6 September 1884|
|Died||18 August 1950
Julien Lahaut (6 September 1884, Seraing, near Liège, Belgium - 18 August 1950, Seraing) was a Belgian politician and leader of the Communist Party. He was assassinated by royalists during the "Royal Question", allegedly for expressing republican sentiments.
During the First World War, Lahaut served in the Belgian Expeditionary Corps in Russia. He later became a Communist deputy and chairman of the Communist Party of Belgium, and was particularly vocal for his republican sympathies.
World War II
Lahaut led the Strike of the 100,000 in 1941. He was later deported to a concentration camp in Germany.
Lahaut was assassinated on 18 August 1950 at Seraing. Following his murder, strikes were organised all over the country, while 300,000 people attended his funeral.
When King Baudouin pledged his commitment to Belgium as future King, before the Parliament on 11 August 1950, one of the Communist deputies shouted "Vive la République!" ("Long Live the Republic!") in protest. A few days before, there had been a strike followed by 500,000 persons opposed to the return of the monarchy, especially after Leopold III's compromises with the Nazis. A week later, Lahaut was shot dead before his house by two killers. François Goossens, a Belgian royalist, was later revealed to be one of the assassins, although it has become doubtful if Goossens was the actual shooter, after someone else has come forward claiming that he was the one who shot Lahaut. His death caused outrage in left-wing circles. The Communist newspaper Le Drapeau Rouge carried the headline "A monstrous crime! Our dear comrade Julian Lahout, leader of the Communist party, was assassinated last night by the Leo-Rexists".[note 1]
On July 19, 2012, the Belgian Senate accepted to consider a legal proposal to extend funding for a historical study on the assassination. On August 17, 2012, minister Paul Magnette announced a federal contribution of €320,000 to the study.
- "Leo-Rexists" is a hybrid of "Leopoldist" (supporter of Leopold III) and "Rexist" (members of a pro-Nazi collaborationist party in Belgium during the Second World War)
- "Nieuwe bekentenis in moord op Julien Lahaut" (in Dutch). Knack. 2007-12-04. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
- Stéphany, Pierre; Haquin, René (2005). Les grands dossiers criminels en Belgique (vol 1). Brussels: Racine. p. 87.
- "Acts" (in Dutch). Belgian Senate. 2012-07-19. pp. 43 and 68. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- "Wetgevingsstuk nr. 5-1706/1" (in Dutch). Belgian Senate. 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- "Assassinat de Julien Lahaut: 500.000 € pour relancer l'enquête" (in French). La Meuse. 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- "Magnette maakt 320.000 euro vrij voor vervolg onderzoek moord op Lahaut" (in Dutch). Knack. 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- Biography on the website of the Jules Destrée Institute (French)
- Call for a Parliamentary Commission on Julien Lahaut's assassination, 2000 (French)
- Rudy Van Doorslaer & Etienne Verhoeyen, L'assassinat de Julien Lahaut, EPO, Bruxelles, 1987.