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Jan De Vos was mayor of Antwerp (Belgium) from March 15, 1909 until July 21, 1921. He stayed on as mayor after the capture of Antwerp by German forces during World War I, and remained in office after the end of German occupation and World War I.

Jan Baptist De Vos was born in Dendermonde on February 7, 1844. He became a successful trader and entered local politics when he was elected in the city council as councillor on October 19, 1890.

King Léopold II of Belgium appointed him mayor of Antwerp on February 22, 1909, much against the wishes of the liberal party, of which Jan De Vos was also member, who would have preferred the alderman Victor Desguin.

The events of October 1914, were the most intense of his tenure. The German Army besieged the city of Antwerp and the situation worsened in the city due to the bombardments of the Germans. The city council decided to negotiate surrendering the city. De Vos negotiated terms with General Hans Hartwig von Beseler of the German Army in Kontich, south of Antwerp. De Vos signed the surrender of the city and the remaining fortresses around Antwerp on October 10, 1914.

De Vos remained in office throughout the war. After German capitulation, he was not prosecuted for collaboration and stayed on as mayor till July 21, 1921.

He died on March 30, 1923, aged 79.

See also


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