The German occupation of Belgium during the First World War and the Flemish Movement

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Dokumentart: ResearchPaper
Institut: Institut für Allgemeine Pädagogik
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 1989
Publikationsdatum:
Bemerkung: Volltextzugang nur innerhalb des Campusnetzes der HSU
Originalveröffentlichung: Beiträge aus dem Fachbereich Pädagogik ; 2/1989 (1989)
DDC-Sachgruppe: Politik

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

The article focuses on the military, political, administrative and ethnic developments and events which were related to or took place in the Generalgouvernement Belgium, i.e. the German Military Government Zone of Belgium, from August 1914 until November 1918 and which might have constituted significant socio-political conditions of intellectual, literary, and artistic activities in European Expressionism. It is based on the assumption that the unique experiences related to war, occupation, socialist thought, and ethnic emancipation constituted an extraordinary background for both the Youth Movement and the Expressionist literary and artistic perception of the conditio humana. - - - - - Although there are numerous - German and non-German - studies about the First World War, the Kriegsschuld question (discussion about the specific German responsibility for the World War), the German military goals in Eastern and Western Europe, President Wilson's politics and the Versailles Peace Treaty, only a few focus on Belgium, which was occupied nearly from the beginning to the end of the war. There is no comprehensive study about the Beige question within the German war-aim discussion, the war in Belgium or the German occupation and military administration, the Flemish movement and the German Flamenpolitik (Flemish or Flanders policy). A few books and articles are published about some of these aspects, none about the day-to-day policies of the Generaigouvernement and its interactions with Beige institutions, social groups, and Beige and German intellectuals, writers, and artists. Nothing is published about the politics and policies (e.g. toward the radical Jungflamen [Young Flemish] in Ghent) of the SuSupreme Command of the Fourth German Army in the Front and Communication Zones of Belgium outside the territory of the Generaigouvernement. The main reason is that nearly all files of the Reich Chancellor's Office about Belgium and the private records of the second General-Governor of Belgium Bissing are lost and that all records of the Generaloouvemement Belgium with more than 70.000 volumes were burned in 1944 and 19456 Another reason is that the scholarly interest focused on political-military and economic events and not on cultural policies. - - - - - There are some additional restrictions of the research this article is based on. Related to its purpose and time restrictions, the author was not able to do research In the East German Central Archives of Potsdam and Merseburg where some of the remaining files, so e.g. of the Reichsamt (Department) of the Interior, related to Belgium or most of the Kriegszlel (war aim) memoranda are available,7 But this was Justified since all relevant material Is already published and research about Belgium during the First World War proved that even single files of the General-aouvernement do not exist. Relevant single military files about writers and artists who served as soldiers or administrators In the Communications Zone (e.g. the Ghent area) or within the Generalgouvernement (where Brussels belonged to) may still exist in some of the West German federal or state archives also. But this goes beyond the topic of this article. Finally, it was not possible to search extensively for unpublished Beige, esp. Flemish records. It cannot be ruled out that relevant documents still exist In Beige, Netherlands, or French archives, but there Is no Indication in the publications of those countries. The contribution Is therefore mainly based on already published German, Flemish, and French documents, publications, and other sources of the war, inter-war and post World War Two periods. Some of them refer to apparently lost and some unpublished records,8 so e.g. the private files of the third General-Governor Faikenhausen (1917-1918). Very Instructive, but apparently biassed are the Journals and publications of the Flemish and great-Dutch movements (e.g. Dletsche Stemmen. Gazet van Brussel. Vlaamsche Nieuws. De Socialistisch Vlaaming) and related German groups (e.g. the Belfried). As far as they were accessible, these sources are used also.

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