Archive/File: fascism/belgium reuter.032495b Last-Modified: 1995/04/02 Former Belgian Nazi warns of extreme right threat BRUSSELS, March 24 (Reuter) - A top Belgian industrialist, who collaborated with the Nazis in World War Two, published his memoirs on Friday, warning of the danger of right-wing extremism just two months before Belgium's general election. ``I was naive in my youth, I followed a movement of which there is nothing to be proud of. Now I am warning young people, don't be taken in by the slogans of the extreme right,'' Andre Leysen, 67, said on Belgian RTBF radio. Far-right parties are expected to attract protest votes in the May 21 election following a corruption scandal that has rocked the centre-left government. The Flemish right-wing anti-immigrant party Vlaams Blok won 12 percent of the votes in Belgium's northern Flanders region in the last general election in November 1991. Leysen, the chairman of Belgian holding company Gevaert NV and media group VUM, which publishes Belgium's leading Dutch- language newspaper De Standaard, was a young man in Flanders during the war. He says in his book ``Behind the Mirror'' that he joined German dictator Adolf Hitler's youth organisation while he was at a German school in Belgium and rose to head a group of 150 Hitler Youth members. He was evacuated to Germany when Belgium was liberated in September 1944 and spent seven months working for a Flemish government in exile in Berlin. Belgium's wartime memories are clouded by the the fact that some Belgians collaborated with the Nazis during the occupation. About 400,000 collaboration cases were brought after the war but 71 percent were dropped. Leysen said he realised he had made a mistake when he saw photographs of Hitler's concentration camps when the war ended. He was interned for four months in Belgium when he returned from Germany. He is married with four children and 10 grandchildren.
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