to take advantage of the political possibilities resulting from the differences between the two nationalities in Belgium, nor that it had not thought of appealing to outstanding personalities, or persons thus considered, affiliated with the V.N.V. The occupier's interest in the Flamenpolitik is prove irrefutably by his policy of nominations during the first months of the occupation. In order to eliminate the officials, who did not enjoy its full confidence, and to replace them by homines novi the military administration handily took advantage of the administrative purification, conceived by the secretaries-general and consisting of administrative sanctions against those who had abandoned their posts in May, 1940. The ordinance of 18 July, 1940 concerning the tenure of public offices provided the occupier with an argument to remove from public life all undesirables, whether they had deserted their posts or not. This offered the considerable psychological advantage that they could eliminate anti-German people not so much because of their political opinions as because of their deserting their posts, a motive the public opinion easily accepted in the Summer of 1940. The Flamenpolitik certainly played a role without part in the application of this ordinance. Were not those who had deserted their posts "almost exclusively Walloons or pro-French and those among the Flemish mostly questionable persons, moved by a democratic, pro-occidental spirit and hostile to the new order ? " Here again the German necessities and the Flemish requirements go hand in hand. Baron Snoy, secretary-general of economic affairs was one of the first victims of the ordinance of 18 July, 1940. On his return from France, he was forbidden to resume his functions. He was succeeded by Victor Leemans, a Flemish publisher, known as a V.N.V. sympathizer (August, 1940). After the war Leemans pretended that he had succeeded to this high office because his future colleagues had invited him to. In reality, the new secretary-general, having neither economic nor administrative experience, had been imposed by the military administration in spite of the Committee's opposition to his nomination. After his appointment, Reeder justified his attitude to the secretaries-general by emphasizing his candidate's competence as well as his political convictions ("ausgesprochen deutschfreundlich", his decidedly pro-German sympathies). The secretaries-general resigned themselves to Reeder's veto against keeping Snoy in office and they accepted the imposed candidate for fear that, if they refused, the very existence of the committee should be endangered with the result that a Zivilverwaltung should succeed to the Militärverwaltung.