Looking Back on My Life

  • Wilfried Martens

I am now seventy two, and when I look back on my life, images of my youth appear very vividly before my eyes. Like many others I have come to realise how much of my life was formed during those years. My inquiring mind gathered the seeds, which later grew to maturity in my temperament and character.

I am a farmer's son. Four years before the outbreak of the Second World War, I was born in a hamlet near the country village of Sleidinge, twelve kilometers north-west of Ghent. The countryside there is fat and there are a lot of canals. The Netherlands and Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (Zealandic Flanders) are just up the road. The Westerschelde River is a fve-hour walk away. Our house was halfway between Ghent and Eeklo in the middle of a triangle formed by the Leie Canal, the Ghent– Terneuzen Canal and the Leopold Canal, and I can recall vividly the country lanes from our farmhouse to the village, the colourful corn and maize felds in the summer, the white painting-like landscapes in the winter.


Prime Minister Federal State French Speaker Walk Away Colourful Corn 
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© Centre for European Studies 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilfried Martens
    • 1
  1. 1.Handelstraat/Rue du Commerce 10BrusselsBelgium

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