'Vrank en Vrij' versus the occupying forces
During the more than four years of occupation of Belgium in the Second World War, there appeared hundreds of illegal publications in that country. Three of them were published by the 'Independent Patriotic Group "Vrank en Vrij"'. They are Het Vrije Woord, Vrank en Vrij and Das Freie Wort, a publication in German aimed especially at German soldiers. Behind this initiative father and son Henri and Ernest Mandel were hidden. This chapter in Belgian press history is highlighted here to mark World Press Freedom Day 2011.
This site contains background information on "Vrank en Vrij" including literature and sources, as well as digital versions of almost all clandestine issues of "Vrank en Vrij".
May 3 was declared World Press Freedom Day by the UN General Assembly in 1993, and was intended to commemorate the need for a free, pluralistic, and independent press as an essential component for any democratic society. The idea stemmed from the UNESCO General Conference in 1991.
Previous 3 May contributions
- 2010: War Commentary
- 2009: The Rheinische Zeitung and Karl Marx
- 2008: Freie Presse: a weekly against Hitler
- 2007: The Alexander Herzen Foundation against censorship in the Soviet Union
- 2006: Press Now. The early years - Independent media and Yugoslavia
- 2005: A Dozen Press Freedom Posters
- 2004: The Banishment of Brandsteder from the Dutch East Indies
- 2003: Koos Koster in El Salvador