Un bombardement en avril 1944 fait un ravage à Hasselt, photo n°26962 © CegeSoma/Archives de l'Etat

New research projects

Two new research projects are set to start this spring at CegeSoma. The first one will investigate the military justice and the application of the death penalty in the context of Collaboration repression after the Second World War. The second project will focus on the provincial government of Limburg during the same period.

The military justice and the application of the death penalty in the context of Collaboration repression after the Second World War

After the Liberation, 242 people sentenced to death by the military court were eventually executed.

Due to its scale and with no executions carried out afterwards, this is an exceptional event in the history of Belgian justice. The project BRAIN 2.0 POSTWAREX - a partnership between the State Archives / CegeSoma (Dirk Luyten) and the Royal Military Academy (Ecole Royale Militaire) (Stanislas Horvat) – consists of an in depth study of the phenomenon of the death penalty and its execution from a military justice standpoint. This research is set to answer several key questions: how the death penalty was used to punish collaborationists; how f a death sentence was decided; what the decision making process was behind the granting of a ‘pardon’; how the death penalty was carried out and how it was integrated into the penal law. With a focus on the various components of the military court, this research will examine all the stages of the imposition and application of the capital punishment: from the opening of the prosecution file to the execution and the attention it received.

The transfer of the military court archives to the State Archives will enable a thorough investigation, while the availability and the accessibility of these archival sources will allow us to get a detailed picture. Two researchers (State Archives / CegeSoma and École Royale militaire ) will work together in this two-year project, funded by Belspo as part of the BRAIN programme.

The province of Limburg during the occupation

Commissioned by the Limburg provincial government, this 10 months research project on Limburg province during the Second World War occupation will also be carried out by CegeSoma.
The provinces played an important role during the Second World War, as they organized food supply or offered protection to population during bombings. The provincial governments preserve valuable archival collections concerning various aspects of the history of the Occupation.
These archives are at the core of this project. First, they will be catalogued and then they will serve as primary sources for this historical research on the role of the provincial administration during the Occupation. Emphasis will be placed on aspects with direct impact on population daily life.  A researcher will be employed to conduct the the investigation, while members of CegeSoma scientific staff will bring in their specific knowledge.