Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Rexism was founded in 1930 by Léon Degrelle, a French speaking Belgian. The name derived from the Latin slogan Christus Rex, "Christ the King," which was also the title of a conservative Roman Catholic journal. The ideology of Rexism called for the moral renewal of Belgian society in conformity with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, by forming a corporatist society, and abolishing democracy. The Rexist movement attracted support mostly among the Walloons, the French-speaking Belgians; it had a counterpart on the Flemish side in the Vlaamsch-Nationaal Verbond , or "VNV". It soon began to ally itself with the interests of Germany and to incorporate Nazi-style anti-Semitism into its platform after Adolf Hitler's rise to power, and got financial support from German Nazi interests.
Closely affiliated with Rexism were the Legion Wallonie and Legion Flandern , paramilitary organizations along the lines of the SS. After Operation Barbarossa started, Legion Flandern and Legion Wallonie sent respectively 25,000 and 15,000 volunteers to fight against the Soviets.
After the fall of Nazi Germany, Degrelle fled to Generalísimo Francisco Franco's Spain. He was convicted of treason in Belgium and sentenced to death, but requests to Spain to extradite him were unavailing. Degrelle died in Paseo Marítimo, Malaga in 1994.
- The Patriotic Traitors: A History of Collaboration in German-occupied Europe, 1940-45 by David Littlejohn ISBN 043442725X
- Wallonien: The History of the 5th SS-Sturmbrigade and 28th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Division by Richard Landwehr, Ray Merriam, and Jean-Louis Roba ISBN 1576380882
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