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The very last witnesses

 
Time period: 1914-1918
Number of interviews: 100
Accessibility: by appointment via vrtarchief@vrt.be
Period of interviews: 2009-2010
 

‘The Very Last Witnesses’ is an interview project in which 100 very elderly Flemings testify on camera about the First World War.

Together, their stories form the big story of the war in Flanders, in all its facets. The war was profound, not only for those who fought and lived at the front.

All these witnesses were children during the war. Some had to flee headlong to the Netherlands, England or France, others lived under the terror of the occupying forces. Some suffered hunger and missed their fathers who fought at the front or had been taken to Germany as prisoners of war….

De allerlaatste getuigen van WO I

Author: Philip Vanoutrive

Publisher:  Lannoo, 2018

ISBN: 9789401456210

Based on this, Philip Vanoutrive published the book “The very last witnesses of WW1”. The stories of 43 witnesses traverse 23 thematic chapters in which their war memories are each interwoven with historical background information. Vividly, they recount their experiences and adventures. Repulsive anecdotes about death and destruction but also touching or funny stories they can still vividly recall. For some, it was a ‘nice and fun’ time – something happened for once! For the other, childhood dreams exploded like an exploding grenade.