234 Zwart en Nationaal Front, 1934 - 1941 N.B. Stukken van 1896 - 1965
Towards the end of 1970 the Public Record Office in the province of Noord-Brabant acquired the records of Arnold Meijer and his political organizations Zwart Front and Nationaal Front. Among these records part of the papers of Dr. Alfred A. Haighton was also found. These papers have found their way among Meijer's records as a result of an inheritance; they are distinctly recognizable, because they have been marked with some kind of runic letter.
Arnold Meijer, born at Haarlemmermeer in the province of Noord-Holland in 1905, at first prepared for the priesthood. Owing to his predilection for radical right-wing movements in political life, he was expelled from the Seminary of Theology at Warmond in 1932. In 1933 Meijer became a propagandist for the Algemeene Nederlandsche Fascisten-Bond. In May 1934 already he managed to obtain the leadership, and established the Fascist popular movement Zwart Front. Meijer's Fascist predilection was focused on Benito Mussolini's Italy and General Franco's Spain.
Zwart Front, of which Meijer was the absolute leader, soon revealed itself as an aggressive, radical, Fascist movement, with whom the principle of the indisputable authority of the leader, the Fascist Corporative State, and anti-semitism ranked high. In April 1940, shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War in the Netherlands, Meijer converted Zwart Front into a more broadly-based Nationaal Front. As irresolute leader Meijer did not always succeed in keeping the right course in his relations with the authorities during the German Occupation. Meijer was a fierce opponent of the Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging der Nederlanden, which had ir. Anton A. Mussert for its leader. Meijer made attempts to arrive at a co-operation with the Nederlandsche Unie. This attempt failed, because Meijer adhered to the one-leader principle and because of his negative attitude towards the Jewish compatriots.
In December 1941 both Nationaal Front and the Nederlandsche Unie were put a ban on by the German Occupation authorities.
After the war Meijer was forced to answer for his activities, and after he had at first been sentenced to five years imprisonment by the Special Court-of-Justice at Bois-le-Duc, he was, on appeal, sentenced to four years imprisonment, to count as served, by the Special Tribunal of Appeal. After his release in 1948 Meijer refrained from any political activity. He founded a big Hotel-Café-Restaurant and bungalow holiday-camp De Rosep at Oisterwijk in the province of Noord-Brabant.
Meijer died in 1960.
On being taken over Meijer's records were found to be in a very disorderly and disconsolate condition. This disorderly state was readily to be explained from the maladministrationat the head-offices of Zwart Front as well as Nationaal Front, and from the fact, that almost all the records consist of loose sheets.
In the inventory four main sections have been made, consisting of the description of the records of Zwart Front, Nationaal Front, Arnold Meijer and Alfred A. Haighton.
In the inventory of Zwart Front the records have been classified according to the view of the compiler, which resulted in the most acceptable solution, i.e. a historical classification. The organization of Nationaal Front had more of a structure in it, and this can be found back, in as far as this is possible, in the classification of the inventory and the re-arrangement of the records. The papers of Arnold Meijer and Alfred A. Haighton have been separated into a private and a political part.
In the annexes and enclosures all kinds of matters have been mentioned which may prove useful when making use of this inventory or the records. The terminology and titles which were in use with Zwart c.q. Nationaal Front have been maintained in the description.
These records are only accessible for the advancement of pure research. For the sake of the protection of the interests of persons still living, who played a part in one of the organizations with a political nature during war-time, and from whom in one way or another papers have found their way in these records, inspection of this inventory as well as of the records described in it is subject to restrictions.
Vertaling: C.G.J. van der Velden te Moergestel (N.Br.)
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