Monday, March 12, 2012
Our Great Kings, Part IV, Leopold III
It is also criticized today that Leopold III remained with his troops and became a prisoner, staying in Belgium, rather than fleeing to London to join the Belgian government-in-exile which directed the Free Belgian résistance. This is a charge ridiculous to make because, as a soldier, he would not abandon his brave men to save himself. King Christian X of Denmark did not leave his country and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands did not want to either but had to be, basically, tricked into leaving by her own attendants. Leopold III knew it was his duty to stay in Belgium to endure the occupation with his people and not abandon them so he could try to shield them from the worst excesses of the Nazi conquerors. The politicians invented the lie that this somehow made Leopold III a collaborator because they had fought with him from the very beginning because the King was always a problem for them because he put the interests of Belgium as a whole first whereas the politicians always put themselves or their narrow interest group before the national good. During the occupation the fact is that Leopold III refused to collaborate with the Germans, refused to carry out their wishes and remained under house arrest as a prisoner of war. His only meeting with Hitler was an effort by King Leopold III to preserve the unity and independence of Belgium which the actual Nazi collaborators wanted to divide and subordinate to the Netherlands or Germany.