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Flemish nationalism

Archive and Documentation center for Flemish nationalism
 
Number of interviews: 38
Accessibility: Unknown
Period of interviews: 1984 - 1986
Medium: audio cassette
 

The Oral History Project was one of the first projects initiated by ADVN. During the period 1984-1986, it underwent considerable expansion by interviewing a large number of people who experienced the history of Flemish nationalism from various perspectives. The scholarly approach to those interviews was largely determined by the Oral History Working Group.

 

In the course of the project, a more thematic approach was adopted when identifying possible respondents. Interview series on the (political) reorganisation of Flemish nationalism after World War II (Flemish Concentration, Volksunie, etc.), on the women’s movement (e.g. on the Women’s Movement for Amnesty, in cooperation with the Federation of Flemish Women’s Groups), on the group Nederland Een! (origins, functioning, organisation, etc. of the opposition movement Nederland Een! and of similar movements during World War II).

 

The ADVN was able to further expand its files with a large number of oral sources, made available in original or copies by individuals or associations.

 

The methodology followed was laid down by Bruno De Wever in two instruction texts (on the interview and transcription) and in a manual for individual and collective projects.

 

REALISATIONS
– oral testimonies recorded on tape and included in the audiovisual archive department of ADVN, mainly concerning the reorganisation of Flemish nationalism after WWII, women in the Flemish movement and Nederland Eén!

After World War II, the era of nationalism seemed definitely over. However, the political and socio-economic evolution in Belgium ensured that the Flemish movement regained a mass following relatively quickly. In its wake, Flemish nationalism again became a factor of political importance in the 1960s. The text below examines how that Flemish nationalism managed to survive repression and reorganise itself.

 

Children of the collaboration

 
Time period: 1950 - 1960
Number of interviews: Onbekend
Accessibility: By appointment via vrtarchief@vrt.be.
 

During World War II, tens of thousands of Belgians collaborated with the Nazi regime. Their children look back and testify about the war period. What did their parents do, why did they collaborate, and how do their children feel about it now?

 

7-parts DOCUMENTAry

 

Author: Piet Boncquet
ISBN: 9789463104791

Publisher: Pelckmans

For the relatives of collaborators, the consequences of World War II were profound. They shared in the punishment and shame. Children often had an even harder time, as a normal family life was disrupted by facts they had absolutely nothing to do with. These were experiences they spent a lifetime reflecting on. The testimonies from the high-profile Canvas series Children of the Collaboration are now brought together in book form. Compiled by Piet Boncquet, the book is published in collaboration with Canvas. Historian Geert Clerbout, the final editor of the documentary series and the author of Publiek geheim (Public Secret), among others, writes the foreword. Piet Boncquet (1958) is a historian and archaeologist. He was a journalist with the newspapers Het Nieuwsblad and De Tijd for many years.

 

 

Extra documentaries by Maurice De Wilde

  • De Nieuwe Orde – 19 episodes
  • De Verdachten – 4 episodes
  • De Tijd der Vergelding – 8 episodes
  • De Oostfronters – 7 episodes
  • De Repressie – 5 episodes
  • De Kollaboratie – 10 episodes
  • De Jeugdkollaboratie – 4 episodes

 

EXTRA-DOCUMENTARIES

Children of the resistance

 
Time period: 1940 - 1945
Number of interviews: 13
Accessibility: By appointment via vrtarchief@vrt.be.

 

Number of interviews: 13

 

Source material: VRT archive to be viewed on location

Access: by appointment via vrtarchief@vrt.be

Conditions: see website

 

Metadata can be consulted via meemoo: hetarchief.be

During World War II, tens of thousands of Belgians joined the resistance against the Nazis. Their children testify about that war period. What did their parents do, why did they join the resistance and how dangerous was it?

Many resistance fighters were arrested by the Germans. Those arrests are still on the minds of many children 75 years later.

6-PARTS DOCUMENTARY

 

Auteur : Piet Boncquet
ISBN : 9789463104807
Uitgever : Pelckmans

 

From the moment of the German invasion in May 1940, resistance to the occupation began. It often involved ordinary citizens who, out of conviction or patriotism, actively or passively resisted German soldiers, the German war machine and Belgian collaborators. In the course of the war, resistance organised itself and became more violent, as the occupying forces acted ruthlessly. The deep contrast between ‘whites’ and ‘blacks’, between resistance fighters and collaborators, marked post-war society. Partly because of this, especially in Flanders, the story of the resistance is less known. Unjustly so, as evidenced by the gripping testimonies in Children of the Resistance.

 

The episodes can be watched online in Belgium on canvas.be.

 

The book Kinderen van het verzet was compiled by Piet Boncquet and published in collaboration with Canvas. Piet Boncquet (1958) is a historian and archaeologist. He was a journalist for the newspapers Het Nieuwsblad and De Tijd for many years. Since 2013, he has been a freelance journalist and editor and wrote, among others, Lief en leed. Prostitution during World War I and The Last Supper after Leonardo da Vinci. A wondrous history.

Children of the migration

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Time period: 1945 - 1979
Number of interviews: 20
Accessibility: By appointment via vrtarchief@vrt.be.
 

Twenty witnesses tell their stories: 13 men and seven women belonging to three generations. They come from Italy, Greece, Spain, Morocco and Turkey, representing the countries that, between World War II and the 1974 migration freeze, supplied the largest number of migrant workers to the Belgian economy.

They or their (grand)parents came to Belgium out of economic necessity, to escape political oppression, or even just for the adventure. They were miners, factory workers, domestic servants. Their children are labourers, entrepreneurs, social workers, a taxi driver and a school headmaster. The makers have sought as much variety as possible… and yet all these people appear to share a particularly wide range of experiences.

