Victor Bodson

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Victor Bodson, with Lamine Guèye, at a meeting of the APF in 1967

Victor Bodson (24 March 1902 – 29 June 1984) was a justice minister of Luxembourg and received the Righteous Among the Nations award by the Israeli Supreme Court for his participation during the Holocaust in helping Jews in Germany escape persecution from the German government.

Bodson was born in 1902 in Luxembourg City.

Life[edit]

He was a lawyer at the bar of Luxembourg city, and in his years was a motorcyclist (Luxembourgish champion in 1926) and swimmer. For a while, he was the president of the Luxembourgish boxing federation.

His political career started in 1930, when he became a member of the LSAP. In 1934 he was elected into the Chamber of Deputies, and in 1935 he became a member of the council of Luxemboug City. He was an active campaigner for those Luxembourgers who volunteered to fight on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War; he also campaigned against the Maulkuerfgesetz. On 6 April 1940 he became Minister for Justice, Public Works and Transport. However, like most other government members, he went into exile after the German invasion on 10 May 1940.

After the liberation, he had the same portfolios and, as justice minister, was partially responsible for purification (épuration) in the Liberation Government, and in the National Unity Government (until 1 March 1947). In 1948 and 1951 he was re-elected to the Chamber.

In 1967 he was appointed as Luxembourg's European Commissioner and served on the Rey Commission until 1970. He had responsibility for Transport.

Reason for Righteous award[edit]

Victor Bodson lived close to the river Sauer, which acts as the border between Luxemburg and Germany. Victor Bodson helped create and operate an escape route for Jews during World War II. The route required fleeing Jews to cross over the river Sauer before meeting up with Victor Bodson at his house in Steinheim. Here using a special apparatus in his car, he would ferry these people to a safe haven that had been prepared in advance by his friends. During the course of his actions, Victor Bodson risked his life several times. Due to the results of his actions approximately 100 Jews were saved from the concentration camps.

Miscellany[edit]

The Victor Bodson Bridge in Hesperange, in southern Luxembourg, is named after Bodson. Victor Bodson founded a law firm in Luxembourg in 1923, which is today called Wildgen, Partners in Law

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
René Blum
Minister for Justice
1st time

1940–1947
Succeeded by
Eugène Schaus
Minister for Public Works
1st time

1940–1947
Succeeded by
Robert Schaffner
Minister for Transport
1st time

1940–1947
Preceded by
Eugène Schaus
Minister for Justice
2nd time

1951–1959
Succeeded by
Pierre Werner
Preceded by
Robert Schaffner
Minister for Public Works
2nd time

1951–1959
Succeeded by
Robert Schaffner
Minister for Transport
2nd time

1951–1959
Succeeded by
Pierre Grégoire
Preceded by
Joseph Bech
President of the Chamber of Deputies
1964–1967
Succeeded by
Romain Fandel