Léon Degrelle

AZL flag holder TransparentLeon DegrelleLéon Joseph Marie Ignace Degrelle (15 June 1906 – 31 March 1994) was a Walloon Belgian politician, who founded Rexism a Catholic, Nationalist, and corporatist political party active in Belgium from 1935 until 1945. Strongly anti-communist (anti-bolshevik) in 1936, Degrelle met Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, both of them providing Rexism with funds (2 million lire and 100,000 marks) and ideological support. Degrelle notably met with Falange leader José Antonio Primo de Rivera and the Iron Guard’s Corneliu Zelea Cordon. After Belgium was invaded by the Germans on 10 May 1940, the Rexist Party split over the matter of resistance. Degrelle was arrested as a suspected ‘collaborator’, and evacuated to France. Sent to a French concentration camp but later released when the Germans arrived Degrelle returned to Belgium and proclaimed reconstructed Rexism to be in close union with National Socialism – in marked contrast with the small group of former Rexists (such as Theo Simon and Lucien Mayer) who had joined the ostensibly communist underground. In August, Degrelle started contributing to a National Socialist news source, Le Pays Réel (a reference to Charles Maurras). He joined the Walloon legion of the Wehrmacht, which was raised in August 1941, to combat against Bolshevism on the Eastern Front, and Degrelle himself joined it in combat Lacking any previous military service Degrelle volunteered to join as a low ranking private, rejecting a direct promotion to an officers rank from Hitler himself. Severely wounded at Cherkasy in 1943, Degrelle steadily climbed in the Schutzstaffel hierarchy after the inclusion of Walloons in the Waffen-SS, being made an SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) in the early months of 1945. He received the Ritterkreuz (Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross) from Hitler’s hands. Waffen SS The Epic Story Leon DegrelleDegrelle later claimed Hitler told him, “If I had a son, I would want him to be like you.” Degrelle was later awarded the oakleaves (mit Eichenlaub) as were two other non-Germans, the Estonian Alfons Rebane and Gen. Agustín Muñoz Grandes, the Spanish commander of the Blue Division. After World War II, he was a prominent figure in fascist movements and published a large portion of his own writings, including an Open Letter to Pope John Paul II on the topic of the Auschwitz Camp, of which Degrelle called “one big fraud, Holy Father.” Asked if he had any regrets about the war, his reply was “Only that we lost!”
 “German-racialism has been deliberately distorted. It never was anti-”other race” racialism. it was for its own race. It aimed at defending and improving its race, and wished that all other races did the same for themselves.” – Léon Degrelle
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