The Raphaël Algoet Collection

  • Access and consultation : The collection can be consulted in digital form on the computers of the reading room of via Pallas. Via Pallas, enter « Collection Algoet » in the search engine and select « Photothèque » in the right column. By clicking on the different topics, you can see the photos. Its content is freely available.
  • Reproduction : The content of the collection may not be freely reproduced in the reading room. For any reproduction request by the CegeSoma teams, practical information is available here.

Collection description :

Raphaël Algoet (1902-1989), a Belgian filmmaker and photographer, started his career in the 1930s. For ten years, he produced photographic reports for a Catholic mission in India. He then returned to Europe in 1942 and joined the Piron Brigade. At the end of the war, accompanied by his friend Paul Lévy (a former Resistant fighter and war correspondent), he visited several concentration camps (Buchenwald, Dora-Mittelbau, Dachau) and returned with a series of photographs, depicting the horror he experienced on the spot. Raphaël Algoet then worked as a professor at the Higher Belgian Film Institute in Brussels.

The Algoet archive was purchased by CegeSoma from the filmmaker himself in 1996. It contains 41 rolls of negatives (1089 images) and 8 film canisters (35.16 and 9 mm). The negatives depict, among other things, the liberation of Dachau and Buchenwald, the visit of a Belgian delegation to Hitler’s destroyed residence in Berchtesgaden, the hidden V-1 flying bomb factory in Dora, the repatriation of Belgians from Germany and the passage of the Piron Brigade in Brussels. They have been digitalized and are accessible through the Pallas catalogue.

In addition to photographic archives, the Centre is also in possession of films directed by Raphaël Algoet. For conservation reasons, these films were copied to video tapes which are consultable at CegeSoma (VID 291-292-293). These cassettes contain seven and a half hours of German news footage on the liberation of Brussels, Antwerp and Louvain, the Breendonck trial, the 18-day campaign and the Allied offensive.



For more information :

  • Taghon Peter, Belgique 44 : la libération, Bruxelles, Racine, 1993.
  • Vanwelkenhuyzen Jean, La libération de la Belgique : quelques aspects des opérations militaires, in: Revue belge d’histoire militaire. 1984, n°8, p. 725-758.
  • Wormser Olga, Le retour des déportés : quand les alliés ouvrirent les portes..., Bruxelles, Complexe, 1985.
  • Marie-Anne Matard-Bonucci et Edouard Lynch (dir.), La libération des camps et le retour des déportés : l'Histoire en souffrance, Bruxelles, Complexe, 1995.
  • Patrick Botman, Les survivants, Editions du Panama, 2005.
  • Références films : Films van het NCWOII en van Algoet (1), (2) et (3) : VID291, 292 et 293
  • Alain Colignon, Libération, sur BelgiumWWII
  • Patrick Nefors, Camps de concentration, sur BelgiumWWII