Anton Mussert
Overview
 
Anton Adriaan Mussert was one of the founders of the National Socialist Movement
National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands
The National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands was a Dutch fascist and later national socialist political party. As a parliamentary party participating in legislative elections, the NSB had some success during the 1930s...

 (NSB) in the Netherlands and its de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

leader. As such, he was the most prominent national socialist in the Netherlands before and during the Second World War. During the war, he was able to keep this position, due to the support he received from the Germans. After the war, he was convicted and executed for high treason
High treason
High treason is criminal disloyalty to one's government. Participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplomats, or its secret services for a hostile and foreign power, or attempting to kill its head of state are perhaps...

.
He was born in 1894 in Werkendam
Werkendam
Werkendam is a municipality and a town in the southern Netherlands. The municipality contains a large part of the Biesbosch area.- Population centres :*Dussen*Hank*Nieuwendijk*Sleeuwijk*'t Zand*Werkendam- Transport :...

, in the northern part of the province of Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

.
Encyclopedia
Anton Adriaan Mussert was one of the founders of the National Socialist Movement
National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands
The National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands was a Dutch fascist and later national socialist political party. As a parliamentary party participating in legislative elections, the NSB had some success during the 1930s...

 (NSB) in the Netherlands and its de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

leader. As such, he was the most prominent national socialist in the Netherlands before and during the Second World War. During the war, he was able to keep this position, due to the support he received from the Germans. After the war, he was convicted and executed for high treason
High treason
High treason is criminal disloyalty to one's government. Participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplomats, or its secret services for a hostile and foreign power, or attempting to kill its head of state are perhaps...

.

Early life

He was born in 1894 in Werkendam
Werkendam
Werkendam is a municipality and a town in the southern Netherlands. The municipality contains a large part of the Biesbosch area.- Population centres :*Dussen*Hank*Nieuwendijk*Sleeuwijk*'t Zand*Werkendam- Transport :...

, in the northern part of the province of Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

. He showed from an early age talent for technical matters and he chose to study civil engineering in Delft
Delft
Delft is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland , the Netherlands. It is located between Rotterdam and The Hague....

. In the 1920s, he became active in several extreme right organizations such as the Dietsche Bond which advocated a Greater Netherlands including Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 (Dutch-speaking Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

).

Foundation of the Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging

On 14 December 1931, he, Cornelis van Geelkerken
Cornelis van Geelkerken
Cornelis van Geelkerken was co-founder of the Dutch National Socialist Movement.Cornelis van Geelkerken was born in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, Belgium. In the 1920s he gravitated toward extreme nationalism. Proposing an authoritarian, anti-democratic movement to Anton Mussert they formed the...

, and ten others founded the Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging (NSB) (literally, the National Socialist Movement), a Dutch counterpart to the German National Socialists, the Nazis. In its early years, the NSB boasted that its membership included several hundred Jews, until the German party directed a more antisemitic course.

A 1933 demonstration at Utrecht attracted only 600 protestors. A year later, however, the NSB rallied 25,000 demonstrators in Amsterdam. The NSB received 300,000 votes in the 1935 parliamentary elections, enough to alert the Netherlands to the Fascist threat. In the 1937 voting, the Fascists polled a little more than half as much. Thereafter, Mussert worked toward preventing resistance to a German invasion. A state of siege was declared by the Dutch government in April 1940 after the foreign correspondent for the New York Times, Vladimir Poliakov, broke the news that Mussert's followers were preparing to kidnap Queen Wilhelmina
Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
Wilhelmina was Queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from 1890 to 1948. She ruled the Netherlands for fifty-eight years, longer than any other Dutch monarch. Her reign saw World War I and World War II, the economic crisis of 1933, and the decline of the Netherlands as a major colonial...

 as part of a coup. On May 10, German troops invaded the Netherlands and Mussert was permitted to suppress all political parties other than the NSB.

1940

Mussert was not appointed prime minister of the occupied nation. Instead, Austrian Nazi Artur Seyss-Inquart was appointed as the Reichskommissar, while Berlin summoned Mussert to control his uncooperative countrymen. Mussert responded by working with the Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

 in stopping resistance to the Nazi occupation. On 21 June 1940 Mussert agreed to have NSB members train with the SS-Standarte 'Westland'. On 11 September, Mussert instructed Henk Feldmeijer
Henk Feldmeijer
Johannes Hendrik Feldmeijer was a Dutch National Socialist politician and a member of the NSB.-Early years:...

, to organize the Nederlandsche SS
Nederlandsche SS
The Nederlandsche SS was formed on September 11, 1940. On November 1, 1942 the name was changed to Germaansche SS in Nederland . The Nederlandsche SS in total counted circa 7,000 members and was primarily a political formation. In addition it served as a reservoir for the Waffen-SS...

 (Dutch SS) as a division of the NSB. However, Mussert had nothing to do with the raising of an all-Dutch volunteer SS unit, the SS-Freiwilligen-Legion Niederlande. Regardless, thousands of Dutch citizens were arrested.

Following years

Hitler declared Mussert to be "Führer of the Dutch People" on December 13, 1942, albeit solely as an assistant to Seyss-Inquart.

Death

Upon the surrender of Germany, Mussert was arrested at the NSB office in The Hague on May 7, 1945. He was convicted of high treason on November 28 after a two day trial, and was sentenced to death on December 12 of that year. He appealed to Queen Wilhelmina for clemency. She refused. On 7 May 1946, Mussert was executed by a firing squad on the Waalsdorpervlakte, a site near The Hague where hundreds of Dutch citizens had been put to death by the Nazi regime.

External links

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