Window Smashers

Due to figures like Hugo Verriest and Gustaaf Flamen, Guido Gezelle and Lodewijk Leonard De Bo became the heroes of the West-Flemish student movement. The students struggled for a far-reaching application of the law on the dutchification of catholic education (1883). In their punchy magazine De Vlaamsche Vlagge (The Flemish Flag) they became ever more critical towards the diocese and the Davidsfonds. The tensions reached their apogee after Leonard De Bo’s death in late summer 1885. A few weeks after the grand national Flemish students’ day Guido Gezelle took the floor, much against his will, during the big homage to De Bo in Tielt on 30 September, 1885, organised by the Tielt Davidsfonds branch. During his speech Gezelle explicitly distanced himself from the student struggle and called the students window smashers. This didn’t go down well with the Flemish-minded students and they openly distanced themselves from their “Master”. Follow the conversations.

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