Photo prise par François Louis Ganshof au camp de Buchenwald. Tabouret et emplacement où est mort le ministre Paul-Emile Janson, 28/4/1945, photo n° 274604, copyrights CegeSoma/Archives de l'Etat.)

Archives of François-Louis Ganshof

  • Access and consultation: The fonds François Louis Ganshof can be accessed during the opening hours of the reading room. Its content is freely accessible. Reservation.
  • Reproduction:  The content of the fonds can be reproduced freely in our reading room. For any information about requests for a document reproduction carried out by CegeSoma staff can be found here.
  • Research instruments: Inventory AA707

Archive fonds description:

War papers of François-L. Ganshof

The personal archives of François Louis Ganshof were transferred to CegeSoma by his son-in-law, professor Godding. They contain documents about the mobilisation and the Battle of Belgium (18 Days’ Campaign), about CRAB, and reports of Ganshof to the High Commissioner to the State Security.

François Louis Ganshof (1895-1980), was an outstanding historian, specialist of medevial history and the history of law, professor at Ghent University, and got drafted on 5 September 1939 as captain secretary at the Supplies and Evacuation Direction of the Armed Forces (D.R.E.A.).

As vice-president of the Flemish Association of Reserve Officers (V.V.R.O.), he cared about the situation mobilised state agents, in particular of reserve officers. Together with its French counterpart (U.N.O.R.B.), the V.V.R.O. appeals to the authorities in order to obtain improvements to the Decree-Law of 27 October 1939 establishing their status. At the same time, he raises awareness at universities for the fate of mobilised professors.

After getting to the United Kingdom on 28 May, he joined the 7 Infantry Division in France on 7 June and then got assigned to CRAB on 8 June. He carried out several missions and was assigned to Group G of the XVIIth CRAB in Auch on 15 June, and to E.M./CRAB of Toulouse on 30 July.

F.-L. Ganshof first was officer of the High Commissioner for State Security, then captain and later commander. He drafted a series of reports on the inspections he led mainly in East and West Flanders upon the liberation. From September to December 1944, he visited different places, sometimes on several occasions. He reports the assessment of the authorities and Allied officers for Civil Affairs about the overall situation, supplies, and resistance group activities. This was a major source of information about the state of affairs – of Flanders mainly – during the first days after the liberation.

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