|Born||11 May 1894|
|Died||7 May 1946|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseAnton Adriaan Mussert was born in Werkendam, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. In the 1920s, he became involved in right-wing political movements that advocated a Greater Netherlands by annexing Dutch-speaking neighboring regions. On 14 Dec 1931, he abandoned his profession as a civil engineer and founded the National Socialist Movement political party (Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging), or NSB, along with other like-minded activists such as Cornelis van Geelkerken. A fan of Benito Mussolini, Mussert ruled NSB along a similar model Mussolini had successfully used in Italy. As Italy grew closer to Germany, Mussert grew close to her as well, especially that Adolf Hitler's vision to annex all German-speaking regions under German rule matched exactly his vision for the Netherlands. In Nov 1936, he met Hitler for the first time, and he remained in communications with Berlin from that point on until 1945. His political agenda matched many of Germany's, though Mussert was careful in not allowing the racism to taint Dutch politics.
ww2dbaseDuring the first year of the European War, the Netherlands was occupied by Germany. Mussert used this opportunity to push himself to the pinnacle of Dutch politics, but Germany selected Rost van Tonningen as the collaborationist leader instead, who was much more submissive to Germany than the radical Mussert. On 2 Jun 1940, the NSB formed the regiment SS-Standarte "Westland" in the SS Division "Wiking". Mussert initially opposed the NSB joining the SS, but he was unable to stop the German influence, and as a result many Dutch fought under German leadership during the war. At the end of 1941, he swore personal loyalty to Hitler, followed by the entire Dutch SS in May 1942. By the end of 1942, NSB influence in the Dutch government nearly dissipated, and Mussert's role as the leader of the Dutch people became a meaningless title without any real power.
ww2dbaseAfter the fall of Germany at the end of the European War, Mussert was arrested on 7 May 1945. He was tried in Nov 1945, and was found guilty for treason against his country. He was executed in May 1946 at the Hague.
Last Major Revision: Dec 2006
Anton Mussert Timeline
|11 May 1894||Anton Mussert was born.|
|7 May 1945||Anton Mussert was arrested.|
|7 May 1946||Anton Mussert passed away.|
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Winston Churchill, 1935