Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden/Royaume-Uni des Pays-Bas/United Kingdom of the Netherlands




Brussels Hoofdstedlijk Gewest/Region de Bruxelles-Capitale/Brussels Capital Region

Head of State

His Majesty Leopold III of the Belgians, Leopold I of the United Netherlands (of Belgium from 1934, of the Whole Netherlands 1951-1983), His Majesty Baldovinus I of the Whole Netherlands (from 1983)

Ruling Party

Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging in Nederland/Mouvement National-Socialiste aux Pays-Bas/National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (from 1951)

Head of Government

Arnold Meijer (1952-1953), Hendrik Elias (1953-1974), Jef Francois (1974-1981), Karel Dillen (from 1981)


Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands occupied by Germany 1940, during the invasion of France. Responses to the occupation and subsequent subordination of the countries to German diktats varied across the different ethnic, linguistic, religious and social groups of the Low Countries.

At the top of society, each of the monarchs responded very differently. Both Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg followed their governments into exile in Great Britain and then Canada, while King Leopold III of Belgium ignored his government and remained in Brussels to facilitate the occupation.

Most of the pre-war political parties, trade unions and other associations were dissolved, while others took advantage of German sponsorship to exercise power as they never had before. In the Netherlands, the NSB profited from the banning of all other parties as a prelude to full Nazification, while in Belgium, occupied by a military government, a plethora of fascist parties competed for German support.

The differing administrations across the Low Countries reflected distinct, and constantly changing German designs for the nations of the region. An early plan had been simply to annex all Germanic parts of the Low Countries to Germany, in a repeat of the 1938 Anschluss by which Austria was absorbed. This had already happened with most of Luxembourg in accordance with Nazi ideology which regarded all Germanic peoples as belonging to a single nation. Arthur Seyss-Inquart, who had overseen the 1938 Anschluss took control of the Netherlands in expectation of annexation.

This plan did not materialise, for two main reasons. Firstly, it was associated mainly with the most radical section of th SS, and was therefore discredited by the attempted Himmler-Putsch of July 1944. Secondly, as relations between the European Axis and Japan cooled, maintenance of the colonial empires of Belgium and the Netherlands became more important than satisfying the ideological demands of pan-Germanism. Especially important were the Dutch East Indies, which bordered Greater Japan, and Belgian Congo, which had supplied the uranium used in the construction of Germany's 'Atomic' weapons. Germany alone did not have the fleet to secure the ultramarine possessions of the European powers, and was therefore reliant on a degree of cooperation with other European imperialists.

Continuity and minimising disruption to the colonies therefore became German priorities in the region. Annexation plans were essentially scrapped after July 1944. In August 1944 the administration of the Netherlands and Belgium was merged under Alexander von Falkenhausen, formerly the military governor of Belgium alone (Arthur Seyss-Inquart, governor of the Netherlands was sidelined and transferred). In September 1944 Belgium and the Netherlands were corralled into a customs union. In 1948 this was replaced by a full economic union. When, in Summer 1950, Wallonie erupted with demands for union with France, the Germans decided to politically unite the Low Countries as a single federated unit.

Due to the Wallonian uprising, the structure of the federation was primarily aimed at placating the Belgians. The new nation, known as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, would be ruled from Brussels by the Belgian king, Leopold III. Although a polarizing figure in some ways, he was regarded as a compromise. He was French-speaking to appease Wallonia, while his Catholicism appealed to Catholics regardless of language. His wartime record of defending his country's independence, while still favouring a German-led New Order, was not too distasteful to pro-independence or pro-German factions.

All loyal parties across the Low Countries were corralled into joining the NSB as an umbrella movement. As of 1951, the NSB consisted of three sections, organised by region: the Dietsche Nationaal Socialistiche Beweging in Dietsland (the Dutch National Socialist Movement of Holland, including the Dyetske Nasjonaal-Sosjalistyske Beweging yn Fryslan or Dutch National Socialist Movement of Frisia), the Vlaams Nationaal Socialistiche Bewegienge in Vloandern (Flemish National Socialist Movement of Flanders) and the Mouvement National Socialiste Rexiste aux Wallonreye (Rexist National Socialist Movement of Wallonia).

