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1920:    born in Luxembourg City

From 1930:    sets up a support network for Jews and political refugees 

1934:    Socialist member of Parliament and municipal councillor in Luxembourg City 

1940:    Minister of Justice; flight of the Grand Ducal family and members of the government to France, later to Portugal, Great Britain and Canada; diplomatic relations established with the Allies

1944:    return of the government-in-exile to Luxembourg

1971:    recognition as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem
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One full year of oppression and persecution already weighs on the people of Luxembourg. Its courage, however, is unimpaired, its spirit of resistance as alive as ever. The Grand Duchess and the Government of Luxembourg look to the unflinching patriotism of their people for renewed courage in their struggle for the liberation of their country.
Victor Bodson, How Luxembourg Lost Her Freedom (Belgium 1/4), 1941

Group photo in front of the Luxembourg Embassy in London: Minister Bodson meeting some of the Luxembourg volunteers, including Jean and Antoine Neven, London 1942
Victor Bodson became active against Fascism and National Socialism as a young man. In the 1930s, during the Spanish Civil War, he supported Spanish Republicans and Luxembourg volunteers in their struggle against Franco’s Fascism. He also helped several Jews and victims of political persecution in Nazi Germany to cross the border into Luxembourg or Belgium. In 1940, as Minister of Justice, Victor Bodson went into exile with the government and the Grand Duchess. There he campaigned for Jewish refugees from Luxembourg to be allowed to enter the USA. While based in London, Bodson promoted international efforts to bring Nazi criminals to justice. He broadcast regular appeals on the BBC calling for Luxembourgers to resist the Germans; he helped Luxembourgers who wanted to take part in the armed struggle against Hitler to leave the country, and he organized aid for political prisoners. The government returned to Luxembourg in 1944 amid tensions between it and resistance organizations, who accused it of having abandoned the country.

And you, young Luxembourgers, you are now must-be-Germans, being forced by the Nazis to join their armies. Do never forget that you are nothing but Luxembourgers and that you have but one enemy: The Germans! Save your young lives, join the Allies and desert wherever and whenever there is an opportunity.
Victor Bodson, speech, 15 Feb. 1943

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Minister Victor Bodson (above, standing left) at a meeting with Grand Duchess Charlotte and other government members, London 1944
Personne ne reconnaissait l’autorité du gouvernement qui était revenu. […] J’ai salué les gens et tout à coup j’étais entouré par beaucoup de gens qui parlaient très haut. Je leur ai dit qui j’étais et que j’entendais rétablir l’ordre. Ils m’ont répondu que c’étaient eux qui faisaient l’ordre. […] Ils étaient tous armés. 
Victor Bodson, interview, 1978
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