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Pour une histoire connectée et transnationale des épurations en Europe après 1945

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Edited By Marc Bergère, Jonas Campion, Emmanuel Droit, Dominik Rigoll and Marie-Bénédicte Vincent

Au sortir de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, l’Europe libérée est traversée par une même soif de justice à l’égard des anciens ennemis et de leurs collaborateurs. Ce livre interroge ce « moment 1945 » comme une expérience, sinon totalement commune, du moins largement partagée par delà la coupure Est-Ouest du continent qui s’installe rapidement. Dans une perspective d’histoire comparée, son objectif premier est de faire dialoguer des historiographies nationales des « épurations » déjà riches mais qui s’ignorent le plus souvent. Au-delà, le pari de cet ouvrage collectif réside dans sa capacité à proposer de manière originale les bases d’une histoire connectée et transnationale des épurations européennes. Pour ce faire, les auteurs portent une attention particulière aux phénomènes de circulation et de transferts en matière de normes, de pratiques, voire d’acteurs des épurations, puis des « dés-épurations ». De même, ils accordent une place privilégiée aux populations « déplacées » dans ce contexte, en considérant les expulsés, exilés et réfugiés comme un autre phénomène marquant de l’histoire chaotique de l’Europe post-1945 qu’il convient de relier à l’histoire des épurations.

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Chapitre 7 — Excluding the wrongdoers : the use of judicial discipline as a purging tool of the Belgian magistracy after the two German occupations (Mélanie Bost / Jan Julia Zurné)

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← 116 | 117 →

CHAPITRE 7

Excluding the wrongdoers: the use of judicial discipline as a purging tool of the Belgian magistracy after the two German occupations1

Mélanie BOST, Jan Julia ZURNÉ

CegeSoma/Arch, Royal Military Academy (Brussels) et CegeSoma/Arch

After national independence in 1830, the Belgian judicial body didn’t experience abrupt political changes, as was, for instance, the case in France. The country’s political stability contributed to the strengthening of the judicial body. Yet, in 1914-1918 and 1940-1944, its stability was brutally jeopardized. In the harsh and troubled conditions of the occupying regimes, the judiciary had to preserve the functioning of the judicial system, while fighting against German attempts of interference. Beyond its traditional missions, it also played an important “political” role: to face the occupier and protect, as far as possible, the national laws and the rights of the Belgian citizens.

These new missions gave rise to difficult dilemmas. They generated doubts and hesitations; certain policies or individual decisions were put into question and provoked internal dissensions heretofore never seen amongst magistrates. Weaknesses, opportunities or political convictions sometimes led to compromises to the enemy.

A purge process was initiated within the Belgian magistracy after both wars. This was not unique: it also happened in other public departments2. However, as a truly independent power, the judiciary ← 117 | 118 → was not subjected to an external purge. On the contrary: it was both times allowed to conduct its own...

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