Piet Vermeylen

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Piet Vermeylen (8 April 1904 – 30 December 1991, also called Pierre Vermeylen by some Belgian French sources), was a Belgian lawyer, and Belgian Socialist politician and minister. He was the son of the Flemish politician August Vermeylen.

Early life

In 1924, Piet was one of the founders of a Flemish study group at the Université libre de Bruxelles. In 1933, Vermeylen was one of the judges at the London Counter-trial of the Reichstag fire. In 1938, together with Henri Storck and André Thirifays, he founded the Cinematheque Royale de Belgique.

Political career

After his father's death, Piet succeeded him in the Flemish socialist politics of Brussels. Notwithstanding what German occupiers had done to his father, he vehemently protested the execution of Flemish collaborationist August Borms. From 1947 to 1949, he was Minister for Internal Affairs. He again became a minister for Internal affairs in 1954 and for four years had to defend the secularist school policies of the Liberal-Socialist coalition under Prime Minister Achille Van Acker in the face of Roman Catholic opposition, at one time controversially forbidding Belgian Radio to report on a large-scale demonstration against the new school laws proposed by Education minister Leo Collard.

From 1961 to 1965 he was Belgian Justice minister under Théo Lefèvre. In 1961 he proposed the first law on amnesty for those who had collaborated with Nazi Germany during the second world war. In April 1964, after unsuccessfully...
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