Paul Colin (journalist)

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Paul Colin
Born1895
DiedApril 8, 1943 (aged 47–48)
Brussels, Belgium
NationalityBelgian
OccupationBelgian journalist and Nazi collaborator

Paul Colin (1895, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode - 8 April 1943, Brussels) was a Belgian journalist, famous as the leading journalist and editor of the Rexist collaborationist newspapers "Le Nouveau Journal" and "Cassandre".

Biography[edit]

His father was an important businessman who died when Colin was two. In 1914, Colin started university studies in History and Art History, but had to interrupt them because of the First World War. After the war, he became a journalist and art critic, and then the manager of the Giroux art gallery, located on the avenue des Arts in Brussels. He wrote a number of books on painting, on Belgian and European painting, Romanticism and Édouard Manet.

1930s[edit]

In the 1930s, Colin became fascinated by extreme-right movements, both fascism and nazism. In September 1939, Colin, along with Robert Poulet, Pierre Daye and ten other journalists (most of them fascists, but including some left-wing pacifists) signed a pro-German manifesto calling for Belgian neutrality in the war. This manifesto has often been claimed to be the starting-point of French-speaking journalistic collaboration in Belgium, though another version claims Paul-Henri Spaak, a socialist minister at the time, was the secret sponsor of the manifesto.

1940s[edit]

In 1940, after Belgium was occupied by Nazi Germany, Colin founded "Le Nouveau Journal". The first edition appeared on 1 October. One of his associates, Robert Poulet, had in the meantime secretly met King Leopold III's private secretary, Count Capelle, and got a tentative royal approval for the project. However, as the war dragged on, German victory became less certain and food rations decreased, more and more Belgians joined the ranks of those who criticized the "New Order". In 1943, a group of the Belgian Resistance, led by Marcel Demonceau, hatched the plan to kill both Colin and Leon Degrelle within a short lapse of time. Colin was shot dead by 19-year-old Arnaud Fraiteur. The attempt on the life of Degrelle failed because Demonceau was arrested at his hiding-place in Ixelles together with many associates, British airmen and members of the Belgian London-based Intelligence Service.

It later transpired that the group had been infiltrated by a Belgian collaborator posing as "Captain Jackson", a British airman on the run: Prosper Dezitter, who may have helped kill Colin in order to gain Demonceau's confidence and thus net as many Resistance and other people in hiding as possible. Fraiteur, Demonceau and many fellow members of the Resistance were later executed by the Germans at Breendonk. After the war, Prosper Dezitter was arrested in Germany, extradited, condemned to death and executed at Ixelles on 17 September 1948.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • "La peinture belge depuis 1830." Brussels, Editions des cahiers de Belgique,1930
  • "Édouard Manet", Paris, Floury, 1932
  • "La Peinture européenne au XIXieme siècle: le Romantisme", id., 1935.

External links[edit]