Camille Huysmans


1871 – 1968

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Who was Camille Huysmans?

Jean Joseph Camille Huysmans was a Belgian politician.

Huymans studied German philology at the University of Liège. He was a teacher from 1893 until 1897. In between these years he studied for his doctorate in German philology.

Huysmans joined the Belgische Werkliedenpartij, the predecessor of the Belgische Socialistische Partij at a young age. He became a journalist for many socialist periodicals until 1904 and was thereafter active in the labour unions.

Between 1905 and 1922 Huysmans was secretary of the Second International. In that function he had many contacts with Sun Yat-sen, the leader of the first Chinese revolution, in 1911. His main task was creating an active peace function. At the Socialist Conference in Stockholm in 1917 he pleaded against continuing the war.

He was a fighter for the Flemish movement and fought for using Dutch at the University of Ghent. As Minister of Arts and Education he could pave the way for the Dutch language. In 1911 he proposed a bill, drafted by Lodewijk De Raet, together with the Roman Catholic Frans Van Cauwelaert and the liberal Louis Franck for the usage of Flemish at the University of Ghent. However, due to World War I, the University of Ghent would become a Flemish university in 1930.

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May 26, 1871
  • Belgium
  • University of Liège
Feb 25, 1968

on July 23, 2013


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