Frieda Van Themsche

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Frieda Van Themsche
Born Frieda Leontine Mauritia Van Themsche
(1955-04-26) 26 April 1955 (age 59)
Ukkel, Belgium
Nationality Belgian
Occupation politician

Frieda Leontine Mauritia Van Themsche (born 26 April 1955) has been a member of the Belgian federal parliament.

1955–2003[edit]

Her father and his brother fought together in the Second World War on the Eastern Front on the side of the Germans against the Soviet Union. The brother has never been retrieved, but her father has, though mutilated.[1][2] Her brother, Hans van Themsche's father, was a founding member of the Vlaams Blok.[3] She now lives in Harelbeke.

Van Themsche attended higher education, specializing in teaching.[4] For seven years she had been working as a teacher, taking care of her family and five children, before she decided to go into politics: "Now the children are older, I feel freer to focus on national politics," she said.[5]

She is the aunt of Hans Van Themsche, who has been convicted of racist murders, which he committed in the city of Antwerp in the spring of 2006. His brother, the father of his nephew Hans Van Themsche, was a founding member of the Vlaams Blok party.[2][6]

2003–present[edit]

Frieda Van Themsche was a member of parliament for the VB from 2003 to 2007.

After her first speech to the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, Van Themsche pronounced the words "België Barst" (Belgium cracks). She explains: "For me, this is a slogan with which I was brought up." The Chairman of the Chamber, the Flemish Liberal Herman De Croo, gave the order to delete these words from Van Themsche in the minutes of the parliamentary assembly: "Yesterday, I deleted "België Barst" from the record of parliamentary debates on the new coalition agreement," he said. "I haven’t done that to limit the freedom of expression, but to maintain the dignity of the Chamber." However, by doing this, the Chairman of the Chamber ignored the rules. "I don’t give a damn for the rules, I just did what I wanted to do," he said.[7][8] Frieda Van Themsche replied at the request of a journalist: "Belgium can not burst, but that Verhofstadt, De Gucht and Dewael insult us by calling us fascists, neo-Nazis or dung beetles, is accepted without any protest. When I sometimes hear people shouting in the Chamber, I often think: you’ll never hear such things from me, I was not brought up like that. But when I defend principles and values, and if I want to bring up my children the way I was educated, they immediately say I’m an extreme right-winger."[9]

On 14 September 2003, Van Themsche’s son, Floris Vandenbroucke, was knocked down by a car in Kuurne. He died on the spot at the age of fifteen years. The offender committed a hit and run and, not surprisingly, has since not been found.[10] This dramatic event made Van Themsche become more interested in the matter of traffic regulations and in particular of what measures the government can take to increase the safety of road users and to slow down the speed of traffic. Thus, on 23 May 2005, she proposed to ban trucks from the roads on Sundays and on public holidays.[11]

19 April 2007 was announced that Van Themsche would no longer be a candidate to the parliamentary elections in June 2007 and that, consequently, she left federal politics. Frieda Van Themsche wanted to spend more time with her family and stated too that she was tired of pushing the button to vote in Parliament, when nothing changes. The immediate cause of her departure was Virginia Tech massacre, a school shooting, that took place on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, United States, on 16 April 2007. It made her family be confronted again with the deadly excursion of her nephew Hans in Antwerp in 2006. Also, her daughter was pregnant. "She lives with a boy of Moroccan origin. I see how difficult it is for him. This played a role."[12]

She still is a Councilor in the Harelbeke city council for the VB.

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Foreign Volunteer Legion awards & postal history - Flemish Feldpost".  (its link underneath to Front Page gives access to its Bibliography)
  2. ^ a b "Jewish group asks Belgium to investigate party links to killings in Antwerp". European Jewish Press. 15 May 2006. 
  3. ^ "Skinhead Rampage Highlights Belgium's Race Anxiety". Time Magazine. 26 May 2006. 
  4. ^ "unknown". Het Nieuwsblad/Brugge. 12 May 2003. 
  5. ^ Driesmans, Ronny (13 January 2003). "Parlement wenkt voor Frieda Van Themsche". Het Laatste Nieuws/Kortrijk-Waregem-Ieper.  (translated from a Flemish newspaper article by Maanstonden)
  6. ^ "Far-right ties in Belgian murders". BBC. 12 May 2006. 
  7. ^ Somers, Steven (18 July 2003). Het Laatste Nieuws.  (translated from a Flemish newspaper article by Maanstonden)
  8. ^ "Nieuwelingen houden hun mond niet". Het Nieuwsblad. 1 August 2003. 
  9. ^ "(translated from a Flemish newspaper article by Maanstonden)". Het Nieuwsblad. 1 August 2003. 
  10. ^ "Moeder van verongelukte Floris (15) begrijpt man die vluchtmisdrijf pleegde niet". Het Nieuwsblad. 16 September 2003. 
  11. ^ (Dutch) (French) Law proposal to introduce ban on driving trucks on Sundays and public holidays
  12. ^ "Van Temsche stapt uit de nationale politiek".  (Flemish newspaper article)

External links[edit]