Bijkomende meta info
- This collection consists of: a post-war photo of resistance fighter and political prisoner Henri Dewindt, 15 medals received by Henri Dewindt post-war, three political prisoner bracelets worn by Henri Dewindt during post-war manifestations, a gold pin created by Dominique Labordery for the association of former political prisoners in Mechelen, a photo of the combined pins, and a newspaper clipping from Het Laatste Nieuws regarding a New Year’s reception for former political prisoners in 1987.
- Henri Dewindt, former political prisoner
- Digital copy available as KD_00521 at Kazerne Dossin
- 33 digitised images (19 objects and 3 photos)
- The following publication was part of the donation and has been added to the Kazerne Dossin library: KONIECZNY A., Nacht und Nebel-Befehl Hitlers, Wroclaw, 1990.
Hendrik Frans Maria alias Henri Dewindt was born on 15 September 1923 in Mechelen, Belgium. He became a dental technician. In February 1942, Henri joined the Mechelen branch of the Geheim Leger (Armée Secrète) [Secret Army], the armed resistance. He was a liaison officer and a courier operating between Mechelen and Lier.
Henri was caught by the Geheime Feldpolizei on 20 May 1942 and was detained at the Begijnenstraat prison in Antwerp until 31 July 1942. On 1st August 1942, Henri was deported to Aachen as a Nacht und Nebel prisoner. Later on, he was held at several prisons and camps including Bochum, Elberfeld (Wuppertal), Esterwegen, Wolfenbüttel, Lingen and Sachsenhausen (Oranienburg). Henri Dewindt was liberated by the Russian Army in May 1945 near Schwerin and was repatriated to Belgium on 25 May 1945.
Post-war Henri received numerous medals for his resistance activities, including the title of Knight in the Order of Leopold II in 1951. He became the treasurer of the association of former political prisoners of Mechelen and participated regularly in manifestations. In 1972 after his first wife Maria passed away, Henri married Avelina Vansteenweghen, mother of three adult children from her first marriage. Only later in life did Henri start to share some stories about his internment during the Second World War with Dominique Labordery, the wife of his youngest stepson. In honor of Henri, artist Dominique created a commemoration pin for the association of former political prisoners in Mechelen. Henri Dewindt passed away on 21 January 2003.
- Before he passed away in 2003 Henri Dewindt entrusted the objects and photos in this collection to Dominique Labordery. Dominique kindly donated the original items to Kazerne Dossin in 2018.
- Dominique Labordery, artist & daughter-in-law of Henri Dewindt, 2018