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National Royalist Movement (MNR)
Mouvement National Royaliste
Participant in the Second World War
MNR-NKB.jpg
Insignia of the MNR based on the monogram of Leopold III
Active 1940-
Ideology Monarchist authoritarianism and Catholic Paternalism
Leaders Eugène Mertens de Wilmars (1940-1942)
Ernest Graff (1942~)
Area of
operations
Brussels and Flanders
Opponents Nazi Germany German Occupying Forces
Battles/wars Liberation of Antwerp (1944)

The National Royalist Movement (French language: Mouvement national royaliste (MNR), Dutch language: Nationale Koninklijke Beweging (NKB) ) was a right-wing group of the Belgian Resistance during the Second World War, opposed to the German occupation of Belgium. It was active chiefly in Brussels and Flanders.

Background

The MNR was founded in 1940 by former members of the fiercy pro-Catholic and authoritarian Rexist Party who were disillusioned by the cooperation of the party with German occupying forces, including Eugène Mertens de Wilmars, a former admirer of Leon Degrelle.[1] The group aimed to create a Belgian state as a dictatorship of the king, Leopold III.[1]

The MNR went "underground" from July 1942 after being targeted by German forces and began to print various underground journals (including the paper Vrije volk) and collect information.[1] The founder, Mertens de Wilmars, was arrested in May 1942 and was succeeded by Ernest Graff who made the group's policy more overtly anti-German.[2]

160 members of the MNR were executed or died in Nazi camps. Around 100 were killed in action during the liberation of the Port of Antwerp in September 1944.[2] A monument to five members of the group killed during the liberation of Brussels is visible next to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts.[3]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 M. Dumoulin, M. Wijngaert et al. (1995). Nouvelle Histoire de Belgique: 1905-1950. Ed. Complexe. pp. 95. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 dossier pédagogique: Le fort de Breendonk: le camp de la terreur nazie en Belgique pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, éd. Lannoo (2006) 63 pages
  3. "Monument: National Royalists Monument". Brussels Remembers. http://www.brusselsremembers.co.uk/memorials/national-royalists-monument. 

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