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Welcome to CEGESOMA

CEGESOMA, Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Contemporary Society, is the Belgian centre of excellence for the history of 20th century conflicts. It carries out research, organises public events and holds document collections. As a federal institution it is, together with the State Archives and the Royal Library, part of the Documentation Pole. It is a platform for academic and public activities in Belgium and abroad, in particular with regard to the two World Wars.

What Does the Future Hold for the Belgian Heritage of the Dark Years of the 20th Century?

In an article in Brussel Deze Week (see here) this Thursday 6 November, Director Rudi Van Doorslaer elaborates on the dangers which face the Federal Scientific Institutions, and CegeSoma in particular.

Conference by Jolande Withuis


La guerre oubliée de Juliana

Le mercredi 10 décembre 2014, la sociologue Jolande Withuis (NIOD, Amsterdam) nous invite à découvrir un aspect peu connu de celle qui était alors princesse héritière des Pays-bas, Juliana, notamment concernant ses activités durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Cette conférence sera commentée par le Professeur Gustaaf Janssens, ancien archiviste au Palais royal.
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The Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Contemporary Society (CEGESOMA) is Under Threat

In the light of the exceptional situation, we have decided to already send you the introduction of our Bulletin, due to appear next month. Our Director Rudi Van Doorslaer is launching an urgent appeal in view of the severe cutbacks faced by the federal scientific institutions and CegeSoma in particular. The appeal is also directed at Secretary of State Elke Sleurs. A dialogue is paramount to ensure the survival of the institution.
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Call for Papers

Forced and Coerced Labour: Comparing Colonial Spaces and Global Conflicts


On 19 March 2015, CEGESOMA organises, in partnership with the Centre de recherches en histoire du droit et des institutions of the Université Saint-Louis in Brussels, a workshop aimed at comparing the different forms of forced labour in times of war with similar experiences in the colonies. To this purpose, a call for papers has been launched (see here). Proposals should reach the organisers before 30 November 2014.

Pascaline le Polain


Open Letter : Is Our Country’s Memory at Risk?

The new government that took office this month may be called innovative in many respects, but it remains to be seen whether new is necessarily better. For the scientific institutions that are still active on the federal level since the second phase of the constitutional reform of 1980, the future looks grim. On behalf of the federal cultural institutions, the Director of the Monnaie spoke up against the measures, but the budgetary restrictions are also aimed at the Federal Scientific Institutions (FSI).
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The “Cegesoma Newsletter” no. 10 has been published

The Cegesoma Newsletter was launched in Summer 2013 and the tenth issue has just been published. It can be consulted here.

As a reminder, the principal objective of this publication is to inform of scholarly events, public history and documentation of Cegesoma.

To receive this Newsletter, click here.

“Those who hold Bastogne”

Peter Schrijvers is a historian and Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, Sidney. He recently published his book on the Siege of Bastogne.

The book was made possible with the help of Australian funds for research and a fellowship granted by CEGESOMA in 2012. Read more...

The CEGESOMA Collections, ever Easier to Consult

The CEGESOMA website was modified last summer, to allow among other things easier access to documentation. In this way, the new heading “find a document”, allows, by clicking on the “catalogue” tab, to consult both our general catalogue and our specialised catalogues, which were more difficult to find in the past. These include posters, interviews, broadcasts of Jours de guerre, audio material concerning daily life under the Occupation and audio material from Radio Bruxelles, video and DVD collections and VRT De Nieuwe Orde programmes. The same tab leads to collective search tools such as the common catalogue of the federal libraries.
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