Six-part documentary series telling the story of labour migration to Belgium since World War II.

Children of the colony

 
Time period: 1960 - 2000
Number of interviews: 20
Accessibility: By appointment via vrtarchief@vrt.be
 

In 1960, Congo gained its independence after a brief political struggle. For Belgium, it was the end of more than 75 years of presence in the central African country. For the six-part series Children of the Colony, twenty witnesses were interviewed about that period.

For the first time, Flemish television is also allowing the Congolese voice to speak extensively in the process, always paying attention to its relevance today.

6-delige documentaire

 

Author : Jan Raymaekers
ISBN : 9789463104128
Publisher : Pelckmans

 

In 1960, Congo gained its independence after a brief political struggle. For Belgium, it was the end of more than 75 years of presence in the central African country. In the six-part series Children of the Colony, twenty witnesses look back on that period and how the colonial legacy shaped their lives. For the first time, Flemish television also allows the Congolese voice to speak at length in the process, always paying attention to its relevance today.

 

People who lived through it from close by talk about colonial and post-colonial Congo. In the sixth episode, six Congo experts delve deeper into the post-colonial image and unravel truths and myths about Belgian Congo.

 

The episodes are online in Belgium on canvas.be.

 

Canvas presents: Kinderen van de kolonie

 

 

Trade unionism in times of war

 
Number of interviews: 37
Accessibility: Available in the study room.
Transcripts: None.
Period of interviews: 1984 - 1994
Medium: Original carriers: audiotapes, audiocassettes and minidiscs. Current files: mp3; wav; flac
 

Rik Hemmerijckx holds a doctorate in history (from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel). His research focuses mainly on trade union resistance, the history of the ABVV, Renardism and communism in Belgium. He worked successively as a historian at the Institute of Social History (Amsab), then as a coordinator for the Auschwitz Foundation. Since 2008, he has been curator at the Emile Verhaeren Museum.

 

The interviews he conducted concerned trade unionism in times of war. Recorded between 1984 and 1994, 39 files are available upon request for consultation.

Flemish collaboration

CegeSoma / Wim Meyers
 
Time period: 1940-1945
Number of interviews: 39
Accessibility: on demand
Transcripts: Partly
Period of interviews: 1972-1988
Remarks:

Dutch: 26

French: 9

German: 1

Unknown: 3

 

Original media: audiotapes, audiocassettes and minidiscs

 

Accessibility: in the reading room

Mandatory registration as a reader of the General State Archives and State Archives in the Provinces.

 

Wim Meyers worked mainly on Flemish collaboration with a particular focus on the VNV in his interviews, which were conducted between 1972 and 1988. The last of these concern Flemish collaborationist youth movements such as the NSJV.

The Belgian Communist Party and the Spanish Civil War

 

 

Number interviews:

68

ndl: 34

fra: 31

eng: 2

onbekend: 1

Transcriptions: partly

Original carriers: audiotapes, audiocassettes and minidiscs

Current files: mp3; wav; flac

Accessibility: in the reading room

Obligatory registration as reader of the General State Archives and State Archives in the Provinces.

A historian from Ghent University, Rudi Van Doorslaer wrote a doctoral thesis entitled “Children of the Ghetto. Jewish Revolutionaries in Belgium, 1925-1940”, submitted in 1990. From 1977 to 1980, he worked as a temporary attaché at CegeSoma, before being hired as a permanent researcher in 1985. For two years, he directed a research project on the Commission for the Study of Jewish Property under the Prime Minister’s Office. From 1996 to 2005, he was editor-in-chief of Cahiers d’histoire du temps présent. He has published in the domains of Jewish history, migration, communism and anti-communism, the Spanish War and other topics related to the Second World War. He left CegeSoma in 2016.

The interviews conducted by Rudi Van Doorslaer mainly concern the Belgian Communist Party. In particular, he interviewed several witnesses who had been active in the PCB during the Second World War in various Belgian cities (Antwerp, Kortrijk, Brussels, Aalst,…), but also in the context of the Spanish Civil War. He was committed to gaining a better understanding of the structure of the party. The interviews were conducted in two stages. The first interviews took place at the end of the 1970s, between 1976 and 1979. They mainly concern the PCB. Then, from 1983 to 1989, he was still interested in the PCB, but his emphasis was on its links to the Spanish Civil War.

Moreover, there are several interviews with Jewish refugees carried out in order to deepen knowledge of Jewish history.

Broadcasting during the Second World War

 
Time period: 1939-1945

 

Number of interviews: 37

ndl: 3

fra: 33

eng: 1

Transcriptions: partly

Original carriers: audiotapes, audiocassettes and minidiscs

Current files: mp3; wav; flac

Accessibility: in the reading room

Obligatory registration as reader of the General State Archives and State Archives in the Provinces.

Michel Vanbergen conducted about twenty interviews, mainly in French, on broadcasting during the Second World War (Radio London, Institut national de radiodiffusion – I.N.R., Radio Belgique, Mission Samoyède) from 1970 to 1980.

Fascism in Spain and Belgium

 

 

Number interviews: 44

fra: 27

ndl: 14

unknown: 3

Transcriptions: partly

Original carriers: audiotapes, audiocassettes and minidiscs

Current files: mp3; wav; flac

Accessibility: in the reading room

Obligatory registration as reader of the General State Archives and State Archives in the Provinces.

A researcher at CegeSoma from 1975 to 1984, Luk Kongs devoted the majority of his research to the question of fascism. He began a doctoral thesis on the Verdinaso but died of illness before he could complete his work. Between 1976 and 1983, he conducted a series of interviews on fascism in Spain and Belgium.