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Prosper Ego in 1986

Prosper Joannes Gerardus Antonius Ego (17 July 1927 – 23 January 2015) was the founder of the Oud-Strijders Legioen (“Former Warriors Legion”).

Ego was born into a Roman Catholic family at The Hague. At the age of 17, during the Nazi German occupation of the Netherlands, he was arrested and deported to Germany as a forced labourer. On his return he worked in the administration of the Red Cross. Ego was sent as a conscript to the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) in 1947 where he was stationed in the Dutch army garrison at Makassar, Sulawesi as a hygienist.

On Ego’s return to the Netherlands in 1950 he worked for some time at the Red Cross, and afterwards as an insurance agent. He was active in the Katholiek Nationale Partij (Catholic National Party) and participated in the founding of the Veteranen Legioen Nederland (Veteran’s League of the Netherlands).

At the end of 1955, partly under pressure from the Catholic Church, the Katholiek Nationale Partij was absorbed by the Katholieke Volkspartij (Catholic People’s Party). Some KNP members, particularly in the Hague, opposed this, and in early 1956 the Nationale Unie (National Unity) party was formed. Ego stood as a candidate for the NU in the parliamentary elections of that year, but failed to get elected. After the Hungarian uprising in 1956 conflicts arose within the Veteranen Legioen Nederland. Partly because of these conflicts, Ego set up the Oud-Strijders Legioen for those who served in the Korean War in 1958, and became its chairman. He was the Nationale Unie’s candidate for the Hague in municipal elections in 1958, but was not elected. In 1960 some members of the Nationale Unie left and joined the newly formed Liberale Staatspartij (Liberal Party). Ego became vice-chairman, and stood as a candidate in the parliamentary elections of 1963, but the party failed to win a single seat.

Ego supported apartheid in South Africa, and was one of the founders of the Stichting Nederlands Zuid-Afrikaanse Werkgemeenschap (Netherlands-South Africa Friendship Association). He was also involved with the Stichting Nederland-Verenigde Staten van Amerika (Netherlands-USA Association).

During the 1970s the OSL was opened to non-veterans. Ego used the OSL’s magazine Sta Vast to publish pro-Nato and pro-American articles. The OSL flew airplanes over peace demonstrations with banners carrying the slogans “Rather a rocket in the garden than a Russian in the kitchen” and “Stop the SS20 rocket”.

In 1995 Ego was fined 5000 guilders (2270 euros) after being found guilty of inciting xenophobia. The charges related to articles published in Sta Vast in 1992, in which ethnic minorities were called "profiteers" and "criminals". Although the articles were not written by Ego, as editor he was held responsible for their publication.

In an interview in 2004 Ego stated that since the conviction articles were carefully scrutinised before being sent to the printer.

In the September 2009 issue of Sta Vast Ego announced his intention to quit as president and chief. It was also announced that the Sta-Vast van de Stichtingen voor Vrijheid en Veiligheid would be wound up. The two main reasons were Ego's age (82) and the decline in readership, which had fallen from a high of 14,000 in the 1980s to 2,500.

In 2010 the Oud-Strijders Legioen closed. Some OSL board members started a website, OSL-Actueel (OSL-News). Ego wrote for this website. He died in Breda in 2015.

BiographyEdit

  • Vincent Dumas, Een man van Sta Vast: Prosper Ego, De inzet voor Vrijheid en Veiligheid, Uitgeverij Contour, 2008, ISBN 9059117298

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