Van Doren, Eugène


Van Doren, Eugène
(1875-1951)
   Eugène Van Doren was born in Brussels on 8 November 1875. At the outbreak of World War I he was working as the director of a shop making cardboard packing. An ardent patriot, he cofounded a clandestine newspaper at the beginning of 1915 titled La Libre Belgique. Together with Victor Jourdain, the founder of Le Patriote, the two established the paper as a weekly that soon enjoyed widespread success in occupied Belgium. In 1916, approximately 25,000 copies circulated in secret. The occupying German authorities moved gradually to shut the paper down.
   The distributor of the paper, Philippe Baucq, was arrested and shot in October 1915, and surprise raids led to more than 250 searches and the arrest of most of the paper's staff on 13 April 1916. Several friends and relatives of Van Doren were arrested but he managed to survive in hiding until the end of the war. La Libre Belgique continued publication until the armistice (11 November 1918). Van Doren died in Schaerbeek on 27 March 1951.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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