Brussels (Oct. 18)
The fight against the Flemish Nazi party has for some weeks been the outstanding factor in the internal politics of Belgium. Until recently the “Dinaso”, as the party is called (Dletsche National Solidaristen) was not taken very seriously, but with the coming into power of the Nazis in neighboring Germany, the party began to grow rapidly, and now public opinion in Belgium has begun to consider it a danger to its people, especially in view of the imperialistic appetite of Nazi Germany, which is daily becoming more evident. The “Dinaso” is organized on exactly the same lines as the Nazi party in Germany, and it is an open secret that it is financially supported by the German Nazis.
The “Dinaso” first came into the public eye when a letter to it from Nazi headquarters in Munich got into the Belgian press. In this letter the German Nazis offered to help their Belgian friends in every way possible, and made careful inquiries about the “Dinaso’s” views on the Jewish question, enclosing much anti-Semitic propaganda. At about the same time these Belgian Hitlerists started camps all over Belgium for the training of their “storm troops”. As a consequence the wearing of uniforms was prohibited in Belgium. The letter from the German Nazis, and the formation of Nazi camps in Belgium, had, however, strongly annoyed certain sections of the Belgian population, and a number of clashes occurred between Socialists and Democrats on the one hand, and the Flemish Nazis on the other. At present there is a case in court which may lead to the final prohibition of the whole “Dinaso” party.
Inevitably perhaps, anti-Semitism has been growing in Belgium side by side with the growth of the “Dinaso.” Pamphlets and placards, telling the people not to buy from Jews, can be found in the smallest villages. In Antwerp there is an anti-Semitic publication, which does nothing but libel Jews in public life. Having very little to say against the Jews, these publications frequently publish revelations which have not the slightest truth. They agitate against the anti-German boycott, and against the “flooding of Belgium with German Jews”, in spite of the fact that the Government is now very strict with refugees and only admits such as have capital of their own and intend to start a business that will not compete with any existing Belgian enterprise.
The growing anti-Semitism has penetrated even into such circles as were friendly to the Jews before. While all the Belgian parties with the exception of the Flemish Nationalists are opposed to Germany, and to Hitlerism in particular, the Flemish Nationalists have been getting more and more anti-Semitic, and more and more friendly to the Germans.
In addition to the “Dinaso”, which broke off from the Flemish Nationalist Party four years ago another Fascist party has now been founded under the leadership of ex-Deputy de Clerc, whose attitude towards the Jews is as yet unknown. The Flemish Nationalist Party itself recently attacked Prof. Einstein for declaring that in spite of the fact that he was a pacifist, he would, were he a Belgian, join up immediately in view of the Nazi danger.
As against this pro-German attitude of the Flemish section of the population, the French section is very friendly toward the Jews, and strongly opposed to Hitlerism. Both the Liberal and the Socialist Press are publishing letters and articles on Germany, which prove that Belgian public opinion is violently opposed to the race madness of the Nazis.