Get Today in Masonic History into your Inbox. Sign up today for one of our email lists!

TODAY in Masonic History:

Facebook Twitter Google

Jean Joseph Camille Huysmans Passes Away

Today in Masonic History Jean Joseph Camille Huysmans passes away in 1968.

Jean Joseph Camille Huysmans (born Camiel Hansen) was a Belgian politician.

Huysmans was born May 26, 1871.

Huysmans studied German philology, the study of language in written historical sources, at the University of Liège. From 1893 to 1897 he was a teacher while he was studying for his doctorate in German philology.

Huysmans would joined the Belgische Werkliedenpartij (BWP) and the Belgische Socialistische Partij (BSP), two socialist parties in Belgium, at a young age. He would also become a journalist for several socialist periodicals. Starting in 1904 he would become very active in the labor unions of the time.

From 1905 to 1922, Huysmans was the secretary for the Second International, a Marxist alliance that continued the work started by the First International several years before. The Second International was the meeting of delegates from 20 different countries. Because of his involvement in the Second International he made many contacts with Sun Yat-sen, the father of Republic of China.

Huysmans was a part of the Flemish movement. The Flemish movement was a political moment for the emancipation and greater autonomy of the Belgian region of Flanders, the protection of the Dutch Language in the region and the overall protection of Flemish culture. In 1911, as part of this movement, Huysmans introduced a bill that would make the University of Ghent, in Ghent, Belgium, for the usage of Dutch at the school. With the outbreak of World War I looming, Dutch did not become the language at the school until 1930.

During World War II Huysmans would flee to London. After the war, at the age of 75, Huysmans would become the 34th Prime Minister of Belgium. He would lead a government of socialists, liberals and communists. His government would not last long as he had an insufficient majority. In the next government he would be named Minister of Education.

Huysmans is considered to be a friend of the Jewish people, in part because of his friendly attitude to Jewish immigrants to Antwerp from 1920 to 1940 and for his friendly attitude toward the Zionist movement. Several streets in Israel are named after Huysmans.

Huysmans was a member of the lodge Les Amis Philanthropes in the Grand Orient of Belgium, Brussels.