September 26, 1879|
|Died||February 28, 1944(aged 64)|
|Known for||Galopin Doctrine|
Alexandre Galopin (26 September 1879 – 28 February 1944) was a Belgian businessman. He was director of the Société Générale de Belgique, a large Belgian company founded in 1822 by William I, and chairman of the board of the armaments company Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre. Galopin was behind the Galopin Doctrine, a "lesser evil" tactic that allowed industrial development in the occupied Belgium during World War II, under the auspices of the Belgian government in exile. In February 1944, he was murdered by Flemish collaborators from the Devlag group.
Born to a university professor in Ghent on 28 September 1879, Galopin became in 1913 managing director of FN Herstal. He championed its development into an important manufacturer of motor vehicles in Belgium. In 1935 he became governor of the Société Générale de Belgique, which controlled 40% of the Belgian economy.
World War II
At the start of World War II, Galopin helped found the "Galopin Committee", a group of the leaders of holding companies, banks and industry mandated by the Belgian government in exile on 15 May 1940. It served as a sort of a shadow government that decided economic and social policy and was able to set rules for dealing with the Nazi German occupiers. Albert-Edouard Janssen and Léon Bekaert were among its members.
Part of the goal of the Galopin Committee was to keep Belgian industry strong during the war so as to not leave the economy crippled once the war ended. Controversially, its members would supply the Nazi occupiers and produce goods for them. It refused to produce anything with a clearly military purpose, although the difference between direct production of weapons and different ways of contributing to the German war effort was not always clear. Galopin was assassinated in 1944 by members of Devlag, a pro-Nazi Flemish paramilitary group, under the direct orders of Robert Jan Verbelen.
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- van den Wijngaert, Mark (1990). L'économie belge sous l'occupation : la politique d'Alexandre Galopin, gouverneur de la Société Générale (in French). Paris: Duculot. ISBN 9782801109441. ( in Duch)