State of Research and Digitization (October 2017)
Post-First World War Trials
After the Belgian Government decided to put an end to the proceedings against German war criminals in 1925, the in absentia trial records were centralized by the appellate Cour Militaire in Brussels in 1927. From there, the Germans seized them in 1940. Finally taken from Berlin to Moscow by the Red Army, the record collections finally returned to Belgium in 2002.
So far, our research has brought to light a collection of 129 war crimes trials held in Belgian military courts in 1924-25, for a total number of 190 (German) defendants. Of this total number of decisions, we found the complete archival file for 65% of the cases: 84 trials (135 defendants) mainly from the jurisdictions of Namur, Hainaut, Flandre Occidentale, Anvers-Limbourg, and Brabant have been digitized. The collections from Flandre Orientale, Flandre Occidentale and Anvers-Limbourg jurisdictions have still to be located.
Post-Second World War Trials
The project deals with 34 war crimes trials held in Belgian military courts from 1947 to 1952. They involve 103 (mainly German) defendants. The large number of documents produced in the course of these war crimes proceedings are being digitized.