Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Herbert Hoover in Belgium

Herbert Hoover, at right

Do you know why so many schools, parks, and streets in Belgium are named after Herbert Hoover?

One hundred years ago, Belgium was in a perilous situation.  It had declared itself neutral in World War I but was invaded anyway by a German army on its way to France. The Germans killed civilians, smashed what had been a healthy economy and looted Belgium of everything of value, including food.

A future U.S. president, Herbert Hoover, was in England at the time.  He took up the Belgian cause, employing his engineering skills and boundless energy to raise relief funds and direct food supplies to the Belgian people.

Three decades later, after the end of World War II, Hoover went to Eastern Europe and took up the same cause.

Whatever you think of Hoover's political career, he deserves to be remembered, here as well as in Belgium, as an honorable humanitarian.

I have posted an article about his World War I efforts in my companion blog, theidiosyncratist.tumblr.com.

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