Rijksarchief in België, Dienst Archief Oorlogsslachtoffers / Archives de l'État en Belgique, Service Archives des Victimes de la Guerre

  • State Archives of Belgium, Archives Service for War Victims
  • Directorate-General War Victims
  • Directie-Generaal Oorlogsslachtoffers
  • Direction générale Victimes de la Guerre

History

The Archives Service for War Victims is the successor of the former Belgian Repatriation Commissioner (Commissariat belge au rapatriement / CBR). Established in 1944, the CBR was responsible for repatriating Belgians sent to the territories occupied by Germany, tracing missing persons, identifying bodies, recovering personal belongings and collecting archives. The CBR was dissolved in August 1945 and its services were transferred to the Ministry of War Victims, created in February 1945 to take action to help civilian victims of the war. In 1946, the services of this department were transferred to the Ministry of Reconstruction, and then to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 1952. In 2001, the Directorate-General War Victims was included in the Federal Public Service - Social Security. In 2018, the Archives Service for War Victims was integrated in the State Archives of Belgium.

Archival and Other Holdings

The Archives Service for War Victims holds an archive of 13 km, essentially devoted to civilian victims of the Second World War. The Archives and Documentation Service holds, among other things, files on the persecution and deportation of Jews and Gypsies from Belgium. These archives consist of the archives of the Sicherheitspolizei - Sicherheitsdienst, supplemented subsequently with other sources of information by the administration. Among the sources of DG War Victims, one can distinguish mainly two categories:

  • General documentation concerning, inter alia, the concentration camps; prisons in Belgium and abroad; the persecution and deportation of Jews; forced labor; and post-war trials.

  • Personal records including, but not limited to, records of civilian invalids of war 1914-1918 and 1940-1945; the records compiled by the Archives and Documentation Service (containing administrative documents and histories); records of "statuts civils de reconnaissance nationale"; and the records of the prison of Saint-Gilles.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

Nefors, Patrick, Inventaris van het archief van de Dienst voor de Oorlogsslachtoffers/Inventaire des archives du Service des Victimes de la Guerre, 1997.

There is no catalogue of all the archives, but there is a very detailed index card system:

  • One index based on themes and geographic locations in order to find documents in the general documentation

  • A second index system based on names to retrieve personal files.

In recent years, the Archives Service for War Victims has started computerisation and digitisation projects. There is currently no online catalogue.

Opening Times

Tuesday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment

Accessibility

The State Archives are committed to ensuring access to its reading rooms and other common areas for all users. Several improvements have been made in recent years to facilitate access for people with reduced mobility (parking spaces, access ramps, toilets, etc.). For further information about access to the State Archives of Belgium, Archives Service for War Victims, please contact the institution by phone or email.

Sources

  • Mémorial de la Shoah

  • Pierre-Alain Tallier (dir.), Gertjan Desmet & Pascale Falek-Alhadeff, Sources pour l'histoire des populations juives et du judaïsme en Belgique/Bronnen voor de geschiedenis van de Joden en het Jodendom in België, 19de-21ste eeuw, Brussel, ARA-AGR/Avant-Propos, 2016, 1,328 p.