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A resistance fighter in the garden cities of Watermael-Boitsfort, 1940-1945

The famous documentary maker André Dartevelle bestows us with a poignant posthumous publication. He put into practice all his talent as a historian and journalist in order to deliver the detailed and heartfelt story of the Resistance in the bucolic Brussels municipality of Watermael-Boitsfort at the edge of city and countryside.

 Through his journey and thorough investigations he discovered the resistance activities of his father and friends, and delved into the midst of the resistance in this rural municipality, recorded in written sources and interviews. He took an intimate look into the individual history of people while also drawing the historical social and economic context of the time. Most of these women and men lived in the “Logis” and “Floréal” garden cities, which were the birthplace of the resistance movement in Watermael-Boitsfort called “Front de l'Indépendance”.

The author describes the main factions of the movement and their activities, and also briefly presents the other resistance groups in the municipality, before getting to the armed resistance in the last months of the occupation and the liberation fights. He rounds up his investigations with a meticulous analysis of the deep and often sore marks that this commitment left in the hearts of those who engaged in resistance activities and their families.

This publication full of humanity largely exceeds the framework of local history and addresses a very topical message to the reader: the perilous fight led by these women and men driven by justice and freedom urgently reminds us to keep vigilant in the face of the dangers that threaten democracy today.

At his demise in 2015, the author had almost finished his manuscript; it was proofread by Fabrice Maerten, historian at CegeSoma/State Archives of Belgium, who also penned the preface.

The 332-page publication also contains many illustrations and can be purchased in libraries across Watermael-Boitsfort or from the publisher 'Renaissance du Livre' .

Fabrice Maerten