Song of the Greater Netherlands
In this poem, René de Clercq, one of the most popular Flemish poets of the era, celebrates his allegiance to the 'Great Netherlands'. During the war he took part in the German propaganda policy to break up Belgium and strengthen the political and cultural ties between the 'Germanic' Flemish, Dutch, Germans, and Afrikaners. To read the original text of the poem and the English translation, please click on the sources above.
Romantic notions about cognate people were very much alive in the early 20th century. Many Flemish nationalists felt part of a larger nation - the Great Netherlands - that included the Dutch and Afrikaners in South Africa. René de Clercq spent the war in Holland as a refugee, becoming a cultural and political leader of the German sponsored, anti-Belgium 'Activists'. This poem was published in Utrecht in de Clercq's volume De Noodhoorn. Vaderlandsche liederen (Bugle of Alarm. Patriotic songs, 1916).