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Re-education in times of transitional justice: the case of the Dutch and Belgian collaborators after the Second World War

Helen Grevers (UGent)
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Abstract
After the liberation of the Second World War, the governing parties in both Belgium and The Netherlands agreed that it was necessary to punish the collaborators. But the notion that the large majority had to be ‘re-educated’ for social reintegration also very soon prevailed in both countries. Collaborators had to be ‘cured’ to become full democratic national citizens again, and their punishment was designed to achieve this. Although in the last few decades the research scope of transitional justice has developed greatly and has contributed to an ever more nuanced picture of the punishment of collaboration in the post-war period, the question of to what extent prisons were used as places to ‘improve’ enemies of the state during a regime change has largely been overlooked. But precisely by studying the execution of the punishment, underlying ideologies and interests are exposed, and we can see how well defined citizenship was. This paper, with the aid of the Dutch–Belgian comparison, considers how post-war re-education was approached in those countries and what this says about the meaning of imprisonment during regime changes.
Keywords
collaboration, Belgium, the Netherlands, transitional justice, Second World War, re-education

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Grevers, Helen. “Re-education in Times of Transitional Justice: The Case of the Dutch and Belgian Collaborators After the Second World War.” European Review of History-Revue Europeenne d Histoire 22.5 (2015): 771–790. Print.
APA
Grevers, H. (2015). Re-education in times of transitional justice: the case of the Dutch and Belgian collaborators after the Second World War. European Review of History-Revue Europeenne d Histoire, 22(5), 771–790.
Chicago author-date
Grevers, Helen. 2015. “Re-education in Times of Transitional Justice: The Case of the Dutch and Belgian Collaborators After the Second World War.” European Review of History-Revue Europeenne d Histoire 22 (5): 771–790.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Grevers, Helen. 2015. “Re-education in Times of Transitional Justice: The Case of the Dutch and Belgian Collaborators After the Second World War.” European Review of History-Revue Europeenne d Histoire 22 (5): 771–790.
Vancouver
1.
Grevers H. Re-education in times of transitional justice: the case of the Dutch and Belgian collaborators after the Second World War. European Review of History-Revue Europeenne d Histoire. 2015;22(5):771–90.
IEEE
[1]
H. Grevers, “Re-education in times of transitional justice: the case of the Dutch and Belgian collaborators after the Second World War,” European Review of History-Revue Europeenne d Histoire, vol. 22, no. 5, pp. 771–790, 2015.
@article{6957868,
  abstract     = {After the liberation of the Second World War, the governing parties in both Belgium and The Netherlands agreed that it was necessary to punish the collaborators. But the notion that the large majority had to be ‘re-educated’ for social reintegration also very soon prevailed in both countries. Collaborators had to be ‘cured’ to become full democratic national citizens again, and their punishment was designed to achieve this. Although in the last few decades the research scope of transitional justice has developed greatly and has contributed to an ever more nuanced picture of the punishment of collaboration in the post-war period, the question of to what extent prisons were used as places to ‘improve’ enemies of the state during a regime change has largely been overlooked. But precisely by studying the execution of the punishment, underlying ideologies and interests are exposed, and we can see how well defined citizenship was. This paper, with the aid of the Dutch–Belgian comparison, considers how post-war re-education was approached in those countries and what this says about the meaning of imprisonment during regime changes.},
  author       = {Grevers, Helen},
  issn         = {1350-7486},
  journal      = {European Review of History-Revue Europeenne d Histoire},
  keywords     = {collaboration,Belgium,the Netherlands,transitional justice,Second World War,re-education},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {771--790},
  title        = {Re-education in times of transitional justice: the case of the Dutch and Belgian collaborators after the Second World War},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13507486.2015.1072500},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2015},
}

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