Jef François

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Jef François
Born Josephus Alphonsus Marie François
(1901-05-22)22 May 1901
Died 1996 (aged 94–95)
Nationality  Belgium
Occupation Politician

Josephus Alphonsus Marie François (22 May 1901 – 1996) was a Belgian Flemish far right politician and Nazi collaborator.

A native of Ghent, he first came to politics as a member of the Frontpartij, along with the likes of Ward Hermans and Joris Van Severen.[1] In 1931 he joined the likes of Van Severen and Wies Moens in launching Verdinaso (The Verdinaso (Verbond der Dietse Nationaal-Solidaristen - Union of Diets National Solidarists) was an authoritarian and fascist-inspired political party in Belgium and the Netherlands during the 1930s), and was installed as deputy leader of the group the following year and head of the militia in 1937.[1] François succeeded Van Severen as leader of Verdinaso after Van Severen's execution in 1940, taking the movement in a new, pro-Nazi Germany direction and merging them into the Flemish National Union.[1] He commanded the militia group, Dietsche Militie, of this combined organisation.[1]

François enrolled in the Schutzstaffel (SS), in August 1941 and for a time he was the leader of the Flemish SS.[2] Seeing action on the Eastern Front, he rose to the rank of Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant) in the 27th SS Volunteer Division Langemarck.[1] After the war he was sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, and he was released in 1952.[1] After the war he organised an SS veterans group and was involved on the fringes of the Vlaamse Militanten Orde (a Flemish nationalist activist group in Belgium defending far-right interests by propaganda and political action).[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, 1990, p. 134
  2. ^ David Littlejohn, The Patriotic Traitors, London: Heinemann, 1972, p. 155