Les archives des services de renseignement et d'action

Archives of the Intelligence and Action Services

  • Access and consultation : The collection is open during the opening hours of the reading room.The contents of the collection may be consulted with permission of the State Security Service.
  • Reproduction : The contents of the collection may be reproduced with permission of the State Security Service. For any reproduction request by the CegeSoma teams, practical information is available here.
  • Research instruments : Inventory of general documentation of the collection AA1333

Collection description :

Autumn 1940. The Belgian government in exile, led by Hubert Pierlot, established itself in London. One of its first preoccupations was the creation of efficient secret intelligence services. An important part of the archives of this new State Security Service are kept in Cegesoma.

“The intelligence service that I have in mind will not just collect military intelligence. Its task will be infinitely larger and more delicate. It will be a constant provider of elements which will allow the government to assess the situation of the Belgian state, its citizens, its occupiers and enemies, and its friends”.

With these words, Fernand Lepage, deputy military prosecutor, addressed Roger Taymans, chief of staff of prime minister Pierlot, shortly after his arrival in London on 5 November 1940. A few days later, the 35-year-old Lepage established himself as head ad interim of the newly created State Security Service, the organization of which was inspired from the British Intelligence Services.

The Service's priority was the gathering of a maximum of sensitive information on the situation in Belgium. Gradually, its activities extended to the action on the ground, the political warfare and the escape lines from the occupied country. Thus, the archives contain very useful sources on the activities of the several Belgian intelligence services (Luc-Marc, Zéro, Clarence and others), on the structures specialized in armed combat (Groupe G, Nola…), escape networks such as Comète and services connected to political warfare, such as Carol, Samoyède and Socrates, which provided help to persons evading conscription to work in Germany.

At the end of the war, the State Security Service decided to grant the status of  “Intelligence and Action Agent” to those who applied for it and whose resistance activities had been “exceptional”. Awarding this statute led to a number of investigations and declarations by the entitled persons, their environment and their direct superiors. The files also include accounts of the activities of the agents, personal files, etc.

The archive fund of the State Security Office on the Intelligence and Action Agents consist of two series:
• Series 1 contains 413 general documentation files on the activities of the State Security Service in London and the resistance networks on the ground. They mostly date from the war period (for the inventory of this series: search Pallas for “Dossiers Services de Renseignement et d'Action SRA” or “Inlichtings- en Actiediensten IAD”.
• Series 2 collects the personal files related to the recognition of resistance activities during the German occupation.

A complete list of personal files was recently drawn up by one of our volunteers, based on old lists and a paper filing system. In view of a long term preservation of these valuable records, we are presently repackaging them in binders and non-acidic boxes.

The fund is accessible at Cegesoma (No AA 1333), but permission to consult it must still be requested from the State Security Service.

The Intelligence Networks and Action Groups: More than 40,000 Personal Files Relate the History of the Resistance

For more information :

  • Fabrice Maerten, « La résistance en Belgique, 1940-1944 », dans Le fort de Breendonk. Le camp de la terreur nazie en Belgique pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Dossier pédagogique, Bruxelles, Racine, 2006, p. 33-59.
  •  Étienne Verhoeyen, « Quatrième partie : la résistance », dans La Belgique occupée. De l’an 40 à la Libération, Bruxelles, De Boeck-Wesmael, 1994, p. 331-511.
  • Fabrice Maerten, Résistance sur BelgiumWWII