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Welcome to CEGESOMA/State Archives of Belgium

CEGESOMA, Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and 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. It is since 1 January 2016 the fourth Operational Directory of the State Archives. It is a platform for academic and public activities in Belgium and abroad, in particular with regard to the two World Wars.


RESEARCH - A festive presentation of ten years of research on justice

 On Friday the 22nd of September, the Interuniversity Attraction Pool (IAP) Justice & Populations will present the final results of ten years of research on the history of the Belgian judiciary and justice system in the Palace of Academies in Brussels (by invitation only). The CegeSoma is an active member of this IAP and has facilitated several projects, including Jan Julia Zurné's doctoral and postdoctoral research and the justice-themed branch of the virtual platform BELGIUM WWII, which will be online as from September the 28th.

CONFERENCES - Public and Applied History on the Battlefield of Europe

 The first conference of the Jean Monnet network Applied Contemporary European History was held in November 2016. The network's scope is to deal with difficult or controversial issues of European history such as wars or experiences of violence. The objective is to contribute to the construction of a shared European history.
Conferences will be organized in the course of 2017-2019. The first will be held in Jena from 7 to 9 November 2017. More info.

EXHIBITION – Exile in Belgium, of Past and Present

 On the occasion of World Refugee Day on 20 June, Katharina Austilat, a German ASF volunteer at CegeSoma has presented the result of her research on the experiences of refugees of past and present with 11 other volunteers. The young volunteers have presented these trajectories  in an exhibition organized by the Jewish Museum of Belgium. Visitors were introduced to the intimate circumstances of the refugees and were able to discover the experience of their flight via a short film.

NEW PUBLICATION on Human Rights between 1914 and 1940

 In May 2017, Laurence Petrone published her book (in Dutch) 'Democratie in Crisis. Een anatomie van de buitengerechtelijke vrijheidsberoving in West-Europa (1914-1940)'.The book compares Belgium, France and the Netherlands and analyses how states can drift towards non-democratic, repressive measures under pressure of crisis and war.



Violence In 20th-Century European History - European Conference ACCESSIBLE ONLINE

 Between 6 and 8 June 2017, the European Remembrance and Solidarity Network organized its eight conference in the Brussels Palace of the Academies. This conference, with CegeSoma as co-organizer, had 'Violence' as an umbrella theme. Almost the entire conference is now accessible online.

JOURNAL OF BELGIAN HISTORY – The first 2017 issue is now available

  

The contributions in the first 2017 issue of the Journal of Belgian History – of which two in French, and two in Dutch – again bear testimony to the thematic variety of present-day research on Belgian history.

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NEW MANAGEMENT for CegeSoma

 On 1 May, Nico Wouters was appointed as the new head of CegeSoma (the fourth operational division of the Belgian State Archives). His appointment marks the end of a long transition period in which CegeSoma was headed by interim directors. From now onwards, the institution will be able to fully develop its mission as a centre of expertise in public history, research, and valorization regarding the history of the two world wars and other twentieth-century conflicts.
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NEW RESEARCH PROJECT – The transition from war to peace in Brussels, 1918

 In the coming months, CegeSoma will investigate one of the most turbulent periods in Belgian history: the transition from war to peace at the end of the First World War. For the purpose of an exhibition for the BELvue Museum (2018), we will focus on the last months of the German occupation in Brussels, as well as on the troubled societal context of the months surrounding the liberation. Furthermore, we want to retrace how the Belgian polity underwent crucial democratic reforms during this period. The daily life of the inhabitants of the Belgian capital - which was characterized by a peculiar combination of joy and grief - will be a prominent theme in the upcoming exhibition.
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