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Order of Leopold II Knight class medal, ribbon and silver palm citation awarded to a Belgian resistance fighter

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Order of Leopold II Chevalier medal, ribbon, and silver palm citation awarded to Roger Francois by the Belgian government for his service to his country during World War II. During the German occupation of Belgium, May 1940-September 1944, the German military governed alongside the Belgian civil service. The Germans sought to deport all Jews to concentration camps; the Belgian civil service did not cooperate. By 1942, there was a significant resistance movement. Francois actively assisted Jews in avoiding these round-ups and in finding places to live in hiding. He was captured and interned at Buchenwald and Flossenburg concentration camps in Germany, and was not liberated until April 1945. Francois was honored with multiple awards for his wartime service.

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Details

  • Title: Order of Leopold II Knight class medal, ribbon and silver palm citation awarded to a Belgian resistance fighter
  • Location: Belgium--History--German occupation, 1940-1945.
  • Provenance: The medal was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Guy Francois, the son of Roger Francois.
  • Subject Keywords: Concentration camp inmates--Germany--Biography. Guerillas--Belgium--Biography. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Belgium--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Political prisoners--Germany--Personal narratives, Belgian. World War, 1939-1945--Underground movements--Personal narratives, Belgian.
  • Type: Military Insignia
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Silver colored metal Maltese cross with ball tipped finials overlaid on a cutout laurel leaf wreath. The attached navy blue ribbon has a wide central vertical black stripe. A silver palm citation is pinned to the ribbon. The medal front has an embossed rampant lion of Belgium on a black enamel field, surrounded by a blue enamel ring with silver French text. A crown shaped suspension ring attached at the top with a jump ring to attach the ribbon. The reverse has a center cavity with red adhesive paste where a section of the medallion is missing.

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