Hem Day's personnal papers

The private documents of Hem Day, pseudonym of Marcel Dieu (1902-1969) cover the period from 1930 to his death in 1969 and mainly relate to the life and running of his magazine, Pensée et action (thought and action). The works and many thematic files most probably come from the documentation library of the publication. Some allow following the making of an issue, step by step, from the preliminary search of information to the ‘ready for press’.

The private documents of Hem Day kept at the Mundaneum are split into five funds: the anarchy collection, the Jean Cordier fund, the Marcel Goris fund, the Christophe Taquin fund and the Jean Van Lierde fund. The four latter are currently subject to an inventory. A significant part of the Hem Day documents and archives on the history of anarchy were transferred to the Archives Générales du Royaume and to the Bibliothèque Royale (General Archives of the Kingdom and the National Library).

Hainaut-born Marcel Dieu turns to anarchism during the First World War, when he decides to change his name to its initials, M.D. which he writes Hem Day. In the twenties, he will take an active part in reconstituting the anarchist movement. His second-hand bookshop in Brussels and private home become a refuge for outlaws and exiles. From 1828, Hem Day commits to the pacifist combat and champions resistance to war and the refusal to obey. In 1933, Hem Day and his companion Léo Campion are dismissed from the army for having refused to rejoin their unit. Despite his opposition to all forms of war, Hem Day goes to Spain in 1937, where he will participate to the social revolution but will return to Belgium convinced of the uselessness of violence in the revolution and becomes a passionate advocate of non-violence. After the Second World War, he publishes again the magazine Pensée et Action. Indeed, the latter had been issued irregularly since 1929 under the title Vie et Action. The magazine, which bore the title Les Cahiers de Pensée et Action from 1953, served as his forum until he died in 1969, having pursued his militant activities throughout his entire life.