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Ces Dames de Ravensbrück. Contribution au mémorial belge des femmes déportées à Ravensbrück, 1939-1945

Public History Meeting of the CegeSoma (2024-3)

Ces Dames de Ravensbrück

Conference-debate (in French) with guest Claire Pahaut

Conducted by Pierre-Alain Tallier


The College of burgomasters and aldermen of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert and the State Archives / CegeSoma invite you to an exceptional Public History Meeting - Tuesday, May 28, 2024 from 11:45 am to 1:15 pm at the Municipal Hall of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert.

80 years after the end of World War II, Belgium finally has a memorial book on the Ravensbrück concentration camp. The book sheds light on the lives of almost 2,250 women deported from Belgium, or survivors who settled there after the war.
Directed by Claire Pahaut, the book focuses on the only concentration camp specifically set up for women by the Nazi regime. Covering the history of the camp and its women prisoners, as well as a summary of the concentration camp experiences of these 2,250 women, it is an indispensable complement to the database (with almost 40,000 entries) dedicated to Ravensbrück's women inmates, accessible on the website of the National and Provincial State Archives of Belgium.
Written under the editorial direction of Pierre-Alain Tallier (State Archives), the book was produced with the scientific support of Professor Christiaan Perneel and Major Piet Van der Paelt, both of the Royal Military Academy, and Johan Van der Eycken of the State Archives.
This presentation session will cover both the book and the database. Claire Pahaut, author of the book, will be interviewed by Pierre-Alain Tallier before taking questions from the audience.

With the humanity she is known for, Claire Pahaut will talk about her work in gathering testimonies to perpetuate the memory of all these women who, often committing themselves at the risk of their lives, have never been recognized or, worse still, have fallen into oblivion. Thanks to her research into the Second World War archives held by the State Archives, these women now have a face. We also know more about the diversity of their experiences in concentration camps.
Alongside these life stories, Claire Pahaut has also examined the implementation of international criminal justice and the repression of war crimes and crimes against humanity. She will discuss the successive trials concerning the Ravensbrück camp which took place in Hamburg and Rastatt from 1946 to 1954.

This third Public History Meeting of the year is organized by the commune of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert in partnership with the State Archives/Cegesoma. It will be held on Tuesday 28 May 2024 in the exceptional setting of the Municipal Hall of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert. The event will be honored by the presence of the Mayor, who will introduce the session. It will be followed by a cocktail reception.

A history professor in secondary education, then project manager for the "Démocratie ou barbarie" educational coordination unit, Claire Pahaut has been working with young people since the 50th anniversary of the Liberation, on projects for education in citizenship and peace, based on intergenerational encounters at the sites of 20th-century world conflicts ( WWII and the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda).
As a member of the Groupe Mémoire, she has taken the fight for veterans to the Senate. As a volunteer with the Directorate-General for War Victims /State Archives, she is involved in researching and identifying women deported to the Ravensbrück camp.
She published with « Territoires de la Mémoire » : Nina Erauw. Je suis une femme libre (2009) and Je vous le dis, j'aime la vie (2013). She is an associate author of the Nouvelle Biographie Nationale and a contributor to www.belgiumwwii.be.


Pierre-Alain Tallier holds a doctorate in contemporary history from the Université Libre de Bruxelles He is Senior Researcher and acting Director General of the National Archives and State Archives in the Provinces.
For over 30 years, he has been working on the evolution of woods and forests and forest ownership in the contemporary period, the subject of his 1997 dissertation.
The author of several source guides (parastatal services, World War I, Judaism, colonial history...), he is particularly interested in the preservation of archival heritage and access to archives in relation to citizenship and societal issues.