A little-known story
Filip Dewinter made great efforts during the interview to prove that he is not connected to anti-Semitism.
Filip Dewinter made great efforts during the interview to prove that he is not connected to anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism or collaboration with the Germans during the Holocaust. Thus, he tells the story of his father, apparently for the first time.
After being asked whether his increasing closeness to Jews and Israel is a tactical move, he responds: "This is perhaps not proof, but this will explain to you a bit who I am. Many people think I come from a family of collaborators, but I do not. My father was a young medical student during the war. His studies were interrupted during the war and he was due to be taken to forced labor in Germany. But he fled from the Germans and managed to elude them for several months. They caught him, threw him in prison and ultimately sent him to do forced labor. I saw pictures of him when he returned from the war. He had nothing and he was sick. He never became a doctor and his career was ruined. My grandfather was also a member of the Resistance. He fought against the Germans as a police officer."
Bart Brinckman, who says he has read many interviews of Dewinter and personally interviewed him several times, says this story is not known in Belgium. In searching through all of the interviews conducted with Dewinter in the past decade, he found one sentence in which Dewinter noted that his father was a forced laborer in Germany. Beyond this, Brinckman says, Dewinter does not mention the war and certainly not the experiences of his family during that time. (A.S.)