La Libre Belgique (1940–44)

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La Libre Belgique
of Peter Pan
La Libre Belgique clandestine (Peter Pan) - 1942.jpg
Satirical letterhead of La Libre
Founder(s) Robert Logelain and Paul Struye
Founded August 15, 1940 (1940-08-15)[1]
Political alignment Conservative-Catholic
Language French
Ceased publication September 3, 1944 (1944-09-03)[1]
Relaunched La Libre Belgique (from September 1944)
Headquarters Brussels
Circulation 10,000-30,000[2]

La Libre Belgique (English: Free Belgium) was the name of several underground newspapers published in German-occupied Belgium during World War II. At least seven unaffiliated groups published newspapers under the same title.[3] The most important was the La Libre Belgique (Peter Pan) which became one of Belgium's largest circulation underground newspapers.


La Libre Belgique de Peter Pan[edit]

Original copy of the clandestine "La Libre Belgique". First issue, August 15th, 1940. Typewrited with carbon-copy paper.

The La Libre Belgique of Peter Pan was the longest running edition of La Libre and the most important French-language underground paper.[2]

Its name derives from the spurious publication data which appeared on the letterhead, giving the address as the Oberfeldkommandantur of Brussels and the director's name as "Peter Pan".

It appeared bi-monthly; each issue consisted of between 4 and 8 pages.[1] Overall, 85 issues of La Libre Belgique were published during the conflict.[1] It was founded by lawyers Robert Logelain and Paul Struye, and some of the first editions were printed in the basement of the Banque de Bruxelles in the Rue de la Régence.

La Libre Belgique Ressuscitée en 1940[edit]

La Libre Belgique
Ressuscité en 1940
Editor André Hanssens
Founded September 15, 1940 (1940-09-15)[1]
Language French
Ceased publication November 1, 1944 (1944-11-01)[1]
Headquarters Liège
Brussels (~June 1941)

The La Libre Belgique Resurrected in 1940 was another paper, with a relatively small circulation, printed during the war. It was published in Brussels and Liège. After the arrest of the Brussels group in June 1941, the paper continued in Liège only for the rest of the war.[1]

84 issues were published including 12 in Brussels.[1] All issues were Mimeographed.

Other editions[edit]

Other newspapers with the same title include:

  • La Libre Belgique. Antwerpsche oorlogsuitgave
  • La Libre Belgique. Bulletin de propaganda patriotique régulièrement irrégulier
  • La Libre Belgique. Edition Forestoise
  • La Libre Belgique. Journal de patriotisme belge, ne se soumettant à aucune censure
  • La Libre Belgique. Nouvelle série de guerre
  • La Libre Belgique. Nouvelle série de guerre - edition de Province
  • La Libre Belgique. Nouvelle série de guerre. Fondée le 15 août 1940. Reprise le 28 mai 1942


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "World War, 1939-1945, Underground Resistance Collection—Belgium" (pdf). McMaster University. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "La Libre Belgique". The Belgian War Press. CEGESOMA. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Stone, Harry (1996). Writing in the Shadow: Resistance Publications in Occupied Europe (1st ed.). London [u.a.]: Cass. p. 40. ISBN 0-7146-3424-7. 

Further reading[edit]

  • De Landsheere, Louise (1990). Les Mémoires de Louise De Landsheere: De la Résistance à la "Marche de la Mort". Vécu par des Belges. Brussels: Éd. J.M. Collet. OCLC 221450417.