The post-war NSB encompassed the original NSB, founded by Anton Mussert in 1931, which formed the core of the NSB in Dietsland. The next most important party was the Rexist Party of Leon Degrelle, founded in 1930 as a French-speaking Catholic party, supporting a strong Catholic and monarchist Belgian central government. The Rexists became the German nominees in Wallonia. In Flanders, the political situation was more diverse, with the Flemish-nationalist and Catholic-nationalist VVF of Father Jean-Marie Gantois, the Flemish-nationalist and later pan-Dutch VNV of Hendrik Elias, the Catholic-nationalist Black Front of Arnold Meijer, the pan-Dutch and later pan-Belgian Verdinaso of Jef Francois and Victor Leemans, and the pro-German, pro-annexation Devlag of Jef Van de Wiele, coralled into forming the NSB in Vloandern. The movement in Dietland also absorbed the anti-sectarian ANFB of Jan Baars and the tiny Frysk Fascisten Front of Rintsje Piter Sybesma, a defunct Frisian-nationalist party revived by the Germans as a potential separatist movement, which agitated for the annexation of Denmark's Frisian Islands to the Netherlands.

The NSB in Vloandern provided the four leaders of the Netherlands confederation, Arnold Meijer, Hendrik Elias, Jef Francois and Karel Dillen. Meijer and Elias, both pro-independence and pro-Catholic, were well-regarded as opponants of Germany's annexation plans. Francois and Dillen had a more ambiguous take on the sovereignty of the Netherlands.

Leopold ruled a kingdom consisting of three provinces in the metropolis, and three large colonial territories. Each province is essentially self-governing, with the royal government in Brussels focusing on the administration of the colonies.

Territories of the United Kingdom of the NetherlandsEdit

In the Netherlands:

  1. The Province of Dietsland: encompassing the northern part of the former Netherlands, with Amsterdam as its capital, Dutch-speaking and mainly Protestant. The province was governed by Anton Mussert, known as Leider van het Nederlanse Volk (from 1942), between 1950 and 1974 and subsequently by Henk Feldmeijer, a veteran of the war against Russia (1974-1980) and Klaas Carel Faber (from 1980). Population c.6,000,000.
  2. The Province of Vloandern: encompassing most of the southern provinces (Dutch Brabant and Limburg) of the former Netherlands, the bulk of Belgian Flanders and small parts of French Flanders, with Antwerp as its capital, Flemish-speaking (a Dutch dialect) and mainly Catholic. The province is governed by Jef van de Wiele, a close ally of Leon Degrelle, generally considered the most pro-German leader in the Netherlands. Population c.6,000,000.
  3. The Province of Wallonreye: encompassing the bulk of Belgian Wallonie, and a small amount of Walloon-and Picard-speaking former French territory, with Liege as its capital, Walloon-speaking (Francophone) and Catholic. The province is governed by Leon Degrelle. Population c.6,000,000.

The Brussels Capital Region is surrounded by, but not part of, Flanders Province. Frisia is a Special Region within Dietsland. Raymond de Becker and Rintsje Piter Sybesma headed these regions until the late 1960s, when they were replaced by Remi Schrijnen and Siert Bruins respectively.

In the Empire:

  1. Netherlands East Indies: encompassing three separate territories, the United Provinces, Bali and New Guinea-South Moluccas. The United Provinces are a mixture of directly ruled regions and indirectly ruled Princely States. The majority of the population is Muslim and Malay, with a Turco-Arab-Malay ruling class. Bali is administered in a similar way, but treated as a separate territory due to its Hindu majority. New Guinea-South Moluccas is directly ruled from Brussels. It has a slight Christian majority and is the designated homeland of the mostly Christian, mixed-race Eurasian or Indo people. Indos are not allowed to own land in the United Provinces, Bali or the metropolitan Netherlands. Responsibility for the whole East Indies lay with the Governor-General, Meinoud Rost van Tonningen in the years 1944 to 1969, and Paul van Tienen subsequently.
  2. Netherlands Central Africa: encompassing the former Belgian colony of Congo and the former Belgian mandated territory of Rwanda-Burundi. From 1952 the colony is formally a possession of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Order is enforced by the notorious Force Publique (FP)/Openbare Weermacht (OW), staffed mainly by natives with European officers. In the east of the colony, a form of indirect rule is practiced via princes of the Ethiopian-origin Tutsi race, currently Mwami Mutara III Charles Leon Pierre Rudahigwa of Rwanda and Mwami Ntare V Charles Ndizeye Mwabutsa of Burundi. The position of Governor-General has been held by Jean Francois Thiriart from 1958, assisted by a young Congo-born former paratrooper, Luc Jouret, from late 1978.
  3. Netherlands West Indies: encompassing all former Dutch holdings in the Americas, centred on the Curacao Territory and the Suriname Colony, which comprises the bulk of the territory. Ruled directly from Brussels, the territory is home to representatives of all the races of the Netherlands Empire: Europeans, Hindustanis, Malays, Creoles, Black Africans and American Natives. The Governor-General is Willem Sassen, a Dutch Black Front veteran.