Mouvement National Royaliste

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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
and wars
Liberation of Antwerp (1944)

The National Royalist Movement (French: Mouvement national royaliste (MNR), Dutch: 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[edit]

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[edit]

  1. ^ a b c M. Dumoulin, M. Wijngaert et al. (1995). Nouvelle Histoire de Belgique: 1905-1950. Ed. Complexe. p. 95. 
  2. ^ a b 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.